Mail-In Rebates

By Harvey Tobkes

The most flagrant consumer rip-off in many a year is rampant nowadays. And almost all electronic retailers are guilty.


For example yesterday I purchased a new monitor and I was influenced by the price advertised in large print and then I read at the very bottom, (in small print) the words, “after a mail- in rebate.” But… I figured it was a still a good deal, after all, I could handle a little paperwork. Maybe!

This is to alert all procrastinators. If you forget to do the mail-in, and I feel a large percentage of people do, then the retailer is picking your pocket. Also, you must follow instructions exactly or risk missing the deadline. When I read the rebate application form very carefully, I noticed the dates of validity had a June 18th to June 24th window. Six days! Procrastinate and you are out the window.

Forget to enclose the sales receipt or the bar code from the package and you’re a dead duck. All of it aimed at you getting no rebate.

So I wonder what percentage of rebates go unclaimed, and why are we made victims of this covert, slimy, dirty, thieving bit of veiled trickery?

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