the most from rebates
Posted 4 November 2007
Rebate schemes are
tempting, but can be a trap
With the Christmas shopping
period approaching, a lot of consumers are looking at buyinging computers.
To take advantage of this, a number of retailers are manufacturers are
offering rebate schemes for some tech products. These schemes offer
a “cash back” for certain purchases.
A cash back scheme is where the manufacturer offers to refund some
of the purchase price of their product. To take advantage of it, the
customer has to provide proof of purchase, provide a few other details
and send them to the manufacturer.
We don't like these schemes as the bureaucracy involved works against
consumers. Too often, many people find their claims are rejected for
trivial reasons, or the forms don't even get to the manufacturer.
While these offers look good, we recommend only treating them as
a bonus. Don't base your purchasing decision purely upon a price after
deducting a rebate you may or may not get.
If you do decide to go ahead with a rebate, here's some tips to
- Don’t base your purchase
decisions on the after rebate price. If price is the main reason
for purchase, don’t include the rebate in your comparison.
- Confirm the cashback
applies to the model you have bought. Often the scheme applies only
to certain models.
- Make sure you are eligible
for the offer. There are often rules that exclude businesses or
- Read the instructions
and conditions carefully while still in the store. Make sure the
shop has given you all the details. Many promotions require the
invoice to be machine printed, not handwritten.
- Deal with the rebate
immediately. Don't pin the form to your fridge and leave it there.
If possible, fill out the form while you are still in the store.
Ask the salesperson to make copies of the documents before you agree
- Follow the conditions
exactly. If the form requires you to fill it out in black pen, make
sure you do.
- Check all your details
are correct and all required fields are filled in.
- Attach all the required
documents. Send copies unless the conditions state you must send
- Make copies of everything.
- Consider sending the
claim by registered mail with delivery confirmation. For a rebate
worth $250, that five dollar investment is money well spent.
- If you haven't received
your rebate after a reasonable amount of time, call them. Note that
these cashback schemes often have processing times of up to 90 days.
We think 30 is long enough.
- Do not hesitate to
complain to your state department of fair trading or the ACCC if
you think your claim is not being properly processed.
As we said earlier, we
recommend steering clear of rebate schemes, they are a pain and they
shouldn't be encouraged. However if you are offered one as part of
a purchase, follow the tips to make sure you get the money offered.