Why Costco & Rebates Go Together: You Keep the Rebate After Return

Do-It-Yourself Tech

A friend of mine was explaining how he wasn’t impressed with a certain Canon camera he had purchased from Costco months earlier. There was a problem with the focus that he was hoping would just go away. Otherwise, it was a great camera for a great price. In fact, the original price was greatly reduced by a $100 mail-in rebate. After finding out from other owners that this focus problem was not unique to his particular camera, he decided it was time:

Time to take it back to Costco and get another model. For those of you not familiar with Costco’s return policy, see the article How to Shop for Technology. Basically, you can return anything at any time. “Computers” are now the exception due to some being returned five years later.

But back to my friend’s situation… He wasn’t trying to pull a fasty, he just needed a camera that worked and specifically shopped at Costco in case something like this would happen. But since it took a few months for him to figure out what was going on with this faulty model, he had already sent in hist rebate form and received his $100.

So he does what any honest person would do: goes back to Costco and explains the situation. He would like to return his camera due to what apparently seems to be a defect in that particular model (actually, Costco doesn’t even need a reason). But then he continued and explained that he had already sent in the rebate and received his $100. He offered to give back the $100; he just wanted to return the camera and then buy another model with better focus.

But Costco has no way of handling such situations. In so many words, he was told that he had basically been paid a $100 to play with a camera for a few months. Costco took back the camera but refused to accept anything more. So there you have it, why Costco and rebates go together.

Of course, it’s probably only a matter of time until the hole is plugged. But until then, this is just another reason why Costco is the place to shop for technology.

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