Mail-in rebate scams

Rebate Crook
I just got one of the the most worthless “your rebate has been rejected” postcards that I’ve ever seen. Something needs to be done about these crooks.

I don’t think that anyone reading this site is going to be ignorant about the current, legalized scam known as mail-in-rebates, so I’ll skip the part about how they expect a certain percentage of people to forget, blah blah blah.

I’m not one of those people who forgets.

I also do not screw-up the rebates. I am meticulous about filling-out the forms and I copy everything, even the stamped envelope I send the form in.

That’s why I get so upset when I get a postcard like this in the mail after 3 months of waiting (click for larger version) for a $10 Transcend DDR2-533 RAM rebate:
Worthless rebate postcard

Notice how helpful this card is. The phone number, (000)000-0000, is probably not going to work – at least that’s my guess. There are no instructions on what to do to remedy the (their) screw-up.

Checking the status of the rebate on the website says this:

The UPC symbol or proof-of-purchase tab you submitted is not valid for this promotion.

You will receive a letter or postcard describing this problem. The letter or postcard may have instructions on how to correct this error.

I like how they say “…postcard MAY have instructions…” – how very helpful also!

Essentially, they are telling me to FOAD and just lose the rebate amount.

Out of all of the years I’ve been doing rebates, I’ve only had one rejected (that shows how careful I am) and that rebate had a phone number that I called and surprisingly, got a HUMAN being who fixed the issue in about 2 minutes. I was pleased, or at least as pleased as I could be with having to waste a few minutes of my time to fix a problem that didn’t exist on a rebate I shouldn’t have had to file, but I digress…

Clearly, something needs to be done about these rip-off rebate companies as now, they don’t even give a phone number to call. I went to their relatively worthless website and filled-out a “help request” form but I can’t say that I’m expecting anything to come of it.

6 thoughts on “Mail-in rebate scams”

  1. Mike, sorry about the rebate. I assume that you got stiffed by the “fulfillment” company hired by the manufacturer or retailer to handle the rebates. I share your pessimism that your “help request” will do any good. If you have time you may want to let the manufacturer know the amount of “goodwill” they are losing on account of their bogus rebate handling company.

    Suz (yes, your cuz) 🙂

  2. I work in the rebate department of a well known national tool corporation. You should spend one day on my side of the desk. It would open your eyes and maybe let you see that the majority of companies are honest and really do want you to get your free promo item. People DO NOT READ and DO NOT FOLLOW INSTUCTIONS! We spend thousands of dollors sending back rebate forms and giving people a second chance to get it right. You would not beleive how many people can’t get it right the second time around. The number one mistake… people do not buy the right item. It does not matter if your purchase is higher in price, if it is not the item specified on the rebate form. These promotions are geared towards moving specific items off the shelves for various reasons. Don’t buy a differant item and expect the rebate. Number two mistake….If the form (READ IT) says a upc code AND receipt are requried that’s what it means. Don’t send one or the other and expect your rebate. If you don’t get your rebate when you think you should, don’t write nasty letters and threaten people. Remember to be nice! I am alot more likely to help you out if your nice!

  3. I appreciate your input, Erisha, and I am sure you deal with many idiots as any customer service job does (I worked at Target at the CS desk for 3.5 years, so I know first-hand).

    However, I believe that the scanned-in card demonstrates the “scam” nature of this particular rebate in that they do NOT provide a phone number or other means of contacting them to resolve the issue. Also, like I said, I have COPIES of the UPC, receipt, envelope, etc. ready to re-submit if I only knew the proper means to do it.

    The rebate company sending me a rejection card with a phone number of “000-000-0000” on it is completely unacceptable, whether or not it’s my fault that the rebate is invalid.


  4. I’ve finally taken to boycotting all product offerings where rebates are offered. I find this very frustrating and hard to do, because sometimes the items are things that I really want to buy. I am also simultaneously contacting the sales departments for the manufacturer of products where a rebate is being offered. This is one of the letters that I’ve sent… —————- I’ve been considering purchasing a xxxx for a long time. Recently I saw that a rebate is available from your company in the amount of $100.00 Unfortunately, I’ve had several problems with receiving rebates from various companies over the last few years. In fact, I’ve lost hundreds of dollars in non-honored rebates from manufactures. I’ve found theat rebate centers are often not responsive to my resending photocopies of my rebates and many times will simply never reply at all. I suspect that these rebate centers may not be playing fair with consumers. I have also have considered that mail fruad or loss may also be a factor. Since the rebate center you are using does not offer a physical street address, I am not able to send my letters certified mail through a notary public mailing service. Therefore; I am sorry that I cannot buy your product at this time. Presently I am boycotting all products with these rebates and I am actively encouraging friends and family to do the same.

  5. Just letting you know, The reason for the 000-000-0000 is because whoevers rebate it was, they don’t have a phone number. It appears as though the manufaturer hired somebody else to do the rebate, as is just a big rebate company. I guess the manufaturer didn’t supply a number…and didn’t give its own number.

  6. I have recently been stiffed by Sirius Radio with the weakest excuse(es) I ever heard.

    This is just an alert that these people will not stand by their rebate promises



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