10 Surprising Life Hacks That Have Been Exploited So Much They Don’t Work Anymore
Life hacks have become a popular way to simplify our daily routines and save time and money. From organizing our homes to hacking our food, the internet is flooded with tips and tricks that claim to make our lives easier. However, with so many people sharing and using these hacks, some have been exploited so much that they no longer work as advertised.
1. Coupon Code Sites
These sites were once a great way to find discounts and promo codes for online shopping, but now they have become oversaturated with deals that may not work or have expired. Many retailers have caught on to the trend and have implemented measures to prevent coupon code abuse, such as limiting the number of times a code can be used, making codes exclusive to certain customers, or requiring customers to sign up for email newsletters to access discounts. As a result, finding a working coupon code can be a frustrating experience for shoppers, and the time spent searching for a code may not be worth the savings.
“Now they just link you to the sales already posted on websites,” one person lamented.
2. Searching Misspellings Of Items on eBay to Get a Better Deal
This hack was once a popular way to find items listed with spelling errors or typos, which could result in lower prices due to fewer people finding the item in their search results. However, this hack has become widely known, and many sellers are now aware of the tactic. As a result, some sellers intentionally misspell keywords in their listings to attract buyers who are using this hack, and the savings are not as significant as they once were.
Additionally, eBay has implemented a search algorithm that automatically suggests corrections for misspelled keywords, making it more difficult to find listings with spelling errors.
3. Pressing Zero On An Automated Phone Tree to Talk to Customer Service
This hack was once a popular way to bypass lengthy automated menus and get in touch with a live representative more quickly. However, many companies have caught on to the trend and have updated their systems to prevent customers from using this shortcut. Some automated phone systems are programmed to recognize when a customer presses zero repeatedly and will either direct them back to the beginning of the menu or disconnect the call entirely.
Other companies have implemented a voice recognition system that requires customers to say specific keywords to reach a representative, effectively blocking the zero hack. While this life hack may still work for some companies, it’s important to remember that it’s not a guaranteed solution, and customers may need to explore other options for getting in touch with customer service.
4. Ordering Free Carpet Samples on Amazon for Crafting
Ordering free carpet samples on Amazon for crafting was a popular life hack because it allowed people to obtain small, free pieces of carpet that could be used for a variety of crafting projects such as making coasters, patchwork blankets, or even small rugs.
However, due to the popularity of this life hack, many people began to abuse it by ordering large quantities of samples or ordering samples without any intention of using them for crafting. This caused Amazon to catch on and eventually stop offering free carpet samples for crafting altogether.
5. Looking Up Unknown Numbers to See Who Is Calling
Looking up unknown numbers to see who is calling was a popular life hack because it allowed people to identify unknown or spam callers before answering the phone. This was especially useful for people who received a high volume of unsolicited calls, such as telemarketing or robocalls.
However, as this life hack became more popular, many companies and spammers started to use various techniques to hide their numbers or make them appear as local or known numbers, making it more difficult to identify them through a simple search. Sites that used to offer the search for free also figured out they could make money off of it, so now most of them are pay-to-see.
6. Applying to a Bunch of Scholarships That No One Else Applies For
As more people caught on to this life hack, the number of applicants for these scholarships increased, leading to higher competition and making it more difficult to win. Additionally, some scholarship providers began to notice that they were receiving a high volume of low-quality applications from students who were not genuinely interested in the scholarship but only applying to increase their chances of winning. This led to stricter selection criteria and the introduction of additional requirements such as essays, interviews, or proof of merit.
Furthermore, some scholarship providers began to limit the number of scholarships that could be awarded to a single student, making it less likely for someone to win multiple scholarships through this strategy.
7. Tricking The Parking Garage to Pay Less for Parking
As more people began to exploit this life hack, parking garages, and systems have become more advanced and sophisticated, with features such as cameras, license plate recognition technology, and payment kiosks that automatically calculate parking fees based on the duration of the stay. There are also sensors in the ground that will prevent the kiosk from dispensing a ticket for a person who is not in a vehicle.
Additionally, parking garages now have attendants and security personnel who are trained to detect and prevent fraudulent activities such as ticket swapping. They may check the driver’s ticket and the time of entry to ensure that they have paid the correct amount and have not overstayed their welcome.
8. Downloading Free Textbooks Online
As more people began to exploit this life hack, publishers and authors became aware of the issue and started taking action to protect their intellectual property rights. Many publishers began to use digital rights management (DRM) technologies to restrict unauthorized access and distribution of their textbooks, making it difficult for students to download and share them illegally.
Additionally, some publishers have started to offer more affordable or subscription-based options for their textbooks, such as digital rentals, e-books, or open-access materials, reducing the need for students to seek out free versions online.
9. Getting Luxury Items Cheap At Thrift Stores
As this life hack became more popular, the demand for luxury items at thrift stores increased, and some people started to use unethical methods to obtain them. For example, some people would buy up all of the luxury items they could find at a thrift store and then resell them for a profit online or at consignment shops. This behavior led to increased competition and higher prices for luxury items at thrift stores, making it more difficult for others to find them at a low price.
Additionally, some thrift stores became aware of the value of luxury items and began to price them higher or send them to consignment shops themselves, reducing the chances of finding them at a bargain price. Some thrift stores also implemented policies to limit the number of luxury items that a single customer could purchase, further reducing the chances of finding multiple high-end items at once.
10. Clearing Student Loan Debt By Filing For Bankruptcy
In 2005, the U.S. Congress passed the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act, which made it much more difficult for borrowers to discharge their student loans through bankruptcy. Under this law, borrowers must prove that repaying their student loans would cause them “undue hardship” which is a very high standard to meet. Courts often require borrowers to show that they have made a good faith effort to repay their loans, that they have a minimal standard of living, and that their financial hardship is likely to persist for a significant period of time.
Moreover, student loan lenders and servicers also have a vested interest in preventing borrowers from discharging their student loans in bankruptcy. They often challenge borrowers’ claims of undue hardship and may even lobby against changes to bankruptcy laws that would make it easier for borrowers to discharge their student loan debt.
This article was produced and syndicated by Parent Portfolio.
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