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'Rebate Junkie'

October 31, 1987

It seems everything you buy today has an offer you can't refuse--"the manufacturer's rebate" from 50 cents on upward. You follow all of the instructions about including the sales slip, the bar codes cut from the label, etc.

On a 50-cent item, if you're lucky, you'll receive a check in the mail six weeks later. Now you must take this check to your bank to cash it. After putting a stamp on the letter, plus time and expense driving to the bank, you've netted a whopping 28 cents.

The last rebate we applied for will be our "last." It was for a potting-soil mixture that promised a $4 rebate. We followed all of the instructions meticulously. Six weeks later we received our "letter of rebate denial." It stated that we had failed to include one of the "bar code numbers." This was impossible; we had cut the "bar codes" from the sacks. What happens to integrity--a company sends you a form letter costing 22 cents instead of a $4 check?

There, I've said it and I'm glad. I've taken the cure. I'm no longer a "rebate junkie."

MARVIN LANDFIELD

Mission Viejo

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