Rebate Rip-offs and Denials
Terms and conditions of rebates
Rules, denial, customers complain, customer complaints
Frugal Living Tips
-- SAVVY-DISCOUNTS.com Archive --
December 4, 2003 Issue


List of index of all topics with links Financial calculators - printer friendly Cut budget 5000 dollars a year Only $8 / month for all long distance? coupons, free samples, catalogs, close-outs Rebel Consumer Blog


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Vol. 9, December 4, 2003

Here is the latest issue. Enjoy.
Editor, Rick Doble

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. REBATE RIP-OFFS
    Rebates are not true discounts
  2. WHEN TO USE REBATES
    Sometimes rebates are a good deal
  3. CHECK LIST FOR REBATE REFUNDS
    If you follow our tips it should be easy
  4. ORDERING CHRISTMAS GIFTS ONLINE
    is smart for out of town friends
  5. TRAVEL CALCULATORS
    Calculate the distance between airports, driving miles between cities and use our real time clock for any location in the world.
  6. LIST OF REGULAR ANNUAL SALES,
    DISCOUNTS AND SAVINGS

    Now online, click here to view
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#1. REBATE RIP-OFFS
Rebates are not true discounts

I've noticed a lot of Christmas rebates in television advertisements. Buyer Beware! Rebates are not what they seem. The following information is from my book Savvy Discounts published by Perigee. You can order this book online: Click here.

Rebates seem like a really good idea. They seem like a sale, but they are quite different. A rebate is not a true discount; it is a promise of cash back if you meet certain conditions. In addition you will pay taxes on the full price, not the cost after the rebate.

The main problem with rebates is the "terms and conditions." In order to take advantage you must carefully follow a long list of rules. These are often hard to understand; there is little or no customer support and many times the rules are contradictory.

All rebates have a deadline and a substantial number of people never send them. For example, according to the Wall Street Journal (6/11/02), only 40% of rebates for expensive electronic items were mailed. Even so, about 20% of these forms were rejected. Customers complain and have filed complaints with consumer organizations.

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#2. WHEN TO USE REBATES
Sometimes rebates are a good deal

Bottom line: never buy a product just because of the rebate. Nevertheless, you can find substantial rebates on computers, audiovisual equipment, cars and appliances. If the rebate is large enough, it might be worth the hassle. I recommend that you avoid ones for less than $50.

If you find an attractive rebate, read the "terms and conditions" on the form first. These spell out exactly what documentation is needed, in what form and when.


#3. CHECK LIST FOR REBATE REFUNDS
If you follow our tips it should be easy

If you do buy with a rebate in mind, I recommend that you get a separate receipt for that particular item when you check out. This simply means you don't lump the purchase of the rebate item with other things. This makes it much easier to keep track of the receipt. If you must send in the entire original receipt, you will not lose the paper work for the other items that were purchased at the same time.

Write down on a calendar the deadline for mailing the rebate. Make sure that you follow each rule exactly and mail it at least ten days ahead of time. In addition you should keep copies of all materials that you mail, including the form, just in case your rebate is denied.



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#4. WHY ORDER ONLINE?
A smart way to shop especially for friends out of town

Ordering online, especially for friends and relatives who live out of town is very smart. You save shopping time, wrapping and shipping. If your relative wants to exchange a gift it is much easier to do it from a mail order company than to try to return it to a store where you bought it locally.


#5.TRAVEL CALCULATORS
Calculate the distance between airports, driving miles between cities and use our real time clock for any location in the world.

==Calculate the distance between two airports.

==Calculate the distance between two cities for a driving trip.

==Use our world clock to find out the time in any part of the world.


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