As paper mail-in rebates become antiquated, many are beginning to take advantage of "easy" online rebates, but if you're thinking of doing this at Staples, you should think again. Don't end up stabbing yourself in the eye with those $8 scissors you purchased just to get a $3.00 rebate. If you browse around online, you'll see that the general consensus for the Staples rebate is widely described as frustrating and nightmarish. My personal experience of trying to save $3 on a spool of paper started off like any other normal rebate as I purchased the paper and filled out all of the necessary information for the rebate card at the register. After politely declining the cashier's offer for the special Staples appreciated customer card for an additional $10, I signed the appropriate paperwork and later logged into the rebate program online. Once on the website, you must re-enter all of the information that you previously filled out in the store (this includes name, email, password etc). Next comes a component of the Staples Easy Rebate namesake, it's a seventeen digit confirmation number, misleadingly known as the "easy rebate number." It's sort of equivalent to a "convenience fee" or those little fancy ketchup packets: nothing fancy about them. After deciphering the sequence of numbers which are poorly printed on the receipt, you'll be asked to enter them once more before clicking confirm. A good tip on entering your easy confirmation number is to highlight, copy and paste the second time you enter it, as it's not uncommon to get stuck on this step.
While the fiasco of signing up for a Staples rebate is certainly a first world problem, other common online reviews tell of experiences where larger rebates were never recorded and thus never received by customers. Undocumented confirmation numbers and a lack of customer service are just a few attributes of the more involved experiences on the web. Overall, It's a shame that a business will make people jump through so many hoops just to purchase a product at a reasonable price. With complicated rebate numbers, error messages on the confirmation page and several other varying factors, there's nothing easy about it. In the meantime, my work will pay off in 4-8 weeks when my $3.00 rebate arrives. Hopefully.