Why must I save receipts?

Mark Cuban wants a lot in his future cellphone, including the ability to save receipts. In this digital world, why do we still have to save receipts at all?

We save receipts for a couple of reasons. One is for proof of purchase for rebates. Another is so that we can return a defective product. I might also use it to get a refund when I find a lower price within 30 days.

Amazon knows my entire ordering history. Best Buy and Circuit City always ask for my name when they sell me something, so I’m guessing they do too. If I can remember where I bought something then I ought to be able to go to that store and have them know the product purchase history.

In fact, when I purchase something that has a rebate, why doesn’t the retail establishment just forward the information electronically to the rebate center? And when the price drops in 30 days, why don’t they just mail me a cheque, or credit my account?

The truth is that they don’t because they count on us not bothering with the rebates. Yet this would cut the manual work required to provide rebates. And it would make my life so much easier.