The top 20 rip-offs of all time

MoneyBirthday cards, takeaway pizza and train tickets are among our most hated rip-offs.

Paying full price for a train ticket when the journey is delayed and you have to stand up the whole way in a hot stuffy carriage is not only my idea of hell but also a total rip-off.

Of course there are ways to avoid paying these costs, but if you've got to get somewhere urgently, without prior-warning, there's little option but to cough up for the over-priced ticket.

This is just one of the many rip-offs we all experience, but do things like paying out more than £10 to go to the cinema really annoy everyone else as much as it riles me?

Well, to answer the question Docmail, a print and post specialist, asked 2,000 people what they consider to be the biggest financial rip-offs. And while surveys like this need to be taken with a large pinch of salt, the results make for interesting reading.

Top rip-offs
Unsurprisingly, petrol, travel and food were all high up on the list. However, the single most annoying thing we get ripped-off by is paying an average of £3 for a birthday card. Paying for birthday presents at work also frustrates us with one in four people resenting work whiprounds.

We also rate takeaway pizzas, stamps and the price of alcohol in pubs as exceptionally poor value for money along with men's jeans and printer cartridges.

Days out are also over-priced with premiership football matches for £45 and theme park tickets for £43 giving us another reason to complain.

In fact. out of everything we spend money on, only four in ten items proves to be value for money.

Good value for money
It's not all bad news though and on the other end of the scale, sixteen parecetamol tablets for 19p was first in the best value for money items, with four pints of milk for £1.18 and a kettle for £22 coming in second and third respectively.

Apparently we're also happy paying 69p for an iPhone app and £18 monthly broadband contract but what we hate most is paying for water and household essentials like gas and electricity.

How to avoid getting ripped-off
Some essentials, such as electricity and gas bills, are unavoidable. And although there are ways to lower your costs, such as switching providers and choosing direct debit payments, you can't get away with avoiding these altogether.

However, for non-essential items, there are numerous ways to cut costs, from shopping around and finding a cheaper provider, to using modern technology to get a discount.

The key is being organised and well informed and using tips such as online videos and apps to save you money. Companies rely on apathy to rip-off their customers but by putting in a little extra time to research the market first, you can lower the risk of being ripped-off.

The top 20 rip-offs of all time

1. Birthday card – £3
2. Standard anytime return Bristol Temple Meads – London Paddington train ticket – £179
3. 30p toilet fee at a train station
4. Large takeaway pizza – £16.99
5. Two printer cartridges – £44
6. Theme Park ticket – £43.50
7. Medium glass of white wine purchased in pub – £5
8. Pair of men's jeans – £40
9. Videogame for console – £45
10. Monthly cable television subscription – £48
11. Premiership football ticket – £45
12. Second class stamp - 50p
13. 3D Cinema ticket – £11.85 (inc. glasses)
14. Prescription charge – £7.65
15. First class stamp – 60p
16. One litre of petrol – £1.30
17. A pack of four razor blades – £8
18. Four toilet rolls – £2.38
19. Ladies haircut – £35
20. Pint of beer purchased in pub – £3.50
Do you agree with this list? Are there other things which are more of a rip-off? Let me know in the comment box below.

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