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Netgear Rebate Ripoff - Comments

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I quit using rebates as a qualifier for buying products a long time ago. It just wasn't worth the hassle to jump through the various hoops only to have the redemption people decline it for whatever reason and not return my original documents.

"Rebates" seem to be a distinctly US thing. At least, they're certainly not common in the UK (I'm not sure I've ever seen one), where simple discounting is the norm. Personally, I'd be suspicious of a rebate - I'd expect getting the money to be a complete hassle, since if the seller actually wanted to cut the price they'd just cut the price. "Sales pressure" can be created by advertising the cut price as for a limited time (as is common in supermarkets), and I can't believe it's really that difficult to change the price of stock you have, bricks-and-mortar retailers here do it all the time. (Maybe there's some legal difference that impedes US retailers doing the same?)

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Not that I can think of. I think it's more likely they're counting on only having to actually pay out x% of the rebates when someone doesn't dot an I or cross a T (or submit it in time). -rc

I've had similar problems with Netgear and Amazon before. I now copy the proof of purchase/barcode before sending it in, and that has sometimes been accepted (even though the rebate says 'original upc only') if I have to re-submit. I've also gotten Amazon to take back an item (once) with no upc after their rebate forms were denied.

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Then I'm glad I'm shedding some light on their broken processes. This needs to be fixed! -rc

Netgear screwed me the same way a few years ago, and I quit buying their products. Their routers are trash. I also quit recommending their products, which has cost them a significant number of sales. Their customer service is even worse than their rebate service, if that's possible.

However, I also have a ReadyNAS, and it's been very reliable for several years. Currently awaiting a firmware upgrade so I can continue to use it to backup my Mac, because TimeMachine on Lion won't work with a network drive. To their credit, they've already released a beta version of the firmware.

Manufactures use rebates in lieu of a discount to the stores as the stores may simply buy up stock that they would have bought over the following period and then don't always discount to the end consumer. This increases the retail profit but not the manufacturer's overall sales. Thus short term manufacturers sales increase and may have no effect on their annual sales.

A rebate will directly have an effect on sales as the consumer will buy that item over another similar item that does not have one. After the rebate period is over all stores' prices remain relative as no store will have stock bought at a discount.

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Thanks for helping to fill out my brief explanation! -rc

When it comes to rebates, I base my buying decision on the pre-rebate price. If I get the rebate, I consider it a bonus.

Brand A - $400
Brand B - $425, but has a $50 rebate for an end price of $375

Chances are, I'm buying Brand A. Rebates just aren't worth it.

I'll second Roger in Colorado's comment about Netgear routers. Without getting into too much technical detail, I had one of their routers actually break Internet routing on me. Whenever I visited a page that didn't exist, I'd end up on my own website and nothing I tried or they asked me to try could fix it. It was very frustrating.

If you find yourself in the market for another storage system, I've been incredibly happy with my Synology system. The "killer app" for the box is one I didn't expect -- it does automated "cloud" backup to Amazon S3. The only real downside is the price -- they are not cheap but they are definitely worth the money.

Posted this to digg: http://digg.com/news/business/netgear_rebate_ripoff

Let's see if we can't get some publicity going for this!

Interesting story. I gave up on rebates a long time ago. I buys the prouct, pays the money and am done with it. Not worth the hassle... even the big ones.

I use rebates all the time, and I have so far about a 98% success rate. I keep copies of everything I send in, keep track of what is due and when and it always seems to work. I suppose I average $300-400 a year in rebates.

My main beef is the new rebates that come as a prepaid credit card - usually AMEX - which are uncashable at banks and many retailers don't take.

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When I get those -- especially when I get a new cell phone -- I immediately log into my cell phone account and apply the debit card rebate to my account, and then toss it. -rc

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