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Verizon dresses down with fauxbates

A less-than-classy move by Verizon Wireless will put them in the AT&T Rebate league … AT&T currently sends “rebates” in the form of those impossible-to-ring horrid orange prepaid debit cards — after about two months. Verizon, which has historically been excellent at processing of rebates in less than a month and as of now issues rebate checks, is switching next week to AT&T’s prepaid debit card system. Leaked future rebate forms show text stating:

“Your rebate will be paid with a Verizon Wireless Rebate Card. This is a debit card that can be used instantly. Your card is issued by Citibank, N.A. pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Citi Prepaid® Services is a Citibank, N.A. business.”

Of note, the rebate cards are a pain in the tuchus to use — like most “gift card debit cards”, cashiers are never sure whether to run them as debit or credit, what codes to hit, or how much is on them. People that have worked in retail have seen these cards rendered useless a number of times. The other disadvantage to such cards is that they often expire quickly. A check is much easier to deposit, forget about, and use however one pleases. The reason this move is negative for customers is because of how complicated these cards can be to redeem and they often expire rapidly, thereby rendering your rebate useless. Plus, do you really want to carry something with a picture of VZW’s Test Man around in your wallet? That won’t get you in to any bars, kids.

Thanks, Tim!