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March 9, 2015

McAfee’s Rebate with Built-in Costly Time Bomb

Filed under: Computers,Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 6:30 am

  Tiger Direct recently advertised an amazing giveaway: a PNY 128 gig USB 3.0 thumb drive and McAfee Multi Access free after rebate. A supposed $149 value for free!?


How can they do this? The secret is in the rebate offer.



You actually have to install the software and sign up with your credit card initially to automatically renew the service after the first year. You are not allowed to cancel the renewal until 10 months of service have elapsed.

Who is going to remember ten months from now to cancel this service?

Incidentally, the annual service sells for between $69.99 to $99.99.

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  1. I’ve often found rebates to not be worth the effort. I wouldn’t want to touch this rebate offer at all – even if I thought McAfee security was worth the cost.

    10 months is a long time to wait for such a small deal to be delivered, and it will likely be another 5 months after the 10 for the rebate to be delivered (if it’s even accepted).

    Comment by Wayne R — March 9, 2015 @ 10:45 am
  2. During TigerDirect’s Black Friday sale they had a tablet for “only” $30 or so with a McAfee bundle. Considering everyone else was selling just the tablet for well over $100, I knew something had to be hidden in the fine print, and it was a similar automatic renewal requirement.

    Maybe they could just say up front that the deal is priced with the expectation that you will forget to cancel your renewal?

    Comment by Derlin — March 9, 2015 @ 11:43 am
  3. @Derlin: I fell for that one, though I’m not a McAfee fan and didn’t really plan to use it. My Outlook calendar has the magic date on which I will enjoy cancelling the thing. The tablet is nice, especially for the price, and a lot cheaper than a Nook, which is what I bought it for. Just another acre in the rebate jungle.

    Comment by BobF — March 9, 2015 @ 2:07 pm
  4. I actually would remember to cancel, but I’m OCD like that. You just set a calendar notice to remind yourself. I do it all the time with subscription items, it’s not that hard in this day and age to set reminders with whatever calendaring tool you use.

    Comment by Jess Smith — March 9, 2015 @ 2:12 pm
  5. I’d just like to add what everyone probably already knows: have you ever had the joy of trying to cancel something that auto-renews? Either it’s nearly impossible locate on their website where to do it, it’s not shown anywhere at all, or you have to call and argue with someone who’ll come up with every sales pitch why you shouldn’t cancel it.

    Dan Kap,
    Whittier, CA

    Comment by Dan Kap — March 9, 2015 @ 2:53 pm
  6. I personally ordered this product on 12/27/14. I registered for the rebate online and printed documents on 1/11/15. Rebate was processed and approved by McAfee on 1/21/15. Received rebate card 2/13/15. Cancelled auto-renewal 2/14/15. Obviously they’re counting on people forgetting to cancel the auto-renewal. If you live in the modern world you can set a calendar reminder in about 12 seconds or just cancel as soon as you receive your rebate card. As long as you are diligent with sending the proper documents IN THE SPECIFIED TIME FRAME you shouldn’t have a problem with rebate offers like these. I have submitted about 10 rebates in the past 6 months and have not had a single issue. That being said, i do scan all of my documents before i send them just for insurance.

    Comment by Jon Simon — March 10, 2015 @ 11:28 pm
  7. Cancelling an auto renewal may sound easy if you set up a reminder but let me tell you of a scummy company thst you can cane, 100x, sleak to reps weeksxahead of renewal date get all sorts of confirmstions on cancellstion and then auto fenewsyou anyways. Intuit Quickbokms. But if you have ever dealt eith them then that eas an easy guess.

    I bought quickbooks 2014 proplus eith enhanced payroll. I did it through sutomtenrw. All was well till summer, they started removing things you paid for. There was an app for ipad and you could do billing and check balances and a few other things. In July the got rid of thst, no money back, then they said i had internet version of software and it would shut off on Nov 24, 2014 my auto renew date.

    I found the pro 2015 with payroll on amazon for $300 less, called them to cancle many times , theynsaid ok but it just auto renewed.
    Kept calling but they would not cancel so,i had to call credit card company and dispute the charge.

    So just because something says you can cancel does not mean they won’t still chatge you.

    Btw quickbooks is a product of Intuit, the wonderfully scummy folks who,brought you and tried cheating you with turbotax.

    I find that by shopping around and typing in company name and complaints you can see how bad a company is and then decide wether or not it’s worth the hassle to deal with them. Most companies do not care if they lose you as a customer as there are millions more they can cheat who,won’t complain and will stupidly put up withngetting screwed and the companies know it.

    Comment by Dan — March 11, 2015 @ 8:21 pm
  8. Single use credit number for the win again. I could generate a number that expires in 3 months with a $5 limit. That plus the already mentioned calendar reminder makes this a deal I’d get in on.

    Comment by Marc K — March 14, 2015 @ 6:56 pm
  9. Two years ago I went for this deal with total defense “premium” anti virus. The result was a disaster. The installation of the product was incomplete and support could or would not help get me installed and registered. So, NO REBATE. A product that has horrible support (IMHO).

    I just ate the cost; went to restore my system to the way it was before I installed that “suite”. Then I had to make sure they didn’t charge my account in a year. Sure enough, an email came that my account was being charged. Two phone calls (with a long wait) and that was prevented.

    I’ve not dealt with Tiger Direct since then.

    Comment by Rob of NY — March 23, 2015 @ 7:50 am

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