Obfuscated Rebate Programs

Published 2 Comments on Obfuscated Rebate Programs

So this weekend, I went to the Verizon store. I have never gone into that store and left in less than 2 hours. It’s ridiculous how long it takes to get stuff done in there. The reason I was there was to get my youngest his first phone, plus to upgrade my father-in-law. He had an old original Motorola Droid.

The sales guy said they had a Father’s Day special: Buy an iPhone and get one free. We qualified for the promotion, so I said yes. I got them both iPhone 6S phones.

Here is what I wanted the experience to be:
They deduct the amount right there…and I am done. 🙂

Here is what they told me to do:

  1. You have to go online to https://www.yourdigitalrebatecenter.com/
  2. Login with your Verizon password that has difficult requirements and you constantly have to reset the password.
  3. Use this super long code (hand written on a sticky note)
  4. Take a photo of a super long receipt that is not legible if you capture it on your phone…I ended up taking two photos and stitching them together.
  5. Take a photo of BOTH boxes
  6. Take a photo of the about page of the settings. If you didn’t have another phone, how would you do that? Mirror? Plus, it’s not the about page top, you have to scroll down to the middle to get the IMEI number.
  7. Sacrifice your first born child
  8. And do it all within 14 days
  9. THEN they will email SIX WEEKS LATER a visa card with $650 on it.
  10. You have to take the card and bring it into the store (Remember, that’s two hours minimum)
  11. They will then pay off the phone using the card.

See, easy peesy lemon squeezy, right?

Bullshit. Shenanigans!

They are counting on people giving up. They are literally stealing the rebates from people through obfuscation. They make it so hard to do, that you just give up and they keep the money. Even if you do things right, they keep the money (float) for 6+ weeks earning interest on it.

I hate these sort of programs. Don’t count on our laziness to make money. Just provide value! There should be a law outlawing this nonsense.


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  1. It’s price discrimination. If you’re not price sensitive, then you won’t go through all the shenanigans it takes to get a rebate. If you are price sensitive, it’s a way to lower price for those people who spend a lot of time trying to find the best bargain. The bad part about these programs is that the rebate companies often intentionally “lose” the paperwork and keep the difference. I think there have been a bunch of class action lawsuits about this.

Whatya think?