Thursday, September 10, 2009

Limiting your "cash back" options

So, I signed up for Time Warner's digital cable option because they offered me a good deal. And now, just recently, I got this tempting "Cash Back Redemption" offer from the cable company:

That doesn't sound half bad, eh? Twenty-five dollars cash, going right back into my pocket. All I've got to do is fill out this rebate form and I will get it. Why not, right?

Oh, but then it says "See terms and conditions for cash rebate on back of this coupon." So I look, and I see this:

And I look closer at the fine print:

And it says:

Valid for residential customers in Time Warner Cable Texas region only.

No problem. I'm residential, and I live in Texas. So far, so good.

Limit one coupon per account.

Again, no problem. They only sent me the one coupon, so that's all I intend on filling out.

Coupon may not be assigned, transferred or reproduced.

I don't intend to, even if I knew how to "assign" it anyway.

Other restrictions may apply.

Hm. OK. I wonder what those are.

Must return form within 90 days of PLG activation to receive credit.

OK, fine. That gives me some time to fill it out.

$ 25 Cash Back will appear as a bill credit approximately 4-6 weeks after form submission.

What the hell? A "bill credit?" Cash, to me, means cash, legal tender that can be spent. Dollar bills, or at least a check. How in the hell can "cash back" mean a "bill credit?"

Bill credit has no cash value.

Oh, come on, Time Warner. Now you're just rubbing it in. First, you have the stones to say that cash really means credit, and then you hammer this point home with a sentence that pretty much says, "In case you are so dense as to think 'cash' actually means cash, we're telling you flat out that it doesn't. Especially in Time Warner Land."

Well, at least you're pretty clear on that, I guess.

Must have an active Price Lock Guarantee account in service longer than 60 days to receive credit.

Wait a minute. A few lines above, you told me I only had 90 days to submit this form or I wouldn't get the "cash back," and now you're telling me that I have to wait at least 60 days after my activation to even think about sending it in. That's just a 30-day window. Wow, Time Warner, you sure are restricting my options for redemption.

Time Warner Cable is not responsible for lost, late, or misdirected mail. Offer may not be combined with any other offers or discounts.

Of course not.

"The Power of You."

Sure. Just not too much power, I suppose.

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