Whatever we end up calling this recession/depression, I think we can safely name one small part of it: The Great Giveback.
There seems to be a rebate fever among firms trying hard to keep their customers happy, or keep their customers at all. JetBlue just announced it will give full ticket refunds to customers who lose their jobs. A few weeks back, Hyundai started letting buyers walk away from their purchases if certain “adverse life events” (including layoffs) intervened. (And it seems to be working.) And the Spanish firm Banco Santander has decided to compensate private clients whose money Santander invested with Bernard L. Madoff.
Discounts are one thing; every consumer these days has come to expect a discount. But a rebate: well, that’s a way to radically distinguish yourself from the competition and grab market share when brand loyalty is shaky, at best.
I would be very interested to hear from readers other examples of rebates being offered — and/or rebates that should be offered.