This story from the Sunday Oregonian caught my eye today. It contains so many financial lessons about rebates, how our minds work when it comes to using rebates, and the power of polite preseverance even when we're in the wrong.
I am a rebate-queen. While I understand that some corporations count on buyer inertia to keep many from applying for their rebates, they won't make money off Grace. I read the rebate forms carefully, cut out all the necessary UPC codes (Yes, my darling children, that explains the holes in the boxes of your birthday gifts!) and mail everything the day I make the purchase. I even xerox the forms and attachments before I put the rebate in the mail. Then I track the rebate online.
But at least once, I fell into Brent's trap of not using the rebate card when it came in the mail. Checks are different--I deposit those immediately. Why? I couldn't tell you. It's the perverse way my mind works--checks are meant to be deposited; Gift cards? Sure, I should use them right away. But I don't always, and I sometimes lose money when I delay.
What I haven't done in the past (but will, I hope, do in the future) is ask for the gift card to be credited anyway. It just never occurred to me, but Brent is right--what is there to lose by asking?
Several good lessons to be learned here.