Online Rebate Offers
There is no such thing as a free lunch. Computers that are advertised as "free," or deeply discounted, typically require that you commit to a long-term contract for Internet service -- as long as three years. Some deals even require that you pre-pay for the entire amount in advance rather than in monthly installments, which can be as much as $800.
Speed is relative. Technology is changing quite rapidly and you may find yourself tied to an agreement for Internet service that is slower or more expensive than would otherwise be available to you.
Make sure your access number is a local call. Before signing a contract or paying up-front, confirm that the dial-up number used to connect to the Internet is a local phone call for you. If not, you could incur per-minute telephone charges while you are online, which can add up quickly.
Watch for cancellation fees. If you discover later that the particular Internet service bundled with this "free" computer does not provide a local access number or you decide that the service is otherwise unsatisfactory, you may have to pay a cancellation fee or forfeit your rebate to end the contract early.
Consider other costs associated with the "free computer" offer, namely accessories, like monitors, printers, and extended warranties that you'll have to purchase separately.
Keep copies of all forms and receipts from your "rebate" when you mail it in.
Note the date that you mailed in your rebate information. Watch the calendar closely. If you don't hear from the merchant on time, notify them immediately. If you get no satisfaction from them, call the Attorney General's Office.