Many often turn a blind eye when it comes to products sold by corporations, restaurants, and companies. We prefer to believe everything we’re told, from the contents of their products and ingredients in their food, to where they source their products from. However, several Reddit users, who also happen to be past employees at major corporations, admit that not everything we hear is the truth, and, more likely than not, we’ve been fed falsehoods our entire lives. Read on to learn about many company secrets that customers will want to know.
Think of it as additional secret life hacks that will improve your day-to-day living and upgrade your life in general. Maybe next time, you’ll think before you decide to purchase goods from companies or believe everything they’re telling you. If you’ve ever had a gut feeling about something seeming off or too good to be true, chances are, you were right. Check out these company secrets via Buzzfeed below.
30. Tons Of Wasted Food
Next time a restaurant tells you they donate the food, think again. A lot of leftover food is thrown away, which is a huge waste. This Reddit user gave us the inside scoop about where all that leftover food ends up – in the trash.
“We used to throw any donuts, bagels, or muffins out at the end of every night at a popular donut store. One week, around Christmastime, we would donate the food, but other than that it was all waste, and if we took any home ourselves, we would get charged for it.” – via u/Embarrassed-Ad8053
Perhaps you’ve rushed to book accommodations just because you were led to believe by a travel site that there was only one room available. According to this user, it’s just an incredibly sly tactic to pressure customers into booking.
“Travel site warnings like ‘book quickly because there is only one room available in this hotel’ are bulls**t.” – via u/yes_u_suckk
Next time you book a hotel online, you’ll have more insight into the truth. Be careful about where you’re booking your hotels too. It could be a fake site posing as a real hotel site that looks legit (via USA Today).
According to this Reddit user, this well-known grocer uses expired meat for meals. It seems unsanitary and quite dangerous. And not only is Whole Foods selling expired products, but Amazon is, too (via CNBC). It seems that this is a common practice among large corporations so they can make a profit and potentially harm customers in the process.
“I used to work in the meat department at Whole Foods. Hopefully, things have changed, but our manager was insistent on using past due meat to make grinds for burgers, sausages, etc. I once got in trouble because I threw out the ammonia scented chicken tenderloins that had expired two weeks ago, rather than grind them up for chicken patties.” – via sorrythankyouno
If you’re a mother, you can probably agree you don’t want a 16-year-old piercing your ears, especially after reading this Reddit user’s post. Knowing their employees are barely trained will prevent parents from choosing a well-known mall chain for ear piercing.
“Store manager for 5 years at a chain that’s mostly in malls and is known for ear piercing. My brand new 15/16 year old sales associates were expected to pierce ears right from the GET. Watch a training video, I would walk them through the steps and observe them doing their first 3 piercings. After that, they’re considered “certified”. People, stop trusting a teenager working at the mall to pierce your babies ears properly. If you’re lucky, she’s done it before. And if it’s not a manager (and even then they could possibly not know what they’re doing, very high turnover rate), and it’s a teenager, good luck. – via cwaffwooday
If you’re a parent, it’s safer to ask your pediatrician if they can pierce your child’s ears for you or if they have a recommendation (via Reader’s Digest).
This seems like a sneaky way to disqualify people from receiving credit. This Reddit user gave potential applicants the inside scoop. Next time, you know not to pay for a queue jump when applying for a credit card.
“I used to work for a credit card company. On their applications website, there was a check box for ‘priority processing.’ This cost £10 and ensured that you jumped the queue when applications were processed. In reality, there wasn’t any such queue jumping facility. Everyone who paid extra for priority processing was automatically declined as they were deemed ‘too desperate for credit.” – via u/BillyBraggsArse
This Redditor outed a trash company for mixing regular trash with recycling, a brutal secret considering people pay extra to recycle.
“I have worked for a recycler and know others who work in waste management. Most of your recycling is sent to the dump. A lot of people mix trash and plastic bags in with their recycling, and now that most places mix all recycling into one bin, it makes it worse. Once a batch of recycling is considered contaminated, the whole thing is sent to the dump. Plastic isn’t nearly as recyclable as the bottle says it is.” – via u/Gearhead_Jerry
It seems better to avoid plastic altogether, knowing that our waste isn’t truly recycled. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to find natural alternatives to plastic, such as bamboo, as opposed to ones that claim to be recyclable (via CNBC).
Based on what this former employee saw, female customers should always measure their bra size before trusting a lingerie store. This may be one of the top company secrets customers will want to know, as it forced many to make useless purchases.
“At a popular lingerie store, I would measure women’s bra sizes. We only sell up to 38DDD in store. I was told by my managers that if someone measured over a 38DDD, to just lie and say a close size. I always was honest to the customer about their size, and because of that, a lot of women walked out because we didn’t carry their size. But my managers were very number and sales heavy, and they would sometimes come over and lie about the women’s size if they saw me measuring ‘wrong.'” – via u/mymelodythefelon
Working at a furniture outlet seems to be the best way to obtain cheaper furniture. But as this Reddit user revealed, it isn’t from just the employee discount. It seems there are many loopholes to cutting costs if you’re an employee. Unfortunately, this doesn’t seem to apply to customers.
“There’s a ton of employee theft that occurs at certain furniture outlets. Employee wants a new couch? Then just type up an invoice saying this $3,000 sofa was damaged while being moved around the showroom, and it was then discounted and sold for $299. Got a sectional that was delivered but doesn’t show up on your inventory sheet? Just take it home and post it on Facebook marketplace.” – via u/Cheetah84380
Purchasing clothes at Goodwill is not only good for the environment but saves money in the long run. However, this Reddit user let customers know they need to wash the clothes they purchase from Goodwill – and to check for any surprises hidden inside our clothes.
“Once upon a time I worked at a Goodwill. People think the clothes that are sold are washed. THE. CLOTHES. ARE. NOT. WASHED. I once was putting stuff away and found a dirty menstrual pad stuck to the crotch of a pair of jeans. Yeah. Definitely not washed.” – via jennajennarae
Additionally, thrift stores could sell something hazardous (via The List), so it’s important to double-check everything before you purchase it.
We can thank this Reddit user for reminding us to take a minute to protect our privacy. One of the top company secrets customers will want to know is to make sure you delete/ transfer your pictures if you sell your phone to a pawn shop.
“Pawn shop. If you pawn or sell your laptop, phone, or camera, delete nudes or personal pictures. I had a boss that would go through each device. This idiot would go through and try to show me pics like I gave a f**k. And he legally could because the customer signs a waiver.” – via u/Neriahbeez
Here’s a strange company secret from a former employee that makes us wonder how many major insurance companies have no passwords for their servers.
“A MAJOR insurance company I wrote software for was very big on security. If we needed to make an update, we weren’t allowed to remote into the server (even though you physically could, it was just against policy). To make an update, you had to put your changes onto portable storage, show your ID to the security guy, use your key to open the door, get escorted to the server, then they’d observe you via cameras. The login? ‘Admin.’ The password? Blank. Literally no password.” – via u/Tk-20
This Reddit user revealed yet another reason to buy from locally grown farms and markets, instead of large grocery stores owned by corporations. They told the truth about certified organic food in one of the top company secrets customers will want to know.
“I worked at a large ‘organic food’ grocery store. Most of our produce wasn’t organic. Some people would buy produce, slap a ‘certified organic’ sticker on them, and sell them to us. We knew it, but it didn’t stop us because it meant much higher profits.” – via u/Levelup13
Here’s a unique company secret from the car industry. This Redditor revealed that brake pads are actually free from a certain auto retailer after the initial purchase. They have a lifetime warranty that replaces them in the event of a problem, but customers don’t know that includes day-to-day wear and tear.
“Brake pads are free after the first purchase. This shouldn’t be a secret, but apparently, it is for most people. I managed a car shop for four years. I noticed the brake pads have a lifetime warranty. Most people think that means if the brake pads have a problem then they can get a new set. They don’t, however, realize that includes normal wear.” – via u/Blaqkfox
This Redditor revealed some truly appalling practices at a popular clothing store they formally worked at. Luckily, now in 2022, practices like this wouldn’t survive, especially with exposure via social media.
“I worked at a popular clothing store in 2008. Sales associates were called ‘models.’ There was a look policy and a bunch of books for managers to look at pictures of people who had ‘the look.’ Managers basically got promoted based on their ability to recruit attractive employees. Associates who were not as attractive could work in the back and be part of the Impact Team. Every few months or so, the top five attractive girls and the top five attractive guys would get together for a ‘cast of photo.’ I have no clue what the point of this was, but it got sent to corporate. I remember a lot of hurt feelings around this because many people wouldn’t be asked to be in it. I don’t think a store could survive like that in 2022; some of the practices were so controversial.” – via u/blackbird__fly
Here’s another grocery store exposed. We’re all probably beginning to think that products labeled organic, store bought, or privately grown are all the same. Apparently, there are only 80 accredited companies that could label themselves as organic (via CNBC). This means it’s more likely than not that private labels aren’t actually what they seem. This company secrets customers led to even more produce being mislabeled.
“I work at a VERY large farming company that grows and packages a certain vegetable (Hint: Bugs Bunny) The store brand and the private label brand right next to it are from the same field and there is no difference between the product in it. – via clumsymax
You’d think that a company like NASA would have the most up to date technology. Yet this Reddit user revealed that the opposite is supposedly true. Hopefully, their data is still reliable, even if their technology isn’t.
“I worked at NASA as a contractor for 2 years. 90% of the computing hardware was very antiquated and out of date. I saw a lot of Dell computers from the mid 2000s still being used, yes even pre-thin-style monitors, that beige or off-white color. They are pretty underfunded and spend most of their money on more advanced hardware like supercomputers, large servers, etc. But the basic hardware is really out of date. In fact, the whole place looked like a museum of the 1990s…the architecture, the dress styles, the lighting, carpet, and so on. It was very strange, almost eerie. – via alexandersuper666
It’s bad enough for people who need eyeglasses every day. But this user revealed that companies like Pearle Vision take advantage of that need by charging an obscene amount for glasses that actually cost the company very little.
“I ran the lens lab at a Pearle Vision back in the day. The most expensive frames we carried, the Armanis, cost us about $20 and cost you $400-$600. The most expensive lenses (outside of real ophthalmic specialties), what we called MTPROA’s (polycarbonate aspheric with anti-glare, anti scratch) cost them less than $20 and cost you $400. So a $1000 pair of Armani glasses with all the bells and whistles? It cost about $40.” – via Ijustwanttobejess
Here’s some great insider information for when you’re in the market for products like the newest smartphone. According to this Reddit user, we should wait for the second wave of production. This company secret undoubtedly saves customers money and heartbreak.
“I used to work for a large smart phone company. During development, each stage was meant to have checkpoints in order to ensure that the final product was built with good quality and any known bugs would be able to ironed out before the product launch. Any bug that was not resolved would potentially have the ability to delay the launch.
“Except that there is a thing called Waivers. So the PM could request that certain bugs be granted a waiver delaying the fix of the problem to a later date. No big deal, every project has a few minor bugs, right? For each stage there would be hundreds of waivers. Some would be minor, to be fair, but sometimes they were definitely not minor. I will never, ever, buy an electronic device in the first 3 months of mass production. Wait for the second wave of production, the quality of the product increases ten-fold.” – via Project2r
This former employee revealed something that seems to go against everything the wedding dress store claims to put into practice. Instead of making every gown the same price, they just marked up the regular size dresses.
“A few years ago, a major wedding dress store announced that regular and plus-sized wedding gowns would be the same price (like, a size 24 wouldn’t be $150 more than its size 4 counterpart). They did this by marking up the regular sizes to match the plus-sized prices” – via u/SuperSequins89
Next time you’re in a coffee shop and their food tastes extremely delicious, you may find yourself second guessing their products. That is, once you hear this former employee’s company secret.
“Used to work for a coffee shop whose claim to fame was that all food items were made from scratch in house. All of their pastries were made using Pillsbury dough, and every other kind of dessert was bought from a grocery store.” – via Desperate4potato
For you Starbucks lovers, you may want to think twice before purchasing a coffee from this well-known chain. There might just be mold in your morning brew. Yet some buyers may never stop their Starbucks habit no matter what, even if the habit costs them a whopping $2,300 per year (via CNBC). Regardless, it’s not nearly as clean as their customers would hope.
“Former Starbucks partner here. I’ve worked at a variety of different stores during my stint as a barista, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone to clean an espresso machine and have found mold. I’ve only worked in one store that followed cleaning protocol correctly, out of a total of six (all in a major U.S. city).” -via crimewavedd
Apparently, Abercrombie and Fitch’s reputation is more important than donating to people in need. This definitely might deter you from buying any of their products, as a former employee revealed what they do with even slightly imperfect clothes.
“Abercrombie and Fitch will burn clothes that are damaged even in the slightest way. I’m talking a tiny hole from a security tag, a slight loose threading in the logo on a hoodie. They will not donate these clothes to the people that need them because it would tarnish their reputation as a ‘luxury brand’” – via Right_and_Left
I’m sure we can all relate to the claw machines as a child. We’d spend hours trying to catch that toy, only to give up in the end. It’s refreshing to know that this wasn’t because of our lack of skills, and it was, in fact, a scam.
“It’s probably an open secret, but the claw machines where you try to win plush toys at arcades have a payout percentage that is set by the staff. The payout is calculated based on the unit price of the toy and the cost per game on the machine. No matter how much claw-poising skill you bring, you’re not going to win until you’ve spent a few times the price of the toy playing the game (not you specifically, but whoever else has played before you as well)” – via aardvarkyardwork
Thanks to the inside scoop from this Reddit user, some ‘inside’ sports advice isn’t as special as that sports network claims. In fact, it’s not really even sports advice at all, but just the random opinions of random people in a call center.
“Worked for a certain sports network for years. They used to charge people to be an Insider, which gave you fantasy advice if you sent an email. Those ‘experts’ were myself and other randoms here in Omaha, Nebraska, in a call center. No training, just our opinions.” – via u/brokenmario84
People are led to believe that it costs a lot to take care of your skin. It’s good to know that getting rid of those pesky blemishes should only cost a couple bucks as opposed to the hundreds of dollars skincare companies tell us.
“I used to work in skincare: None of the products cost more than $2 to manufacture, but would retail at anything from $20 to $150 per product. Always amazed me how much people would shell out for anything with volcanic clay or snake venom cream.” – via DWeb338
According to this Redditor, this workplace brings their employees to the brink of 33 hours so they don’t qualify for benefits. It seems that their own profit is more important than your health.
“Used to work for a big box retailer. They purposely under-scheduled your hours, so you wouldn’t qualify for full-time benefits, including health insurance. In order to be considered full-time, you need to work more than 33 hours consistently for three months. If you’re anything less than 33 hours, you’re considered part-time. My schedule was always 33 hours or more for exactly two months and three weeks. My very last work week of the three-month time period would be 32.5 hours exactly, and every three months, this would happen. I asked my manager why this kept happening, and she lied to my face, every time. Different excuses each time too.” – via u/Powerful_Pen_370
It’s a shame to learn that a lot of our donated clothes are thrown out, especially when we believe we’re doing a good thing and donating them to those in need. Buying your clothes solely from secondhand shops seems to be not only the most cost effective, but better for the environment. But this Reddit user gave us one of the best company secrets customers that may change your view in this regard.
“Most clothes that get donated to this nonprofit organization get thrown out. At a normal store, they go through donations, and if it isn’t good enough (stains or tears on clothes, electronics that don’t work, etc.) or if it’s been in the store for a month, it gets sent to an outlet store. Those are cheaper, but a lot of things still don’t get bought there. If they’re at the outlet store for long enough, they’re just thrown out. You wouldn’t think it would be that many clothes, but in the few months I worked there, about half our donations got sent to the outlet stores, and most of the stuff there gets thrown out eventually.”
At least we know now to never send nudes to a camera shop, especially if you’re someone who’s still using a film camera. As another Reddit user had posted, this disgusting habit happens more than you’d think.
“I worked in a camera shop as a kid. Owner used to make an extra print of the nudes and kept them in a photo album he hid in the back of the shop. Thought it was funny as a 15-year-old. Seems pretty f**ked now.” – via u/Stephen2678
1. When Your ‘Special Membership’ Isn’t Special At All
We all think we are truly investing in our health when we sign up for a special at the gym, a common practice across many gyms. Thanks to this Reddit user, however, we now know some of the secrets of the independent gyms.
“I worked at an independent gym. But at most gyms the sign up “special” is only there to mark up the perceived value of the membership. It’s to convince you to buy into it with the idea that you’re getting a special discount. The reality is that the original price doesn’t actually exist and the “deal” or “discount” you get doesn’t actually expire. It’s just the standard membership rates that everybody is paying!” – via bttrflyr
Thanks to all of these honest Reddit users, consumers now have the upper hand when it comes to things like buying clothes from thrift stores and major chains, signing up for gym memberships, drinking decaf coffee, or even visiting the car dealership. These are some of the best company secrets customers will want to know as it’s always better to second guess certain things than to believe everything you’re told. And that goes for everything in life.