Monday, April 24, 2006

A very annoying form of rebate

David got a new cell phone and plan last month from Cingular which came with a $20 rebate. We did all the usual annoying rebate stuff, including waiting close to two months for the refund, which arrived Friday. But here's a twist: Instead of the check I expected, what arrived is a prepaid Visa card, preloaded with the $20 rebate.

I think that's pretty obnoxious, because it'll be hard to use all $20. The letter it came with suggests that if you want to use the card for a purchase of more than $20, you request that the merchant run the purchase twice, once for $20 and then once for the rest of the balance, paid with cash or another credit card/check. I've occasionally split bills in weird ways at restaurants, but I've never tried such a thing in retail shops, and I can't imagine it would get a terribly favorable response.

The poetically just thing to do, ofc, would be to use the prepaid card to pay $20 of David's next Cingular bill and force them to handle the split payment. We have the monthly bill set to automatically charge to our Amex. I wonder if it's worth wranging with Cingular customer service to skip the autobill next month and pay with the prepaid card.

Probably not.