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Best Buy to Eliminate Rebates

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the that'd-be-nice dept.

Businesses 609

plover writes "According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune 'In response to customer complaints, Best Buy, the world's largest electronics retailer, promised today to eliminate mail-in rebates within two years.' Can it be that we're finally nearing the end of one of the most hated marketing ploys of all?" Further commentary available at BusinessWeek.

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First post! (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118733)

April fools? I think not!

Enough... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118734)

...with the April Fool's posts!

Re:Enough... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118927)

Exactly: April 1st has become "I don't read Slashdot" day. It's becoming absolutely retarded.

About (0, Troll)

AvatarofVirgo (865568) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118737)

fucking time!

Those bastards! (1)

AvatarofVirgo (865568) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118758)

Joking about the end to rebates is about as evil as making them in the first place.

That's just mean!

Note to self: Call 666 on my phone and ask hell to reserve a spot for this son of a bitch right next to the lot reserved for Best Buy.

Re:About (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118766)

The purpose of yesterday's shitty posts was to make today's posts seem great.

Re:About (3, Funny)

The-Bus (138060) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118921)

I don't know if you meant the April Fool's jokes or the rebates, but I agree!!!

April fools day is over (-1, Redundant)

GlassUser (190787) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118738)

Come on, enough with the crappy "pranks".

Re:April fools day is over (5, Informative)

momerath2003 (606823) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118748)

The Associated Press doesn't pull April Fools jokes, methinks.

Mail-in sham... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118739)

Mail In rebates are a sham, in that it takes 8-12 weeks for the check to come in. I am not going to wait 3 months for a 2 dollar check.

Re:Mail-in sham... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118788)

So instead, you wait forever for a zero dollar check? Good idea.

Forward all 2 dollar checks to me, please.

Re:Mail-in sham... (1)

blixel (158224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118835)

To each his own. [davidcourtney.org]

Too Good to be True (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118740)

if this was posted only 15 minutes later I'd be dancing in the streets. Instead I'm going to cry myself to sleep over yet another beautiful thing that will never see the light of day.

It's like printing your own money (1, Insightful)

Dancin_Santa (265275) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118741)

It takes 1 minute to fill out the postcard and less than half a dollar to mail it off. I don't understand anyone who doesn't mail it off for their rebate.

Unless you're making $30.00 each minute ($1,800/hr), you're just wasting perfectly good money.

Does this mean that Best Buy won't be having rebates anymore?

Re:It's like printing your own money (1)

AdamWeeden (678591) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118746)

I think it's more a matter of memory than inconvenience.

Re:It's like printing your own money (5, Insightful)

sulli (195030) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118754)

People forget, miss the deadline, etc. Non-return of rebates is critical to the business model. Best Buy just decieded that the dollar value of the customer annoyance was greater than the rebate non-returns.

So much for their corporate sales. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118917)

I know an (unethical) IT guy who had a nice suplimental income by buying stuff for his company and sending himself the rebate checks. I think a lot of the rebate driven sales are from scum like that.

Re:It's like printing your own money (4, Insightful)

schtum (166052) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118919)

People who forget or otherwise choose not to send in their rebate forms have no reason to be annoyed with anyone other than themselves. The big problem is when people uphold their end of the bargain and the company fails to uphold theirs.

Personally, I have yet to be stiffed, but two rebates I mailed in for my parents when they bought cell phones were rejected on the grounds that the second month's bill didn't show that the first month's balance was paid in full. Bullshit. There was a large number next to "previous month's balance" and a zero next to "current balance". I even circled it for them so they wouldn't miss it.

One angry email later, they promised to review my claim, and my parents did receive a rebate check for one phone. As for the second phone, they claimed not to have a rebate form in their system. Again, BS. How could they send me a rejection notice for a rebate form they never received? They either lost it or threw it out because they didn't feel like paying it.

Another angry email followed, and now they're asking me to fax my supporting documentation, which I plan on doing (always keep copies of rebate forms/receipts, etc, until you have the check). It almost seems like a game to see who will get tired of squabbling over a few measly bucks first. If it were my own money and not my parents, I'm not sure I'd still be fighting.

Re:It's like printing your own money (5, Insightful)

SerialEx13 (605554) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118762)

If you don't ship it registered, what's stopping the company from saying it never got there? I've heard of people who have waited over a year and have hassled the company numerous times to finally get their rebate. I got two items with a mail-in rebate on Boxing Day (December 26), I got the $10 cheque, but am still awaiting the $60 cheque.

Some businesses will instead just give you the discount at the till and do the work themselves for the rebate.

The only real major downside to getting rid of rebates is that in reality only a very small (less than 10 per cent) of people fill them out which means that in theory they can offer larger rebates for those who do. Of course, that's only in theory.

Re:It's like printing your own money (5, Interesting)

EnderWigginsXenocide (852478) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118779)

SerialEx13 is right on the money. I put in for a $50 rebate on a HDD. Bought the thing September '04. The rebate form, reciept copy, and bottom panel of the box went into the mail the same day. It's now April '05 and three calls and 1 fax to Best Buy have given me nothing but one long distance fax charge and no rebate yet.

Re:It's like printing your own money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118865)

SerialEx13 is right on the money.

Odd how he's at "Score:1" right now and you're at Score:4, Insightful"....

Re:It's like printing your own money (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118815)

actually the trend in the last couple of years is 70+% redemption, meaning they arent nearly as profitable as they used to be.

Re:It's like printing your own money (1)

Surye (580125) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118861)

I do rebates often at work, as the 5 minutes of my time at $13.20/hr(my first job) is worth $30-$60 in the mail. We buy a lot of software and networking equipment(netgear especially) that has such rebates. And we have a folder of open rebates, and a folder of closed. The open one is pretty empty right now. Something must be working.

Re:It's like printing your own money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118796)

You must keep your receipt for some time in case you have to return the item.. say.. 30 days. By then you know if it works right, but you've lost the receipt. If you're disorganized. Which I am.

Re:It's like printing your own money (1)

Nataku564 (668188) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118841)

Best Buy's registers automatically print out a seperate rebate receipt that you mail in.

Re:It's like printing your own money (1)

Hellad (691810) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118803)

The problem comes from the occasions when companies don't send the checks. Numerous phone calls and emails later, my brother is still waiting for a rebate from Tivo from a year ago. Mail-in rebates are a pain in the ass.

Re:It's like printing your own money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118845)

Indeed, I'd say that's the biggest problem. You relinquish control over your dollars once you purchase the product. You now rely on the company's good faith to fulfill the rebate. That's assuming you actually bothered to fill out the rebate form and sent it off...

Re:It's like printing your own money (1)

JVert (578547) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118804)

Fucking office gnomes stole my boxes in the night along with my UPC.

I was wondering (1)

AvatarofVirgo (865568) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118901)

who those "little people" where putting rebate coupons in the mail on my street.

And I thought the circus was in town.

Postcard? (1)

AvatarofVirgo (865568) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118813)

When did they start giving out postcards. Back in the day (when I was dumb enough to shop at Best Buy) I got these mile long receipts that you could wipe your ass with for a month.

Re:It's like printing your own money (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118819)

Well. It depends. Some want a photocopy of the receipt and an original UPC, and some want the original receipt and a photocopy and original UPC and some want block letters and some want you to sign in block letters and some want your cat's collar and some want things they didn't put in the rebate form and some want an orignal rebate form and a copy of your dog's left paw and they don't tell you that because they don't want to give you money and if by chance you did everything right you'll get a rebate.

In 6-18 months.

Wait, it got here to us a day late. No rebate for you.

Re:It's like printing your own money (1)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118825)

I make .33 a minute... but I figure if I can work a square decade I should be set...

how i do it.... (1)

kajoob (62237) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118829)

I tell myself, "self, fill out the rebate info and do all the work BEFORE you open the box of your new little gadget"...and I do. Works every time. Forces me to do the work before I get my reward.

Re:It's like printing your own money (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118862)

It takes 1 minute to fill out the postcard and less than half a dollar to mail it off. I don't understand anyone who doesn't mail it off for their rebate.

Unless you're making $30.00 each minute ($1,800/hr), you're just wasting perfectly good money.


Quit fooling yourself. It does NOT take 1 minute.

1. Fill out rebate form.
2. Make photocopy of receipt and circle purchase.
3. Cut out bar code.
4. Find envelope (every 100 envelopes or so, you'll have to organize to get more).
5. Fill out envelope.
6. Find stamp.
7. Make photocopies of everything you are sending.
8. Mark date on calender on date you are supposed to receive rebate.
[this is where we branch]
[branch #1: several weeks later]
9. Find copies of rebate that is marked as *should be received by now*
10. Find phone number on company that's supposed to have sent you rebate
11. Call phone # to find out why no rebate has been received.
12. Listen to someone giving you the run-around
13. Realize you are fucked
[branch #2: couple of weeks later]
9. Receive email about why rebate was declined. One of:
- UPC code missing.
- purchase not circled.
- unreadable submission.
- that address was already registered.
- other lie.
10. Goto 10 of branch #1
[branch #3: couple of weeks later]
9. receive email about rebate accepted.
10. never receive rebate and forget about it.

Rebates are a SCAM. And they bloody well know it. It's actually a very simple scheme: the majority of people will never send it in. Then the majority of people who get declined, will not follow up. At the end they are left with a very low percentage of actual payouts, many MANY weeks after the original purchase.

I applaud Best Buy and hope many will follow. (Fry's, are you listening?!).

Re:It's like printing your own money (1)

Viv (54519) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118898)

I had a rebate on a TiVo from best buy literally "bounce" in the mail. The address they gave me to send the rebate was bogus.

In my mind, rebate == fraud. I don't even look at rebates as part of the price anymore; "$99 after $50 rebate" == "$149" to me.

They're not always honest. (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118915)

Bought a hard drive that was $100 off after rebates (160GB a few years back). The manufacturer rebate was for $60, the comp usa rebate was for $40. Thats all well and good except they both required the original UPC. It was advertised as $100 off, not $60 off. It was advertized as $100 or something and i ended up paying $140, thats false advertising, plain and simple.

Wait...is this serious? (1, Interesting)

thephotoman (791574) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118742)

Honestly, as it's still April Fool's on the West Coast of the US, I'm having a hard time buying the story.

If it is indeed true and not a part of the crapflood that is 1 April, then damn, what will I do with the extra postage?

Re:Wait...is this serious? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118842)

Heeeeeey it has been reported by the Star Tribune!

Here in Minnesota, if you tell a lie, they'll throw you to the thin ice, naked. Specially if you are a young woman of scandinavian descent.

No April's fool exception!

In other news, Oleg Daal, a Minnesota resident has reported that he saw two identical snowflakes.

Re:Wait...is this serious? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118846)

"Wait...is this serious?"

What do *you* think? [rolls eyes]

No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118743)

Can it be that we're finally nearing the end of one of the most hated marketing ploys of all? No.

Haha. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118745)

You guys still go to CrapBuy? Did they ever had anything cheap? Like cheap? Without trying to sell you their dobious crappy warranties in addition to the manufacturers, because their's better[tm]?

Historian Publishes! (1)

Spawn of CowboyNeal (860674) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118751)

Toynbee's report on the CRAPPIEST Stores in the World:

1: The craptacular Best Buy
2: The terrible Wal-Mart

good riddence to a scam (5, Insightful)

sfcat (872532) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118752)

Rebates have already been kinda of a scam. They make it as hard as possible to get them, but advertise the price after rebate. Meanwhile they are playing the float with your money. Its not that bad b/c they do pay after you jump through many hoops but they count on people not putting up with the hassle. This is a good bet b/c people value their time and sanity.

I'm glad that I'll never have to put up with these tatics from BestBuy again (not that I ever did, I use pricewatch and Fry's for my hardware needs).

good riddence to a [used car dealer] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118782)

"Its not that bad b/c they do pay after you jump through many hoops but they count on people not putting up with the hassle."

Good thing no one tried this with cars.

Re:good riddence to a scam (1, Interesting)

ignorant_newbie (104175) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118787)

blockquoth the poster:

I'm glad that I'll never have to put up with these tatics from BestBuy again (not that I ever did, I use pricewatch and Fry's for my hardware needs)

A month a go I built a new system from components, which I got at Frys ( too impatient to wait for NewEgg ). 2/3 of the ~20 components had rebates. As i think back, it seems that ~ 1/2 of the things i ever bought at Frys had rebates. they even print the rebates on the cash register reciept for you.

so i have no idea what you're buying at Frys that don't have rebates, but it's probibaly not made of silicon. are you the guy i always see in the hentai animi section ?

Re:good riddence to a scam (5, Funny)

toddestan (632714) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118808)

A month a go I built a new system from components, which I got at Frys ( too impatient to wait for NewEgg ). 2/3 of the ~20 components had rebates. As i think back, it seems that ~ 1/2 of the things i ever bought at Frys had rebates. they even print the rebates on the cash register reciept for you.

Let me get this straight. You were too impatient for newegg.com, but you are willing to deal with the hassle of trying to collect on 13 to 14 rebates? That just boggles the mind.

kinda? (1)

AvatarofVirgo (865568) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118840)

Any person with a brain can see this only benefits the company not the customer.

I'm here now swearing an oath to all /.ers that when I start my own business that my store will not have rebates or .99 cent bull shit on prices. In fact every thing over $1 will be rounded off to the nearest $1.

Re:good riddence to a scam (1)

blixel (158224) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118867)

Rebates have already been kinda of a scam. They make it as hard as possible to get them

I must be the luckiest person on the planet then. I've never had a problem getting a rebate that was offered [davidcourtney.org] . Takes all of 2 minutes to write out my name and address and mail in the form. Whether I get the check 4 weeks, 8 weeks, 12 weeks, or 52 weeks later, it really doesn't matter. Not sending in for it is the only assurance that I'll never get it.

Posted by Zonk on Saturday April 02, @01:46AM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118755)

Duh!? it's not over yet?

God, I hate you Americans with your April fools... where is all that News for Nerds? or Stuff that matters?!

Re:Posted by Zonk on Saturday April 02, @01:46AM (1)

Arclight17 (812976) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118797)

It seems you don't grasp the concept that even though it's still April 1st where you are, that it's been over for an hour and 46 minutes when Zonk posted it.
Are you canadian, south american, mexican, or an island in the pacific west of the date line? Because those are the only places that it was still april first. (this is just curiousity on my part)

Best Buy with morals? (5, Interesting)

Rightcoast (807751) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118756)

I think not. They have to have thought up something better.

Only my extreme tenaciousness allowed me to get my rebate for a router. I had a photocopy of the reciept they lost TWICE, claiming I never sent it in. On the third time they tried to pull the old "no facsimilies" routine, but I kept at them and they relented and gave up the 30 bucks.

A richer man would have just given up. That is part of thier plan.

Re:Best Buy with morals? (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118771)

The article mentioned that they were considering a club where customers could pay up-front to join, and then earn points on their purchases.

Sounds kind of dumb, really. I'll pay money to join Costco, because I get good stuff at a discount. I'm not going to pay money to Best Buy to buy crap at a premium.

Re:Best Buy with morals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118801)

I'm not going to pay money to Best Buy to buy crap at a premium.

Aww... C'mon... Please?

Sincerely,
Best Buy

Re:Best Buy with morals? (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118858)

considering? RewardZone already exists and crazy popular amongst people who stop in bestbuy.

Re:Best Buy with morals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118883)

considering? RewardZone already exists and crazy popular amongst people who stop in bestbuy.

Also popular amongst people who shop at Best Buy? Mental retardation.

Re:Best Buy with morals? (4, Insightful)

The Amazing Fish Boy (863897) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118780)

I think not. They have to have thought up something better.

It's nothing to do with morals. Capitalism doesn't require morals. Best Buy probably spends more on customer complaints, lost customers, etc. to warrant this decision. They are self-interested, because they want to benefit the consumer.

(Only to the point where they have to do the least and get the most. They wouldn't give up profits for the consumer's benefit.)

Re:Best Buy with morals? (1)

Rightcoast (807751) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118802)

Exactly, that was what I meant to the letter. You took that and expounded it better than I did though.

If it is real... (1)

Mechcozmo (871146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118759)

Thank goodness I got mine today!

Geek Squad (4, Informative)

moberry (756963) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118761)

I work for the geek squad at Best Buy #601. Rebates are what we get most of our complaints about, except for service plans. Thats a different story. We would have definately heard about this. We just had our monthly "pep" talk (at 8am sunday morning) and nothing of this was mentioned. If i can confirm this, i will submit a slashdot story.

Re:Geek Squad (1)

ari_j (90255) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118775)

I wouldn't worry about it. The date may be April 2, but the submitters and editors are as slow and illiterate as ever, so it's probably just a stray April Fool's joke.

Re:Geek Squad (4, Funny)

dcstimm (556797) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118784)

geek squad what a dumb idea. oh wait...

LOL (1)

AvatarofVirgo (865568) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118852)

I'd give you mod points if I could.

Re:Geek Squad (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118800)

You're at the bottom, you'll be the last to find out.

Re:Geek Squad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118821)

Exactly.

Re:Geek Squad (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118834)

They need a squadron of people to decapitate chickens? Is this purely for the CEOs entertainment?

Wondering (3, Informative)

phalse phace (454635) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118763)

if they're just re-reporting the story I read yesterday over here [tbo.com] ? If they are, then this is just an April Fools joke.

So many people either forget or don't bother with rebates that Best Buy would be crazy to abandon them. It's easy money in their pockets... not that I'm defending them or anything. Just looking at it from their point of view.

Re:Wondering (1)

Stevyn (691306) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118798)

Rereporting? What do you think slashdot is? This is essentially just one huge blog where people fight tooth and nail to get "karma".

Re:Wondering (2, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118907)

So many people either forget or don't bother with rebates that Best Buy would be crazy to abandon them. It's easy money in their pockets...

It's only easy money as long as people don't wise up to the scam. BBY and almost all other merchants have been riding the rebate scam hard enough to kill a mule for the last half decade at least. It is amazing that it still fools so many people.

All it takes is for a large enough minority (probably less than 20% of all their customers) to decide that any product offered with a rebate is automatically disqualified from consideration for purchase and all that extra margin the merchants have been making on the rebate scam goes away.

The immediate effect will be that any sharp merchant will cease (ab)using the rebate scam in order to try to recapature those customers who've decide they won't play the rebate game any more.

That may possibly be what's going on here now, but I have my doubts about BBY management being akamai enough to notice and react to a rebate backlash. I expect other merchants to act first before BBY gets it in gear. I just don't have any confidence in a company that is primarily known for building and populating big, square smurf caves.

it's all scummy marketeering tactics. (0, Offtopic)

ABeowulfCluster (854634) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118764)

All that info is used for marketing purposes. Myself, I never get telemarketers calling me. The fact that my phone is used for friends and family only is worth more than the couple bucks saved.

Finally An End To The Illusion of Savings (1)

Horrortaxi (803536) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118765)

Probably yet another April Fool's joke, but it would be a good idea for them to cut the crap with the rebates and just give lower prices in the store. I don't know what the data looks like, but obviously enough people forget to send in the rebates to make it worthwhile for them to offer them. I've done it, and I'm generally pretty diligent about everything.

Enough already--with the rebates and the fake stories.

If it is another April Fools joke.... (0, Redundant)

Mechcozmo (871146) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118768)

DAMNIT STOP ALREADY! So freakin' stupid..... I thought we decided that they weren't funny....

Re: rebates (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118769)

I can't find anything about the rebates on BestBuy.com. All I see a report on Fiscal 2005 Earnings From Continuing Operations.

To the Readers of Slashdot... (1, Offtopic)

str0gg (725665) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118770)

Lighten up for Christs sake. Quit complaining. It was all for April Fools. So what if the articles werent extremely clever or entertaining. They were silly and off-base. Thats what April Fools Day is.

Re:To the Readers of Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118833)

Yeah, but no one was fooled, let alone even amused. The way to do it would be slip 1 or 2 plausable, but not quite right stories into a day's worth of normal stories.

LOL (2, Funny)

Infidel666 (207903) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118772)

You'd think on April 1st the Sun would report something serious for a change.

At least I wasn't fooled this time around. Unlike the article about the Meat Tree.

That ought to save them about $10 a year (1)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118776)

that is about how much they actually pay out in rebates yearly....

Oh god, please kill me... (2, Insightful)

SubTexel (715118) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118781)

I have yet to find any of the slashdot April fools jokes funny this year, last year, the year before that, etc... Come on and end the jokes!!

Re:Oh god, please kill me... (1)

WindowLicker916 (704800) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118851)

I agree....this year was suprisingly disappointing. Oh well....maybe next year....

Not Sure How This Can Be Good (2, Interesting)

yrogerg (858571) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118785)

They make money because only half of rebates are redeemed. This means that they can advertise the price lower than without a rebate by counting on some people not getting their money back. The people that benefit are the ones who do send in their rebate because they're getting a better deal at the expense of the lazy people who can't cut out the UPC code.

Re:Not Sure How This Can Be Good (1)

AvatarofVirgo (865568) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118873)

Actually what they do is jack the price way up, than offer rebates. So when you turn in your rebate and get your money you end up paying the "real" price (what ever that means).

Most stores do the same when they have "SALES". They jack up the price than say they're having a sale of 50% off after jacking the price up 50%. It's all just social engineering to rip people off.

and in other news.... (1)

Vash_066 (816757) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118786)

Microsoft announces that it will no longer require CD Keys with any of its products and is moving to open source.

Personally I don't think they need to do this... (2, Interesting)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118809)

But what they *DO* need to do is advertise the price they are actually selling things for, not the amount they are selling it for less the rebate which may come anywhere from 3 to 6 months later. Yes, the notice "after rebate" is included on the price display, but you have to read finer print on them to note how much money you are actually going to need to part with at the immediate moment.

If blockbuster can be made to refund people for something just because _they_ had the details in finer print (and it wasn't even that obscured, IMO), I don't see why Best Buy can't be made to stop this effective bullshitting they are doing by advertising the price after rebate as if it were the sticker price.

They DO need to do this (1)

YrWrstNtmr (564987) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118832)

Customers dislike rebates. Really, really, REALLY dislike rebates. Why continue a practice that is a major complaint of your customers?

Re:They DO need to do this (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118920)

I'm a customer.

I like rebates.

I really, really, *REALLY* like rebates.

What I dislike is feeling like I've been lied to, which is how the whole advertise the price after rebate thing makes me feel. Sure they explicitly say that the price is "after rebate", but that's *AFTER* the listed "price"... and it's just plain wrong, IMV. Rebates should simply not be factored into any primary listed price. If they want to, they can list the main price, then list the price after rebate immediately following. It will communicate the same information, in much more honest fashion, IMO.

Re:Personally I don't think they need to do this.. (1)

rootofevil (188401) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118866)

the "fine print" isnt really that fine. the pre-rebate cost is printed in the same size font as the post-rebate cost on BBY tags. the rebate amount is usually smaller, but thats really neither here nor there.

Gotta have em first (1)

slapout (93640) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118811)

Ya have to have rebates first, before you can eliminate them. (Right now, by the time you actually get the rebate, you forgot that you sent the thing in.)

Well (1)

Sv-Manowar (772313) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118831)

they knew there would be a high enough percentage of people not bothered to mail in the rebate, so the advertising was far more profitable

Good riddance, I say. Mail in rebates were just a way for them to mislead in advertisements

I don't know about you... (1)

bl4nk (607569) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118843)

But I like Mail-in Rebates. I've saved so much money over the years from them. Of course, I only really bother with > $20 rebates. I can't say I've ever had any problems with rebates...

I wish fry's would do this (5, Interesting)

ocularDeathRay (760450) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118847)

recently I started shopping at Fry's in Renton WA. I live north of seattle so it is a bit of a drive. Often one of my buddies will go with me which usually results in a bunch of stupid purchases we weren't planning on, but makes for a fun (although expensive) afternoon.

We wander around the huge store eventually losing track of each other. We are now only slightly embarrassed by having to call each others cell phones to find each other (although this took some getting used to). They have some really good deals especially considering the rebates. I started wondering if something was up a few months ago however when I bought an item, and a few days later when I went to mail the rebate in I noticed some fine print that said I should have mailed it sooner and it was no longer good.

now I have grown to hate fry's. yes I still shop there, but I am so frustrated when I have to wait 5 minutes while the cashier has to collect the stack of rebate forms for all the items I bought. Often these rebates are not even marked on a sign in the store so I am usually unaware they are even available.

I did all my christmas shopping there and was horrified at the stack of paperwork it generated. A seperate set of photo copies, forms to fill out, file folders to label and store in a "safe place" and stamped/addressed envelopes to buy, lick and stick. Some of the rebates were impossible to collect as I realized that I had given the UPC codes on some items away with the gift. The giftee's had usually thrown them away (of course) by the time I figured out which reciept went with which gift.

After cooling off for a couple months I found myself at fry's making a purchase again. Again there was a nice rebate available. This time I was absolutely determined to get my money. As I read the fine print I found another disturbing detail. On this particular rebate (and probably most) sending the required stuff to get the rebate meant that you could no longer make a warranty claim. The warranty of the item required the original UPC, and so did the rebate. So you were given the choice of $x back -OR- the warranty for the product.

what a world. my fingers are tired of typing. if you skipped the rest of my message I will sum it up for you: rebates suck, frys sucks, best buy sucks, and so do you, and everything else around us.

goodnight

Legal Betting.... (1)

rmallico (831443) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118859)

The percentage of people who actually send in their rebates is somewhere between 8 and 11%

Fry's and Seagate stole my money! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118881)

Rebates are great when you actually get them. The scam is even when you send out the forms on time, sometimes the manufacturer chooses not to honor the rebate then you are simply SOL.

Fry's electronics is the worst. I only seem to get about 75% of the Fry's rebates I send in. Most of the time the rebate just disappears. Sometimes I get a postcard saying the rebate has been rejected for a ridiculous reason. That is what Seagate and Fry's did with my latest rebates, the rejection reason was "unknown." It is like a certain percentage of rebates are randomly rejected. Why do I keep doing it? Cause I'm a sucker for a rebate.

I am sick and tired of all the scams. Someone should start a class action lawsauit against Fry's.

What do you think they do with all the information (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118882)

What do you think they do with all the information that you have to divulge for a rebate?

I'll bet that your name, address, phone number and email address go straight into some mega-database for choicepoint to disseminate.

It's because the FTC made them pay up (5, Informative)

Animats (122034) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118892)

The Federal Trade Commission recently ruled that retailers are liable when rebates aren't paid by the manufacturer. So, now that they can't pass the buck on rebates, retailers want out of them.

Rebates are in fact deceptive advertising (4, Insightful)

flowerp (512865) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118897)

Stores typically advertise prices after rebate, making you think you pay less. But for obtaining the rebate check, you have to go through a long process and give up some privacy on the way.

Here in Germany there are strong laws protecting consumers. Here we have no rebates that are comparable to those in the US. Sometimes there are coupons attached to the product (like: collect 5 of these, claim a freebie/prize). But never we are told the product costs less than at the register. Heck, even the sales tax (more correctly: VAT) has to be included on the prize advertised for the item.

Best Buy, as covered by Minneapolis Star Tribune (2, Insightful)

LakeSolon (699033) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118903)

If anyone was wondering why Slashdot would choose to link the Minneapolis daily paper for this story: Best Buy is based in Minnesota [bestbuy.com] .

Wait... within two years? (1)

moriya (195881) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118904)

So they plan to kill off rebates... and the catch is to do it within two years. That sounds like a rebate in itself! We'll believe when we see the checks in the mail. :P

Staples has already done this (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12118906)

I work for Staples. The Staples online EasyRebate system has all but eliminated mail-in rebates. Rebates can be submitted at https://www.stapleseasyrebates.com/ [stapleseasyrebates.com]
Customers seem to love this option.

~DF

Let's see. According to the artcile. (1)

Maul (83993) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118910)

1. Retailers are liable for rebates.
2. More people send in rebates than commonly thought.
3. People hate them.

So this being the case, the two biggest reasons for Best Buy to offer the rebates aren't very huge.

april fools (-1, Redundant)

Naikrovek (667) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118923)

okay i've totally freaking had it with the april fools jokes. not a single one of them are funny, and not a single one could be defined as a joke.

what is it with nerds and the desire to look like a moron to anyone who can see right through these things... because we can... easily.

these aren't funny. you're not fooling anyone. you look like morons now because there is NO WAY that this could even considered "journalism".

mod me down, fuck me in the ass, whatever you wanna do, just knock the april fools shit off.

Shit now... (1)

wasteg8 (620158) | more than 9 years ago | (#12118924)

I have to hope they honor my year and half old gift certificate.
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