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Rebate roundabout

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Rebate roundabout

Postby Zeke on Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:00 am

http://www.techcentralstation.com/021005F.html

I guess I've just been lucky so far but I've never dealt with CompUSA.
The last rebate (from Staples) took over 2 months but it finally came.
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Postby Justin42 on Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:50 am

I know there are a lot of shady rebate places but it seems like I read a LOT of rants about things like this, claiming all sorts of trouble, and I just wonder if they really did follow the rebates to the letter. I've done dozens (probably well into the hundreds if you go back a few years) and can count the number of problems I've had on one, maybe two, hands. Of course, I am also careful what I buy, where I buy from that involves rebates, and make copies of EVERYTHING.

If there are conflicting requirements, call the store manager and raise hell. They USUALLY will try to accomodate you or tell you what to do. (I had a rebate once want the UPC code from a can of compressed air! THAT was cute. The manager told me to just make a copy, put a note on it, and the rebate came fine.)

My brother in law, on the other hand, goes on a tirade if the word rebate is mentioned. He NEVER gets them back and gets furious with companies. But you ask him if he made copies of his submission, he says no (He has a scanner and printer so it's not a problem for him). If you ask if he's sure if he sent the right UPC, he asks "Why do they need THAT?"

Yes, rebates are kind of a game. It'd be WONDERFUL if the manufacturers just dropped prices. But they won't. So we're stuck with them (or not buying at all and voting with your wallet). You have to play by the rules to get it. Occasionally, you'll find a cheater. But don't complain if you can't follow the rules and [gasp/shock] don't get your rebate.
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Rebates and Fraud

Postby steelly on Thu Feb 10, 2005 11:27 am

I have been doing rebates for years and have only two that didn't come through (Staples and Kragens for oil). The companies that issue rebates count on people getting frustrated with the requirements, and then either fail the requirements or don't bother to mail them in. I don't know the exact number, but a manager ay Best Buy told me that only 20% issued are honored because of the failures listed above. You have to have patience while waiting for your money, and you have to mail the rebates in to get them! I fill them out and mail the rebate the day I buy the Item:
That is the only reason I continue to get the hundreds of rebates I have full-filled! I am currently waiting for a $30 rebate from Plextor, a $5 rebate
from Rawlings, a $5 & $30 rebate from HR Block, so patience is required.
My wife gets rebates from Walgrens and Longs on a monthly basis.
You have to fill the rebates out, follow the rules, and then you get your money!
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Postby cfitz on Thu Feb 10, 2005 12:04 pm

Before you get too self-righteous and proclaim that the only people who miss out on rebates are lazy slobs who can't follow directions, know that there truly are rebate houses that do rip-off completely legitimate rebate submissions.

I think I am more retentive than your average bear, and when I submit rebates I always read and follow the directions explicitly, make and keep copies of all my rebate materials and receipts, and send in the rebate form with either a certificate of mailing or by certified mail with return receipt (depending on the value of the rebate) to prove date of submission. Nevertheless, I was still cheated by Mad Dog on a sound card rebate.

One of the rebate terms was that I register the product on their website. I did so, and printed the registration confirmation screen as proof. Mad Dog, however, claimed that I didn't. Unfortunately, all the evidence I had that proved otherwise was totally worthless, because Mad Dog simply refused to respond to me. Phone calls, emails and letters all went unanswered. What was I to do? Fly out to Arizona and pound on their door for a $10 rebate?

Great for you if you can play the rebate game and make it work for you, but that doesn't change the fact that rebates are fundamentally rip-offs, whether by outright cheating as I experienced or by simply enforcing redemption terms that are so onerous that the majority are never redeemed. How can you argue that a rebate with a face "value" of $10 but that in reality, for whatever reason, only pays an average of $2 is not a rip-off? Try looking at the bigger picture.

Even rebates that are redeemed are often rip-offs to a degree because many fulfillment houses do not fulfill them in the time period promised. That is your money that they are keeping for 8 weeks, 3 months, 6 months and more. If they insist you comply with all the conditions in the fine print, is it too much to ask that they do the same?

Sorry, but perhaps instead of being superior to everyone else you are just luckier and more willing to embrace a system whose sole purpose is to cheat consumers.

There. You wanted a rant? You got one.

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Postby dodecahedron on Thu Feb 10, 2005 2:58 pm

cfitz wrote:There. You wanted a rant? You got one.

Curmudgeon! :D
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Postby hoxlund on Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:03 pm

I'd like to hear how were doing on our easyrebate program

www.stapleseasyrebates.com

so far ive gotten every rebate back that ive submitted on there

and this is after i returned the products back to the store without a receipt

if you buy the product, do the online rebate, then return the product to the store without receipt they can't track that you returned it

you will only get staples in store credit but who cares, your shopping there anyway
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Postby Justin42 on Thu Feb 10, 2005 4:39 pm

I wouldn't deny there are lots of scams relating to rebates-- as with everything, you have to be careful what you buy and who you buy it from. I'd never buy anything with a rebate from Mad Dog, or Tiger Direct, or the like. Granted, that requires research to know, but we're in a caveat emptor kind of world... :/

The worst experience I've had is with Buslink. It took nearly a year, and 2-3 BBB complaints, but I finally got my $30 hand written money order which at that point I took as a symbolic victory to not giving up. And I've never bought Buslink again and try to badmouth them as much as possible (do they still even exist?).

But what I am saying is a LARGE number of people who complain about rebates ARE careless, DON'T follow directions, and then blow up when they are denied after not sending the UPC code. There are also careless, sloppy rebate houses that stretch the letter of the law to allow them to totally screw over consumers. And you're right, they say 8-12 weeks, the check better be there in 12 weeks or all hell should break loose.
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Postby hoxlund on Thu Feb 10, 2005 5:19 pm

you work retail for about a week and you'll understand customers frustration with rebates

they come in our store thinking its our fault for rebate fuck ups

but that pretty much stopped with easyrebates
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Postby Jim on Thu Feb 10, 2005 9:21 pm

I have been screwed on a few rebates too, namely certain OfficeMax, Fuji, and Ritek rebates. I make copies of everything and pursue them to the fullest extent possible without exceeding the cost of the rebate itself. Many have been resolved, but it takes work to find the number to a live human to resolve the issue for some of these rebate houses. Take it from someone who went through medical school and documents everything.

I'm currently dealing with a Ritek rebate for $10 on a 100 disc spindle I purchased in November of 2004. They claim I didn't include my name or address, but they were able to find the e-mail address on the form to send me my denial e-mail. I have a copy of the submission on the desk right now and it is completely filled out, including name and address right above the e-mail address.

I rarely purchase anything with rebates anymore.

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Postby cfitz on Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:26 pm

dodecahedron wrote:
cfitz wrote:There. You wanted a rant? You got one.

Curmudgeon! :D

Yeah, yeah. I'm sorry. :oops:

Rant mode off. 8)

By the way, Justin42, I might well be one of the people who provided the information you were able to research so that you could avoid getting burned by Mad Dog. It has been so long that I can't remember the exact date, but my run-in with Mad Dog took place something like 3 or 4 years ago. I've been sounding the alarm bell about them ever since.

If it weren't for me and others like me who went first, got genuinely screwed, and then warned others who follow, you too might have been ripped off by Mad Dog despite your research. Caveat emptor only works if there is information for the buyer to beware of, and someone has to take point and step on those land mines so that others can be wary. Unforunately it was my foot that did the stepping when it comes to Mad Dog... :evil: So, you're welcome. :wink:

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Postby cfitz on Thu Feb 10, 2005 10:27 pm

Jim wrote:I rarely purchase anything with rebates anymore.

I have grown tired of the game also.

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