Sunday, December 04, 2005

We still Don't get it

Got to love rebates: the most demeaning form of customer abuse. To everyone outside the US, including third world countries that haven't heard of rebates: rebates are a way of cheapening the product temporarily so that people buy it. Sounds a lot like a sale, doesn't it? In my favorite third world country: when something was on sale, you paid less for it. Say a shoe normally cost Rs.800, and at a sale, you pay Rs.500 at the cashier. Simple, isn't it?

Well, apparently that is too tricky for most high tech retailers in the US. At the Thanksgiving sale, I bought a router which was on sale. However, instead of paying less, you still pay the full price. Then, you fill out three separate forms, filling in information such as your home address, your email address, and of course your sexual preference. Put in the receipts, the UPC code, and two copies of your birth certificate, passport, visa, SSN. Then, if the company agrees (and they might not), they will mail you a check which you deposit in a bank. Wow! Of what hardy material are the American shoppers built to take this kind of torture?

CompUSA has the happy slogan, "We got it. We get it." Quite unlikely. They too have rebates, though they'll let you fill them online! Whee, I can't contain my excitement. So I fill the form but apparently I have an invalid last name. (full image)