Thursday, December 01, 2005

Rebates Suck!

A good article in Businessweek about rebates.

Although the rebate houses don't say, "Use our programs to screw your customers and keep the cash!" in so many words, that is what they do.

And I'm well aware of all the reasons behind them and how it is really the customer's fault if they don't follow through with the rebate. It just bugs me how much they are counting on bad customer behavior. And we FALL for the game OVER and OVER. To the tune of BILLIONS of dollars in lost savings for us and found money for the retailers or manufacturers.

We can all hear that little voice in our head, "This time I'll get it all in on time!" How many of us are walking around with the guilt of rebates unclaimed or deadlines missed? Could the companies make the process easier? You bet! Will they? No. I feel like Peter Griffith in The Family Guy movie, "This just grinds my gears!"

Its funny how the rebate dodge is acceptable, but other ways of tricking the customer on a smaller scale are not. There was a link to an article in Boing Boing yesterday about a man trying to buy a $3,000 camera online. The store called him up to "confirm his address" but what they were really trying to do was sell him more high priced accessories. He said no and was then told the camera was "out of stock". Lots of name calling ensued (especially when he threatened to blog about it!). I got to thinking, if this guy had just put out a very complicated rebate with short response times, lots of hoops and 8-10 week pay off cycles (all standard practices) he most like would be making as much money or MORE back! And he wouldn't look like the customer tricking retailer the he is.

Got to go, it's double coupon day down at the Hinky Dinky.


ellroon said...

Been there, done that, felt guilty and gullible. They make the print extremely small, the directions complicated, the response deliberately lengthy.

I don't shop without coupons, but I try not pay attention to rebates. If I find myself intrigued by the flashy rebate offer, I will often put the item back. (Like the book 'Hidden Persuaders', I just assume I am being manipulated.)

5:32 PM  
pseudolus said...

Of the half dozen of so rebates I have pursued, I only got my money back on 1.

It's all a scam. You can read complaint after complaint at Ed Foster's Gripelog. Some folks live by them and wouldn't think of foprgetting or ignoring their rebates, but these are the compulsive folks who are driven to perfection in many of their endeavors. They are in the minority.

The average Joes, like us, will either fail to mail in our rebates, mess up the ones we do mail in, or fail to follow up when the response is delayed.

You know they only pursue these strategies if it makes them money.Just give me the discount upfront and quit playing games, damn it!

4:10 PM  
Anonymous said...

Im going to tell u the thruth about rebates they dont want the customer to redeem them its more money for them i used to work as a customer representative for a company that its hired to take the customer calls of a ton of consumer electronics and phone companies and the company that i worked for was not even in the states when you are talking to a representative u problaby are talking to somebody in india, mexico or who knows where i was getting paid 2.50 and hour and what i saw was amazing people waiting almost a year for a rebate because they didnt validated their rebate for stupid reasons, they gave people 90 days to redeem the rebate and sended the coupon that u are suposed to fill out to get your money 10 days before the damn 90 days if people dont do something about this they going to keep doing this for ever im not sure but i bet you that they are breaking some laws, they are actually robbing people blind and that pisses me off

2:23 PM  

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