Rhode Island passes law for instant honoring of rebates

I just posted the article Rhode Island passes law for instant honoring of rebates.

  k9cop used our news submit to tell us about this wonderful story from Hot Deals Club! I don't know about  you, but I cannot stand rebates and avoid them. Most of the  time I can get a similar...
Read the full article here:  [http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/12316-Rhode-Island-passes-law-for-instant-honoring-of-rebates.html](http://www.cdfreaks.com/news/12316-Rhode-Island-passes-law-for-instant-honoring-of-rebates.html)

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I think the most important sentence in this story is"If a store omits the existence of a manufacturer rebate while advertising products, then the store would not be responsible to honor the rebate. " The only way customers are gonna get any manufacturers’ rebates on RI now is if LLoyd and Harry from Dumb and Dumber run the store.

Even though I work for a large retailer who does use rebates to lure customers into the shops, I still commend the RI legislators for passing this law. Its a poorly guarded secret that the rebate game “is just that”. Its purposely balanced between the cost of the item and the rebate amount vs how many people they think will redeem it. Plus you always cut your rebate refund losses with “you submitted the incorrect ppwrk, sorry it got lost in the mail, you purchased the wrong item” ect. Manufactorers KNOW people generally are lazy and for small rebates $5-$20 most people wont bother spending hrs on the phones chasing it down. Some rebate places dont even have phone #s listed! Large rebates usually require multiple hurdles to get through, making it hard if not impossible to claim! Good to see lawmakers on the side of consumers … for once !

umm…this doesn’t get rid of rebates in RI, it only stops stores from advertising the after rebate price.

It seems to me it will. Every ad I see for BestBuy or Circuit City has rebates attatched. I don’t know if they have special ads for RI though!
[edited by Crabbyappleton on 07.09.2006 20:23]

They sure do, that is why BestBuy.com asks for your zip code when you want to browse their ad (the first time you use the site, or when the cookie is deleted). Some states can not advertise after rebate prices for a while now, so retailers need to have multiple versions of their ads.

I stand corrected…You are both right! I did just that after I posted, I went to bBestBuy and they hit me up for my zip code. :d Plus, now that I think about it, a lot of the ads say this is the price before savings. Time to refine this law and torque it down tighter. :frowning:

My Circuit City rebate offer was supposedly the wrong one, so this is my conversation with them on the phone: Me: I got this letter in the mail 8 weeks after mailing in my rebate offer saying that it’s the incorrect one. But the guy in the store gave it to me. Them: I’m sorry sir, it’s the inccorect one. -You’re saying that I bought the monitor from Your store, where Your salesperson sold it to me, the same person gave me the rebate, and now I’m the one that’s to blame? -Uhhh… -Can I talk to your supervisor? -One second sir,… (some 3 minutes later) Them: Your rebate will be in the mail with 8 working days. WOW, that’s all it took, 8 weeks and a 20 minutes on the phone. But the whole things is just funny.
[edited by shuma02 on 08.09.2006 02:27]

Rebates should be just like coupons. The customer gets the discount up-front and the store gets the job of collecting from the manufacturer. Paperwork won’t be “accidentally” lost when the guy they’re trying to screw is in charge of 35 Best Buy stores.
[edited by neo1918 on 08.09.2006 02:56]

As pointed out earlier, all this will do is keep stores from advertising that there are rebates and it will give them less incentive to carry the rebates in store because someone will sue BB or CC or some other store because there was a rebate going on when they bought product X and they were not informed of the rebate by the store and they only found out about the rebate after speaking to a friend and by that time it was too late, etc., etc., so forth. If they don’t even bother to carry the rebates, then they can claim that they are not participating. The best solution would be for requiring stores to instantly honor a manufacturer’s rebate at the time of purchase and then it is the store’s problem to actually collect those rebates to be reimbursed (if there are any left for electronics stores, “Mom and Pop” stores should be immune from such a law). BB kind of does this now, as they seem to have a parrallel rebate system (i.e. I have noticed with things that I have bought from BB that their rebates for products are exactly the same as the manufacturer’s rebates going on at the same time). Therefore, it is my guess that they “honor” the rebates via their own bureacracy (sp?) and then get re-imbursed from the manufacturer’s rebates by using the copies of customer’s receipts provided to them by the customers.

This is a nice law because it does not prevent rebates, simply stops advertising them. Deals are better with a rebate than without so I do not mind them still being in existence. BestBuy is moving away from Rebates and so is OfficeMax. CompUSA is moving to an online system called eRebate which is nice, nothing to mail in.

Last year Best Buy stated that they would completely do away with rebates by some coming year. I can’t remember if it was 2007,2008, or 2009.

I think everything would be fine if all the places went to electronic submission. The major problem with standard rebates is that you mail in the stuff and don’t know if the place is going to claim they never received your submission for months. I’ve mailed in rebates via signature receipt and received the receipt within a few days only to wait months for my submission to show up in the online database as “received”.

I no longer play the rebate game… but when I did I would send it by certified mail with a return receipt. I would also carefully read the forms over and over again then make photocopies of the documents. I was lucky to only have one rebate unfulfilled out of 15 - it was only 10 bucks so I didnt waste my time tracking/complaining - but that one strike plus the multitude of complains from other people made me shy away from rebates. I dont even know why I still look at the CompUSA and Circuit City ads. Nothing but rebates. Best Buy sales are better…instant discounts/rebates or just great sale prices.

Yes it’s a big game. Recently I received a e-mail from the rebate processing company denying my rebate, because I didn’t include the rebate form. This was after waiting 12 weeks from mailing it. A few days later I received a post card withthe same information and a phone number to call in order to speak with a customer service moron about this matter. I called. I asked what the problem was. They explained that they were unable to pay my rebate because I failed to enclose my rebate form. I replied, "that’s interesting, you sent me a notice by e-mail. The only way you could get my e-mail address was from the rebate form. You also used my full name on the post card, I only use first inital and last name on my return address. How do you explain that. I’m sorry sir, all I know is what the computer says, if you fax copies we’ll send the check… in 12 weeks. Yes, another 12 weeks, I got the check and they got another lovely report to the FTC. Always make copies of everything.