Veto allows retailers to keep using ‘re-baits’

by Dennis Rockstroh, San Jose Mercury News

Q I have not seen anything in Action Line about Assembly Bill 1673.

This year, the Legislature finally decided to take some small steps to clean up rebate scams.

It basically makes retailers who advertise or promote the price after
rebate to give you any advertised "rebate" immediately and then collect
it themselves from the manufacturer.

Seems fair to me.

David K. Watson

Santa Cruz

A Unfortunately for consumers, the governor vetoed AB 1673.

So "re-baits" are still part of the retail world.

Retailers are fond of rebates because about 40 percent of buyers don’t bother with the hassle.

But if your request for a promised rebate goes ignored by the
manufacturer, go back to the retailer and demand action. After all, the
retailer advertised the rebate. If it isn’t paid, then the advertising
becomes suspect. Can you say "false advertising"?

On the plus side, the governor did sign Senate Bill 250, which will let
you get cash for a gift card when the remaining balance drops below
$10. That was bad news for the big retailers. In 2005, Home Depot
reported $43 million in income from unused gift cards, said the Consumer Federation of California.

Q I was given a fake $100 bill by a bank teller last August.

I was arrested and cited for unknowingly trying to pass on a fake $100 bill.

I would think that banks have sophisticated machines or equipment to detect counterfeit bills.

I went back to the bank after the incident, spoke with the manager and
told her what had happened to me. She acknowledged that they just had a
complaint two weeks before from somebody who got a fake $20 bill from

When I asked her to document what she had told me, she refused.

I ended up with $4,000 in attorney’s fees that I still have to pay.

No bank has the right to pass on a fake bill to a customer and just
say, "Tough luck" or "You just walked out from our bank; we are not
responsible for the fake bill we just gave to you."

I hope you will write something about counterfeit bills or publish this
comment so people can read my comment and share their stories as well.