Saturday, October 3, 2009

REBATE-REFUND-BONUS-DISCOUNT


When I'm shopping, if I see REBATE, I grit my teeth.

Okay, I read the fine print:
Money back, in six weeks, or twelve weeks or three months if I send my name, age, occupation, address, phone number, email and the sales receipt.

The form is complicated, not laid out in a simple, clear format. What's clear is the "Null & Void" warning, if anything is left blank.

The overly complicated rebate annoys me. The idea of buying something and getting a rebate festers.

Why?

Because Mr. Manufacturer can sell my name and address! Because once I get my money back, what I've actually paid for the product, is maybe twenty-five dollars less than Mr. M's competitors!

Because the rebate distracts me from the rest of the deal -- the warranty, and the charge for services that you'll need.

Six months ago, after researching Time Warner, Earthlink, Verizon, Sprint, and AT & T, I went with Earthlink -- the saleslady was nice, and I wasn't sure, am still am not sure, what the different deals were.

The prices for this, for that --("this" and "that" called by a different name, by each service provider), the warnings about terminating the services (how much I'd be charged) if I didn't like the service and canceled for any reason, and the monthly charge. What a dummy I am -- not noticing. I didn't notice that the monthly price is higher after the first two months.

Mr. Manufacturer's wicked weapon -- distraction, the inventively varied names for essential services -- make comparison headachy, confusing, impossible.

It's intolerable! (See my posts: "Ad Lies." 4/25, "Sex Ads" 5/10; "Doodler Complaint" 6/7; "Scary Movies" 7/16.) I want to know what I'm doing, what I'm buying.

Hey, don't forget the big, all important S & H

I can't remember life before S & H -- the offer -- the kindly, generous open hand -- a second one, whatever it is, FREE!
Just S & H.
Which is Shipping and Handling.
Which is Stiffing and Haggling.
Which is Gypping and hooking.

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