Ahh, Comcast, volumes have been written about this wonderfully managed organization and their customer service. I do have to give them credit for developing a monopoly in my local area where they are the only, though crappy, high speed internet provider available in my neighborhood. But I digress…
Apparently I am a very loyal customer. Because I am, they sent me a nice little mailer telling me that since I am a “very loyal customer” that I am worth up to $5.99 to them. But to get that $5.99 I have to really work hard.
I could just say thank you and watch my movie and be happy. But no, I would not have an opportunity to rant. The first problem I see is that I have autopay. Which means I am one of the really loyal customers who make sure Comcast gets their money on time and they don’t even need to mail me a bill. Bang, they have payment the day it s due.
The requirement of this offer is to cut this “original coupon” then enter the details of the movie purchase – what is interesting is they have my address and name so they know I am a Comcast subscriber. Why can’t they just do match in the database - if on demand movie purchase and loyal customer = credit to my account. My guess if the loyalty was reciprocal they would do it this way.
Now, this whole situation could have been prevented had the direct marketing folks had the foresight to bang the loyal customer offer list against the autopay list and not sent me the mailer – oh yea right… different departments. I always forget about silos.
Now, why can’t they be more like other merchants or like Japan and use a barcode on these rebate forms so they can just scan it and sync to my account?
Why, because they want me to watch an on demand movie and not get a rebate. 25,000 subscribers take the bait and do it and forget to put the coupon on their mail in bill, put the wrong movie, illegible account number or make the mistake on the day – all human error opportunities to deny the rebate – cha ching – instant MBA case study on revenue generation.
Worst yet, the September bill won’t come till early-October and I am sure that the offer will expire at the end of the month and not be eligible for credit against the October bill.
I guess with all the unemployed and people cutting back the greedy bastards need more revenue than they make off leasing remotes for 25 cents a month.
Now, in today’s current digital and advanced systems environment when I see a rebate, refund or some other cash back incentive where I have to fill out paperwork, solve a Rubics’ cube (little known fact I did it in high school in 17 seconds) or some other feat of intelligence I know that the company is running a modern bait and switch scam. Mail in rebates are rife with fraud – there are many instances where the finance models are ran to show that 80+ percent won’t send it in, will make a disqualifying error and/or companies managing it are actually incentivized to make sure you don’t. I have fought too many of these battles to have any faith in rebate programs other than those that give me a direct result.
Legit companies are doing what Staples and Apple do – they process it off the receipt or right in store. For example, at Apple, when you guy a Macbook they often give you a $100 rebate when you buy a printer. You can get a low-end printer for free or buy a better printer for the price of the low end. The cool thing is you have to do little to get it. Simply go to apple.com/rebate and put in your receipt number. They know a few things – what you bought by SKU and serial number so they can immediately do the matching that you meet the qualifications. Since you enter your email they send you a note a few days later telling you the check is on its way and about 10 days later the check is there. No hassle and you actually get your $100 and not an extra 100 for the retailer or merchant who’s product had the rebate.
At Staples, if you buy a rebate product they either give you the rebate when you are checking out on your receipt or the same thing, go to the rebate page and enter the receipt and bam about 4 weeks later you get the rebate.
Why can’t others do this? Show me the love Comcast.
[end Mini Rant]