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What happens to denied rebate claims

You go to the store, you purchase a thing, you download and print the rebate form, you cut out the UPC code, fill out the form, copy the receipt, package it all up and send it to the rebate processor or manufacturer.

Sometimes the manufacturer uses a rebate clearing house that keeps tabs on the process and offers feedback. Sometimes you simply have to wait for the check or the dreaded decline letter.

But what happens when you are declined? On the one-hand the reason you were being offered the rebate was so that the company can capture purchase and personal information about you. And you get cash in return for your personal information. It's a contract stupid.

But what happens when you're declined?

Does the company still claim and get access to your personal information? Does the 3rd party processor get to keep and resell your information? Or, once there is a decline, the processor or company quietly deletes your information after sending you an decline letter? And what sort of arbitration is there?

My advice, forget the rebates and forget that model. Chances are better than even that the seller, or "the house" if you're in a casino, is making bets; and given that they know more than you... chances are it's a loser.

  • forget the rebates
  • ignore products with rebates
  • know your products and model numbers
  • comparison shop
And there was some advice I received once. Check the model numbers on google and if the results are biased to one seller or even some particular promotion then stay away from it. It's likely bait; meaning inferior features or components.

Then again, unless you're an early adopter stay away from full retail.


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