By Joel Montgomery // 5 December 2008 // Related Categories: Tips

A recent cash back experience...

Product: Nespresso Coffee Machine (Christmas present for mum)

RRP: $299

Sale price: $179 after $50 cash back

Final price after typical Aussie haggling ("what's your best price"): $139 after $50 cash-back

Saving: $160 off RRP

After having participated in many cash-back programs I'm always intrigued to see how easy the vendor makes it for me to claim the cash-back.

So far I give Nespresso a rating of 5 out of 10. Here's why:

  1. The offer value. Any cash-back offer for $100+ or 20%+ of the item value is worth my time. I'm not interested in a $20 cash-back on a microwave or 10% off a bottle of wine. In this case a $50 cash-back on a $189 purchase price is worth the effort. Score = 2 out of 2.
  2. Accessing the cash-back form. The retailer didn't have any claim forms on hand and I was instructed to call Nespresso who subsequently posted the claim form to me. There were no instructions on the store shelf nor did the shop assistant give me a phone number to call. This is a typical sales tactic to reduce the number of cash-back claims and I don't like it. Score = 0 out of 2.
  3. The claims process. I like to be able to submit my cash-back online. In this case I have been instructed to complete the form, attach my original receipt and post it to Nespresso. I understand why they ask for the original receipt (so I can't return the product after claiming a cash-back) but I like to keep the original copy in case I need to claim warranty or exchange the unit. Score = 0 out of 2.
  4. Method of payment. Nespresso offers two claim options: direct deposit into my nominated bank account or a refund onto my credit card. This makes it very easy for me because my job is effectively done once I mail off the claims form and I don't have to bank a cheque. Score = 2 out of 2.
  5. Payment duration. Nespresso claims to take 45 days to make payment. I'm OK with this. I get frustrated when it takes more than 2 months to receive my cash-back although I do understand that there is a bit of back-end work required to process the claim. It would also be nice to be able to track my re-imbursement online. Score = 1 out of 2.

A good cash-back program is one that offers a significant saving, an easy redemption process (online is my preference) and a direct deposit without having to wait months. It will take me in total 20 mins of my time to claim a $50 cash-back from Nespresso. Not bad. Now if only I can remember where I put the receipt!

I look forward to hearing about your cash-back experiences.

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