EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Lifestyle

March 8, 2013

Tales from the rebate front

Readers continue to weigh in on the pitfalls of mail-in rebates. The anti-rebate emails I receive far outnumber those singing their praises. Here’s a sampling.

Dear Jill,

I feel like companies make rebate rules hard to follow so fewer people try to redeem them. I recently learned that they can change the rules on the fly, too. I bought a bottle of wine at the store, and there was a printout form to send in for a $3 rebate. The form printed at the register and I filled it out. After I sent it in, I got a postcard that said I didn’t send in the receipt. I didn’t send in a receipt because the form didn’t say I had to!

I have done rebates before and know what I’m doing. I called the wine manufacturer and they said they changed the rebate requirements after the offer began. How can they do this when nobody with the original rebate form would know they had to send a receipt? After I complained, they agreed to send me my money, but I am done buying this brand of wine!

Susanna S.

Dear Jill,

What do you think about this? I opened the newspaper and there was a deal on first-aid ointment. It was a free mail-in rebate, and you had to print the rebate form online. I wanted to print the form first so I could make sure to buy the right thing, but when I went online, the website said the rebate forms were all gone already! This was at 9 a.m. on Sunday morning, and the deal was in the coupon inserts that the whole country gets. How many forms could possibly have been available if they were all distributed before most people were even out of bed? I was pretty ticked and so glad I didn’t buy the ointment before trying to print that form!

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