Being a person who will shop for items (like cellphones) based on rebates, I agree with their annoyance, but I’m not sure smaller companies could offer the deep immediate price discount on items like that. My cellphone, which retails for $499, or $299 with contract, came with $250 worth of rebates. Those rebates were through two different companies. Logistically I’m not sure how the mom and pop cellphone dealer would be able to reconcile such deep discounts across multiple vendors and still make a solid margin.
Then again, if rebate remittence was easier, I don’t think anyone would be complaining as much. I just sent in my rebates, but I wasn’t sure what to send with them, or if I could send two in the same envelope. Or which UPC…I’m still not sure why rebates can’t be done online. All the pertinent information is readily available, or can be typed in, especially when the rebate is through the same online vendor.