HP Launches 'Paperless' Rebates

Hewlett Packard has announced its customers now have the option to redeem rebates online when purchasing consumer technology products at the HP Home & Home Office Store. The "paperless" rebate program gives U.S. customers the option to redeem their rebates by entering their order number and billing zip code online instead of completing a mail-in rebate form. "Our customers were asking us for a way to simplify the paperwork process, so this is what we decided to do," said Cindy Zelanis, director of operations for HP Home Store.

The Palo Alto, California-based company also expects that the online program will speed up the rebate process overall since it currently takes about eight to 10 weeks ("at the longest," Zelanis said) for a customer to receive the rebate credit. "The HP Home Store continually gathers feedback from our customers in order to improve their online experience; they told us that they wanted a simpler rebate program. We responded by providing customers with the option to quickly and easily submit rebates online so that they can enjoy a simpler and more convenient shopping experience," said Sam Taylor, senior vice president, Consumer Direct, HP.

News source: eWeek

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This is for their Home and Home Office store, it is their store and no middleman...so instead of offering online submitted rebate why not just deduct it from the cart. Oh I know why, cause they hope the consumer will forget and that is just extra money then for them. Rebates are outdated. For rebates to work Manufacturer and Stores need to work together. Store sells it at price it would be with rebate, then the store says ok manufacturer I sold this many so you reimburse us this; that way the advertised price is what it is and you don't have to see the little asterisk. Gee so simple yet they all bank on the fact that the consumer is going to forget to fill out the rebate.

I don't understand why there isn't a store that makes an arrangement with the rebate provider to submit and collect on behalf of the customer. They could then offer customers "you can fight with submitting the rebate yourself, or you can have 80% of its value as an immediate discount."

The effect would be similar to the tax-prep shops which will give you some money now in exchange for taking your tax rebate in two weeks time when it gets paid out.

For good reliable store or manufacture rebates, there's no need to "fight", i.e., worst case you call the rebate center then the check comes. For problematic, shaky rebates, it doesn't matter if you fight or not, you won't get them.

chilliadus said,
For good reliable store or manufacture rebates, there's no need to "fight", i.e., worst case you call the rebate center then the check comes. For problematic, shaky rebates, it doesn't matter if you fight or not, you won't get them.

Well, there are two issues:

-Some people just don't want to wait.

-Some people expect that rebate submissions will end up getting them on eternal junk-mail lists (Hey! Viewsonic! Guess why I bought a Samsung SyncMaster? The 15 emails you sent me in the first two years of my last new monitor's life were not welcome!)

-Some people work on a fixed budget, particularly those who don't want to buy on credit. If the rebate size is large, it can make the difference between a sale and a non-sale. If I only have $250 to spend, I won't buy a $260 item, even with a $50 rebate. But if they say "you can get the $50 rebate in six weeks, or you can get a $40 discount now", I might well buy.