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Rebates: the Business Process that will Never be Re-engineered

Winnie Mirchandani started a series of posts on business processes that badly need “angioplasty“.   Processing rebates is certainly a most convoluted process – unfortunately by design.  As Business Week points out, 40% of all rebates never get redeemed  – and the industry counts on it.  

  • My best rebate experience:
    • Costco.  Simple, online rebate processing, prompt payment, online audit available for years.
  • Worst rebate experience:
    • Handspring

      (The Palm spinoff reunited with Palm again).  Sent in not only

      paperwork, but an actual, working older Palm III as trade-in

      unit.  The $100 rebate never arrived, not even after numerous

      phone-calls and emails.  They demanded copies of everything – but

      of course I can’s just copy the trade-in unit.  My

      loss:  $100 rebate, $50 trade-in value for the old Palm, about a

      full day of my time fighting the bureaucracy.   Did they lose

      me as a customer?  No.. still purchased all subsequent Treo

      models:-(

Christmas shopping season is here, and we’re

all loyal players in the Grand Customer Deception game … I’m afraid the

angioplasty won’t be performed any time soon.

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Comments

  1. Process Angioplasty: Rebates – Round 3? 4? n…

    Winnie Mirchandani started a series of posts on business processes that badly need “angioplasty”.   Processing rebates is certainly a most convoluted process – unfortunately often by design.  Here’s another classic case, served up by…

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  1. […] Processing rebates is certainly a most convoluted process – unfortunately often by design.  Why?  It’s simple, 40% of rebates never get redeemed, says Business […]

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