It’s already next to impossible to figure out what the various strings attached to rebate deals and sales promotion offers will actually cost you, but it becomes even more complex when you factor in the privacy issue. That’s what one reader felt about a situation in which Epson set up an account for him he didn’t want and with a financial institution that was not of his choosing.
“We bought a new Epson Inkjet printer that sounded like a great deal with all the rebates, etc.,” the reader wrote. “But one of the ‘rebates’ actually comes back in the form of an Epson debit card, complete with Visa logo. This card is for a new account that Epson has set up for you with MyEcount, which includes sending your information to some company called C/Base in Pennsylvania unless you send them an opt-out notification to keep them from sharing your personal information.”
The Epson card looks like a standard Visa-issued credit card except that it’s labeled a debit card, the reader said. “It comes complete with a 16-digit account number, an A-size page of fine-print legalese, and associated account fees including a $3 dormancy fee after 90 days of inactivity, a $15 overlimit charge, and a $25 stop payment,” the reader wrote. “So basically, without realizing it, I’ve sold MyEcount or maybe C/Base the right to sell and market my personal information for a measly $20 rebate. And I now have a new Visa account number that can be used via the web to order from merchants, or just as likely be stolen and abused by hackers. If you dig deep enough into the fine print, you find out that just by not returning the card you by default become responsible for the $15 overlimt fee should the new ‘debit’ account be overdrawn. Oh, and they will send you a check for the ‘account balance’ if you send the card back to my MyEcount — please add another eight weeks to your rebate wait.”