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just got a rejection notice on a Belkin / OfficeMax rebate

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just got a rejection notice on a Belkin / OfficeMax rebate

Postby UALOneKPlus on Sun Apr 20, 2003 2:47 pm

It was for a $3.99 canned air-spray product. I recall the ad at OfficeMax stating it was free after rebates, effective 2/16 for that whole week.

So I bought it on 2/17, and mailed it on 2/24/03.

I got the rejection notice yesterday stating that I had mailed it after the postmark deadline.

Intrigued, I checked my scanned copy of the rebate, and sure enough, the rebate fine print said "postmark by 2/08/03", even though up above it, the detail said "valid on Belkin purchases from 1/26 - 3/1/03".

What kind of a stupid idiot would make the postmark deadline 2/08/03 when it's valid on purchases all the way til 3/1/03? And who is responsible for this mix-up: OfficeMax or Belkin??
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Postby CDRecorder on Sun Apr 20, 2003 2:58 pm

Was the rebate actually from OfficeMax or was it from Belkin? The address to which you sent the rebate will usually indicate this. That is probably who is responsible.

I remember one time, I had a rebate rejected because they said that I had sent in the wrong UPC code (which I hadn't). After I e-mailed them two or three times, they finally agreed to send me the rebate. I think that they just agreed to send me my rebate rather than continue dealing with a customer (me) who won't give up. Maybe this will work for you, especially since you have a scanned copy of your rebate.
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Postby UALOneKPlus on Sun Apr 20, 2003 3:52 pm

The rebate was sent to Belkin.

Doesn't it annoy you that you have to spend all that time and hassle to fix something that is obviously their fault?
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Postby cfitz on Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:02 pm

Yes it does. But unfortunately that is why companies love to offer rebates so much. The customer makes the purchase based on the after-rebate price, but the companies know that they won't have to honor a large portion of the rebates that are submitted, either because of small mistakes people make when sending them in (not having read all the small print) or because the companies simply refuse to honor the rebate at first and know that most people will get tired of fighting over a small amount and just give up.

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Postby UALOneKPlus on Sun Apr 20, 2003 4:10 pm

I agree cfitz.

This is one of those situations where I wish we could have a class action lawsuit, and make the companies pay through the nose for these "deceptive marketing practices".

In cases like this I think it's justifiable to have punitive damages in the millions of dollars per company, to teach them to be more honorable and honest with consumers.
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Postby warren187 on Sun Apr 20, 2003 6:15 pm

I had the same problem as liteonguy it was with sony big lye to save 50 bucks, SONY bad. :evil:
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Postby CDRecorder on Sun Apr 20, 2003 6:33 pm

UALOneKPlus wrote:Doesn't it annoy you that you have to spend all that time and hassle to fix something that is obviously their fault?


It certainly is annoying. I wish all rebates were "instant rebates" so that we wouldn't have to deal with all of this hassle. Now, I'm worried about a rebate I sent out last January for a BestData modem from OfficeMax. AFAIK, there is no website I can use to check the status of the rebate, and they haven't sent me any e-mails regarding this rebate.

I certainly have gotten many good deals because of rebates, though. I have found many of them here at CDRLabs! 8)
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Postby cajun on Sun Apr 20, 2003 8:01 pm

The rebates are a scam by the companies involved. The retailers like Best Buy, Office Max, etc and also the manufacturers like Cendyne, Verbatim and so on. They are using the float on the money we have paid and is supposed to be refunded by the rebates. This probably involves millions of dollars each month. When you consider that a lot of people don't fool with the rebates and that others give up in disgust when they stall on rebates, they are making lots of money on the Gross Sales price. Actually the price of items offered with rebates are usually inflated to begin with, so the few rebates they do honor in no way offsets the profits on non-claimed and unpaid rebates. Seems we should be able to put some pressure on unfair rebate practices. Sorry to be so wordy, but I've been waiting over 3 months on some rebates and I am pissed off. Anyone have any suggestions how pressure can be brought to bear on the stores and manufacturers. I just want them to live up to their promises and be fair.

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Postby burninfool on Sun Apr 20, 2003 8:21 pm

I like the idea of "instant rebates"where the retailers are reimbursed for the discount instead of us.MIR are a scam and I would say that I have received half of what I've submitted and it will take a class action lawsuit on behalf of consumers to end this deceptive practice.
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Postby CowboySlim on Sun Apr 20, 2003 8:23 pm

I had a rebated denied by Norton/Symantec on the fraudulent basis of late postmark. When I asked them what was the date that they had in their database, they just replied again that it was late. When I then asked them what date was the file/record created in their database they allowed as they would make a very special exception in my case.

Condolences,
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Postby Wedge Maniac on Mon Apr 21, 2003 6:23 am

Well, this answers a question that my dad and I have asked many times. How do companies make money by offering rebates on a product that completely cover the price paid by the consumer, i.e., when the product is free after rebate?

Now, it is clear to me just how they stand to profit in these instances where you can buy product X for $10 then get a $10 MIR, making it a freebie.

I've been lucky so far. I have mailed in many rebates, probably like most of you, and so far I have recieved them all. It seems that advising one to ask "is this a reputable company?" might be quite irrelevant as this practice is obviously occurring with trusted brand names and with very popular retail outlets.

This thread reminds me how important it is to make copies of everything that is needed in order to prove your eligibility. Still, it's no guarantee that you will get the rebate that you counted on.
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Postby Kantos Kan on Mon Apr 21, 2003 1:26 pm

As I have posted before over in the Rants 'n' Raves, never buy a Belkin product with a rebate. They are the worst!

You might want to contact OfficeMax Customer Service. They might intervene on your behalf.
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Postby Matt on Mon Apr 21, 2003 2:10 pm

If office max advertised the rebate and then belkin is not honoring it, one would assign the blame to officemax for the error as they should be held accountable for publishing incorrect rebates. They should refun dyou the $4.
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Postby Dartman on Mon Apr 21, 2003 6:22 pm

I don't count the rebates in the price, if it's a good deal I get it, then send it in but never count on it. I have a couple of Best Data voodoo2 cards I bought years ago when the price fell to a good deal, sposed to be even better with the 30 dollar rebate each. I to this day have never seen the rebates or anything on those 2 and I read the forms and did everything right.
I just recently got the rebate back from BB/Verbatim for the dvd-r 15 pack they had on sale, almost forgot about it but it came within the time they stated it would take.
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Postby cfitz on Mon Apr 21, 2003 6:25 pm

That's a good strategy to take, but it isn't one we should be forced to take. Why should you just have to sit and take it if they decide to stick your for $60? It may be the ways thing are, but that doesn't mean that the ways things are is the right way for them to be. If you did everything correctly, then they stole that $60 from you. Joe thug on the corner would go to jail for doing the same, but corporate America operates under a different set of rules... :x :evil:

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Postby Dartman on Mon Apr 21, 2003 8:09 pm

I e-mailed them once to track it down, they confirmed they recieved my inquiry and thats the last I ever heard.
A lot of those places just don't care or went out of business without anybody getting their stuff. The fulfillment companys they use are bad too sometimes so it depends on who your dealing with and their attitude.
They set up the rules to try and make it impossible to get, and sometimes they just cheat hoping you'll just give up.
I have gotten other rebates OK, it just sucks when they don't care and try to make it a pain for the buyer so they don't have to do the right thing.
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Postby CowboySlim on Mon Apr 21, 2003 9:08 pm

Well, maybe we need a list of good guys and bad guys. I see from the posts above that Belkin and BestData are bad guys. Also, from other threads it seems as though MadDog belongs on the bad guy list. I am surprised, however, at Belkin. It seems to me that, bye and large, most of the larger concerns with otherwise good reputations would tend to honor their rebates. I tend to shy away from products with brand names that I've never heard of, particularly if it's featured at Fry's.

With respect to the good guys, although I had one bad experience with Norton/Symantec, I usually do get their rebates. I attribute the one incident to a data entry error. Others that I haven't had problems with include: Staples, Best Buy, Canon, Memorex, Kingston, Crucial, Antec, Yamaha, WDC, McAfee and Seagate.

About the retailer standing behind a manufacturer's rebate because they've included it in their advertisement, it makes sense from a viewpoint of integrity. However, they won't - it's buyer beware. I once inquired at OfficeDepot if the would do that if the manufacturer didn't fulfill the rebate and their response was: "No." I declined the purchase at that time.

Happy shopping folks,
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Postby cfitz on Mon Apr 21, 2003 9:13 pm

CowboySlim wrote:About the retailer standing behind a manufacturer's rebate because they've included it in their advertisement, it makes sense from a viewpoint of integrity. However, they won't - it's buyer beware.

That's the truth. Comp USA is particularly evil in this regard. :evil:

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Postby Kantos Kan on Tue Apr 22, 2003 1:51 am

I agree that CompUSA is not particularly helpful. Best Buy, on the other hand, once stepped in on my behalf effectively with a manufacturer's rebate. OfficeMax has also been accomodating when issues have come up for me. Staples does a good job with rebates as well.
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Postby cfitz on Tue Apr 22, 2003 8:45 am

I'll agree with that as well. I've generally had much better luck with Best Buy and Staples rebates than with CompUSA rebates.

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Postby dodecahedron on Tue Apr 22, 2003 9:12 am

i'ts funny listening to you complaining about rebates.
i can uderstand the frustration, but:

hell, if you don't want to don't buy anything because it comes with a MIR. like Darman said it.

you seem to assume that if this business practice were dropped, the prices would just be lower, regular prices that is. how can anyone be sure?

you guys are lucky to have rebates. we who are outside the US don't :cry:
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Postby cfitz on Tue Apr 22, 2003 10:11 am

dodecahedron wrote:hell, if you don't want to don't buy anything because it comes with a MIR. like Darman said it.

Unfortunately the decision isn't always so straightforward. Sometimes the prices without rebate are prohibitively high, so that the purchase is viable only if you get the rebate. Thus, the decision becomes not one of "Do I buy product A with rebate or product B without rebate?" but rather "Do I buy the product at all?"

Of course, for most of us these are discretionary purchases anyway, so you are right to appeal for a bit of perspective. It is no big deal if we can't get the latest burners or such. But there is a principle involved here beyond the money. It might not be so funny if you were the one who is out $30 that is rightfully yours. :(

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Postby CowboySlim on Tue Apr 22, 2003 10:52 am

Unfortunately the decision isn't always so straightforward. Sometimes the prices without rebate are prohibitively high, so that the purchase is viable only if you get the rebate. Thus, the decision becomes not one of "Do I buy product A with rebate or product B without rebate?" but rather "Do I buy the product at all?"


Exactly correct! Two weeks ago I bought the $75 Memorex MEM48U scanner at Staples for $15 AMIR of $60. I wouldn't have done that otherwise.

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Postby dodecahedron on Tue Apr 22, 2003 11:23 am

i agree that dishonest business practices are deplorable etc. :x
but you see my point - if the price is high, don't buy the item.
that's the situation for all of us out of the US where there are no (or very little?) rebates.

and to look at it another way:
you guys are trying to eat the cake and keep it.
i'm sure that the scanner Cowboy bought cost more that $15 to develop, design, manufacture, transport etc. etc.
so what gives?
like Wedge said, they're hoping not everyone will send for (or get) the rebate money.
so all the times you don't get your rebate, kind of evens out all the times you got a GREAT deal through rebates, a deal that is othewise economically impossible for the manufacturere/distributer/reseller/whatever.

but once again, i agree that dishonest business practices are deplorable etc. :x
(hope that pacifies you guys, no intention to piss anyone off :wink: )
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Postby CowboySlim on Tue Apr 22, 2003 12:01 pm

It's just a time phased variation of the old supermarket coupon game. If you brought your coupon to the store, you saved money and their revenue was commensurately reduced. Obviously, the coupon offer was meant to entice you into buying, but they probably hoped that then you would leave it at home and buy anyway.

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