Why do companies use mail in rebates? Are they a scam or is there a way to use them without getting shafted?
I've used mail in rebates before but it seems like a gamble – half the time I end up having to call a "rebate processing centre" a few times – and they're usually not the retailer but some shady third party.
Should mail in rebates be avoided by money-savvy individuals, or is there a way to use them effectively? Are there some kinds of mail-in-rebates that should always be avoided, and others that are acceptable to participate in?