Rebate rant

Somewhere, a Radio Shack employee is laughing at a lazy customer.

He’s laughing because the customer thought his 1 GB SanDisk memory card cost $14.99. That’s how much the price tag said. But really, the customer needed to shell out $24.99. That extra $10 would soon enter a black hole of bills—a whirlpool of wealth that belongs to no one. A purgatory of prosperity where all cash is up for grabs.

The world of the rebate.

Radio Shack employee: Is it fair to make people sell their souls in order to stop $10 from being robbed from their pockets? Is it fair to bank on customers’ laziness, forgetfulness or stupidity? Is it fair that you can afford the $10 extra to upgrade your lunch from Burger King to Panera because of a customer’s busy work schedule? I’ve got questions. Do you have answers?

It’s as if I bought a Chocolate Iced Kreme Filled Krispy Kreme doughnut that was advertised as being 250 calories. The fine print: The doughnut is 250 calories after you go to the gym and work off the extra 100 calories on the elliptical machine.

I was planning on not filling out my rebate form. I was going to write about how Radio Shack stole my money because I did not have time to undergo the arduous process. I was going to begin this blog entry by saying, “A Radio Shack employee stole my money.”

But that would be letting the rebate terrorists win.

I am taking a stand. I am filling out the rebate form. I will get my $10 back. And then I will spend it at Best Buy, just to kind of kick Radio Shack when they’re down. Wait…you say Best Buy does rebates, too? What is this world coming to?

In the amount of time it took me to write this blog entry, fill out the form, cut out the bar code, find an envelope and stamp and find a mailbox, I probably could have earned three times the amount of my rebate at my job. But that’s not the point. It’s the principle.

If the Radio Shack employees and the SanDisk manufacturers think they can cheat me out of my hard-earned cash, then they are mistaken.

An envelope with my rebate form, receipt and product bar code must be postmarked by 4/30/07 and mailed to Young America, Minn, according to my rebate form.

Oh, Radio Shack—you thought you fooled me, but at the last minute, I pulled through.

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7 thoughts on “Rebate rant

  1. I relate how much I care about a rebate to how much they’re giving me back. When I got a rebate on my iPod for $200, I didn’t waste too much time getting it in, but if’ it’s a $10 one, eh…maybe not worth my time. Or maybe I’m just lazy. I kinda always figured they were just trying to clear old merchandise though….

  2. I must disagree with both you and Stevenovick. Filling out a rebate form is one of the least time-consuming things we do as modern Americans in order to make or save money. Think about how much time your mother sits in front of her computer as it starts up, because in order to save money on an electricity bill, she turned it off previously. Think of the coupon cutting that your aunt does. Think of how before purchasing something online, you will happily spend many minutes looking for a unique coupon code to save the cost of shipping.

    Filling out your name and address is an instinctive thing – hard-wired into your brain. And ten dollars is certainly worth it.

    Now, would I prefer more instant rebates, such as the $0.15 rebate I received from Godaddy.com today? Yes, I would. But will I stop filling out rebate forms simply because one company wants to process the form in a different manner than the modern online rebates? No, I will not. I will continue to receive money, and I will not complain about discounts that, frankly, I do not deserve, for I am a consumer, and as a consumer, I am willing to pay massive amounts of money for Malaysian-made crap.

    -Nathan

  3. I couldn’t agree with you more, Lia.

    I’m so fed up with the rebate scam that at this point, I actively avoid buying things with rebates attached. To bank on people’s being overwhelmed by minutia, to gamble that folks just can’t keep it together enough to hold you to the price you SAY you’re offering, that’s a little slice of evil. Now I’m voting no by skipping rebate items altogether. (Or, yes, I’ll admit it, when the price is just too good to pass up, I’m spending inordinate amounts of time “conveniently” tracking my rebate applications online.)

  4. I (as I often do) disagree with Nathan. Why? Because, before buying something with a rebate, most people have spent the time researching where to get the best price, and after a few hours, have found something that is $2 cheaper after rebate than the original price they found!

  5. Just as a point of clarification– employees of big box stores don’t really control rebates. As a Best Buy employee last year, I’d agree with customers and steer them away from products that weren’t economically viable until after a rebate. Though I have little loyalty for big blue, I can say I did like the way the company has steered away from rebates in a big way. No more computers use mail-in rebates; those are now reserved for little crap that isn’t high-mark up anyway.

  6. People
    We all know that rebates are a scam. The answer is if it says “After rebate” close the site and keep surfing, the price will come without rebate

    Boycott the “Rebates” and stop the price gouging. Take the same time it would take to get your proper form to try and get your money back to find an honest supplier

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