dark patterns

Worth a look: the Dark Patterns website analyzes various tricks of UI (user interfaces) to optimize revenue. The most obvious is small print telling you that you have to opt out of an added fee, such as flight insurance purchased with an airline ticket. A surprising number of "legit" companies use these design-aided scams. Dark Patterns has cute names for the archetypal cons: "Roach Motel," "Sneak into Basket," "Privacy Zuckering," and so forth. There is an approx. 25 min slide lecture on the main page that is very entertaining.
After looking through a few examples and hearing the lecturer talk about the need for ethics in UI, I thought about the Verizon announcement last November of a website overhaul that turned out to be an extended, time-wasting ad for a future overhaul. I called it unethical because it lied but after looking at some "dark patterns" I wondered: what was the economic angle of that promotion? Was it just to prepare consumers for changes that would ultimately involve the same or greater level of obfuscation as what's on the current website?
Probably that's it. If you are a landline customer and need, say, repairs made, the purpose of the site is to lose you in a time-wasting maze of click options which ultimately end with a page telling you to use your telephone to call the main repair number (where you will be lost in a maze of voice prompts). The economic benefit is to reduce their repair costs because the customer just gives up and, say, endures a scratchy phone signal. Unlike some of the "dark patterns," likely this wasn't focus-tested for high-pressure nickel-squeezing. Verizon probably just hired the dumbest designers they could find and said "make us a customer website."