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Complaints About Rebates On The Rise

Bait-and-Switch Rebates Feed Company Profits

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Industry figures show that 40 percent to 60 percent of rebates go unredeemed. While some of the rebates are not redeemed because consumers do not bother to send them in, in all too many cases even the most diligent consumer is unable to receive their rebate.

"Rebates are extraordinarily popular for the very reason that most of them go unredeemed and provide what is essentially free money to the manufacturers." says U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer.

Rebates make up big business. According to Business Week, nearly one-third of all computer equipment is sold with some kind of rebate along with 20 percent of digital cameras, camcorders and LCD TV's. The industry estimates that 400 million rebates are offered each year with an estimated worth of $6 billion.

"People go into stores with the promise of getting money back, and months later they still haven't seen checks." says Schumer.

Rebates are extraordinarily popular for the very reason that most of them go unredeemed and provide what is essentially free money to the manufacturers. Very few places offer immediate cash rebates, the most common are those that are done through the mail.

While rebates have grown in popularity as a sales incentive, so have the complaints to The Better Business Bureau, which receives thousands of complaints regarding rebates each year.

More: How to Avoid the Rebate Rip-Off

Sources: U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer and the FTC

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