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Comments: Rebate Scams

This article was written by in Consumer, Internet. 10 comments.


I received this email from Adam last night, in reference to my article about rebate “scams.” I’ve reprinted the email with permission:

I really enjoyed your Rebate Scams article. Five to six years ago, I used to buy items with rebates all the time. I never had a problem. It seems like it’s a recent phenomenon, within the last couple of years, where I suddenly now worry every time I submit one. Every time, I follow the directions to the letter, and still they get rejected. I don’t see how this is legal.

I’ve gotten so frustrated that I’m trying to build up some sort of public movement against rebates. I think this could be accomplished by 1) totaling amounts owed to people (which would be staggering) and 2) making a lot of noise about it by sending reports to the offices of relevant officials.

The web serves as the perfect vehicle for this kind of thing, so I’ve created a website. It’s in a beta state right now. If you have a few minutes to browse, I would love to hear your opinion about the site.

At first glance, Where The Hell Is My Rebate looks like a great way to track rebates. Before you purchase an item for which a company is offering a rebate, you could conceivably check their track record. Thanks for the great tool! With any community-based website, as more people use the service, the more useful it becomes.

Updated July 16, 2010 and originally published March 8, 2006. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar SingleMom

This is the exact reason why I don’t buy things with rebates. It’s just too much hassle and red tape. If the price should be cheaper, put it on sale in the store right now.

BTW, I’d love it if you’d stop by my blog and provide input on my post for today.

Thanks!

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avatar RS

When you see the amazingly high numbers of people that don’t send the rebate in, you know why they do them.

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avatar Lynn

Rebates: I recently purchaced a HDTV on line. One of the requirements to receive a $100 rebate was to remove the serial number on a sticker on the back of the set (the only one). It had to be the original, not copy. You also had to afix a pre-printed address to the envelope which you had to get online. You couldn’t just write the address on the envelope. You couldn’t use the packing list and documents, only the original purchace order. Well, you only get a printed copy of this when you buy online, unless you contact the online company and have one mailed. Now, you only have 30 days to submit after purchase and the company takes sweet time to send this. Oh, and when it arrives, it’s a copy!!!!!!! I have spent hours on this rebate and still have not received it, which will take as long as 12 weeks. Just hope the check has not expired when and if it arrives.

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avatar coglethorpe

I recently purchased a laptop. I have so little faith in rebates, that I ended up buying from a warehouse club. At least I know what I’m paying up front.

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