Ask the Readers: Are Rebates Worth It? (Your Chance to win $10!)

By Linsey Knerl on 24 November 2009 (Updated 30 November 2009) 84 comments
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Comment #16    I don't bother Submitted by Heather on November 24, 2009 - 16:15. Rebates are just a way to sucker people out of money. Only a few places will actually get the rebate back to you, if you actually remember to send in the rebate information in the first place. Typically, I don't bother. I'd rather find a real deal with less hoops to jump through elsewhere.

@callkathy Are Rebates worth it? Not really, IMHO. Never seem to get money back from them. 

 

I used to love refunding (also known as rebating).  Getting something for free (even after having to wait weeks to get my funds) was a rush.  I would use a combination of Walgreens rebates, office supply store rebates, and home improvement chain rebates to get an assortment of much-needed (but not budgeted for) items for our home.  Software, power strips, weather-stripping, shampoo, and cold medicine were eventually obtained for little to nothing, provided I could fork out the 39cents for a stamp and bide my time.

Some haven't been so thrilled with the hobby, however.  Reports of refund clearing houses going out of business, refunds being lost or misdirected, and the hard fact that many were putting purchases on their credit cards while they waited for their refunds made the practice an exercise in loss, not frugality.  And while there are most definitely steps you can take to ensure you get your rebate, there is a certain element of risk involved.

Do you rebate?  Are you smart about it?  Do you buy stuff you don't even want or need so that you can eventually recoup all your money?  Or do you avoid the practice altogether.  We want to hear your thoughts on the topic.  If you're lucky, you'll be one of two winners we randomly select to get a $10 Amazon gift card.  Dozens have already won!

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Certificate

  1. Post your answer in the comments below, or
  2. Tweet your answer. Include both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" in your tweet so we'll see it and count it.

If you're inspired to write a whole blog post, please link to it in the comments or tweet it.

Giveaway Rules:

  • Contest ends Friday, November 27th at 11:59 am CST. Winners will be announced after this time on the original post and via Twitter. Winners will also be contacted via email and Twitter Direct Message.
  • You can enter both drawings — once by leaving a comment and once by tweeting.
  • Only tweets that contain both "@wisebread" and "#WBAsk" will be entered. (Otherwise, we won't see it.)

Good luck!

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Guest's picture
michelle

I do rebate. And I will only do it for 'non needed' items if they end up being free. I love rebating and feeling like I got something for nothing, or pretty close to nothing.

Guest's picture
Emily

I have to really want the product. But the problem with rebates is that you really have to keep track of them to make sure that you actually receive them. I typically only do rebates for large items like a new phone or my contact lenses.

Guest's picture
Angie

It really depends on what the item is, that will be the deciding factor on whether or not I decide to fill out forms and mail things in for a rebate.

If it's a grocery item, I don't bother. If it's a big ticket item, I'll go ahead and do it. I have had success with the larger purchases and rebates...a monitor purchase, laser eye surgery (kind of a rebate from my insurance company, at least I think of it that way) and my kitchen aide stand mixer purchase come to mind.

Those were all large rebates and were worth it. I know people say every penny counts...but when we're talking about small items and grocery items - the forms you need to fill out, plus the grocery receipt, then you have to mail it in, and chances are you'll forget about it anyway...it's more work than I'm willing to do. Just my 2 cents.

Guest's picture
Guest

Hi,
Rebates are worth the small amount of time it takes to apply for them. It costs nothing and it is very differcult to obtain a small reward at no cost in any other manner.
Al

Guest's picture
Jen

Yes, if I am buying the product that has a rebate or if I see something that I can use that has it. I am not going to buy diapers just to get the rebate because I don't have a baby.

Guest's picture

I try to avoid rebating if possible. I know that I'll submit the rebate stuff, but then it gets complicated. You have to make sure that you actually get the rebate and then go to the bank and cash it. The second part is the too much effort part.

Guest's picture
Russell

I don't rebate, but my grandmother did. She had the most awesome way of doing it, too.

She'd file for rebates, and all the rebate cash would go into a cigar box. On Christmas Eve, my cousins and I would split the year's proceeds four ways. It was never a huge amount of money, but it was really fun for us to count and share.

I don't know if I'd buy anything where I felt the item was overpriced if the rebate never came through -- I look at them as a bonus.

Guest's picture
Guest

I have used rebates and will in the future. As long as it is an item I am already planning on getting then it is like a bonus, why not hten. To buy something just because it has a rebate on it does not make really good sense to me. It is the same as coupons, if I am going to use the item and would nomally buy it why not use the rebate or coupon. I have had some really good rebates and they are nice whenthey come but they do take quite a while to get and that is the part that can be irritating.

Guest's picture
Sam

I do rebates, but mostly for electronic items like computer parts. But frankly I think there a pain, and unless you do them perfectly then you can't get screwed out of the offer.

Guest's picture
Stefanie

absolutely! i try to make the most of rebates for items i will actually use and if its free or a really low price for items i don't use but can donate, i do the rebate as well. it takes forever for the checks to come, but its nice to open the mail with a bit of an extra money surprise inside.

Guest's picture
Betty

I hate rebates! I use them when I buy a new phone or computer, but that's it. I would prefer if they just put the item on sale. For everything else, I love coupons! Rebates just don't make sense to me.

Guest's picture
Guest

I avoid rebates when I can as they tend to complicate my life.

Guest's picture

I have had no end of problems getting rebates. Hubby and I used to do them, but now it seems that the rules are created to prevent you from getting the money back. It doesn't matter whether it is a big ticket item or not, the rules are so complicated that too much can go wrong. I would rather just watch for a sale or find the cheaper price online.

Guest's picture
Susan R.

I learned about refunding and coupons while still a teenager from a woman who had been a newlywed during the Depression. I was excited then to get a rebate of even a mere 50 cents. In those days, receipts weren't necessary so I would pre-save the labels and UPCs of products from companies that were known to offer regularly. That knowledge has been useful over the years when confronted with the financial curve balls thrown by life. I still do the occasional refund. I'm single and an environmentalist, so I don't go for everything for its own sake. But whether there is a refund will inform my decision about buying one product over another on the things I *do* use. Alternatively, if I can get something essentially for free but will not use it, I think about whether or not it is something the food pantry or homeless ministry can use. On every refund form I note that a copy was made on the date of mailing and what proofs of purchase were sent, then I make a copy or scan it all for my records. I have only one company claim they didn't receive everything, but when I sent them a copy of my copy of everything sent, I received the refund promptly.

Guest's picture
Squirrel

I only consider rebates at three retailers: 1) Staples -- which has EasyRebates which allows for online submission, 2) Walgreens -- which has rebate directed to a debit card account, and 3) Menards -- which is really only for <$10 rebates. I've never had any issues with these three retailers and their rebates.

Guest's picture
Heather

Rebates are just a way to sucker people out of money. Only a few places will actually get the rebate back to you, if you actually remember to send in the rebate information in the first place. Typically, I don't bother. I'd rather find a real deal with less hoops to jump through elsewhere.

Guest's picture
Kristen

I rebate, but only if it is considered a "bonus" -- I wouldn't buy something just because I am justifying that I might get money back.

Guest's picture
Arvin

First make sure there are no other better deals... the trick to any money saving venture is to make sure the amount of effort required is worth the money saved.

Second, as always, don't buy something only because it's a good deal... it better be something you actually use, and better if it's something you actually were planning on getting already.

I bought a 24 inch monitor two Black Fridays ago that was a great deal with an 80 dollar rebate. I was in the market for a monitor anyway, and the price without the rebate was good. When the entire extra effort was at most 2 hours of my time, that's a savings of $40/hour, and totally worth it.

Most importantly, however, is to fill the form and mail it out immediately after buying!

Guest's picture
denise

I love rebates, especially if the outcome is a free item. Yes, I am guilty of purchasing something I normally wouldn't if the end result is free. It is sort of an addiction. I will admit it. I like the feeling derived from getting a good deal.

Guest's picture
Tiff

If it's a big ticket item then it's definitely worth the time to fill out the form. For smaller items that I have never tried then it gives me an incentive to go ahead and try that item.

If I end up not liking it or using it then all it cost me was the price of a stamp.

Guest's picture
berizel

Rebate? No doubt son. No doubt.

Guest's picture
Amber

I won't do a rebate for something that is over $10 if I don't know and trust the manufacturer or store. For instance, I do rebates every month with Rite Aid and they always deliver exactly what they say they will - I consider Rite Aid rebates extremely safe. On the other hand, I have several times been out in the cold on manufacturer rebates (hello Natural Dentist!).

If I wouldn't want to pay full price for the item, I don't go for the rebate if I don't trust the company. If I would pay full price, I may take the risk.

Guest's picture
pam munro

My husband & I have used rebates for large ticket electronic items, like printers and so on. If the rebate is not substantial, it doesn't seem worth the hassle - as they are mostly for name brand goods, which I buy rarely.

Guest's picture
Scott

Only for things that I was going to buy anyway. If the best deal includes a rebate then great. If there are 2 like products and I don't have a preference and 1 has a rebate then it could steer me in the diretion of that product. However, I'm not a rebate shopper.

Guest's picture
Jessica

I'm partial to Rite Aid Rebates. I usually only purchase things I want and will use or will need. (Toothpaste, toiletries and the like.) The only thing is that you can only request one check so if you know you're going to shop more in the month you have to wait otherwise you can't claim any more rebates. Which is fine, unless you forget to request the check. I haven't done that yet, so I guess I'm playing with fire, but I think it will work out. Even so, I typically get about $10 worth of rebates every month.

Guest's picture
Ben

Not only do you have to follow arduous fine print you have to make copies of this all this information and remember to check up on the rebate a good month a two from when you filled out the information to begin with since invariably there is a problem.

I have been considering doing the Rite Aid rebates since they are single check. Has anyone had success with them?

Guest's picture

Actually I must admit that I'm a sucker for rebates. If I can buy something for free after rebate I usually do. I often try new products this way.

Guest's picture
Kate

I'll always do rebates on an item that i was already planning to purchase/already purchased. I generally won't purchase a non-needed just to do the rebate, because there is that risk it won't come through, then I'll be stuck with an unnecessary item.

Guest's picture
danielo

I don't rebate -- if I see a rebate listed, I just ignore it. I just don't trust it to work, and honestly, I lack the patience to follow through with the "fine print."

Guest's picture
Connie

You just have to have a system to verify you get your check. I have been after one company since June and finally got the check...I counted it and I had sent 25 emails. But each email was just a 2 liner, "has their been any progress on my check?"

Connie

Guest's picture
mashford

I fill out the forms and send them in as soon as I get home or have the clerk do it at the store ... really, I have ask clerks for a quick hand and if they are not busy, it all works out.

Guest's picture
Cat

I will buy rebate over none if product I want or considered trying.

Guest's picture
Kris

I'm a bit of a rebate skeptic. I've done four rebates this year. Three went fine. The fourth I received but the check was returned to me. Two months later I'm still waiting to get the money. At least my bank refunded the $10 charge for having a check returned.

Guest's picture
Mary

I hate rebates! I have spent too much time on the phone with rebate companies tracking down rebates to ever get excited about a rebate again. Yup, I know the drill - read all the fine print and make copies of everything, but I've still had trouble.

As a result, rebates do not entice me at all.

Guest's picture
Mary

I do apply for rebates, but I don't purchase items just because they offer rebates. However, I may purchase sooner than I would otherwise - or may choose one brand or model over another, if the rebate is FROM A REPUTABLE COMPANY and results in a significant savings over the non-rebated item.

Guest's picture

It depends on how much the rebate is for

Guest's picture
mudnessa

I like large cost item rebates. I got my current cellphone for $20 after rebate. It allowed to get me a phone with lots of functions I actually use and not blow my budget. I've done rebates for smaller cost items but I tend to not have the desire as much so sometimes it all just sits on the desk and eventually it expires.

Guest's picture
Katrina

I hate doing the rebate thing. I used to do a lot of them, but rarely do them now. They're a hassle, you still have to pay for a stamp and TIME! Last time I did a rebate I mis-understood the requirements for getting the rebate, so I had to re-send it and still haven't gotten it back. It's not worth it unless you're going to buy the product anyway. Just doing the rebate thing to try to get a deal on something you wouldn't ordinarily buy is a total waste.

Guest's picture
Guest

I always rebate! Why throw away money they're willing to give you? I only buy things I don't normally buy if they end up being free after coupons/rebates. We use the rebates as "found money" that automatically gets deposited into our child's college savings. Every penny counts.

Guest's picture
cb

I never purchase for a rebate. Once I'm in the store, I am not swayed buy a rebate offer. However, I will complete the forms and mess if a rebate is running when I do purchase. I do not count the money spent as less because of a pending rebate. Given the rebate industry I don't count on getting a rebate returned. Even if one arrives I'd probably think it was junk mail and toss it.

Over the years I have found my success by reducing purchases and focusing on money spent. I save more by spending less and infrequently than I could ever get from rebates.

I rarely coupon either. I focus grocery purchases on staples and in bulk. The coupon off a package of Oreos is irrelevant if I don't buy Oreos.

Guest's picture
Nicole

I have always had success with rebates. It has saved me a lot of money over the years. They take some work, but I definitely think they are worth it.

Guest's picture

Some do it for the thrill, not the frugality, and that is easy to get caught up in, so I am careful to do it only if it is something I really want or need.

Guest's picture
MJ

Almost every AT&T phone came with a rebate when I went in a couple of weeks ago, so I did it more out of necessity than because I "rebate". They sort of scam people that way.

Also a couple of years ago I bought a portable DVD player that with the rebate would have been free... but I forgot :( (no black friday shopping for me again!)

Guest's picture
Ruth

I always send for rebates when I buy a product that has one. I check the forms right away and remove whatever (if possible at that time) is needed and attach the receipt to the form. For a long time I saved all my refund money separately from household money and eventually was able to buy a complete bedroom set for my son, a swing-set, and other various items that would have been hard to budget for. My husband even looks for the refund forms for items he picks up at the hardware store. Sometimes we will even pick up things we don't need but can get for free after rebate and then donate them to others who are in need. Never let free money or products go to waste!

Guest's picture
Therese

I do rebate when it is offered on something I am already buying. The challenge for me is to collect all the information I need and send it out before the rebate expires.

Guest's picture
Tony

They're a gimmick. A joke. No, I don't use them.

Guest's picture
Guest

Rebates are a good thing for everyone. I purchase small items with full rebates even if I don't use the item. The local shelter can use the items. If I use an item I will rebate with a coupon even if the item isn't paid for in full. Because we normally contribute to charities, and this year is too tight to contribute cash, I scour the ads for free items to donate. It's a way I can help others.

Guest's picture
Jocelyn

It must be fate that I read this post, because I was just thinking about a recent rebate experience that left me feeling ripped off quite frankly. I needed a new phone and t-mobile's response was to say you can get the phone and a $50 visa gift card rebate...but you have to sign up for unlimited text messages on the line. Well if that's 15/ month, and the rebate is $50 and most locations say you have to keep the text pricing until after the rebate is processed (which is about 2 months) then I'm getting approximately 10 dollars back? Plus I'm locked into a 2 year contract? I wish I'd taken the time to really process that information, because I never would have agreed to the deal. That's what happens when you make snap judgements. My advice? Make sure the rebate is worth it TO YOU. And never go shopping on a time crunch. You'll get screwed most of the time.

Guest's picture

I love rebates, especially on electronics. Getting $10 - $50 back on a purchase is well worth the time filling out the form and waiting a few weeks for the check. I recently mailed in a rebate for the purchase of beer and got $9.99 back!

I love 'em.

Guest's picture
Carolyn

I only do rebates on items I need. I used to love Walgreens Easy Rebates until they changed to Register Rewards. I absolutely hate them. They expire 2 weeks after purchase and there are too many other restrictions. I don't do them or CVS Extra Bucks any more.

Guest's picture

I use to like them, but over time I have became sick of the paper work. It is so easy to screw up one minor detail and end up being out money you didn't plan on. It also leads toward useless spending and buying things that aren't really needed.

Guest's picture

I've received over $250 in rebates this year, and I haven't even tried *that* hard. My criteria for a rebate (or other coupon/sale/deal) is not exactly "would I buy that anyway?" I may not have otherwise said specifically that I wanted cake mix, for example. But I know that we have desserts and snacks for which cake mix can be used, and having cake mix on hand will take up a few of those occasions so that something else does not need to be purchased in its place. So it's not so much "would I already buy that?" but "will we use it anyway?" In the case of the cake mix, I recently combined coupons and sales to get 6 boxes for $4.35, and the purchase of 5 boxes earned me a $5.00 rebate. So keep 'em coming, and I'll keep using 'em. :)

Guest's picture
CM

I used to try to get everything FAR (free after rebate) at stores like Walgreens and Rite Aid, but now I get only what I need. Earlier this year my husband bought a $700 item that offered a $250 rebate. I was hoping there wouldn't be a hassle, and was pleased that everything went smoothly. The rebate arrived less than a month after I mailed the form.

Guest's picture
Riptide

It took me a while but I learned that I'm really not a mail-in rebate person. I would see that there is a rebate and make the purchase calculating in my mind the savings I would get at some future date. Then would realize later that I had forgotten to send in the rebate.

Now I don't look at rebate offers as any savings that I can take advantage.

Guest's picture
Mariel Martinez

Inflation is a terrible thing, and you should know that the rebate takes time, and if the time is too long, you won´t be able to get the same value in other terms than monetary due to inflation. Check out www.inflation.us

Guest's picture
Carole

Yes, I do rebates, but I don't purchase items just because there is a rebate.

Guest's picture

I used to rebate, and then only for things that I would have bought anyway. But I've been burned too many times by what I thought were reputable companies. First, I had to fight Norton two years in a row to get my money out them. Then, I had Kitchenaid bone me on a rebate. I mean, really, Kitchenaid? It's not like I was buying Brand-X.

So now, I do my best to avoid rebates altogether.

Guest's picture
Bob2002

I love them. Some times they are a pain to fill out and send in, but then a couple of months later, usually right when you have forgotten about the rebate, a check shows up in the mail. When you think about it, it is good money for a very small amount of work.

Guest's picture
Jetset

I wish I rebated more. I remember once getting like a 25$ rebate that I never claimed on a video card, that bummed me out tons.

I hate knowing the psych-tricks, how companies are banking on inertia, etc, and falling for it!

But I'm gonna be more dedicated about it now. I'm excited by really good deals!

Guest's picture
Ghosts say Boo

Wow! Hot topic here.

I rebate if, and only if, I am getting the object anyways.

8 months ago I bought a phone. I had decided on which phone I wanted, then I started price shopping. I was going to pay $50 for each (wife's and mine), but then I found them on Amazon with $50 rebates each.

I just bought a router, I had chosen the router I wanted due to features, then I went price shopping, and the cheapest store (buy.com!?) also included a $10 rebate making it even cheaper.

If it's not something I want anyways, I don't get it.

Guest's picture
Christie

I actually just sent in a rebate two days ago! It was for something that was a great deal with the rebate, and an okay deal without it, but something that I could use for years. So, I made the purchase even though money is tight. With the rebate, the item will pay for itself with just 2 uses, so I figured that it would be a great investment. Saving money at the store is one of my favorite things, but not using the item at home doesn't save me anything!

On the other hand, if it is a rebate to try a new item, I will do that if there is a chance I'll use it. I'm only out the price of a stamp, I get a free item, and there is a chance that it will be a favorite! (Plus, you're more apt to find coupons for items like that as well!)

Guest's picture
melissa gary

I only rebate if I had already planned to buy the product. They are a nice incentive. I have never had a company not pay. Just keep records.

Guest's picture

I believe that rebates work with proper planning. Let's face it, you can find a rebate on just about anything, but that's not a reason to buy it. I've recently discovered Walgreens Register Rewards. I plan on using the circular in Walgreens to find products that are in my budget.

Guest's picture
Mikal

I used to do a lot of simple rebates on small items. Postage was cheap and it was relatively simple to apply for and receive a rebate.

Now, the rebates seem to be mostly attached to larger items (electronics, appliances, etc.) and the companies make it very difficult to apply for the rebate. And some of the rebate clearinghouses do everything they can to prevent you from receiving your rebate.

So, I would never buy an item based on an expected rebate. If I needed an item and it offered a rebate on top of a competitive price, I would buy it and apply for the rebate. If I get the rebate, great! If not, I haven't lost much.

Guest's picture
GT0163C

I do some rebates. It depends on the item, the amount and how my life is at the time. If it's an item that I would be buying anyway, I'll almost always do the rebate. If it's something I would be buying but I can get the item free and have a legitmate use or donation location, I will often do the rebate. If life is calm, I'm more likely to deal with rebates. When life is crazy, I generally don't.

Guest's picture
Laura

Staples has a great rebate system, but it isn't very often I need something there.

I did one for groceries this year, at $10 it was worth it, but it was on things I would buy anyhow.

Guest's picture
Stephanie

I do rebates only for items we need. I also consider how the rebate is submitted (online or via mail). For example, if I can get a "free" bottle of $6.99 shampoo, but have to pay 45 cents tax on it and 44 cents to mail in the rebate, I have paid a dollar for this "free" item, which is more than the full price of some shampoos.

So yes, I do rebates, but there are many things I consider before purchasing the product.

Guest's picture
Tammy

I used to get excited about rebates, but not so much anymore. I tend to forget to keep what is needed in order to get the rebate. Perishable food item based rebates are especially hard for me, because most times I have to wait until the product is consumed before I can cut out the proof of purchase labels. By the time I can finish all packages that pertain to the rebate...I have long forgotten about the rebate...and it's requirements.

Guest's picture
Trang

Yes, rebates are worth it if 1.) you truly want the item and 2.) you're dealing with a reputable rebate company.

Guest's picture
fairydust

I definitely enjoy rebating, especially now that more stores are allowing for online rebate filing (because paying 44-cents for the stamp on a $1.50 rebate always seemed kinda stupid to me). I especially like Rite Aid and Staples online rebates. I've also done a couple Kelloggs rebates this year and some other food products. Overall, I don't go out of my way looking for rebate opportunities, but if something I'm interested in anyway includes a rebate, that's more incentive for me to give it a try.

To the above poster who asked about Rite Aid, it's easy to log on and file each receipt as soon as you get home, then request the check at the end of each month.

Guest's picture

I love a rebate, but it has to be for something I actually need. I've heard many rebate horror stories, so if something were to ever go wrong; at least I would be stuck with a product I was planning to use.

Guest's picture
leslie

I just don't have the time or patience to deal with rebates, so I don't bother. If an item isn't the discounted price when I'm purchasing it, I'll just pass.

Guest's picture
lisa

I always do a rebate if it's available, but I'd rather buy something that's on sale than deal with a rebate. I only buy rebate items if it's something I'd use anyway. Then I do the rebate and just hope it actually goes through. I'm pretty careful about keeping track of receipts and following instructions. I find some stores make rebates so much easier than others. Rite aid and Staples let you do it online, and it's fast and easy. I have no qualms about their rebates. Other stores make it a challenge and I avoid buying there.

Guest's picture
Audrey

I send for rebates on items that I use. I keep scans of all the documents and details though. Have only had one rebate not show up years ago, that's pretty good.

Guest's picture
Guest

I just bought a few bottles of wine from CVS on my way home, which of course were on sale. So already thinking that I got a good deal on some pretty decent wine - come Sunday and I see a $5 rebate for wine. It was a buy two special, and I just so happen to buy the two same brands out of three choices! It was very exciting! I made $5 minus postage. Rebates are like free money - why not do them.

Guest's picture
Adi

I don't count the savings from rebates in our monthly budget. It's for an item we were going to purchase anyway. I automatically add the rebate check to our savings. ( I do the same with a rewards card that applies the monthly cash back to the statement...it subtracts it from the bill. I add whatever that amount was to our savings each month.)
As for the work of filling out the form..I'll do that while I'm listening to the news that evening, so I don't see it as a hassle. And I always scan everything before I mail it.

Guest's picture
Kelli

I do take advantage of rebates but only on products I would've purchased anyway. Hey, any money back is good, right?!

Guest's picture
Nicholas

I don't purchase based on rebates. However, if there is a rebate I will send it in, I have never had the company not send me the rebate.

Guest's picture
Stephanie

I do rebates only for things I'd otherwise buy since they often are so late and fraught with "issues"!

Guest's picture
Guest

I purchased my Sprint phone on Monday, 05 May 2008. I should have received the rebate by Monday, 11 August 2008, at the very latest. I repeatedly submitted the rebate request and each time Sprint claimed the requested was never received. After submitting the rebate request numerous times via mail, fax, and email each and every time with Sprint continuing to claim the rebate request was never received I began filing rebate fraud complaints against Sprint in March 2009. I filed complaints with the Attorney General's Office to the Better Business Bureau. I filed Sprint rebate fraud complaints with every TV reporter to blogs in London and Australia. Sprint lied to me and the Better Business Bureau about this matter. Sprint reported to the BBB that a representaive had spoken with me and the matter is resovled. That was a lie! I was subjected to playing this game of repeatedly confirming my mailing address with an executive services analyst. I confirmed my mailing address 10 times. This is the same mailing address that the account statements are consistently received but not the rebate check. This company had no intentions of sending the rebate check and that is fraud! I have filed a Sprint rebate fraud complaint to a total of 120 agencies/sites/blogs and would not stop until I received my rebate check and three months free service for this blatant fraudulent behavior. A year and a half later I finally received my rebate check from Sprint! This poor excuse for a company would not give me the three months free service for enduring this attempted fraud and for being a Sprint customer for so many years. On May 12, 2008 it was reported by Fortune that Sprint lost 1.09 million customers. This statistic will increase because in exactly 6 months my contract will expire and I will not renew my subscription. This company is so foul.

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Laura

I like rebates as another way to save money on my groceries. We have enough wiggle room in our budget that it isn't a problem for me to have a few dollars "out" at any given time, and I'm only losing a tiny amount in interest.

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Bucksome

I will rebate only when it's something I need and will buy anyway. Having a rebate does influence which product I buy. For instance I don't care if I have Norton Anti-virus software or McAfee. Whichever one is free after rebate if what I buy when it's time.

I blogged recently about retailers starting to send rebate Visa cards instead of checks. I'm not a fan of this trend.

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Em

In general, we don't use many things that carry rebates - but I find they're much more appealing when we're dealing with financial uncertainty and not having to pay full price for shampoo is more appealing.

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Jake @ DC

If I'm trying to decide between two similarly priced items, such as a television or a computer, and one of them has a rebate, I go for the one that has the rebate.

This is really the only manner in which I would use a rebate, because if I wasn't looking to buy the item anyway, the rebate won't magically change my mind.