About a month ago, I bought a new laptop.
The old one still works, but it’s kind of slow, and kind of in demand, especially when Kid #1 has friends over. When I need to get on the computer and whip up some side-hustle money, I shouldn’t have to fight with kids and deal with the whiny “Are you done, yet?” every 10 minutes.
This wasn’t a spur-of-the-moment purchase. Since the old laptop still worked, we had quite a bit of time to find the new one, so I started watching sales. And I waited.
Eventually, I found a great deal. I got a much bigger/faster/smarter/nicer laptop for about $375 with tax. There was a sale, a coupon code, and a rebate all in play to make that happen.
I don’t mind coupons and sales. In fact, I am a fan.
Rebates, however, irritate me.
It shouldn’t have been bad. After all, I was going to Staples, home of the Easy Button®. I should have been able to go home, fire up their website, fill out a form, and get my money in a couple of weeks, right?
Apparently, the easy rebate doesn’t apply to the good rebates. If you’re getting $1.05 back on a $100 printer, you can do it in a few clicks. But if you’re getting $50 back on a $400 laptop, watch out. Then, Staples has the same horrible rebate process as everyone else. Print the forms, peel off the UPC label, snail-mail it to the middle of nowhere and wait 4 to 100 months for a gift card.
Obviously, they are hoping a statistically significant percentage of their customers forget to claim their money.
Shady rebate garbage.
Rebates are a marketing ploy to convince customers they are getting a sale, while hoping the customer forgets to ask for the sale price, thereby paying full price and being happy about it.
Ethical businesses would just have a sale and be done with it. Treating your customers right is good for business. Really.
Now, where did I put that receipt?