By Alan Graner
Previously http://dsprel.wpengine.com/hate-mail-rebates-problem/ I explained why mail-in rebates are good for business, but not so good for you.
Tactics used to discourage redemption or to void the rebates
Fine print. Rebate requirements are written in legalese and buried in fine print, so even if you read it you may not understand all the terms and conditions. Furthermore, if you violate these requirements you void the rebate (heh heh).
Time restrictions. Even though the rebate may be valid for six months, that doesn’t mean your rebate is. In many instances you have only a short period of time after purchase to redeem it. (Read the fine print.)
UPC codes. You are required to cut the UPC barcode off the box and mail it as part of your rebate package. What? You already threw out the product package. Oh dear! And those pesky barcodes are so small, it’s not surprising they get” lost” when your rebate package is opened (wink, wink).
Errors. Make one tiny mistake filling out rebate paperwork and…VOID!
Lost! Somewhere between your house and the rebate center the Rebate Monster ate your paperwork. They can’t find it. Sorry. And no, photocopies aren’t accepted. Fool!
Brain rot. Some rebate centers delay payment for a long time hoping you’ll either forget you sent in a rebate or you decide the amount isn’t worth the hassle of a follow up.
Remember, rebates aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on unless you collect. Good luck with that.
The moral? Never purchase a rebated item you can’t afford.
What are your mail-in rebate horror stories?
Image: OTA Photos via Flickr®
Next: How to claim your rebate money
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA marketing communications firm. For a public relations campaign that makes you stick out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at email@example.com. Or visit www.dsprel.com.