40-60% of rebates go unclaimed every year according to this article. Well, I can promise you this blogger will be in the 60-40% of claimed rebates. Or 40-60%. I’ve confused myself.

The point is, I’m mailing in a rebate tomorrow.

Is there anything worse than a mail in rebate? I’d like to walk you through the process of my $30 mail in rebate for the graphics card I purchased today as a solution to my computer problem. I found a nice graphics card that vastly improves my entire system for $39.99 (after a $30 mail in rebate) and is way better than sending my computer away for 2-4 weeks for a minor problem.

However, in order to claim this rebate, I have to jump through flaming rings of fire while carrying ice cube trays to the freezer without spilling. (That’s a joke; I have an automatic ice maker in my apartment)

Here is the mail-in rebate process I have to go through for my measly 30 bucks:

  1. Open a PDF at this siteFairly simple. I’m liking this process
  2. The PDF tells me to register at this siteWhy didn’t they just send me here initially. Seems like step one could have been avoided entirely
  3. Claim my rebate with an offer codeAgain, why do I have to enter anything? Just give me a link that sends the offer code please. I asked nicely
  4. Click through about 6 screens validating that I want this rebateIf this rebate process were a person, he would be as interesting as Ben Stein
  5. Register for my rebate by choosing a service level option: “No-Wait” or “Wait Forever”This is my favorite part. Let me elaborate

I have the option to ask for a prepaid Visa debit card, which will be sent to me within about 7 days of them receiving my complete form. However, if I want this immediate service, I will only get $27, and they will keep $3 for being so nice as to offer the rebate in a timely manner. I also have the option of getting the full $30 in a check, but I’ll basically have to wait until my first daughter’s sweet sixteen before I see a check (note: my theoretical daughter isn’t even born yet). I chose the debit card because I’m impatient and I would probably lose the check before I deposited it anyway.

Here’s what kills me about this though: They are coming right out and admitting that they are fully capable of processing this request within a matter of days, but that would be too convenient, so they will arbitrarily make you wait if you want the full $30 rebate. Gee, thanks ASUS! I’m glad you value me so much as a customer that you’re happy to withhold my rebate for a few months, just because you can.

Do you remember what step I was on? I forget. Let’s start back at 1.

  1. Now that I’ve confirmed I really only want a $27 rebate, I have to mail in a signed rebate form, a receipt, and the UPC off the boxWhat? No social security card? This is way easier than the last rebate I filled out
  2. Additional Instructions on the Rebate Form include: “Affix the barcode to this form” and “Use the following mailing label”I lied. This is my favorite part. More elaboration
    A Mail in Rebate Form with very specific instructions

    Step 86: Use a Statue of Liberty stamp. Any other stamp will void the rebate

    They can find my receipt just fine as it floats around unencumbered by this “affix here” stipulation. However, when it comes to the UPC, well that’s a completely different story. That darn thing could be anywhere inside the 4 1/8″ by 9 1/2″ envelope! (note the sarcasm).

    Finally, they seriously don’t trust me to copy an address properly. Did you notice the big bolded letters?

    IMPORTANT – Envelopes without a proper label may not be delivered and processed.

    Is there a better chance I copy the address wrong, or that I don’t tape the label on well enough and it falls off sometime before the letter is delivered? My guess is the latter. Anyway, you’ve noticed I cut out the label to use on the envelope. Unfortunately, I DON”T HAVE ANY SCOTCH TAPE! Woe is me. Woe. Is. Me.

    Finally back to the final step. I think it’s #36.

    • Mail everything (USING THE LABEL!) and allow 1-2 weeks after mailing to receive an update on your statusI don’t even own a freaking envelope. I think the rebate people and the envelope people are in cahoots.

    So that’s it. Theoretically I will have a $27 Visa debit card in the next few weeks after I find an envelope and some tape. I’ll let you know if it ever comes. In the meantime today’s Thousandaire Question is pretty simple: have you ever purchased an item because of a mail-in rebate? Then have you ever forgotten (aka were too lazy) to pull everything together and mail in the rebate?