One of the tricks retailers use, particularly in the wireless telephone industry, is offering phones at little or no cost to the subscriber, but only after a rebate. The dirty little secret about rebates is that companies know that most of their customers will forget to send in the paperwork, will lose the necessary information to fill out the rebate completely, or will send in the rebate paperwork too late. Some industry measures put the percentage of rebate offers that are sent back for fulfillment at as little as 5%.
Enter Rebate-Tracker.com. This site allows consumers to enter all of the information about a rebate into its system. The site then organizes all of the rebates, produces reports on money owed from rebates, and sends reminders on the date when the rebate check should have arrived. The software is still in the early stages of development, but the general public can sign up. For consumers who are losing out on money owed to them from rebates, Rebate-Tracker.com could become a valuable resource.
Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. http://www.trac.org