Marian P. Merritt - Lagniappe

Where the Bayous Meet the Mountains

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

I love-hate Rebates

Yes, I have a love-hate relationship with rebates. You know, those money-back marketing ploys manufacturers and retailers use to get your personal identification. I do love getting a check out-of-the blue several months after I’ve sent in the rebate request. It’s great. This usually happens when I need cash most. Which is pretty often since I am the world’s worst about having “carrying around money”. But, that’s where the love ends.

This is money I’ve spent on an item that should have been reduced at the cash register. It’s funny money and I’m sure these “rebate providers” are banking on the average American being too busy or tired to go through the hassle of sending in the necessary documentation. And to insure that the odds are in their favor, the process is grueling.

Case in point—my husband and I recently purchased two electronic items at our local “everything-you-could-want” electronics store. One price sticker touted a thirty-dollar rebate and the other offered a twenty-dollar return. Of course the fine print says: In two mail-in rebates. TWO! That’s two fifteen dollar rebates and two ten dollar rebates. Have they lost their minds? What kind of fast one are they trying to pull here? I felt duped. To add insult to injury, two of the four can be redeemed online (my preference) while the other two had to be mailed in with the original UPC code from the stiff cardboard box. I should have known something was awry when the sales clerk handed me a stack of receipts that resembled a legal brief.

So, in order to receive the fifty-dollar rebate these nice people promised (visualize tight lips here), I jumped through their bureaucratic hoops and “applied” for MY rebates. I feel so un-average…

Suggestion for today: Avoid rebates.


Heather Diane Tipton said...


jaybabe said...

I agree with you. Rebates should be banned from the face of the earth. Along with rebates, registration forms which come with the newly purchased items should also be banished. Too much stuff to mess with in my busy world. My solution: don't buy anything until they quit having rebates and/or registrations. The retailers would get rid of both before you could say "see store for details."