1300 Unopened Fry's Rebate Forms Found In Dumpster
No, it's hard to make anything in business illegal these days. E.g., insurance policies that pay less than the promised amount, restaurant owners that count customer tips as part of the minimum wage, government contractors that fail to deliver to the low expectations of their buddies in the government, mutual funds that charge premiums for the right to invest your money recklessly, telemarketers, subprime lenders, etc. Even the insider trading, Enron-esque incompetence, LBO disasters, and golden parachutes don't seem to raise eyebrows anymore.
I believe these practices never backfired - because we as a whole become a nation of consumers, with no more brainpower than to select the flavor of the day. Because we are part of the system that expect high stock returns for our retirement. Because we also want to slack off in our work. Because we would rather admire wealthy people who blindsighted us, in the vain wish to emulate or become one of them. So we allow rampant greed and outright lies in business, and we would rather every citizen does well while the society as a whole goes to hell.
I am a geek, and I haven't shopped at Fry's for four years mainly because of the ludicrous rebates. But I'm not their intended customers anyways. Every business thrives by conquering the weakest minds first: the compulsory shoppers, the gadget fanboys, the whining kids, the fear factors, the easy-to-impress, the wannabes. So by thriving, a business invariably alienates the ones who question its practices.
If you value your brain, and I'm sure /. readers do, use your judgment.