That’s the gist a reasonable person would gather from the language surrounding U.S. Patent No. 7,120,591, granted yesterday to Parago, the company behind Circuit City rebates.
The patent is for a system that 1) processes rebates online 2) encourages “breakage,” which is when the customer messes up the rebate process so the company keeps the money.
From the filing:
“The present invention satisfies a need for a more consumer friendly method for processing rebates that maintains a breakage rate …”
“The rebate processing system provides a user friendly interface, yet retains hurdles sufficient to maintain breakage.”
See, the plunger won’t tickle so much if you just focus on the colorful, rounded buttons.
“Rebates to become more of a scam” [Hardware 2.0] (Thanks to David!)
Related: HOWTO: Rebate Whore