Free One-day Event Scheduled for April 27, 2007
The Federal Trade Commission will host a free public workshop on April 27, 2007, in San Francisco, California, to discuss the issues surrounding the use of mail-in rebates by manufacturers and retailers. The workshop will gather representatives from consumer groups, industry, academia, and government to debate the costs and benefits of rebates from all perspectives. One goal of the workshop will be to explore “best practices” in the offering and fulfilment of rebates. The workshop is being coordinated by the Commission’s Western Region, and will be held at the downtown campus of San Francisco State University.
For many years, manufacturers and retailers have used mail-in rebates as a marketing tool. Despite their popularity, however, many consumers have had negative experiences with rebates, and have begun to distrust them. Moreover, some businesses are beginning to question whether the costs associated with rebates exceed their benefits.
At this public forum, manufacturers, retailers, fulfillment houses, consumers, and government officials will discuss how to implement successful rebate programs and how to avoid the pitfalls others have experienced. Speakers will describe various types of rebate programs, share the “best practices” they have developed for fulfilling or implementing rebates, debate the pros and cons of rebate marketing, and discuss the past and future role of government in improving consumers’ experiences with rebates.
The FTC’s Rebate Debate workshop is free and open to the public, and will begin at 9:00 a.m. on April 27, 2007. For further information about the workshop, including a draft agenda, as well as instructions for pre-registering, please consult the FTC Web site at: http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/workshops/rebatedebate/index.html. Interested parties are encouraged to comment on the draft agenda and to suggest speakers and participants. In addition, interested parties are invited to submit written comments addressing the issues that will be discussed by the panelists. Comments and suggestions may be sent to: email@example.com. An updated workshop agenda, listing tentative panelists, will become available on the FTC’s Web site.
Copies of the documents mentioned in this release are available from the FTC’s Web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC’s Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. The FTC works for the consumer to prevent fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices in the marketplace and to provide information to help consumers spot, stop, and avoid them. To file a complaint, or to get free information on any of 150 consumer topics, call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357), or use the complaint form at https://www.ftc.gov/ftc/complaint.htm. The FTC enters Internet, telemarketing, and other fraud-related complaints into Consumer Sentinel, a secure, online database available to thousands of civil and criminal law enforcement agencies worldwide.
Mitchell J. Katz,
Office of Public Affairs
Matthew D. Gold , Kerry O’Brien, or Linda K. Badger
FTC Western Region, San Francisco
415-848-5176, 415-848-5189, or 415-848-5151