Microsoft Bing Cashback + Macy’s = Scam?

If you are living and/or breathing, you’ve heard of Microsoft. You know, that big conglomerate that made Bill Gates ├╝ber-rich. And you’re probably also aware the Microsoft recently launched its own search engine, Bing (formerly Live Search, Windows Live Search, and MSN Search). Bing went fully online on June 3, 2009 and currently ranks as the third largest search engine on the Internet. Of course, Google still controls around 85% of the search volume. But Bing has its market share and it appears to be growing.

Bing CashbackAs an effort to entice people to use Bing and continue that growth, Microsoft has been running a promotion called Bing cashback. It operates much the same way that FatCash or Cashbaq does in that it gives users a rebate for buying products through its affiliate links. Like with any of these programs, the exact percentage of the rebate will vary from store to store. Bing cashback is different in that the percentage refunded can even vary by search terms used. Utilizing specific keywords will allow users to garner greater cashback than found on the standard Bing homepage. For example, looking up Macy’s on the Bing cashback page shows only a rebate of 4-5%:

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However, a search on Bing using the keyword “cookware” will currently yield you a 20% discount (this percentage can and has changed frequently):

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This has lead to some potentially great savings. To aid you, the consumer, in saving this money are various helpful tools. The fine people at Slickdeals (an online gathering of savvy shoppers) have reduced saving with Bing down to a science, with a quick primer readily available on how to save the most money. Of course, Bing has its own terms and conditions to comply with. So to help prevent Bing cashback rejections/denials, Slickdeals has created a guide on that as well. but apparently even Slickdeals was not smart enough to get Bing cashback from Macy’s. Microsoft/Bing has issued a plethora of rejections/denials on Macy’s purchases. These are not isolated incidents. Pretty much everyone who made any order through Bing and with Macy’s is getting squat back.

Most people are getting the standard e-mail stating, “After further research we are unable to apply cashback savings for this Macys purchase. In working with Macys we have determined that this purchase is not eligible for Bing cashback rewards.” Some are getting fictitious claims of returned merchandise. People, as one can imagine, are pissed!

Discussions have popped up at numerous sites, including Slickdeals and Bing’s own discussion boards in more than one thread. Complaints are piling up daily. If you read any of the postings in the aforementioned links, you will find that numerous individuals are being denied their rightful Bing cashback savings. The same savings Microsoft promised the individuals would receive off of the product’s bottomline price. That “save each time you shop with Bing cashback” claim now seems a bit far-fetched.

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Buy him out boys!

Of course, complaining about Microsoft is nothing new. What can realistically be accomplished here? Not sure. Part of me thinks this post will be “bought out” by Microsoft, much like he did Compu-Global-Hyper-Mega-Net. I don’t necessarily expect to accomplish much, but at least let this serve as a word of warning on those using Bing cashback. To be fair, it does seem to be limited to Macy’s purchases. Contacting Macy’s doesn’t seem to help much either, as they have passed the buck back onto Microsoft. But if you want to voice your displeasure to Microsoft, you can let them know by writing them online. And if you want to contact Macy’s, you can do that too.