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An interesting article below. Just another way we all get ripped off and the government allows it.
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When a rebate isn’t a rebate — it’s a ripoff
Mitch Lipka Sep 28th 2009 at 12:00PM

Filed under: Ripoffs and Scams, Shopping, Consumer Ally
They call them “rebate” cards. But they’re hardly a rebate. Instead, they are a mechanism to take millions of dollars due to consumers and give them back to the companies.

“Rebate cards are a colossal ripoff because sellers who long ago figured out how to make rebates difficult to obtain have now found a clever way to make them difficult to spend too,” said consumer advocate Edgar Dworsky, who runs the web site ConsumerWorld.org. “These are just inherently deceptive the way they are advertised.”

They are considered so deceptive that Canada recently issued guidelines to stop companies from using the word rebate when issuing consumers a card instead of a check.

Use of rebate cards is growing rapidly. In 2008, more than $4 billion worth were issued — up more than 50 percent over 2007, according to CreditCards.com.

Not only are these cards not actual rebates — although a handful of companies allow consumers to draw cash from them at ATMs — they come with hurdles that will keep all but the most industrious users from spending the full amount
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“The consumer has to go to the web site of the issuer and put in the password and find out how much money is left. If you go to the retailer without knowing the exact amount on the card they can’t take the card,” said Barbara Anthony, undersecretary of the Massachusetts Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation.. “We are leaving money on the table that belongs to us because some retailers make it very difficult to find out what’s left on the cards. Millions of people across the country have these cards.”

Little government action has been taken so far about the cards in the U.S. partly because of how silently the money is drained away from the consumer and back to the company.

Mitch Katz, a spokesman for the FTC said, said his agency is aware of the issue and welcomes any consumer complaints about problems with the cards.

AT&T, which issues the cards in certain offers with its wireless phones, took a hit earlier this year when New York Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo announced he had reached a $2.63 million agreement with the company over “a misleading and deceptive sales promotion involving rebate offers that were fulfilled with onerous and condition-laden rebate cards.”

Massachusetts’ Anthony is particularly concerned, because of the growth in the use of these cards at the expense of the time-honored rebate — the actual return of money by check or deduction at the register. At first glance, these cards might seem like a reasonable alternate way to get back the promised money, but once you get one it’s pretty clear it isn’t.

Anthony has been hearing increasing complaints from consumers about these cards. Unlike store gift cards, which show you a balance remaining on your receipt, the balances on these cards cannot be seen or determined at the store.

So, if you have $25 left and try to spend $25.01 the card will be rejected. No mechanism is offered to allow the $25 to go through and the consumer pay the penny difference. To add insult to the insult, the cards often carry fees that can be drawn from them without the consumer’s knowledge and can expire in as little as 120 days, as AT&T’s do.

“It’s hard to take a lot of money from people – but it’s very easy to take small amounts of money from millions of people,” Anthony said.

WalletPop used one of the cards and found just the situation Anthony described. It is nearly impossible to drain the card of its full value. Two other consumer officials told WalletPop that they, too, were stuck with these cards in their wallets. The trick to using them is going to a store, such as Target, that allows so-called split tender transactions. You need to know the value of what’s left on the card and apply that first, then pay whatever else is left by another method. Otherwise, the transaction will get rejected.

” When most people think about rebates they don’t really think about a debit card,” Anthony said. “They’re thinking cash. This is something that has been fixed in our minds for generations.”

That same sort of thinking led the Canadian government this month to let companies know that they don’t consider the cards to be rebates and should not be marketed as such.

“We felt that gift cards couldn’t be considered to be a rebate because they were not applicable to the end price of the product for which the rebate is being offered,” said Madeleine Dussault, an assistant deputy commissioner in Canada’s Competition Bureau — similar to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission.

The issue over the cards in Canada stemmed mostly from trying to protect consumers from being misled, she said. A rebate, Dussault said, should involve the reduction of the price of a product either at the register or later by check. Companies can issue the cards, she said, they just can’t call them a rebate. They are gift cards, she said, and should be called that.

Some companies, such as Cooper Tire, explain in their rebate ads that Canadians will be issued checks, and U.S. customers will get the cards.

Source

Tags: att, Competition bureau, CompetitionBureau, consumer affairs, consumer ally, ConsumerAffairs, ConsumerAlly, consumerworld, federal trade commission, FederalTradeCommission, ftc, massachusetts, prepaid debit, PrepaidDebit, rebate, rebate card, RebateCard

See full article from WalletPop: http://srph.it/c9AoV6

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It never ceases to amaze me how our government spends money hand over fist for illegal immigrants. It is a slap in the face to all taxpayers and legal immigrants who have taken the steps needed to stay and live here. Take a look:
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Links to check out: Cost of Illegal Immigration , Immigration and Welfare and The high cost of cheap labor

A Real Eye Opener

WHY is the USA BANKRUPT?

Informative, and mind boggling!

You think the war in Iraq is costing us too much? Read this:

Boy, was I confused. I have been hammered with the propaganda that it is the Iraq war and the war on terror that is bankrupting us.

I now find that to be RIDICULOUS.

I hope the following 14 reasons are forwarded over and over again until they are read so many times that the reader gets sick of reading them. I also have included the URL’s for verification of all the following facts…

1. $11 Billion to $22 billion is spent on welfare to illegal aliens each year by state governments.

Verify at: http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters7fd8

2. $2.2 Billion dollars a year is spent on food assistance programs such as food stamps, WIC, and free school lunches for illegal aliens.

Verify at: http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.HTML

3. $2.5 Billion dollars a year is spent on Medicaid for illegal aliens.

Verify at: http://www.cis.org/articles/2004/fiscalexec.HTML

4. $12 Billion dollars a year is spent on primary and secondary school education for children here illegally and they cannot speak a word of English!

Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt..0.HTML

5. $17 Billion dollars a year is spent for education for the American-born children of illegal aliens, known as anchor babies.

Verify at http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML

6. $3 Million Dollars a DAY is spent to incarcerate illegal aliens.

Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/%20TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML

7. 30% percent of all Federal Prison inmates are illegal aliens.

Verify at: http://transcripts.CNN.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML

8. $90 Billion Dollars a year is spent on illegal aliens for Welfare & social services by the American taxpayers.

Verify at: http://premium.cnn.com/TRANSCIPTS/0610/29/ldt.01.HTML

9. $200 Billion dollars a year in suppressed American wages are caused by the illegal aliens.

Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSC%20RI%20PTS/0604/01/ldt.01.HTML

10. The illegal aliens in the United States have a crime rate that’s two and a half times that of white non-illegal aliens. In particular, their children, are going to make a huge additional crime problem in the US .

Verify at: http://transcripts.cnn..com/TRANSCRIPTS/0606/12/ldt..01.HTML

11. During the year of 2005 there were 4 to 10 MILLION illegal aliens that crossed our Southern Border also, as many as 19,500 illegal aliens from Terrorist Countries.. Millions of pounds of drugs, cocaine, meth, heroin and marijuana, crossed into the US from the Southern border.

Verify at: Homeland Security Report:

12. The National policy Institute, estimated that the total cost of mass deportation would be between $206 and $230 billion or an average cost of between $41 and $46 billion annually over a five year period.’

Verify at: http://www.nationalpolicyinstitute…org/PDF/deportation..PDF

13. In 2006 illegal aliens sent home $45 BILLION in remittances to their countries of origin.

Verify at: http://www/..rense.com/general75/niht.htm

14.. ‘The Dark Side of Illegal Immigration: Nearly One million sex crimes Committed by Illegal Immigrants In The United States .’

Verify at: http: // http://www.drdsk.com/articleshtml http://ww/%20w.drdsk.com/articleshtml

The total cost is a whopping $ 338.3 BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR AND IF YOU’RE LIKE ME HAVING TROUBLE UNDERSTANDING THIS AMOUNT OF MONEY; IT IS $338,300,000,000.00 WHICH WOULD BE ENOUGH TO STIMULATE THE ECONOMY FOR THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY.

Are we THAT stupid? YES, FOR LETTING THOSE IN THE U.S.CONGRESS GET AWAY WITH LETTING THIS HAPPEN YEAR AFTER YEAR!!!!!

Uncle Sam wants you to Fire Congress !

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Try blog explosion.

Don’t use Blazing Keywords, it’s a scam. they won’t answer the phone, they charge $39 to your card (credit or debit) and you cannot recover it. They keep taking unless you cancel the card. I’m still waiting for my money back. I didn’t sign up for it and am still unsure how they retreived my card info but they got it. be careful. It may be attached to the fine print and/or trial offer to something else you buy online.

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Sneaky ways they take your money. The only way to get it stopped is to cancel your credit/debit card. They won’t answer the phone, you’re put on hold.

http://800notes.com/Phone.aspx/1-866-200-5473/3

Be careful what you click on or buy online.

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