Of course, I didn't copy the receipt right away. It sat in my appointment book where the dreaded smudge occurred.
What is it with today's receipts? Printed on soft, shiny paper, the fragile figures smear and fade, so that come tax time all the important numbers have disappeared. Its a conspiracy, but by whom? And for what purpose, exactly?
The store logo is there, however. Indelible, for the world to see. How is that? They've somehow figured out how to leave their permanently legible, fireproof, will survive in a nuclear holocaust advertisement.
But I digress. The rebate form, also printed on this shiny paper, has two critically smudged numbers: the rebate number and the P.O. Box number where the form gets mailed for processing. I've heard it said, if one tiny number is incorrectly copied, NO REBATE FOR YOU, SUCK-UH!
So I spent the better part of my Saturday afternoon with my strongest reading glasses on, under the brightest reading lamp, trying unsuccessfully to deciper the smudged numbers. Got my son involved in the investigation with his perfect vision. Together we pieced together a few more numbers with a bit more clarity but not the whole series.
Panic rising, I then follow the "What to do if you have questions" portion of the form. It directs me to to the Office Despot website. Click on the supciously cheery link, "If you're looking for a mail-in savings form, you're in the right place."
More hard-to-read numbers are required: Product SKU, Model Number and Offer Number, none of which are labeled as such on the receipt. But I make a determined effort, tentatively plugging in scads of alpha-numerics. Press "SUBMIT" and .... The webmaster's reply: "No records were found that matched your request." Again and again, failed attempts to deliver the website generated mail in form. Arghghgh.
This image lifted from Tobiasly’s Blog, a fellow cynic who thinks Office Despot has a scam going.
"This is exactly why they offer these %$^#$! rebates!" Says SAM.
"That and the corporate powers intend to keep consumers confused and sleep deprived so we'll hand over our credit cards without hesitation." Say I.