Hidden camera investigations are always my favourite. They reveal a lot about what people do when they think that no one is watching, whether they end up being honest, whether they will take advantage of the situation.
Sometimes it’s funny how seriously local news stations in the US take their hidden camera investigations, sometimes over small issues like dumpster pickup schedules. The Onion did a hilarious piece on this making fun of these local news reports, which you should definitely watch.
It’s also very satisfying to see when the news does a final reveal at the end, and the sleazy business owner or whoever the report was about tries to hide from the cameras (even though we already saw everything).
As I was looking into these videos, I found a series that CBC produces, called CBC marketplace. It’s a show that is almost all about hidden camera investigations, and they’ve done some great work. In fact, the show has been influential in getting some toxic elements banned in Canada, and one of the stories they covered even ended up entering the discourse during the 2015 election.
Ever been concerned about calling an appliance repairman and getting ripped off on a quote? Or how about being worried about being taken advantage of after getting into a vehicle accident?
They cover all sorts of interesting topics, like this one, about how retailers design their stores and product placement to get you to spend more of your money:
Even though I know that there are complicated marketing gimmicks that stores try to pull to get you to spend more money, it’s still quite interesting to see how far they go, and see some of these tricks in action.
Even when I’m shopping, sometimes I end up buying more than I went in for, typically either because it’s on sale, or it’s something that I just thought about after seeing it on the shelves.
These tricks have been around since the 1970s, but of course, they’ve only gotten more sophisticated since then.
One that hit closer to home was this video on hospital parking fees:
Recently I had to visit the hospital with one of my family members, and I did get a ticket for parking on a side street. Apparently, a permit was required which was very annoying, since the sign had a gigantic green P, and the sign above it said that it was public parking on weekdays.
But this got me thinking of this video again. For me, it really seems unfair that people should have to pay to park at a hospital. At least give patients the opportunity to redeem a certain number of hours for free.
It’s not like people are there for fun, like the PNE or something.
People are there with sick or injured family members or friends, and they’ve already got a ton on their minds. We were already worried about what the doctor would say, and what kind of medication we may have to buy; parking is something that honestly, we should NOT be worried about at all in this situation.
Frankly I think it’s a kind of money grab; they know that you often have to stay for hours, and I doubt anyone is going to be taking public transit to a hospital.
Anyway, I would highly recommend this show and encourage you to watch some of these videos. I definitely learned many new things through their investigations, and I’m sure you will too.