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July 19, 2006


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I bought a HDLCD T.V. through Tigerdirect recently because they offered a $100 rebate. One condition was that you must send in the serial number tag from the T.V. along with all other proof of purchase stuff. I called them and was informed that in fact this was true, I complained that if I had and trouble with the set it would be difficult to return for repair under warrent without a way to identify the set.(the serial number was on a sticker glued to the back of the set) No, I had to send it, they said. I did as they requested and received the rebate. The day after the rebate arrived, sure enough, the set went on the blink.(Murphys law) I called the maker and was informed I needed the serial number. I had made copies of everything and sent this paperwork along with the set. They were no at all happy, but after many phone calls they did say they would repair.
As for the the procedure of this repair I will state that the process is so bad that I will never buy an electronic device on line again. To return this 60# T.V. I first had to get a return authorization. This took 1 day. I also had to use the shipping container I received it in. I had discarded this days after it arrived.(it's large and I had no room to keep a box for a 32in. T.V.) I had to order a new one from them and pay shipping ($20.00) and wait five days to arrive. I had to bring all this to shipper and send to CA.( $95.00). I had to make copies of all receipts ($4.00), to include in box and also fax same to them ($5.00). Gas was $5.00 to drive to shipper and back, and I had to pay $3.00 in tolls for the bridge I had to cross twice. I am still waiting for the T.V. to return after 20 days. So much for a $100 rebate.

Actually, two big stores *have* done away with rebates. Best Buy and OfficeMax now both offer instant discounts rather than mail-in rebates because of customer reaction.

I've never had a problem with getting my rebates because I'm anal and keep all my receipts. Plus, I start calling the day after the time frame on the rebate if I don't have it (they may say 6-8 weeks but will stretch to 12 if you let them).

So, shop more at Best Buy and Office Max and let other retailers know you hate the rebates. I'd imagine more stores will go to this policy, at least ones that are profitable enough to take the interest hit.

I don't think that's right -- unless Best Buy just instituted this policy in the past couple weeks. I just bought ANOTHER Sandisk item from Best Buy on June 22 (believe me, I'm tracking it) and I had to mail in the rebate like usual.

I sense a trend... We're both ranting about rebates this week!

I agree wholeheartedly. The downside of dropping the rebate scheme is that the 'guaranteed' deal wouldn't be quite as good as the 'possible' deal using a rebate (if everyone gets it, they can't be as generous). I think it's partly a stage-of-life thing. The more commitments that you have, and the more money that you have at your disposal, the less interested you are in dealing with rebate hassles. I know that used to be a lot more willing to jump through hoops when are family was smaller and we needed to scrimp and save more than we do now. But with four kids, who has the time to play games for a few dollars? In most cases, I'd happily take half the amount off (possibly less) if I could get it up front.

And there's a business idea for you... Buy people's rebate stuff (receipt, rebate form and UPC) for half off and submit them yourself. Yes, you'd run into problems with the 'only one per household' bit, but otherwise I'd think that a persistent person could make a good bit of cash this way.

It looks like they are phasing them out gradually.

I thought they had dropped them entirely in the past few weeks. Plus, you'll probably have vendor rebates unless Best Buy can strongarm them as well (like upgrade rebates for software).

Rebates were the main reason I chose TaxCut over TurboTax this past year. TaxCut without rebate was the same price as TurboTax after rebate.

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