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View Full Version : Rebates aren't a new concept, people


Dave1982
02-20-2010, 04:55 AM
They might suck, but they aren't new, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Had a guy in tonight (while I was covering a cashier break, of course) who asked for a price check on an el-cheapo POS 2GB MP3 player.

Me: $24.99 plus tax, which is $26.55.

The SC's mouth went agape and he stared at me as if I'd just asked him to recite Proust. :eek:

After several seconds, he stammered

SC: But....the sign says $14.99!

BS (overhearing): That item has a $10 rebate, so it's $14.99 AFTER REBATE.

Me: After rebate, sir.

SC: So..................what?

Me: *explains how rebates work*

SC: So you don't take $10 off now?

Me: No, you have to send away for that money.

And then he proceeded to just start STARING at me with this incredulous look on his face, like I'd just uttered some sort of profound insult, and he was in shock and awaiting for me to realize what a colossal gaffe I've just made and quickly apologize and adjust the price down for him.

Good. I haven't had one of these in a while, and I'm real good at staring contests. :D

As I'd been the last to speak, the ball was in his court, so I just stared right back at him.

And kept staring.

And kept staring.

And KEPT staring.

And just HOPING he'd actually TELL me to take the $10 off now, just so I could bring Maxwell's silver hammer down upon his head (figuratively, of course) and tell him that's NOT the way things work.

Finally, he broke (I win!!!) and said he wasn't interested, then. But five minutes later, he bought it anyway.

Then he came back again with a bottle of Dasani from the Coke cooler. He paid for it, then said "this is too cold for my son. Can I swap it for a warm one?"

A thoroughly bizarre request that I'd never heard before, but....reasonable, I suppose. I had one of the techs fetch a warm one from backstock and we swapped it out for him (he hadn't opened it yet).

Shimatta
02-20-2010, 05:29 AM
I just sent in a 10.00 rebate a coule days ago - in six months I might se that money

I also sent in a rebate for 1.50 it was for a new style of pen so it would be free. I felt weird depositing that check at the bank.

r2cagle
02-20-2010, 05:34 AM
The warm water is sure puzzling. Wonder if it was for drinking or cleaning up a mess??

CrazedClerkthe2nd
02-20-2010, 05:36 AM
Ugh rebates. The bane of my existence when I sold cell phones. Some genius at corporate decided that the only displayed prices on our phones should be the AFTER rebate prices (you know because they are lower) and leave it to us to explain the rebate to customers.

I got so sick and tired of the anger and frustration I'd get from folks when I had to tell them they'd be paying a lot more out the door than the sign would seem to indicate for that flashy new phone they had their eye on.

Come to think of it, that may have violated some kind of pricing law...

Rebates are an evil scheme cooked up by companies to save money. They tack on a rebate so they can advertise a lower price when that's in fact NOT what is paid up front, then they make you fill out a form and send in your receipt to get your money back.

The great thing for the company is a lot of people will forget to send in the form or not fill it in correctly or send in the wrong receipt or will do something to result in a denial of rebate and BAM! more money for the profit margins.

If it was an instant discount (which would be FAR more consumer friendly), everyone would have to get it, the companies wouldn't make money off the folks who forget and whatnot, so they would never do it.

ViolaPlayer
02-20-2010, 06:30 AM
The best part about sending away for rebates? They sell your information. And they get a lot of money for it too, since most people send their correct information to get that rebate.

When I worked at an organization where I did list management, part of maintenance was NCOA (National Change of Address) and then compares with phone number appends through a service that buys the info from rebate companies.

Just wanted to throw that out there for all you conspiracy/big brother haters!

boringscreenname
02-20-2010, 08:54 AM
I just bought a new laptop and sent off the paperwork for a $150 rebate.

Actually it's 2 rebates which the salesman neglected to tell us. One is in the amount for a $100 prepaid visa card to their store, and can only be spent at their store the other is a check for $50 from the manufacturer.

DeltaSierra
02-20-2010, 09:28 AM
What I hate is when you do everything right, and still don't get your rebate. I got stuck with that when I was supposed to get a $100 rebate for my contact lenses. Did everything to the letter, never got the rebate.

Mr Hero
02-20-2010, 10:34 AM
I don't like doing rebates. Then again, I never claimed to be a master rebater.

infinitemonkies
02-20-2010, 11:45 AM
I can't prove it, of course, but I'm quite certain that many rebate outfits (mail-in rebate programs are almost always out-sourced for anyone who wasn't aware) simply just don't process any rebates unless the customer calls in after the 6-8 week period to complain about not getting it.

Irving Patrick Freleigh
02-20-2010, 01:18 PM
And I work for a company that frequently does its own rebate sales. You buy one or more of certain advertised products, fill out a form, attach your receipt...and then wait as whoever actually processes the rebate takes its sweet time in doing.

I loathe them.

For Black Friday, we always have Milton Bradley games for three or five dollars after rebate. And then it invariably gets out that Wally World has the same games cheaper without the rebate, or for slightly more than our price after rebate. So then we end up not selling very many games, and having to move them around and around so at least they're on the floor for customers to buy after Black Friday.

Greatscott
02-20-2010, 01:50 PM
At my store we have to post the correct price of the item and then just put a sticker on it saying the amount of rebate it is because of a Connecticut state law. We also can't put the ammount after rebate without have a sign up that says "you do the math" while showing the original price then it being reduced to the sales price then the price after rebate. Personally I like the rebates I just got 2 rebates back in the mail i mean its $15 but it did take 5 months.

Dave1982
02-20-2010, 03:33 PM
*Le sigh*

Didn't want to start yet another debate on the pros and cons of the rebate system.......:banghead:

r2cagle
02-20-2010, 04:27 PM
Dave, I liked the staring contest. Do you practice by staring at cats? :)

Mystic
02-20-2010, 04:40 PM
The warm water is sure puzzling. Wonder if it was for drinking or cleaning up a mess??

I've read some things that say warm water is better for you than cold. How legitimate it is? Not sure but I doubt it could "hold water". :lol:

It's ok, I know I'm lame.

evilhomer
02-20-2010, 05:03 PM
That staring contest sounds hilarious, I love how you handled it. Dude, your question was answered, ask a new one if you're still unhappy.


I despise rebates. I bought a monitor and sent in for my rebate. 6-8 weeks pass and no rebate, I contact the manufacturer. 4 weeks later they contact me and say they don't handle their own rebates, contact rebate company. 6 weeks later rebate company requests that I re-send rebate info. 6-8 weeks later rebate company claims to have sent cheque, will re-issue. 6-8 weeks later rebate company re-issues re-issued cheque. 6-8 weeks later rebate company says rebate eligibility period has ended. A complaint got me put through call transfer hell with the english skills of the "helper" getting progressively worse.

MaseMan
02-20-2010, 05:12 PM
Seems like whenever I've sent in for a rebate, it takes minimum of 90 days to get the money. I agree that it's great for the company, since most people will not even bother to send it in, or just plain forget about it.

EricKei
02-20-2010, 05:18 PM
I really have to wonder if they guy ever thought to just wait ten minutes before opening it...or warming it in his hands...Unless the son was right there with him (or in the car), it wouldn't bee that cold once it got to him either way...

LadyAndreca
02-20-2010, 05:38 PM
Call me weird, but I like my bottled water at room temperature. It hurts my teeth if it's too cold--and I tend to make my friends cringe by being able to bite ice cream. :shrug:

Mystic
02-20-2010, 10:29 PM
Room temp water is great for vocals. :D

Dave1982
02-21-2010, 03:41 AM
Dave, I liked the staring contest. Do you practice by staring at cats? :)

Actually, yeah, sometimes. Usually when I don't want them to use the sofa as a scratching post.

CrazedClerkthe2nd
02-21-2010, 04:00 AM
Sorry Dave, I think I was the one who mainly started the rebate hate, but your thread brought back bad memories for me.

Having said that, I would like to say that there was a company awhile back that processed rebates that I believe was succesfully sued after it came out they were purposely denying rebates that were done correctly because the companies offering the rebates would give the processing company bonuses if their redemption rates were low enough.

Teskeria
02-21-2010, 06:33 AM
I've read some things that say warm water is better for you than cold. How legitimate it is?

If I've done anything resembling exercise (and esp after PT) I drink warm, almost hot water. Because if I drink cold water I will throw up. A lot of people do.

sprocket79
02-21-2010, 06:59 AM
Count me in as another fan of room temp water. I actually take water bottles out of my office's fridge and take them to my desk so that they warm up and I don't have to drink them cold.

Shalom
02-21-2010, 07:01 PM
The warm water is sure puzzling. Wonder if it was for drinking or cleaning up a mess??

I'd have done the same thing myself. Can't drink cold water, like LadyAndreca said, it makes my teeth hurt, plus you can't chug it. Other beverages are OK cold, but not water.

Not that I'd ever waste my money on Dasani. Why should I pay soda price for water? Gallons of distilled water, that's what I get when I can, otherwise it's the 1.5 liter Poland Spring, but not from the cooler, thank you very much.

(I prefer my water to have no taste, hence the reason for using distilled. Of the spring waters available in my area, Poland Spring seems to have the least taste to it, or at least tastes closest to the New York tap water I grew up with.)

taxguykarl
02-22-2010, 05:04 PM
I can't prove it, of course, but I'm quite certain that many rebate outfits (mail-in rebate programs are almost always out-sourced for anyone who wasn't aware) simply just don't process any rebates unless the customer calls in after the 6-8 week period to complain about not getting it.One of the larger fulfilment houses actually boasts of refuslss on its website.

For larger rebates ($50+), I keep copies and send it registered. I have yet to see one of those denied.:D

Kogarashi
02-24-2010, 08:40 PM
I had a bad rebate experience once, but it's not actually the rebate company's fault.

A month before I got married, I lost my phone at Disneyland. Never showed up in the lost and found, and I'm pretty sure someone just walked off with it because there were attempted phone calls made on it after I'd lost it. (Nothing came of those phone calls since I suspended the number--and thus the phone--until I could get a new phone and transfer it.) As soon as I got home, my then-fiance and I hit up a Sprint store to get a new phone.

The cheapest model there was perfect for me. It had all the features I wanted and none of the features I didn't, and after rebate would have been almost free. The lady who handled the transaction verified that I qualified for the rebate if I signed a new two-year contract, which I was planning to do anyway. I thought this sounded great, so she activated the phone with my number and sent me on my way. I filled out the rebate form promptly and sent it in.

About two months later, now-Hubby and I got a card in the mail explaining that the rebate was denied, and if I wanted to know why there was a phone number I could call. Call I did, and was told that I was not signed up for a two-year contract after all, plus my plan missed the qualifying mark by about $5. The phone rep transferred me to the appropriate service department to get this taken care of, with instructions to call back once it was done to get the rebate (even though the time period had technically expired). The service rep got me actually signed on a new contract, upgraded me to the next plan up to meet the qualifying cost, and even got me bonus minutes for being patient and a good customer. I called the rebate reps back, explained the situation, and they got my rebate processed. It took maybe another month for the money to arrive, but it did arrive.

This is one of the major reasons why I avoid Sprint stores when possible, but love their phone/online reps to bits.

Dips
02-24-2010, 09:43 PM
*Le sigh*

Didn't want to start yet another debate on the pros and cons of the rebate system.......:banghead:

Yeah. No kidding. :rolleyes:

FWIW, I liked how you handled that SC. I bet he was pretending that he didn't know what a rebate was in the hopes he'd get his way. :lol:

Becks
02-25-2010, 05:48 PM
The warm water is sure puzzling. Wonder if it was for drinking or cleaning up a mess??

I hate drinking cold water. I go out of my way to find room temp. water to drink.

LadyAndreca
02-26-2010, 06:49 AM
Not that I'd ever waste my money on Dasani. Why should I pay soda price for water? Gallons of distilled water, that's what I get when I can, otherwise it's the 1.5 liter Poland Spring, but not from the cooler, thank you very much.

(I prefer my water to have no taste, hence the reason for using distilled. Of the spring waters available in my area, Poland Spring seems to have the least taste to it, or at least tastes closest to the New York tap water I grew up with.)

Blech, I hate Dasani too. I'll only drink it if I'm thirsty enough to not care about taste. Aquafina is my favorite, but I'll buy Poland Spring if that's on sale. I USED to just filter tap water and re-use bottles, but the town I live in now...ehhh, even filtered I can't stand their water. And you know...for some bizzare reason, it's never occured to me to try drinking the distilled, even though we have jugs of it for the humidifier.

Magpie
02-26-2010, 03:08 PM
My sister drinks Dasani. It has had enough of the "local flavour" removed from the water that it doesn't irritate her stomach. She's got such a sensitive digestive system... We're not sure what it was, but she used to get ill every camping trip, until my mom started freezing the ice for the cooler in water jugs, and reserving that water for my sister to drink. If she ever comes for a visit I'm probably going to have to break down and buy a filter, or maybe a few jugs of distilled water. And yes, I know that distilled water can be dangerous, but bear in mind that the LD 50 is on the order of 5L. (The local water is known for having a strong flavour. I'm used to it to the point where when I go visit my parents I find that the water tastes funny.)

protege
02-26-2010, 08:42 PM
Then again, I never claimed to be a master rebater.

*Is surprised that nobody picked up on the obvious joke here :D*

Seriously though, I always fill out those rebate cards. Since it's money I can always put to good use, why not? Of course, if there are those fill-in-the-boxes type deals, I try to give as much useless info as possible. Seriously, is it really necessary to know my household's annual income to get money back on a hard drive? I know that the company is going to resell the info I provide, which will equal more spam and junk mail, so why not have a little fun with them :devil:

Andara Bledin
02-26-2010, 09:20 PM
Count me as another room-temp water drinker. Hell, I've been known to drink my Dr Pepper at room temp, too, as a preference. The only real difference is tha cold fluids are a little more shocking to the internals and can cause reactions in some people. If you aren't sensitive, however, it should be a problem.

As for rebates, the last one I dealt with was from Motorola via T-Mobile, and that one showed up in about 3 weeks.

^-.-^

Naaman
02-27-2010, 01:26 AM
Room temp as well, the only thing I drink cooled is beer and I only ever have ice in a G&T.

As for rebates - thank the FSM they haven't taken off in the UK, they sound a PITA

Demolition Man
02-27-2010, 08:19 PM
The warm water is sure puzzling. Wonder if it was for drinking or cleaning up a mess??

Perhaps it was the SC's way of getting "revenge" or whatever? Pretty pathetic if that is the case.

Chromatix
02-27-2010, 11:42 PM
I suspect that the Data Protection Act (and it's equivalent European Directive) is why rebates are not common here. Either that, or something about the actual up-front price being the one that has to be advertised.

Either way, I am thankful. :D

cinema guy
02-28-2010, 12:40 AM
As for rebates - thank the FSM they haven't taken off in the UK, they sound a PITA

I understand they are pretty common for mobile phones from online distributors.

Rapscallion
03-01-2010, 08:37 PM
As for rebates - thank the FSM they haven't taken off in the UK, they sound a PITA

I've seen them once, and only once, over here. There may be areas where they've been sighted more often, but I try to live a fairly simple life where possible.

I think there's been a huge resistance to them, quite frankly. A few places may have dipped their toes into the water, but found it a bit frosty for their liking.

Rapscallion