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Rebates have become a popular way to sell a product, whether it is a computer game, a printer or an entire computer. And they are good for a company’s bottom line as well.
Why discount the price of that laptop computer when you can keep the normal $1600 price-tag and give the potential owner a mail-in rebate coupon for 30% off?
A consumer advocacy website, http://www.badbusinessbureau.com, lists more than one thousand complaints of denied rebates, bounced rebate checks and poor customer service. The list goes on, for quite awhile.
There’s also other well known rebate “offers” out there where you can get $100 or more off your computer. The catch, you have to sign up for an ISP you may not need or want for up to 3 years!
The Government Response
The Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) Website lists a series of commonsense guidelines to dealing with rebate offers. (http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/alerts/rebatealrt.htm). Some of what they suggest is written below: