What I've seen personally often involved overly complex SOAP/WSDL services for things that could be accomplished with a simple HTTP request. Look at query prams, return the correct HTTP code and you're done.
Another common pathology is problem over-solving. Instead of writing a library to solve some problem and providing a sensible API, people write the library, hide it, then write an XML "driver" that consumes a custom-designed language encoded via XML tags. The alternative in this case is simply providing the original API.