Jill aka Jo (sireesanwar) wrote,
Jill aka Jo

Rebate Rage

Now, I feel the need to tell you... "Don't be a victim of Rebate Rage." But then trying to jump through the Rebate hoops is sometimes enough to make you run screaming for the hills. Not me, I already live there.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who has gone to the store or even a website and discovered you could purchase something you've wanted and get almost the entire purchase price back in rebate form. Sure you might have to wait up to 6 months to get the money back but you are supposed to get the money back. Money sent to you in the mail, what could be better?

Some people aren't willing to jump through the hoops and I'll tell you why. You read the rebate information and all the instructions and so many people stop right there. Too much work.

But for those willing to put in the effort; they have you print out a rebate form. Then they ask (sometimes) that you cut off the UPC code and send that in (no photocopies allowed) which makes you look at items like stain remover with a puzzled expression. How do I cut the UPC code off the bottle (as it is printed physically onto the bottle) and still have the ability to use the product? Generally, if you call they will tell you a photo copy is acceptible but right up front they've already told you NO PHOTOCOPIES. I know many people who reach this point and give up.

But we are going to stick it out. We are going to get our rebate. We have to send this snail mail? I'm out.

No! I bought virus software for $50 and I get a $50 rebate. I wanted free software!

For online purchase, they now are asking for your receipt which logically means they want to know you spent the money on it. But which receipt do you send? I'm going to tell you now there are three receipts you should just automatically send to the rebates offices (providing they are provided for you). And I'll tell you I've sent #2 and been asked for #1 and I've sent #1 & #2 and been asked for #3.

How many people are looking for the diagram that shows you how to put this rebate together... Step A? No. Dang.

So let's talk receipes... #1, #2, #3... it feels a little like Dr. Seuss. Anyways...

#1 The receipt in your box. Sometimes this is the only receipt they want but other times they want it as additional proof of your purchase.

#2 The receipt you were emailed by the company you purchased from. They will almost always want this email though it is possible there is a different version they will want which is...

#3 A copy that physically says INVOICE on it. Don't ask me why but I've learned this from experience. Sometimes you'll send the receipt in the box and the receipt you were emailed and they will end up telling you your rebate has been denied. It is because they want the receipt marked INVOICE.

You are asking yourself why when you read these receipts aren't you. Because I guarentee you almost every receipt has the exact same information on it. You'd think one is enough. Why when we can kill more trees????

This baffles me because as most know when you purchase online you are paying upfront. I work for a retail company and we never even produce an "invoice" for customers who pay upfront (99.9 % of customers). Instead, we'd supply them with a Sales Receipt which is exactly what it sounds like a receipt of the sale.

Now places like Tiger Direct have a receipt marked invoice on their site for you to forward to your email. See they've figure out you're going to need it. So there like magic... big deal. *wink*

Plus, there is that dreaded DENIED. My mother is a good example. They tell her she's been denied and she just accepts this. I believe that is there goal in making you jump through such hoops. But always call them. ALWAYS! Ask exactly what they need from you. Almost always, they will let you resubmit and by this time you should have the appropriate documentation. I have never been denied twice. And on the rare occasion they will simply shove your rebate through so they don't have to deal with you.

Another thing you should always do is copy everything you are sending to the rebate company. They usually want the originals, and if not don't send them, so keep a copy for yourself because if they deny you or tell you you haven't sent something that you have they will deny having it. So if photocopies are acceptible send them otherwise keep those copies for yourself. They are proof that generally is not refuted.

Always keep all the documentation and receipts together until you get that rebate in the mail. After that the only reason to keep it is for warranty purposes which is a whole other acrobatic feat and one we won't get into.

I would say beware of things marked "EASY REBATES" but in my experience they are actually easy. Staples is a good example of this. I've purchased things from them in the past and their Easy Rebate means you take your receipt, sit at the computer, go to the website listed on your receipt and basically give them all the information they ask for off that receipt. Submit and you are done. You should received your rebate in 8 weeks. Yeah I know they say 6 to 8 weeks but it is almost always 8 weeks.

But remember... keep your documentation!

And happy rebating... is that a word?
Tags: fyi, fyi: cash back, fyi: tips, shopping, topic: money
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