Rebates - I'm sick of 'em
I went through all the sale flyers in the paper today looking for Christmas gift ideas, and I just can't believe how many advertised prices now are actually not the price you pay, but the price "after rebate."
In theory that's okay, but this past year I bought several different items that came with rebates, and I didn't get two of those rebates. The total amount I never got was $60.
There is no accountability to it. You mail in all that stuff they require for the rebate, and if you never get it, there is no one to call. It goes to a rebate clearinghouse center or whatever (often in Minnesota, I've noticed). In the case of the two rebates I never got, I contacted the company involved and was told that it was out of their hands. You can't re-submit it because they want the ORIGINAL register receipt, and the ORIGINAL UPC codes off the box. The originals are gone; I mailed them in. So what's to stop the company from tossing a certain percentage of those rebate requests into a convenient wastebasket? Nothing, and I bet that's what some do.
Of course, the theory behind rebates is that the company can advertise a low price, yet they know from experience that a lot of people will forget to mail in all the stuff they need to get the rebate, so in reality they won't have to give the price they advertised. In the case of low value rebates, like $1 to $5, I would bet the percentage of people who actually mail it in is way under half. This to me borders on false advertising.
I think there need to be some laws regarding rebates. Either that, or some clever company needs to do a promotional campaign where they say, "All prices are what you pay today -- NO MAIL-IN REBATES!"