07 November 2007

Your rebate. Unusable

When I bought my new phone from Cingular, no wait, The New AT&T, about 6 months ago, there was a "rebate" associated with it. I hate that - just take the money off the damned phone.

Well, we all know why they do that - not 100% of the people go to the hassle of filling out the paperwork, and then they make it such a hassle (enclose a certified copy of your sister's birth certificate licked by your neighbor's toddler smeared in bat guano) that they usually manage to find a way to send you a letter saying "Whoops! Sorry! You made an error! Too bad!"

Now they have figured out a way to keep some of their rebate money even when you have jumped through all the hoops. The "gift card" or "reward card" Visa debit card. Oh, well, not a bad idea. I guess. It arrived giving me about 3 months to use it. I would really rather have had a check.
No, it fucking sucks.
It does not work for online purchases, gas, at Target, etc. It only works at the grocery store. I have a wallet that only holds 5 cards (e.g., Driver's license, ATM, AMEX, Medical Insurance, work AMEX). So taking this damned thing into the store actually requires effort. You will see I even wrote on it what the balance remaining was, to remind me to use it.
Of course, I did not use it in time. And lost $41.55. So AT&T won big with me. But think of this: If each person who received one could not get the balance below, say, $5.00, that's a pretty good chunk of change.
Good business, financially. Bad business on the customer relations side. I smell a class-action lawsuit in the distance.