As humans, our needs are insatiable and we always meet them somehow. But discovering that the company or business we go all out to patronize has ripped us off hurts more. Some hidden fees may result from signing up for extra items, monetary advantage on the business side, search engine lies, or excess demands.

In this guide, we explore 10 companies that pride themselves in ripping their customers off for some insane reason.

1. Ride-Hailing Companies

Simple fluctuations in demand and supply are likely to increase the fees ride-hailing customers have to pay. A three to five-minute ride could cost as much as $9.5 to $10 depending on location. Frequent users would notice fees may double or increase by 50% during rush hours.

Source: Bolt

Even though this business operates on the principle of demand and supply, it must keep its prices within a reasonable threshold. Forbes describes one of these ride-hailing companies as one that increases prices and still squeezes its drivers’ pay.

Tip for customers: Have multiple ride-hailing apps on your smart devices so you always compare the prices.

2. Airlines

It’s no news that Airlines increase flight fares when gas prices skyrocket (just as was witnessed during the 2008 global recession). Now, that’s understandable because the hike was triggered by an underlying economic condition that affected airlines directly.

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Imagine being forced to upgrade and pay for a more comfortable seat, ditching the one you had already reserved. That’s what we call ripping. Why should an airline make “uncomfortable” seats available to its customers and still prompt them to upgrade to a more comfortable one at a higher price? It makes no sense.

Tips for customers: Book Business Class or First Class tickets if the funds are available, opt for carriers, or go by road for shorter trips.

3. Internet Service Providers

In this digital dispensation, we all need reliable internet connections to live decent lives. Unfortunately, we often pay for substandard services. One way internet service providers rip off customers is by charging exorbitant fees without providing the level of speed they promise.

Source: shutterstock

The fact that most of us have internet speed that is slower than what we’re paying for just shows how these vendors are sneaky and experienced in cutting corners.

Pro Tip: Do not patronize an internet vendor based on their marketing and advertising prowess. Keep trying different providers till you find the service that works perfectly for you. You can also check customer reviews so you don’t settle for less.

4. Credit Card Companies

Credit card companies are likened to “life savers” especially when we exhaust our monthly income. However, they are notorious for hiking their interest rates and randomly decreasing credit limits.

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This simply means you may have more interest than is required for the credit you get. Besides those of fintechs, the interest attached to store credit cards is also outrageous.

Pro tip: Don’t rely on credit at all times. By all means, credit should be spent on essentials only.

5. E-commerce Companies

E-commerce companies have now joined the list of businesses that intentionally rip people off. Some of them lure customers to buy a certain item by giving them a limited time to utilize a coupon. It gets even worse when customers find out they can’t use these promo codes except their order exceeds a certain threshold.


Besides paying for delivery, customers could experience the challenge of minimum basket fees. If your order doesn’t exceed a particular threshold, you’ll pay additional fees which is an outright rip-off.

Pro tip: Before completing the checkout process, look out for hidden fees the platform may request. 

6. Funeral Homes

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that funeral homes form the list of businesses that notoriously rip customers off. Besides trying to sell caskets at exorbitant prices, they are very persuasive and keep recommending expensive ones to customers. They make customers believe expensive caskets will decrease the rate at which a body decomposes.

Source: shutterstock

It’s only upon request that they should customers cheaper caskets. Additionally, funeral homes also try to pressure customers to get additional services they offer such as embalming and gold plating which are often not necessary.

7. Interior Decoration

Interior decorators come in handy when trying to furnish a new apartment. However, most of their pieces are overpriced. The paintings, artwork, sofas, and flowers can be gotten at decent prices in regular markets but interior decorators just find a means to make you believe they are worth more.

Source: thestyleinspiration/Arya

Interior decorators are unique based on how they change the aesthetics of your house. But it all comes with hidden fees.

Pro tip: Check out the portfolios of up to five interior decorators and compare the prices they offer before making a choice.  

8. Wheel Alignment and Lubricating Shops

Aligning your car wheels or changing the oil are things you can do in small to medium corner shops. You drive in, hoping to be done in five to ten minutes. But that’s when the rip-off begins.

Source: freepik

Lube and wheel alignment shops rely heavily on upselling their products and services. In most cases, they recommend more frequent oil changes than the vehicle manufacturer requires. They may also spend more time when adjusting your wheels so you can pay more for their services. They often believe drivers have limited knowledge of car maintenance.

Pro tip: Change your lubricants based on the manufacturer’s specification and wheels should be aligned when needed.

9. Car Dealership

Car dealers are often characterized as being shady or sneaky. While this doesn’t always apply, they often try to make customers pay higher than what the car is worth. For instance, car vendors may devise a flexible payment plan for customers.

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This strategy is a disguised method of upselling the vehicles. If the vehicle costs $15,000 and the customers opt for an installment payment of $3000 monthly at 5% interest, they will end up paying $18,750 in total.

Pro tip: If you can, buy your car in a single payment or compare the prices of different vendors before making a choice.

10. Pharmaceutical Companies

Pharmaceuticals play a vital role in combating diseases through the provision of medication, vaccines, and supplements. However, most brands capitalize on the belief that expensive medications are the most effective. This isn’t always the case.

Source: Molly Firkins

Due to the corruption in the health sector, the UK government has imposed a 70 pound million fine for pharma companies that overcharge the National Health Service (NHS).