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Piss off the Customer Dept. (a rant, what else?)

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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 08:07 PM
Original message
Piss off the Customer Dept. (a rant, what else?)
Rebates. Don't you hate that shit? Small print, bits of paper, jump through silly hoops, pay for postage, wait weeks for a few bucks. Of course I am a sucker and cheap to boot, so I always do them. A few years ago they stopped letting you use a POBox. I guess scammers were abusing the rebates or something but: EXCUSE me, there are a few of us left in rural areas that HAVE to get mail in a POBox. Fuck you very much.

Along with that is the demand for the original receipt (um some of us need them for tax reasons) - not a huge deal if you have a scanner and computer or something, but I know when this crap started I used to have to go find a copier somewhere. (which involved me also having to remember to bring the stupid little pieces of paper when I went to town)

Then you have to cut up the packaging and get UPC symbols.

Ready for the latest? Fucking Valvoline wants the foil seal from the top of the jug of oil taped to a 5 by 7 index card. Goddam foil doesn't even have a logo or any identifying info on it. They just want their customers to play around with the stupid seal and try to tape it to a card. Of course, it is one of those kind of seals you have to stab open to get off, there is no handy little tab to start it with and it is plastic lined with something strong so it is almost guaranteed to come off in at least 3 pieces.

Well not only am I a cheap sucker, but I am stubborn. So I even washed my three pieces of oily plastic-foil before I taped them to my 3 x 5 card, but I wrote "Ha ha real funny" on it too.

Final insult?

Where is this getting mailed to?

A fucking POST OFFICE BOX!!!
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MiddleFingerMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. As you know, I worked telephone customer service for a LOT of years -- and we almost ALWAYS knew...
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... EXACTLY where the problem was but, believe it or not, we were NOT ALLOWED to tell the customer.
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pacalo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 11:21 PM
Response to Original message
2. I've wondered why ALL rebates aren't just given to the customers at the time of purchase
& also what are the companies getting out of rebate offers.

I found an interesting list explaining the rationale behind the rebates at Wikipedia:

-- The information given in the rebate form, such as name, address, method of payment, can be used for data mining studies of consumer behavior.

-- The information can be used as evidence of a pre-existing business relationship for marketing purposes, such as do not call lists.

-- Customers tend to notice price increases and react negatively. Rebates offer retailers the benefit of giving customers a temporary discount on an item, to stimulate sales, while allowing it to maintain its current price point. This method avoids the negative backlash that could be perceived with a price being lowered and then raised later.

-- Rebates also allow companies to "price protect" certain product lines by being selective in which models or brands to be discounted. This allows retailers and manufacturers to move some product at lower cost while maintaining prices of successful models. A straight price reduction on some models would have a domino effect on all products in a line.

-- During the turnaround time, the company can earn interest on the money.

-- If the turnaround time crosses into the next fiscal year or quarter, a rebate offer can inflate sales in the current period, and not have to be accounted for until the next period and then it could be attributed as a cost reducing sales or expense for the next period giving companies an accounting advantage with their Wall Street projections.

-- Extended warranties and other price-dependent factors always use the initial purchase price, not the price after the rebate. This is normally because if the company has to refund the customer the "replacement value", it would be the before rebate "in-store" price.

-- Once the UPC has been removed from the box, retailers can refuse to accept a return of the item.

-- Not all buyers will meet the criteria to receive the rebate. Companies often require the original UPC barcode, receipt, and additional information, which a buyer may forget to include when redeeming the rebate. Companies almost always add other caveats to the rebate as well, such as the redemption having to be postmarked by a certain date. It works in the company's favor if buyers do not act quickly to redeem. However, a University of Florida study notes that shorter redemption periods actually increase the redemption rate in the consumer's favor because it gives them less time for procrastination to set in.

-- New companies that want to make a break into a market can offer substantial rebate savings on their new product as a means of capturing a customer's attention. Zeus Kerravala, vice president at the Yankee Group, has said "For companies that haven't been in a particular market, the rebate that essentially refunds the customer's money is a great way to get people to pay attention to them. This is especially true in consumer electronics, where brand name does matter. It's a good way to get customers to take a chance on a new brand."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rebate_ (marketing)
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Kali Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Sep-11-11 11:58 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. oh yeah, I always figured it was data mining
and it fools people into thinking they are getting a deal while most will probably never mail the damn form, but in some cases it must work against them, I sure as hell am not buying valvoline for a while - I may even write a nasty e-mail. I almost missed that bit about the foil seal and if we were more highly motivated around here and had done the oil change yesterday or this morning before I read the rebate slip small print, it would have been tossed on the same day the boys hauled trash to the dump. I would have been REALLY irritated then.
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