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  1. Kasracer's Avatar
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    Angry The BlackBerry Bold Mail-In-Rebate... isn't a rebate!?

    So I finally received my "rebate" in the mail for my Bold when I noticed it's a... debit card? What the **** is this? I've never heard of a mail-in-rebate being in the form of a gift card.

    Sprint and T-Mobile always sent me checks. Has AT&T always done this?
  2. bleeps's Avatar
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    It's what they do now. It was in the fine print when you bought the phone.
  3. Kasracer's Avatar
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    What fine print? I purchased the phone in store and none of their tags or promotional materials that I saw said anything about this. No one told me either and the only "print" given to me was after the ran the transaction and I had to sign it (I browsed through it but didn't see anything that jumped out at me; I assumed it was the contract and had nothing to do with the rebate).

    Is it in the contract or something?

    Edit: Just looked at their site and it shows "Promotional Card" next to their phones but I didn't see that at the store.
  4. bleeps's Avatar
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    Good point. I never buy phones at the store, so I don't really know. I seem to remember it being in the fine print of the rebate form, though.
  5. bklynbruiser's Avatar
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    ATT is hoping that you will use it to pay a portion of your bill.. So they get the money anyway...
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  6. stuaw11's Avatar
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    i dont see the huge deal, just use it on gas, groceries, etc. instead of cash from your pocket. It basically offsets in the end
  7. Kasracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stuaw11 View Post
    i dont see the huge deal, just use it on gas, groceries, etc. instead of cash from your pocket. It basically offsets in the end
    That's the thing; you can't use it for everything. You can't use it for gas (gas stations don't allow any gift cards at pumps as you can keep going but they can't overcharge the card).

    The card also expires 4 months after you receive it. God forbid if you don't want to spend it right away.

    I would rather deposit it into my bank account and use my credit card for those things. That way I pay my credit card off, get points towards getting quarterly checks from my credit card company.

    The point is AT&T is one of the only companies I know that actually practice this. A rebate is defined as "a refund of some fraction of the amount paid". I didn't pay with a gift card; I shouldn't get one back. There is even a class action lawsuit against AT&T in California over this issue (it was filed in 2007 and I believe may still be going on; I can't find any resolution on it).

    It's just very anti-consumer, in my opinion.
  8. FTWrath's Avatar
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    Uhm sorry to break it to you but it's ALWAYS been a gift card.
    LGCU500 = Debit Rebate
    Curve 8310 = Debit Rebate
    Bold 9000 = Debit Rebate (Still waiting for it)
    3 years ago it was a debit card, 3 years from now it will be a debit card.
    Spends no different than cash.
    Also, there is a picture of the AT&T debit card you will be getting on the rebate form you filled out. And it also says how you will be receiving the money on that very debit card.
    Last edited by FTWrath; 04-24-2009 at 10:30 PM.
  9. crackgirly's Avatar
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    Same way with my Curve I bought. I've never heard of this practice, either.
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  10. Coo
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    Well, now I know what to expect when I finally get my rebate, haha.
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  11. AngelRock's Avatar
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    I had always gotten a check w/ verizon, up until my last one for a voyager. I got the debit card too, totally lame!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
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    Always has been a gift card and the rebate form always said it would be paid to you as a gift card.....

    Besides you can use it just like a credit card.
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    I've gotten 7 of these since the beginning of the year (out of 10 MIRs). They're a pain in the *** and I usually just make a "donation" to my PayPal account to get rid of them. I eat 3% but it's worth it to avoid the inconvenience of using two cards.
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  14. sailzfast's Avatar
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    This seems to be a growing practice for business. Got a rebate card for my Curve, and just got a $10.00 rebate card after purchasing $80.00 in printer ink at Staples. There must be some financial incentive for companies to do this, or they wouldn't.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  15. readingteacher05's Avatar
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    I got a gift card for my curve and hubbie's pearl. I am with alltel--about to be verizon

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    Verizon sends out a Visa debit card...it can be used anywhere. I know at one point AT&T sent out a card only able to be used at AT&T but im pretty sure they are sending out the Visas now, too. If it is Visa branded u can use it anywhere.
  17. Mr. Chitlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sailzfast View Post
    There must be some financial incentive for companies to do this, or they wouldn't.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    The "financial incentive" is that if you don't use it in the allotted time, they keep the money and all you have is a piece of worthless plastic. I saw on the news a while back about the millions and millions of dollars of gift cards that are never used for various reasons, lost, expired, etc.

    If they send you a check for the $$, they know that money is gone forever.
    Last edited by Mr. Chitlin; 04-25-2009 at 08:43 PM.
  18. Ms.Coutureone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasracer View Post
    That's the thing; you can't use it for everything. You can't use it for gas (gas stations don't allow any gift cards at pumps as you can keep going but they can't overcharge the card).

    The card also expires 4 months after you receive it. God forbid if you don't want to spend it right away.

    I would rather deposit it into my bank account and use my credit card for those things. That way I pay my credit card off, get points towards getting quarterly checks from my credit card company.

    The point is AT&T is one of the only companies I know that actually practice this. A rebate is defined as "a refund of some fraction of the amount paid". I didn't pay with a gift card; I shouldn't get one back. There is even a class action lawsuit against AT&T in California over this issue (it was filed in 2007 and I believe may still be going on; I can't find any resolution on it).

    It's just very anti-consumer, in my opinion.
    T-Mobile and U.S Cellular does this as well, AT&T is not the only company, most of the company's are now using the prepaid visa cards. Also AT&T has been doing this for a while now over 2 years.
  19. Kasracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTWrath View Post
    Also, there is a picture of the AT&T debit card you will be getting on the rebate form you filled out. And it also says how you will be receiving the money on that very debit card.
    Quote Originally Posted by papped View Post
    Always has been a gift card and the rebate form always said it would be paid to you as a gift card.....
    Ugh, I did not see this. When I hear rebate, I assume rebate. Bah, I guess this is my own fault but I really think it's deceptive.
    Quote Originally Posted by papped View Post
    Besides you can use it just like a credit card.
    As I already pointed out this is not true....
    Quote Originally Posted by sailzfast View Post
    There must be some financial incentive for companies to do this, or they wouldn't.
    There is. Not only do you have to fill out all of the paper work you finally get it 2 months later and since it expires (plus it can be a ***** trying to use the full amount) they can easily get some or most of their money back that they sent you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ms.Coutureone View Post
    T-Mobile and U.S Cellular does this as well, AT&T is not the only company, most of the company's are now using the prepaid visa cards. Also AT&T has been doing this for a while now over 2 years.
    Damn. When I was first with T-Mobile was back when the Sidekick 2 was released and I received a check. That sucks. I received a Sprint rebate about 5 months ago so I know that they still send out checks.
  20. fabuloso's Avatar
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    lol. Sprint denied my rebate after I took my third line and used it to buy the curve, and made the curve my primary phone. lol, oh well, i went to AT&T, so who cares.
  21. newbierry's Avatar
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    We got rebate cards for first time back in december.. With Alltel. Always was a check in the past. The worst part is when you have less on the card than what you are purchasing. You need to tell them to put the payment through at 71cents or whatever is left. Pretty crappy i think. (didn't notice any expiration on our cards. Better recheck them)

    But i know that retailers have to pay a fee whenever someone purchases something with a credit card/debit card. Maybe that is how they make their money. Visa gives them a deal on the cards.
  22. JonB's Avatar
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    As strange as it sounds, we actually got a lot of complaints when checks were used as rebates. People would complain about a couple aspects, the most common "I don't have a checking account! What am I supposed to do with this check!" Then there was "Why do they send you a check? Now I have to go out of my way to stop at the bank and waste my time." Rebate cards allow for instant use. On a side note, AT&T doesn't use them because "they are hoping you'll spend the money at AT&T", where you get the money, or what allotment of your money you actually give to them is of no concern. Rebates do not increase the likelyhood of you spending more at AT&T. One key factor that I think people are missing in regards to AT&T using rebates is that they aren't funded by AT&T, the money comes from the manufacturer. Contrary to what people say, they don't want you to not send it in, because they(AT&T) don't gain anything from you not getting the rebate. I don't think any form of rebate would make everyone happy, plain and simple, but retailers will continue to use them regardless.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
  23. FishbuIb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasracer View Post
    That's the thing; you can't use it for everything. You can't use it for gas (gas stations don't allow any gift cards at pumps as you can keep going but they can't overcharge the card).
    It isn't a gift card, it's a debit card. You can use it for gas, I know I have. When you swipe it at the pump it knows the total left on the card, and won't give you any more gas than what you have.

    Either way, some people don't like checks, some don't like the debit cards.
  24. Kasracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonB View Post
    As strange as it sounds, we actually got a lot of complaints when checks were used as rebates. People would complain about a couple aspects, the most common "I don't have a checking account! What am I supposed to do with this check!" Then there was "Why do they send you a check? Now I have to go out of my way to stop at the bank and waste my time." Rebate cards allow for instant use.
    Both ways inconvenience the customer. Do away with both; problem solved.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonB View Post
    they aren't funded by AT&T, the money comes from the manufacturer.
    Not true. If the rebates were funded by the manufacturer then you would get them without signing a contract. All rebate processes work the same way: The company offering the rebate (AT&T) gives Company X a certain amount of money (usually a percentage of the total number of possible rebates as many don't bother filling them out). Company X then processes all rebates as if they're from AT&T. They validate and send out the money AT&T previously gave them.

    These are not manufacturer rebates.
    Quote Originally Posted by JonB View Post
    I don't think any form of rebate would make everyone happy, plain and simple, but retailers will continue to use them regardless.
    Actually, instant rebates make everyone happy. They are applied instantly before you even pay meaning you never lose your money. Also, there are big moves in the retail space to get rid of rebates. Sure huge companies love them because they can advertise one price but usually get more than that from their customers but there have been many class action lawsuits and it becomes such a headache for customers and companies alike. There are companies that don't give a crap about their customers but occasionally some companies do.

    Did you know Best Buy has almost completely done away with mail in rebates? I believe they're down to just manufacturer rebates at this point. Newegg and Tiger Direct are also moving away from them (Tiger Direct's parent company bought CompUSA and re-opened 30 stores; they also bought Circuit City).

    They will go away eventually, I can guarantee that. It may take another 10-20 years, however...
    Quote Originally Posted by FishbuIb View Post
    It isn't a gift card, it's a debit card.
    Works the same as the Visa gift card; it's just called "Promotion Card". It's labeled debit because it has $XXX backing the card rather than credit. It's not "reloadable".
    Quote Originally Posted by FishbuIb View Post
    When you swipe it at the pump it knows the total left on the card, and won't give you any more gas than what you have.
    Not all of the pumps. I found one place in PA that allowed this (they actually allowed it as credit so they would have no idea how much you had left) but I have yet to visit a gas station in MD or DE that allowed this (choosing Visa or Debit; I always get a denied message due to it being a "gift card"). Visa has terms and conditions on their gift cards (which this is considered) and you can't always use it for the samethings.
    Quote Originally Posted by FishbuIb View Post
    Either way, some people don't like checks, some don't like the debit cards.
    So... why not do it both ways? ****, why not get rid of the entire rebate process to begin with? I would rather keep my money than get it back in the form of a gift card or check in 2-4 months.

    Instead of trying to please everyone; just nix the entire process instead of inconviencing the customer.
  25. stuaw11's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kasracer View Post
    Ugh, I did not see this. When I hear rebate, I assume rebate. Bah, I guess this is my own fault but I really think it's deceptive.
    As I already pointed out this is not true....
    There is. Not only do you have to fill out all of the paper work you finally get it 2 months later and since it expires (plus it can be a ***** trying to use the full amount) they can easily get some or most of their money back that they sent you.Damn. When I was first with T-Mobile was back when the Sidekick 2 was released and I received a check. That sucks. I received a Sprint rebate about 5 months ago so I know that they still send out checks.
    if it has the visa logo on it then it works as a credit card up to the amount on the card, period. It wouldnt have the logo on it if it didnt act like a Visa. It does debit too like a debit card, again, up to the card amount. I dunno why youre arguing what type of VISA it is. Debit OR credit you swipe it like a real card and its good up to the amount on the card. Yes, some gas stations you cant do it at the pump but you can go in the station and use it there. Works at all retail stores like any other credit/debit card

    The card doesnt expire for months from the time its put in the mail- I have 2 in front of me and they dont expire for 5 or 6 months after you get them. So theres not much chance itll expire unless you forget to use it. Which i cant see if you pay bills or buy food or gas for your car. Just use it up right away doing that stuff and youll never forget.

    Again i dont see the big up in arms here. Cash is cash is cash. Whats the difference if you get a $100 check and put it in your bank account and then go buy $80 of groceries and $20 of gas, or you use the card and save your cash in your account? Its the same money either way.

    Carriers dont use instant rebates because they hope people will forget to use them. Thats on the customer to actually use the rebate, not the carrier for people forgetting to.
    Last edited by stuaw11; 04-26-2009 at 04:13 PM.
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