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Best Buy ending rebates

Peter Rojas
Best Buy

Is Best Buy planning to kill their rebate program? They got busted last year for not honoring rebates (among other sketchiness), and now apparently they're promising to end their mail-in rebate program entirely within the next two years. Those deep rebates always seem so tempting at the time, but both electronics retailers and manufacturers deliberately make you jump through lots of hoops to file your rebate and then wait a couple of months to get your money back. They're betting that a certain percentage of people who are lured by the promise of a serious bargain won't end up bothering to file their rebates—and then there's always that nagging problem of them "losing" your rebate claim forms (we once had a Sprint rep tell us that our claim form had gotten jammed into a processing machine, which is why we never received our rebate—no joke!). Sounds like Best Buy finally realized that their byzantine rebate program was doing a really good job of alienating a certain percentage of customers, but what's not clear yet is how ending these promotions is going to affect the prices they charge for stuff. They're said to be considering some sort of points-based rewards program, but given how competitive the electronics biz is these days it's hard to imagine them not cutting their prices (at least a little bit) to replace the discounts previously offered by rebates.

[Via Slashdot]

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