As I am sitting here filling out my rebate form for the $45 dollars I will get back from buying my contacts, I start to wonder why in the heck they don't just give you the money off when you order them? Why do I still have to fill out and send in a stupid form?
I think I know why... because it is a pain. Lazy people and rich people probably don't bother with the rebate shenanigans, especially since it takes 6-8 weeks to get your check back and costs you a stamp, not to mention your time. Can you imagine Donald Trump downloading and filling out a rebate form? I would also venture to guess that 75% of rebate users are women, maybe even more.
So, thus, the companies don't automatically give you the money because...
"41% of people forget to send in their rebates." - techdirt.com
This is not surprising, but I am not included in that percentage. I will not buy something ONLY because it has a rebate, but I will likely be persuaded to buy that particular brand, try a new brand, or even buy more to meet the rebate's requirements.
I don't have a ton of money to burn and I try to look at it as a little surprise for down the road. Most likely I will have forgotten that I have sent in said rebate and then one unsuspecting day, bam, a check is in the mail. I like free money!