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Thread: Rebates, Has your rebate been denied? What can you do?

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    Super Moderator Kage_'s Avatar
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    Exclamation Rebates, Has your rebate been denied? What can you do?

    This article will cover what you can do if your rebate has been denied.

    When you go to a store and buy a product with a rebate or rebates associated with it you make a good faith assumption that the issuer of the rebate will honor it. When, not if your rebate gets rejected for some reason you can use the following tips to try and recover the rebate.

    The whole rebate thing is a big game. Vendors use the rebate gimmick to get people to buy there products in hopes that the buyer will forget to send in there rebate so the vendor does not have to pay it. Unfortunately there are vendors that will try and not pay a rebate because of some technicality.

    First off find out why the rebate was rejected. The most common I have seen are: “the bar/product code was not included”, “your submission did not arrive with in the time specified on the rebate”, and “unspecified”. The last one makes me laugh. So you don’t know why you denied my rebate?

    Once you find out why it was denied gather your ammo. In the previous article I told you to make copies of everything. You did copy everything right? Once you have everything together it’s time to make a choice. You can e-mail the rebate company or you can call them. Personally I like to call the rebate company because it is easer to talk to a person while they look up the rebate. If they have a question you are right there to answer it and you can also ask them questions.

    When you call the rebate company, don’t start yelling at the operator. It’s not their fault your rebate was denied. All they can do is tell you what is on the screen. What they can do is tell you why it was denied and then you can ask what can be done to resolve it. If they require some info fax them what they need. A tip, if I have to fax them some of my rebate info, I fax them everything. This way they have it all and they won’t have to ask for it again. I have found most of the time this will resolve most rebate issues. If the operator refuses to grant your rebate, it’s time to escalate the call.

    When you feel you should escalate the call ask to speak with their supervisor. When the supervisor comes on the line have them look up your rebate and tell you why it was denied. The reason for this is that it forces the supervisor to look at your account and see what the problem is. Go through pretty much what you did with the previous operator and hopefully the supervisor will allow your rebate.

    If you are the type that does not like to talk on the phone w/ operators you can opt to email the rebate company. I have had mixed results with email. The reason is because it makes it easy for the person on the other end to say, “sorry it’s still denied”. Again, I have had mixed results, but if you want to try emailing first it would not hurt to start here. In the email state your name, address, rebate number, and reason that your rebate was rejected. Ask why it was rejected and what you can do to get the rebate approved. After this kick back and see what they say. They may authorize it or they may not. You may still have to call and talk to a live person.

    As a very last resort you can file a report with the Federal Trade Commission, your local State Attorney General, and/or the Better Business Bureau. Also, federal law states that "companies are required to send rebates within the time frame promised, or if no time is specified, within a "reasonable" time. "Reasonable" in this case often is interpreted as within 30 days." To view some good information from the FTC view this article entitled: Taking the "Bait" Out of Rebates.

    Here’s an example that happened to me recently. I went to CompUSA and purchased an antenna for my router. CompUSA had two rebates, which printed at the register, for this particular antenna which made it free after rebate. I got home, filled out all the paper work and mailed it in. A few weeks later I found out that one of the rebates was denied due to it being a duplicate rebate. I knew this was bogus since I got two separate rebates that printed at the CompUSA register. I called the rebate company and talked to the operator at the rebate company. I got the same thing from the operator, the rebate was denied due to it being a duplicate rebate. After this I pulled out my rebate forms and looked at them. Clearly on the rebate forms they were different rebates. The rebate number, the amount of the rebate, and the Terms and Conditions were all different. I then called back to the rebate company and asked to speak to a supervisor. I asked why my rebate was denied and got the same thing that it was a duplicate. I told them about the rebates printing at CompUSA’s register and was told it wasn’t their problem that CompUSA printed two rebates, even though the rebates were from the vendor not CompUSA. After that I started telling him that the rebates I was holding were different and listed the differences. He responded by saying that the T&C’s stated only one rebate per item. This was sort of true. The T&C’s of the rebate forms were different. One stated only one rebate per item, but the other rebate did not. After going back and forth with the person he requested that I fax all of my info to him, which I did, but before I did I circled all of the differences on both of the forms. A few weeks later I found out both rebates had been combined into one that was equal to the two original rebates. Had I not called and fought it I know that I would have not received the 2nd rebate on that item. This was the furthest I have ever had to go to get a rebate, but in the end I won.

    Another rebate problem I had involved the rebate company telling me that they could not pay the rebate because the original vendor had not authorized the funds for them to pay the rebates. If that makes any sense. In this case the rebate company gave me the phone number of the vendor and I called them directly. After bouncing around to a few people I found the person I needed to talk to. In this case the vendor was very helpful. I faxed my info to them and two weeks later I received a check from them.

    Rebates can be frustrating, but the key is to keep copies of everything and if you know you sent everything in correctly and on time keep fighting. To date I have received every rebate that I have sent in. A few I have had to fight for, but I have not had to write any off.

    If you have any questions about a rebate or a problem with a rebate you can post in the rebates forum and your question will be answer as soon as possible.

    Copyright 2005 by Kage_ - May not be reproduced without authorization
    Last edited by Kage_; 05-11-2009 at 07:18 AM. Reason: Updated States AG site

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