Mail-in rebates

I wouldn't be surprised to find out the Devil himself came up with this idea. I just bought a computer that advertised $200 off from mail-in rebates. After VERY carefully filling them all out and preparing them (which took hours), I only got about 60% of the money back! I mean what the hell, how can they get away with this?!
I will NEVER buy anything with one of these again, b/c I refuse to get my hopes up about money that will never come (and even if it does, it takes 3 months!).


picture this my friends, if you will:

you're sitting in your favorite chair on a perfect Sunday afternoon, leisurely perusing the weekly ads in the newspaper... when you stumble upon the most beautiful cell phone in existence, gazing seductively up at you from those glossy pages. and it's only $19.99?! what luck! it's as good as mine!

oh. wait a minute. there's a block of fine print underneath that huge red "ON SALE FOR $19.99." that phone you've fallen in love with and can no longer live without actually costs $5 million up-front, WITH a new 2-year activation (whatever the fuck that even means) and a "media pack" (???); it's $19.99 after you complete these simple steps to redeem your rebate:

  1. scream in frustration and take your anger out on whatever inanimate objects are within reach

  2. go to the phone store (that is, if you're willing to pay $5 million and activate whatever the hell they're talking about activating for the next 2 years; you'll figure out this media pack nonsense later)

  3. stand in line at the store for 6 hours even if there's no one in front of you, whilst balking at the exorbitant prices on all the crap there

  4. resist every overwhelming urge to strangle the sadistic, bottom-feeding moron salesperson who clearly works on commission, ignores everything you say and keeps trying to sell you the most expensive phone in the store - along with that godforsaken 2-year activation, hundreds of dollars in worthless accessories and a "media pack" (there's that bullshit again) that costs more than your monthly mortgage and boasts enough memory to fuel NASA's supercomputers for the next 10,000 years

  5. FINALLY get your new phone and dejectedly leave the store after being humiliated and gang-raped by the inept crew of salespeople; your phone comes uncharged with directions in 67 languages you've never even heard of

  6. send the following to some sketchy P.O. box in the middle of nowhere:
    -the bar code cut out of the box your phone came in
    -the 70-page rebate form that takes a month to fill out with the assistance of an attorney, accountant, family physician, and the chief of police
    -a petition with at least 50 signatures
    -your full legal name, your next of kin and the addresses of every single place you've ever lived
    -a copy of your birth certificate, driver's license and family tree
    -social security number and all your insurance information
    -blood, urine and hair samples and a skin biopsy
    -a spare key to your house and a copy of the title to your car
    -a photograph of you from spring break, a few of those poems you wrote in high school and your 3rd-grade science experiment
    -the $100 savings bond your grandma got you when you were born
    -and a self-addressed stamped envelope... but act fast - you only have a 30-minute window to redeem your rebate after you've purchased your phone

  7. wait 5 years while your shit gets lost in the mail, found, lost again, found again, processed at the "rebate center," and sent back to you unfulfilled because you forgot to notarize everything

  8. go get everything notarized, even though you're not entirely sure what "notarize" means and how it has anything to do with a rebate. you also begin to question life as a result of this ordeal

  9. re-send your rebate stuff, though at this point you are completely emotionally and mentally exhausted and no longer even care whether you get anything back from them or not

  10. FINALLY receive your self-addressed stamped envelope after it got lost in the mail a few more times and sat on some asshole's desk for 6 weeks. it contains an already-expired coupon for 10% off your next purchase... instead of the rebate money you were "guaranteed" you'd get back.

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