When any industry has a boom, reputable companies and traders carry on as normal, yet all sorts of rip-off merchants crawl out of the woodwork to con people out of their money. They are helped greatly by people who,
without question, believe what the advertising wants them to believe.
One scourge of modern life is how many companies and individuals seem to actively seek to profit from the ignorance or inexperience of others.
A classic example would be bottled water. In a country like the United Kingdom where water rains down on 300 days every year, and the tap water quality is among the highest in the world (it is tested regularly, day and night, and is safe and convenient to drink straight from the tap), it is shameful that people are actually fooled into buying bottles of water (yes, H2O!) which could have come from anywhere (possibly from a far off place where locals do not even have a clean drinking water supply). It is then shipped hundreds or even thousands of miles, using a tremendous amount of fossil fuel, which needlessly contributes to climate change and environmental pollution. It is supplied in a plastic bottle which, if one is very, very lucky, may be recycled. It is much more likely to end up in landfill (or the local canal!) and is most definately not biodegradable. And you paid maybe a pound or more for a litre of such.
Take mobile phones. Ever since they were seen as 'yuppie toys' many suppliers have profited over the years from every kind of rip-off (hence my motto: always check everything before you sign anything). Examples that come to mind would include (but are by no means limited to):
A pay as you go deal which looks cheap until you use it
A one year fixed-term contract, with no options thereafter except buying a new mobile contract and starting afresh with a new mobile number
A phone which is locked to a single service provider's sim cards, and is difficult, expensive or even impossible to unlock
A very long minimum contract, for example three years (with a notice period on top of that!?)
A network with poor coverage just where you most need it
A contract which can only terminated on the anniversary of signing it
Short off-peak hours
Extra charges for non direct debit payment
Extra charges for itemised billing, which you can't cancel
Insurance at extortionate rates (note that in many cases, your contents insurance may cover phones anyway)
A phone which costs a few pounds or less, but will cost hundreds to replace if it gets broken, lost or stolen
A phone should for use abroad, when in fact the service provider doesn't allow roaming until you've paid a huge deposit.
For crying out loud, check everything!!!