Monday, October 25, 2010

Your Rebate Is In the Mail

774 Your Rebate is In the Mail.

How do these guys get away with these rebate scams? Easy. We the customers help 'em most of the time. How many times have you bothered to do the ton of paperwork needed to get $5.00 from Gillette or Izod or Hamilton Beach or Betty Crocker? The companies count on not having to give you the five bucks. If they really wanted you to have it, they'd simply have deducted it from the selling price.

With more expensive items, you get bigger rebates. Still, not everyone who can, does. The 'Droid of a few postings ago comes with $100 back. Now we're talking big bucks. Why wouldn't you go through the hoop jumping and back flips required for that? Some people don't.

To the credit of the makers of expensive electronics, they've made it ever so slightly easier by issuing Visa or MasterCard prepaid debit cards instead of checks. Once the rebate money is gone, you can toss the card.

And to the credit of the makers of expensive electronics, they've made the paperwork part a little easier by pre filling some of it out for you. There's one thing that hasn't changed. You have to send the original bar code in with the application. They must be short of bar codes and they have to re use them. Times are tough. Of course, bar codes can't be peeled from the boxes. That might cause a rash of bar code thefts, and we wouldn't want that, now would we?!

Once you cut the bar code panel out of the box, you get to see a little note that says "hey, buyer, have fun with your rebate money, but now that you've wrecked the box, you can not return what came in it."

There is no way to send all this stuff to the processing center electronically. Gotta use the US mail. It takes three stamps to get the paperwork (even the prefilled paperwork) to wherever it goes. Oh, and they tell you to make copies of everything in case they screw up and you have to do it all over again.

And how's this for weasel-ness: "You'll receive your rebate two weeks after we receive your request. But it may take up to six weeks." That's a real quote.

Try telling this to the phone company: "You'll receive your payment within two weeks of the bill's due date. But it may take up to six weeks."

By the third week, you'll be put into collection. By the fifth, you'll be in debtors' prison.


--So CNN kept asking the editor of Wiki Leaks about a dirty tricks campaign against him when he wanted to talk about the 400-thousand pages of Iraq war documents his outfit just released and said he'd walk out of the interview if her line of questioning didn't change, which it didn't, so he did. As he should have. If Ted Turner were dead, he'd be spinning in his grave.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you're welcome to them.®
©WJR 2010

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