FTC Scolds Retailers for Shady Rebates

Physician's Money Digest, October 2005, Volume 12, Issue 14

MarketWatch

Even a successful physician appreciatesa good rebate to make an expensiveproduct more attainable. Unfortunately,sometimes rebatescan be misleading and frustrating,which is why the Federal TradeCommission (FTC) has begun crackingdown on retailers and not just themanufacturers for sketchy rebates.According to a report,the FTC is holding retailers responsible fordeceptive advertising on a manufacturer'smail-in rebate. In a recent case, CompUSAwas forced to pay up for a manufacturer'srebate that promised cash back within 6 to8 weeks, but took significantly longer.There have also been several problemswith rebates requiring an exasperatingamount of steps and customers gettingunjustifiably denied. Mike Gatti, executivevice president of the Retail Advertising andMarketing Association, hopes that thecrackdown will compel retailers tostrengthen their rebate policies. He statesthat the retailer wants to maintain theirgood relationship with the consumer, sothey'll take whatever steps necessary toachieve success.