Get this: the day after Thanksgiving, ACE Hardware had a big, advertised
sale, and just about everything had mail-in rebates associated with it,
making for lots of great deals (right). Thinking this would be similar to
mail-in offers at other stores, I bought lots of the rebate goodies and
carefully sent in my receipt and UPC symbols. Apparently I didn't read the
tiny print, because ALL but ONE of my rebates was denied by ACE. I received
an email saying "Household Limit Exceeded. Your rebate submission is invalid
due to a limit of ONE rebate claim form per name, household, or address. We
are sorry but only one submission will be allowed." If this info was
anywhere in their advertisement, it was in VERY small print, AND the store
clerks said nothing to the dozens of us who were obviously buying all of the
rebated items. What crooks!! BOYCOTT ACE HARDWARE, they are deceivers
the really sad part, ace has a hardware club card. if you bring something
back there without a receipt, they can look it up on the computer. they
already have all the information on what you bought. they have decided to
make a 'rebate center' which im sure costs a pretty penny to operate. its
stupid to have it all in a computer somewhere, then require you to go
through a maze of bs to MAYBE get a rebate, even when you've done everything
correctly. to make it worse, if you have done something wrong on the form,
or forgot one receipt, or basically if they're just feeling cranky that day,
they just toss it in the garbage. i was told this by an ace manager.
between you and me, after having more than a few problems with the ace
rebate system, costing me at least 100 bucks, i took it upon myself to give
myself a rebate one day
i like my local ace, i like the people, and they have decent sales. but the
rebate system is a scam.
wrote > There's a lesson in there.
They do not usually own or operate the rebate centers - they are the
fulfillment houses that pay most of the rebate offers you find in the
stores. The cost of the service is derived from the number of rebates
the fulfillment center assures the vendor they will reject!
The sales gimmick I HATE the most are those damned checks I receive
every week or so with contracts to sign up for some service or another
on the back. I wonder how many people are dumb enough to cash them
without bothering to read what's written above their endorsements?
I'm also not pleased with charities which send me checks for $2.50 or so
with their appeals. It just seems tacky to me, particularly since I'm
noticing that if I contribute to one, I'm quickly solicited by several
other charities which the one I responded to sold my name to. It's
enough to turn me Scroogeward.
I agree, just give me the "rebate" at the cash register.
They are counting on people screwing up the application, not cashing the check
on time (some have real short expiration dates) or just throwing the rebate
away, not wanting to screw with it.
All rebates are nothing but rip-offs. They make you jump through hoops and
then still deny your claim, no matter how careful you are.
I have hated rebates for years. After Lowes denied my last one for 40 bucks
on spurious grounds, I have sworn off ALL rebates, forever.
The Happy Iconoclast www.rationality.net
I guess I am one of those stupid consumers: I do fill the rebates from
time to time, and never keep track of which one I received check on.
I believe I received most of those $10 or less rebates. But I did not
receive those bigger rebates completely (wireless routers, adapters,
etc. which requires mutiple rebate forms to fill on each product).
But in most cases I ask my daughter to fill the forms and cut the UPC,
so I am not sure if she did those correctly.
Last time I bought some wireless router/adapter (Office Depot), they
asked to send the forms to 3 different places for each item - so a total
of 6 forms/envelops to fill and mail. I asked my daughter to fill the
forms and get whatever rebate checks we receive.
Walter R. wrote:
Maybe you should learn to read the rebates terms.
I've done several hundred rebates and my success rate is 99.8%.
Given a choice of a rebate for 3X or a price discount of X, I'll take
the rebate any day of the week. (industry rebate redemption rates
In our area (CA) two stores, Costco and Fry's Electronics, offer product
rebates where the rebate application auto-prints on the register reciept.
Once you get home, you just register it online, and when you send the email,
within seconds, it confirms the store you bought it at thru cross
referencing database, then sends you a check to your home, usually within a
week or two. Excellent service, and you don't have to search newspapers for
coupons, they just show on the product shelf, and auto register upon leaving
the check out line. I find this approach very fast, and there is no fine
print to ponder.
...followed by a bunch of stuff req'd to register it, albeit not
But wouldn't it be even simpler (on both ends) if they would just
program their registers to ring up the discount in the first place?
The whole point of offering rebates is the knowledge that a large percentage of
buyers will not redeem them. I agree that trying to increase that percentage by
setting up "fine print" rules that allow them to reject rebates that are applied
for is a crappy way to treat customers. There are enough people who lose their
receipts, or simply forget to send them in.
The entire underlying alleged purpose of rebates is by nature a scam. It
doesn't take any analysis whatsoever. If the store dealer OR the
manufacturer of a product wants to sell it to you "for less" ( the
fraudulent sales pitch inherent in a rebate scheme), they would do it
immediately at the check out counter. Once they require you to jump
through hoops to get "your" "Lower Price" then the game is a scam,
pure and simple.
This should become clear to anyone with less than a second of thought.
I'm reading a lot of ignorance about why manufacturers do rebates. Note
it's the manufacturer, not the retailer that gives the rebate. It is often
a method for the manufacturer to lower the price of existing stock - that is
stock that has already been transfered to the retailer. It is too late at
that point to reduce the cost to the retailer because that transaction has
already happened. So the manufacturer uses the rebate as an easy and
flexible way to reduce the cost without messing with the pricing stuctuire
to the retailer.
That is why the retailer does not give the discount. They are not giving
the price reduction, it is the manufacturer. It is a manufacturer's
marketing strategy, not the retailers.
Yes, I won't disagree that there are a percentage of purchasers who can't,
don't or won't take advantage of the rebate and therefore the product can be
advertised at a lower price (rebate) without actually giving the lower
price. But as a general marketing strategy, it's purpose is not to hoodwink
the customer, but as a way of discounting existing stock that has already
been transfered (sold) to the retailer - as opposed to a different strategy
of reducing the price by reducing the cost to the retailer.
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