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Biggest Ripoffs in US

Phone texts, movie popcorn, and textbooks are overpriced
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Suggested by easterner
Posted Feb 2, 2010 5:58 PM CST
Biggest Ripoffs in US
These theatergoers probably paid too much for that popcorn.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – 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.

story continues below

  • '"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."
For the complete list, click here.
(Read more text message stories.)

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