jbrackjr wrote in post #16513175
No that is not the intent. They simply restrict rebates by a mailing address to reduce their exposure and to meet their rebate budgets, and the only tool they have available at the current time is a mailing address.
No, I don't buy that explanation. If a company wants to restrict rebates, they could simply announce we have X number of lens to sell and we have Y number of rebates available. First come first served, no limits. But they didn't. It is clear to me at least their intention was to ensure that everyone had a chance to obtain a lens with rebate.
However with that said, if you have multiple addresses available you can beat the system.
You can take it how you will, but I have been a consumer for many a decade and run some businesses of my own. We put a budget on discounts and rebates and limit it accordingly, and obviously we don't want resellers bulking up on inventory and selling them later once the rebate period has expired. The easiest way to curb this behavior and also make sure we have reasonable budgets (ie. reaching revenue goals through volume using discounts) being met for a rebate period is to flag an address in a customer database. One rebate, one address. Not one rebate, one person.
It is very easy to add one rebate serial program IDs, and flag it per customer address. If somebody has multiple addresses at their disposal, and purchase lenses accordingly across those addresses, it matters little that the same individual obtains those rebates, and just means that nobody else at that address can leverage the rebate. The only thing difficult in the code is to deal with all the variations in address, you have to run through USPS APIs to check address validity.
If Canon wanted to spread rebates around to individuals, then they would obviously find a different way, because in my house, we have 3 photographers. Canon has restricted my mailing address, not each individual. So I order against my business address for the wife, and one against our home address for me. Obviously not everyone has access to the rebates as you say, in these cases, so again, we are reading much in to the "intent" of the manufacturer vs meeting the exact requirements laid out in the rebate program.
Coupons at the stores have the same thing "one per customer per visit". So each family member gets a coupon and goes in to get items on sale, or one person goes through the line multiple times.... Again, within the program constraints, and not against perceived intent of a company, and certainly not illegal as previously alluded. What is the limiting agent for this type of rebate/coupon program? A person's time. For Canon and any other company, they limit a different resource, a physical mailing address.
Ethics and morality discussions are always very interesting, especially when there is a business program involved with legal fine print calling out all the stipulations. In these cases, if you manage your own integrity against what you think the intent of a company is, then great. However, if that intent is not explicitly given, and all you have are the program directives as outlined in the fine print, then ethically, you are required to fulfill those requirements. Which trumps which: your perception of their intent based on the program requirements, or exact fulfillment to the program requirements?
This is what is being discussed here, meeting the exact stipulations vs meeting somebody's perceived intent of the stipulations.... That is what makes for interesting debate when these topics come up.