This is just blowing off some steam and perhaps a warning, too.
So I ordered a Mac Mini for my wife's birthday back in February (Feb. 16th). When I ordered it, the graphic on the main page was "Now Shipping", though that all depends on your interpretation of "Now", as after I ordered, it told me it would be 2-3 weeks. I suppose it told me while I was ordering, but I was in the shopping "zone." My local Apple store didn't have any in stock, so that's why I used the Web. I also used the Web to upgrade the RAM, which the local Apple store would charge extra for.
Anyway, during the purchase, they were giving a printer away for free (after rebate). So I tacked it onto the order, thinking, "Ok, cool -- a free printer." I also choose to pay for expedited shipping and to have the order items shipped as soon as possible (again, hoping to get things in place for Casey's birthday).
The next day, the printer, the AppleCare Protection Plan and Keyboard/Mouse arrive. That same day, the Apple store calls to tell me they have a Mac Mini in stock, if I want it. D'oh! Meanwhile, the Web store still tells me 2-3 weeks. So I resort to presenting Casey w/ the accessories and a mock-up of the computer (I made one out of cardboard, to spec).
Casey was disappointed that it wasn't all in place, but she was a good sport. Meanwhile, my frustration and disappointment is mounting. Finally, I can't stand it and I go to the local Apple store, buy a stock Mini, cancel the Web order and get Casey going.
So I prepare the rebate. Here's the pinch: in order to qualify for the rebate, the purchases must be done at the same time and appear on the same receipt. I figure how technical can that be? I mean, I feel like I've honored the agreement by buying the qualifying products. So I cut out the UPC codes from the packaging, fill out the form and include everything in an envelope.
A few weeks later, I get a letter from Apple (this Apple is from South Bend, Indiana
I receive another letter that says that since I didn't buy them at the same time and they don't appear on the same receipt, they wouldn't honor the deal.
So I call them and talk to a very non-helpful person. I figure that's gotta be a tough job and I resolve myself not to express any anger or frustration on the phone (maybe that didn't help). Anyway, she sticks to the party line, offers no further explanation. I ask if I could return the printer and she says she doesn't deal w/ returns -- she's just a rebate person. I ask if I can get my UPC codes back (badge of honor!) and she says no, they become property of Apple upon submission. Note that it doesn't say that in the nitty-gritty details of the rebate and that's a weaker argument since they're not really using them in the first place. More like they tossed them.
Last night, we decided to end up keeping the printer. I made the comment that it was better to spend $100 on something than the $30 on nothing.
Several times during writing this post, I wanted to scrap the whole thing, it makes me pretty mad. But hopefully, this will be cathartic to my system, and I won't want to scream everytime I see the printer. Hopefully this could be an example or lesson for others, too -- though you probably wouldn't have done what I did.
It's also pretty interesting that Casey hated the transition initially, but I've heard her say several times now "I love my computer" -- music to my ears.
: I figure I could sell it on eBay to recoup some of the cost, but end up leaving about $30 (or so) difference.