“Retailers and manufacturers love them because they make goods”sound cheaper than they are — and chances are they will forget to send in the rebate card,” says Weston Henderek, an ARS analyst.
We bought five products, from a portable CD player on Datavis.com (price $59.99; rebate $20) to the “free” Pepcid. Then we filed for rebates to see how easy it is to get back what we are owed.
Guess what: We needed the antacid. Four of the five products arrived with no information whatsoever on how to claim the rebates that were so prominently displayed at the time of purchase. Just finding the forms and filling them out took hours. Then, we had to wait sometimes months for our rebates — in every case except one. Reason: One of our rebates, the one for the CD player, was rejected outright.”