Online Multiplayer Passes
Perpetrators: THQ, EA, Sony
Worst Example: Resistance 3
Publishers will tell you that online passes for multiplayer are necessary to keep the dirty used game buying horde from accessing the servers they didn't pay for. They'll tell you that the costs of additional users through used sales (the money from which never goes back to the developer or publisher) is insustainable without charging them another $10 for access. That's nonsense.
When a customer trades in their game to a retailer, they are out of the system and aren't using up your bandwidth any more. Whatever cost is associated with a single user accessing the servers has already been paid and that privilege simply transfers to the new user; there is no additional cost. If you wanted to make the case for it, you could argue that permanent player profiles could take up additional server space, but the fact that most of these files are maybe 1-5 MB each makes it a ridiculous argument.
The Solution: Just cut this shit out.