SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Rebates: Get them if you can
Scripps Howard News Service


November 15, 2006

News Item: Lawmakers in New Jersey consider a ban on mail-in rebates for consumer products. Connecticut and Rhode Island have similar laws, which require stores to pay rebates at the time of purchase. Experts estimate that 40 percent of rebates are never redeemed because they're too complicated. This saves manufacturers billions of dollars per year.

Thank you for purchasing the new Widget 4000. You'll find the Widget 4000 is a super product that meets all your widget needs. Best of all, you save $100 with this simple mail-in rebate!

To redeem, you'll need the original sales receipt, your credit card receipt and the UPC bar code from the product. The UPC code is printed on a label attached to the product box with Super Glue. Cut the label off, cardboard and all, with a razor blade. (For safety reasons, we cannot process rebate requests that have blood on them.)

To fulfill your request, we'll need the following: Your name, address, age, phone number, credit card number, ATM number, driver's license number, Social Security number, vehicle identification number, library card number, computer password, childhood nickname, blood type and the names of any prescription medications you're currently taking.

We'll need the same information from your spouse, if any. If you have a firstborn male child, we'll need his information, too. If you do not have a firstborn male child, please enclose a written explanation.

Please include the following information as well: Where you purchased your Widget 4000, how much you paid for it, why you chose that store and how much commission the salesman made. This information must be accompanied by a short essay explaining why you chose the Widget 4000 over similar products.

(Rebate requests that do not include the essay will be considered null and void. The Widget 4000 Corp. retains rights to all written material and may use your testimonial in advertisements without seeking your permission first.)

All your information should be hand-printed on an unlined sheet of legal-sized typing paper. (Lined paper, indecipherable handwriting or crooked margins will result in disqualification.)

Accompanying artwork will not be returned.

Use of profane language will make the request null and void. This is to protect our workers.

If you have retained a lawyer to help you seek your rebate, please include the lawyer's name, address and whether s/he is allergic to peanuts. If you are a lawyer yourself, we require that all the above steps be accomplished while performing a handstand.

Since our fulfillment center is in Thessaloniki, all requested information should be written in Greek. (If you actually speak Greek, then we meant Malay.)

All items must be placed in a plain white envelope exactly 3.5 by 27 inches. Using the wrong sized envelope will void your request.

The front of the envelope must bear only the address listed below. Write your return address on the back in a simple alphabet-replacement code where A equals 1, B equals 2, etc. Write the numbers upside-down and left-handed.

Correct postage must be attached. Postage should be paid in Algerian dinars. No exceptions will be allowed.

The envelope must be mailed to our fulfillment center by midnight of the date 30 days after your purchase. Make that exactly at midnight. Yeah, we like that better.

Processing takes about 90 days. If you do not hear from our fulfillment center within 120 days, you should stand on your head and hum "Chattanooga Choo-Choo" until someone slaps you.

Or you should move to New Jersey.


Redding, Calif., author Steve Brewer's latest book is called "Bank Job."
Contact him at ABQBrewer(at)
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Scripps Howard News Service,

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Ketchikan, Alaska