Protect Your Rebate Check: Get Your Rebate Receipts Notarized

If you really want to protect your ass in case the rebate company arbitrarily decides your rebate claim is expired, get your receipt notarized. Writes Tian:

“All you need is to photo copy of the same information (ie. serial number, UPC code, receipt) and bring them with you to a bank along with the ones you are going to send in. Notary service is free with Bank of America if you have account with them.

Some people may think this business of getting notarized is a bit obsessive, obviously they don’t care about their money as we do.”

Good tip, if a tad anal. Here’s another (tip, that is): don’t let a rebate be what makes you decide to buy something. — BEN POPKEN

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  1. Virtually every bank has notaries available free to account holders (and at a nominal charge for others — most states limit what notaries can charge. In IL, it’s $1.).

  2. scoobydoo says:

    I can see where this would be anal on a $10 rebate, but some vendors like CompUSA feel the need to sell products with up to $300 in rebates. Mix that with their poor history on honoring rebates and this actually sounds like a good idea. I’m just not sure what good it’ll do if they just decide to screw you over and claim they never got your submission. Plus, a notary won’t go over the requirements to be sure YOU didn’t screw up (and I have in the past).

  3. Kornkob says:

    Scooby, they could claim to neve rhave recieved them, but if you have a notarized copies (notaries are required to date the materials they notarize) it’s going to be a lot harder for them to blow you off without soundling like they are making shit up.

    And if you don’t point out that you have notarized copies till they’ve already tried to blow smoke up your butt then you can really put the screws to them.

    It’s not making sure that it is a done deal– that’s just not going to happen with a system that is designed to fail often enough to be profitable. What notarized copies does is make your position stronger than theirs. You have documentation, they don’t. In small claims which person has more credibility?

    Person A: “I had these notarized and sent to this address per their instructions immediately following”

    Person B: “Um— we didn’t get them?”

    Want to make sure that last arguement doesn’t work? Whip out your Certificate of Mailing from the US Postal Service. http://www.usps.com/rates/extra-services-rates.htm#H1

    Then make sure you request that the right to bitch slap the rebate whore is part of the settlement.

    *SMACK* Bitch— where’s my money!

  4. xkaluv says:

    The notary’s only purpose is to confirm that the person who signed a document is the person who they confirmed ID. That’s it! Having it documents notarized would do nothing. If you really want to protect yourself you should copy everything you send and then send all rebates certified mail, sure it will cost a couple of extra dollars but to confirm a $90 rebate it’s worth it!

  5. Keter says:

    Here’s what I did to successfully get BOTH advertised rebates (representing almost half off) on a laptop purchased from Office Depot, which has a reputation for refusing to honor rebates:

    1. I had the store print 2 original receipts.

    2. I went straight home and as soon as I checked out the laptop to make sure it worked, I did the rebates.

    3. The instructions as to which barcode was required were inadequate, so I carefully cut around each one on the box, peeled them off, and taped them to a piece of paper, on which I wrote: “I couldn’t figure out from your instructions which barcode was needed, so here are all of them.”

    3. I completed a registered mail ticket for each rebate.

    4. I scanned in all of the completed rebate forms, receipts, barcode page, and registered mail ticket and made a PDF for each rebate.

    5. I printed two copies of each PDF, attaching a copy of the PDF in addition to the required materials, so that anyone with one eye and half sense could see that I had a complete record of what was sent, and that I would have a mail receipt to prove that it was sent.

    I got both of my rebates in about 3 weeks, a record time I’m told by friends. A little “don’t tread on me” goes a long way… ;o)

  6. Jim C. says:

    @:

  7. Jim C. says:

    @Keter: registered mail is really only for valuable items. In fact, I heard somewhere that the only difference between registered and certified mail is that the former is kept in a safe. Just use certified and save $5.

    http://www.keene.edu/mailsvs/shipping.cfm