Nasty rebate tricks

Filed under: slice @ 14:29

I ordered a new cellphone yesterday; it’s supposed to come today or tomorrow. It was “free” in the sense that the rebate total was the same as the offered price of the phone: $50 instant, $200 mail-in. Naturally, I still payed tax, “one time activation fees” and the like. It was a decent deal, though.

So today I get online again an grab the mail-in rebate form (which they have conveniently filled out for me already). I see the following text before me.

Postmark No Earlier Than: Nov 30, 2005
Postmark No Later Than: Jan 29, 2006

Son of a. I have to wait three months before I can start the process of getting my money back! Is this just a trick to try to get me to forget about it? Are they trying to make sure people don’t get the phone and rebate and then break their contract early. Hm… that seems likely now that I think about it. Total Rebates – (Activation + Early Termination) = $64. And that’s not factoring in the possibility that the place I got it from may have a good base price as well.

Regardless, I’m pissed.


    Adam 08.04.2005 @ 03:05

    Stuff like this is why stores like Best Buy, Circuit City, and Comp-USA are looking at dropping rebates entirely. The reason that companies offer rebates in the first place is that people will be inclined to buy something with a big rebate, but will forget (or neglect) to actually submit the rebate form. I myself have done this a few times. It’s a completely crap technique.

    xaosseed 08.04.2005 @ 11:23

    Hey, hey, hey! Don’t let those conniving sons of bitches win – staple that form to your calendar, or put it with your Xmas decorations – or most reliable of all, mail it home and you will not lack for reminding.

    I worked with rebates once. It was a mountainous charlie fox. There was a three girl crew who spent days just opening all the envelopes with the rebate forms and the complaints.

    MDA 08.04.2005 @ 12:40

    I’ve actually future dated a post on this site. It will automatically get published on November 30th. Hopefully that will grab my attention.

    A three girl crew, you say….

    AsparaGus 08.07.2005 @ 23:14

    Certainly right on the money about ‘just a trick to try to get me to forget about it’ there are a few rebates on my kitchen table that I haven’t the strength or patience to decipher the directions for claiming. That they printed them so small and with a few translations to insure inscrutability was just some bean counters after thought.

    holly 08.11.2005 @ 23:07


    Eric 08.24.2005 @ 17:02

    Hey was that the Verizon deal? If it was I ordered the buy one get one free over the phone and they applied my rebate instantly.

    If you got the Moto V276 I got a semi-review up here.

    Alf B. 11.27.2005 @ 14:59

    Missed that. Wich model did you chosoe?


    […] My cell phone and car are clearly in collusion Filed under: slice, in brief @ 10:39 After nearly six months, I finally received the $200 cell phone rebate I’ve been waiting for. Just in time for $191.89 worth of car repair (the battery and electronics system). Any suggestions on what I should do with my new found $8.11 riches? […]

    Athena 11.28.2006 @ 10:37

    I bought my razr phones from Wirefly with a supposed rebate that would make both phones free. That was Feb. 9,2006. You have to wait 120 days just to FILE the rebate. You then have to go to CELLPHONEREBATES.com and check your status. Well I jumped through all of the hoops and here I sit without a check. The website says that it’s on the way…they have had it since Aug. 16,2006. They have a toll free number that always says that call volume is high to call back later then it hangs up on you! There should be some way that these people that promise this stuff should be made to pay up! Today is Nov. 28,2006…..and counting…..

    Bobby 12.12.2006 @ 04:57


    I’d write to a local newspaper, most have like a “watchdog” section or at the least a young journalists looking to make a name for himself/herself.

    They” help you I’ll guarantee it, I’ve done it once before, different product but same problem. I was actually refunded.

    Last thing they want is bad press!

    iwan 01.04.2007 @ 13:34

    I also purchased 2 cellphones from Wirefly. It came with two steps rebates, one for $30 each, another for $50 (or $75 I don’t remember!) each.

    Today I received a letter saying “The combined value of all of your rebate claim submissions exceed what you are eligible for based on your order. All valid rebate amounts on your order have been paid.”.

    They have NOT paid me a penny.

    I called them 1866-607-9877, and they say they will “Research” this case, and will have a result in TWO to THREE weeks.

    This business model is just against honest policy that we are all proud of. They trick you in the first place, and want to fool you as much as possible, and eventually they may say the mail is lost and they are not responsible for it.

    I am tired of it.

    melody 09.11.2007 @ 12:27

    I ordered two cell phones online on Jan 31 2007. It said free online, but I had to pay $120 each plus tax first and supposingly got the money back by the rebates. I got rebate forms for customer appreciation and for customer loyalty, but I had to wait for 150 days to mail them with my 4th month phone bill. Unfortunately I forgot about what it said on the forms, “no earlier than 150 days and no later than 180/210 days”. It was a few days past the deadline when I looked at the rebate forms again. I called 866-607-9877 and got the reply ” we can not do anything about it”. I lost $240. I hate the rebates, and I think the retailers make money by letting the customers forget about sending them.

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