• United States

Rebate Lesson for Tech Vendors

Aug 21, 20042 mins
Data Center

We’ve gnashed plenty of teeth over rebate issues for computers and various parts. Let me tell how nice it is when a vendor does a rebate correctly.

On 8/7/04 I mailed off a rebate coupon for $50 to Michelin that came with a set of tires I bought my wife (aren’t I romantic?). Discount Tire printed off an extra receipt, without me asking, to make it easy. I filled out the rebate form that mainly consisted of marketing questions, such as why I bought Michelin, whether I’d bought them before, etc. The form went into the mail with a heavy sigh.

Today, 8/21/04, the rebate check arrived. That’s exactly three weeks, something the computer vendors never managed. First smart move from Michelin.

Second smart thing they did? The check is attached to a giant, colorful page telling me Thank You several times. Want more tire info? There’s a Web site I can go to, register, and Michelin will send me e-mails reminding me to rotate said tires at the appropriate time.

Third smart thing? A coupon offering a 40% discount on Michelin travel atlases, including the Web address and a toll-free number to call if I prefer that method.

Look how they made this rebate a positive experience:

1. Quick return of my money, while I still remembered buying the tires. Now I’m even happier than before.

2. They offered to sell me more of their products at a substantial discount while I’m happy at getting my money back.

Why are all the technology marketing departments so far beyond the rest of the consumer marketing world?

Hey, tech companies with rebates: hire some Michelin marketing people and listen carefully to what they tell you. They know far more about marketing than you.