Text messages may be the biggest ripoff in America. It costs 1/3 of a cent for carriers to send a message, but they can hit you with a 20-cent charge on pay-per-text plans. That's a markup of 6,500%. More bad deals from CNNMoney:
- Movie popcorn, 900%: No surprise here, as theaters make little from ticket sales. "I consider myself working in concessions, not movies," is a common refrain of owners.
- '"Free" credit reports: Just try it. The percentage markup between "free" and $179 a year doesn't compute, even if you have advanced calculus.
- Advil, 60%: Brand names are nice, "but the cheaper stuff works just as well." Apparently, the name and "sleek packaging" work.
- Restaurant wine, 500%: One restaurant explains away the difference by touting a "beverage team" that makes sure "the quality of the wine and experience exceeds our guests' expectations."
- Textbooks: From 1986 to 2004, prices increased at "twice the rate of annual inflation."
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