UPDATE: Radio Shack Screams Nonsense On Phone With Rebate-Seeking Customer

Daniel writes in a happy ending, with an unexpected twist, to his Radio Shack rebate complaint we posted yesterday.

The rebate has suddenly been sent out today, at least this is what the website shows. By the way, the CSR, Patrick, lied to me, the rebate processor is a not Radio Shack, it’s a vendor, www.web-rebates.com. They process rebates for many companies. Still, the responsibility is on Radio Shack to select a reputable company to represent them, as their vendor.

In this era of keeping every iota “on brand” and “on message,” do companies just run out of paint when it comes to customer care? — BEN POPKEN

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  1. homerjay says:

    This is another one of those “Don’t count your airlines…” situations. Just because someone (or something) SAYS you’re going to be righted, doesn’t mean its going to happen. I hope it arrives.

  2. ediebeale says:

    I’ve got a rebate from web-rebates that was supposed to be done in 6-8 weeks, and it’s closing in on week 11…now I’m wondering if I’ll ever get it. Might be time to give them a call and get yelled at or something.

  3. RandomHookup says:

    Just to note — no major company processes its own rebates. It’s always outsourced to one of the 3 or 4 firms that specialize in not paying you your money.

    At least one state attorney general is going after these folks for any nondelivered payments as needing to be turned over to the state as unclaimed money. That will hurt the old business model and make it a touch easier to get your money if you move or forget.

  4. Anonymously says:

    There is no such thing as a respectable rebate fulfillment company.

    I had to wait 13 months from the time of purchase to get my $200 cell phone rebate from InPhonics. The first 6 months were a required waiting period due to the (questionable) terms of the rebate.

  5. Anonymously says:

    There is no such thing as a respectable rebate fulfillment company.

    I had to wait 13 months from the time of purchase to get my $200 cell phone rebate from InPhonics. The first 6 months were a required waiting period due to the (questionable) terms of the rebate.

  6. mglasspo says:

    The problem with rebate programs is that frequently the fulfillment companies make mistakes. It would be irresponsible and possibly slanderous of me to say that these are not mere mistakes, so I won’t say that.

    The statistics prove themselves, really. Of the number of rebates issued, a large number go unclaimed. Of the rebates submitted, many do not meet the stringent requirements for rebate issuance. Of the small few that are left a number of mistakes may or may not happen to them so that in the end, only a relatively minor percentage of people get the rebate.

    The costs are absorbed by the large number that don’t claim or don’t receive payment.

    Here are some sure-fire tips to get your rebates:

    1) Photocopy everything. Take copies of your receipt, the UPC code, the completed rebate form, any required documents and the terms and conditions.
    2) Read the terms and conditions before purchasing. Be sure you fit the requirements and are able to meet them by the deadline.
    3) Don’t be fooled by expired rebates.
    4) Immediately send the rebate request in along with all required documentation. Note whether they require originals or photocopies. If they request an original and you give them a photocopy, your request will be denied. The same is true in reverse.
    5) Note the date you submitted the request.
    6) Note the lastest date according to their terms and conditions the rebate will be received by.
    7) On the last day they have to issue the rebate, phone the call centre or do the web lookup on your rebate to see if it has been issued. Make sure the rebate has been issued. If they claim it’s been issued and is on the way, give them a week to get it to you. If they lost it or have denied it, complain, be pleasant but firm. Be prepared to provide supporting documentation.
    8) If a week later, the issue is unresolved. Quickly go through the chain of command at the company (the people you bought the product from, not the rebate centre) and demand immediate resolution of your problem. THEY are responsible for the rebate. Any mistakes their contractor makes fall on their shoulders. Be prepared to do research on this. Know the company org chart and structure. Move up from customer service to supervisor to manager, then if you are still unsatisified, begin hounding execs. They can usually be found on investor web sites. Phone and email them. Once I have gotten to this stage, I have never been left unsatisfied.

    Good luck!

  7. Daniel_V says:

    mglasspo – Thanks for the 8 steps. However it’s absolutely rediculous for a customer to have to go through all these headaches to get their money. Isn’t it?

  8. Motor_Head says:

    I’ve had a few problems with rebates in the past. I would add a step 9 to mglasspo’s post.

    9.) Look up the address to your State Attorney General’s “Consumer Protection Division”. Carbon copy them on the letter you send to the rebate company. Send both letters registered mail. They automatically open a case and followup for you. I’ve gotten hundreds of dollars in lost rebates back just by doing this (in Michigan).