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Old Dec 31, 2005, 1:23 AM   #1
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I purchased a Sandisk 256mb CF card back at the beginning of October and sent in the rebate promptly. I still have yet to recieve the rebate, and my information doesn't show up on either the Circuit City or Sandisk rebate sites! I've tried tracking number, phone, address, email to no avail. I hope it didn't get "lost in the mail" as so many things do with USPS.

I better not be screwed out of the $15 from this. I will call them tomorrow, hopefully they will still send me the check. Don't get me wrong, the price was good before the rebate (I never buy on rebate alone), but I have a right to that money. Many stores seem to offer rebates instead of sales, and they know damn well that people can screw up, mailmen steal mail, and thus they can profit off of lost rebates.

Instead of using old technology (aka Pony Express) why aren't rebates processed electronically. When the person buys the item, that data goes to the rebate company and viola the check is sent. Or just skip the whole damn rebate thing and lower the price.

All this comes up as I send out another Sandisk rebate, actually two, on a 256mb SD card. They total $25. If I actually get the money, the card will only cost me $10 in the end.
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Old Dec 31, 2005, 12:19 PM   #2
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I had a similar problem with a Sandisk rebate back in September as well. I sent in all the required information. I kept checking their web site and kept getting the response that they had no record of my submission. I called their 800 number and was told to be patient--that it sometimes takes 6-8 weeks for ones information to get into their system. About 8-9 weeks after the purchase, I checked their site and it said that I didn't submit the required proof of purchase (the UPC code cut from the packaging.) I called the 800 number again, and kept hanging on until I could talk to a live human being. I told him that I had, indeed, cut the bar code from the package and stapled it to the rebate form. I told him I did this because the UPC bar code was so small (about 1.5 inches square) that I thought it might get lost when the envelope was opened. He said that this might be my problem, and asked if I had my original purchase receipt. I told him I did and he had me read the store's SKU code from the receipt. He said that should be OK, and that he would make a "one time" exception for me in this case, and that they would process my rebate request. I got the check less than a week later.

It was a big hassle, and like you, I would rather have them just lower their prices than to jump through all the hoops you have to in order to get your rebate. But I do keep pretty good records of all receipts and submissions, and I keep at them until they honor their commitments. Good luck.
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Old Dec 31, 2005, 6:18 PM   #3
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I hold on to recipts as well. It seems these companies make it as hard as possible to redeem rebates. And I was in Circuit City today as people have been saying "how great" the discounts are. Well the memory cards went up $10 since November! Some were offering $20 rebates. They raise prices and then try to make it look like you're getting a deal with the rebates, but as I have learned, rebates seem to be almost meaningless. Years ago I never had much trouble with them, but now these companies are playing unfair.
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Old Jan 1, 2006, 5:34 AM   #4
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pineywoodsman wrote:
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I hold on to recipts as well. It seems these companies make it as hard as possible to redeem rebates. And I was in Circuit City today as people have been saying "how great" the discounts are. Well the memory cards went up $10 since November! Some were offering $20 rebates. They raise prices and then try to make it look like you're getting a deal with the rebates, but as I have learned, rebates seem to be almost meaningless. Years ago I never had much trouble with them, but now these companies are playing unfair.
Hey, now you're getting the picture. The whole idea of rebates it to make it as hard and vexing as possible to get your money, since they know that most people will give up on the hassle. It's much better to just pay a decent price and forget about getting the "best possible" deal (one that assumes you'll be lucky enough to get them to honor the rebate offer).
Yes, it's really unfair of both the manufacturers and the stores that advertise cheap prices (with the disclaimer "after rebate" in tiny print); in short, I would never shop around on the basis of after-rebate prices, and if a store tries to tell me they're cheaper on the basis of the rebate, I'd tell them, "okay, I'll sign the rebate over to you; you do the paperwork and just pass on the savings to me."



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Old Jan 1, 2006, 9:31 AM   #5
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The rebates are handled by third-party companies. I'm convinced that they are paid bonuses by the manufacturers for low fulfillment rates, i.e., it's up to the third party company to sharpen it's techniques to discourage the consumer from persuing the rebate once the sale is made, and they are rewarded for success - the third partiesget a cut of the take (the unfulfilled rebates). You better believe that there are "experts" out there who train the third-party employees inproven effective discouragementtechinqies. If I were President, I would make anyting other than instant rebates illegal.
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Old Jan 1, 2006, 12:44 PM   #6
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It is true that many rebates go unclaimed. As long as one is careful and follows instructions, you will get your money. Keep copies of rebate forms and receipts and always send the forms via certified mail. Yes it costs a little extra, and is a pain in the you know what, but this will provide proof of delivery and submission if you have an issue.

There is no grand conspiracy to cheat consumers out of their money. There is no dividing up of unclaimed money, or bonuses paid when customers end up on the short end. Retailers like rebates because it allows them to maintain margins (which are growing thinner and thinner as things become more competitive). Since third parties handle rebates and they are a paperwork based, mistakes can and do happen. It's not the retailers fault, and as long as you've taken the proper steps maintain your burden of proof, you will eventually get your money.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 7:05 AM   #7
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I purchased a SanDisk card last summer. I got the rebate about only about 3 weeks ago. Don't give up yet.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 8:45 AM   #8
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rjseeney wrote:
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It is true that many rebates go unclaimed. As long as one is careful and follows instructions, you will get your money. Keep copies of rebate forms and receipts and always send the forms via certified mail. Yes it costs a little extra, and is a pain in the you know what, but this will provide proof of delivery and submission if you have an issue.

There is no grand conspiracy to cheat consumers out of their money. There is no dividing up of unclaimed money, or bonuses paid when customers end up on the short end. Retailers like rebates because it allows them to maintain margins (which are growing thinner and thinner as things become more competitive). Since third parties handle rebates and they are a paperwork based, mistakes can and do happen. It's not the retailers fault, and as long as you've taken the proper steps maintain your burden of proof, you will eventually get your money.
I disagree. It is clear that the third parties push things just to the threshold of it becoming a legal matter. Obviously some manufacturers are more conerned with their reputation and ensure that the third party behaves, but there is no doubt that some major companies push to discourage fulfillment - i.e., push it just to the point that the consumers start to complain to their respective state attorneys general.

Nobody here blamed the retailers. The problem is not that mistakes happen - of course they do. But it's the wall of b.s. that you often have to deal with that is intentional and wrong. When an honest mistake happens, it is usually obvious and a simple matter of fixing it. That's not what happens. There are intentional delaying (discouragement) tactics used.

I had to get New Egg and the manufacturer involved one time on a monitor rebate. The third party would not accept the e-mailed invoice that New Egg sends with every purchase, nor would they accept the packing slip that came with the package -the only paperwork available - it was a no-win dealing with the third party - they *absolutely* refused to work with New Egg to work out the issue of a valid invoice. It was technically not New Egg's problem since it was a manufacturer's rebate, but I am thankful they stepped in and fixed the problem. The third party was *clearly* making its own rules to avoid paying the rebate.

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Old Jan 3, 2006, 1:20 PM   #9
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I will agree that timeliness is not exactly high on the list of goals to achieve for the companies that handle rebates. However, as a member of the retail/electronics industry (as a buyer) i stand by the fact that these 3rd parties are not out to cheat the consumer. Retailers are the "customer" for these companies and companies that don't take care of business will not be in business very long....a company who consistantly mishandles rebate submissions will not survive. You can be sure that there is no major retailer pushing a rebate processor to cheat the customer. Many of the "invalid" submission issues or rebate redemption problems are actually the result of the highamount of fraudulant submissions and policies (or as the previous poster said "the wall of BS") put in place to prevent these companies from losing their shirts due to fraud. You would be amazed at how many people try to cheatthrough rebates. Believe me, there are more dishonest 'consumers" trying to pull a fast one thanthe other way around.Unfortunately, many honest customersare inconvenienced bysome of these policies. Companies require very specific info to help prevent huge losses because of fraud. Fraud is the main reason original receipts are required instead of copies.

I stand by my earlier comment that as long as you maintain copies of all paperwork, follow all instructions, and mail submissions via certified mail, you will get your rebate.
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Old Jan 3, 2006, 5:07 PM   #10
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rjseeney wrote:
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...You can be sure that there is no major retailer pushing a rebate processor to cheat the customer...
What part of "Nobody here blamed the retailers" do you not understand?

I repeat: The beef is not with retailers - in fact, I don't think I've ever seen a retailer rebate - only manufacturers' rebates (I've seen manufacturer's rebates with coupons downloadable/printable from the various retailers' web sites, but the rebatewas a program run by the mfgr. thru a third partyfor all of that product regardless of which retailer it was purchased thru). The problem is with *MANUFACTURER* rebates.

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Companies require very specific info to help prevent huge losses because of fraud. Fraud is the main reason original receipts are required instead of copies.
Understood. But that can't explain the third party absolutely refusing to even check into New Egg's policy of only providing the invoice by e-mail when I told them about it.What is a third party rebateprocessing company doing in the business if they don't even understand that factwhen that's how most mailorder electronics firms operate - you*DO NOT* get a hard copyinvoicein the shipment - you get an e-mailed invoice, and a packing slip in the shipment. The third party company refused to accept either - and what they were asking for didn't exist by *their* (and no one else's) definition - IOW - fraud. Nor was the catch 22 disclosed in the rebate instructions enticing people to purchase the product - IOW - fraud.

Oh - here's another kicker: They accept faxes. Please tell me why a printed out e-mail invoice is any *LESS* original than a fax. You'resaying that a fax is any more original and can't be faked any easier than an e-mail? Bottom line: The rules were arbitrary and contrary to the instructions printed on the rebate coupon.Whena consumer is lured into buying something based on a rebate and the rebate is denied based on rules that were not disclosed up front, the legal system calls that fraud.Not honoringwhat the retailer calls (and whatis legally recognized as)its invoice because the third party doesn't consider an e-mailed invoice an invoice is fraud. (Again - the retailer was not the problem - it was not the retailer's rebate - it was a manufacturer's rebate.)

rjseeney wrote:
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I stand by my earlier comment that as long as you maintain copies of all paperwork, follow all instructions, and mail submissions via certified mail, you will get your rebate.
That would *NOT* - repeat - *NOT* - have been the case in that situation had I*NOT* threatened to report them to the attorney general and gotten New Egg involved. It was clearly an attempt to defraud me. Most people would have given up - and that's what they were counting on.
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