Update: Micro Center Funds Spurned Gigafast Rebate

Micro Center has funded a rebate offer abandoned by consumer electronics manufacturer Gigafast. Reader Mitch received the good news from rebate-processor OnRebate.com.

Although Gigafast Inc.’s unresponsiveness to OnRebate’s repeated funding requests has delayed your rebate we are pleased to inform you that the above rebate claim has been funded by Micro Center. Micro Center wants to be sure that their valued customers receive their promised rebates and has arranged to fund the Gigafast rebates. This extraordinary gesture will allow OnRebate.com Inc. to issue payment to you in a prompt manner.

This incident only ends well because of Micro Center’s exceptional and unexpected intervention. We implore you, do not purchase products because of a rebate. All together now: rebates are scams. — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

Micro Center
PREVIOUSLY: Gigafast Fails To Fund Rebate Offers
(Photo: whileseated)

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  1. krunk4ever says:

    Saying “rebates are scams” is like saying “credit cards are scams”. There’s a ton of loopholes for you to get screwed out of either, but if you managed to read all the fine print and follow instructions, it’ll eventually come through.

    I have not failed to receive a rebate in the last 4 years and I do about 5-6 rebates a month.

    Once in awhile, I need to send in a email to check up on them and very infrequently do I need to push the matter any further.

  2. krunk4ever says:

    @krunk4ever: wanted to add some addition comments.

    Not all rebates are equal. There’s a ton of different processing centers and some have better reputations than others (just like you wouldn’t trust a random credit card issuer, you should do your research on which rebate processing centers are reliable).

    The rebate centers I truly adore are Staples Easy Rebates, Costco rebates, and Amazon rebates. They’re the easiest to do and pretty much guaranteed. Neither Staples nor Amazon requires you to actually mail anything in.

    Since all these rebates entered manually (with the exception of online filing, though I’ve still seen problems with those, but fewer), you really have to check the status on them as they could be entered incorrectly or they might’ve missed something.

    Read all fine prints!
    Read all fine prints!
    Read all fine prints!

    Note what is needed to be sent in. Note which items require the original (i.e. UPC) and which ones allows copies of (i.e. receipt). Note the period of time that the rebate is valid between and make sure your purchase lands in that date.

    You should make a copy of everything. Also note down when you should receive your rebate. I use Outlook to setup a reminder. Some say 4-6 weeks while others say 10-12 weeks.

    If about 6 weeks in and their online status still doesn’t show your rebate, it’s time to contact them. All of them have a phone number and most of them has a website/email you can contact them through.

    Another thing you need to be careful about is the limit. Most rebates limit 1 per name, address, household, etc.

  3. humphrmi says:

    What amazes me about the opinions about rebates is this: for every article that Consumerist posts about a scam rebate where the manufacturer or rebate processor or someone else in the money chain who refuses to pay a promised rebate, there are all these folks who say “I’ve never had a problem with rebates! Therefore, they aren’t scams!” As if the article that they are commenting on itself doesn’t demonstrate otherwise. I also read an article where a clever guy got a 419 scammer to send him a buck in the mail. So does that make Nigerian Advance Fee schemes “not scams”? Sounds like it worked out for one guy!

    Yeah, sure, sometimes they pay up.

    I think it’s great that these work out for you. But for a lot of people, rebates are ways for sellers to sell (or upsell) to people under the promise of a “lower price” and then keep the promised discount. Sometimes because the consumer didn’t read the fine print, or sometime like in the case of this article, because the seller just wanted to keep the money.

  4. scoobydoo says:

    It’s a personal thing. Some will have sent in 100’s of rebates without a problem, while others have had nothing but hassles with them.

    I pick my rebates with caution. I go for the “easy rebates”, or rebates I can fill in online. T-mobile, Amazon, Staples and Costco are indeed simply awesome. I avoid anything from Tigerdirect (onrebate) and anything that involves more than one rebate. Compusa is high up there with poor performance, but they have improved slightly over the years (not that it matters now with most of their stores closing).

    On the whole I’ve seen rebates improve, I sent in a rebate for a video card I got at Fry’s. After 5 days they acknowledged that they received it, and after another 5 days I had the check. That was a first for me.

    I hate rebates that make you wait 9-10 weeks to receive the money, there is no reason in the world for them to keep it that long, other than to make more money off you.

    That said; I’m a little concerned that a rebate processor would process rebates for a firm that hasn’t proven their financial stability. It puts them in a pretty bad light too.

  5. Bix says:

    Micro Center is a pretty awesome store to shop at for computer stuff, and this makes me love them even more.

  6. theantidote says:

    Microcenter is a great store for geeks. It’s like a giant warehouse filled with rows of computer stuff. They also have a great, albeit disorganized, book store with a ton of tech magazines I’ve never even heard of.

  7. Landru says:

    The company that made me swear off rebates forever was ATT/Cingular. Their rules and hoops they make you jump through are almost amusing.

    And credit cards are too scams, if you call actions like deceit, obfuscation and the old bate and switch scams. Not necessarily illegal actions, but certainly not acting in good faith with the consumer.

  8. Winca says:

    Micro Center fucking rocks. Their customer service makes Fry’s and Best Buy look like monkeys flinging shit at you.

    I’m so glad there’s one five minutes from my house.

  9. velocipenguin says:

    I’ve never had anything but stellar experiences with Micro Center’s customer service. This story makes me wish I still lived near one.

  10. defectiveburger says:

    i LOVE micro center. I got an xbox 360 from them while they had a $100 MIR. I got a letter saying i didn’t submit a UPC, even though I had. So i mailed back the letter along with a scanned copy of the rebate form and UPC. Had the rebate in 2 weeks.

  11. xanax25mg says:

    I really hope Ben keeps tabs on Carey’s weekend work. As you recall Carey was the one that blasted CompUSA as being a SCAM!!!! a few weeks ago, despite the fact all the objective facts of that case showed the consumer made the mistake by not buying the merchandise until after the rebate, yet the headline remained. Now Carey is doing it again, calling all rebates “scams!!”. I think this does a real disservice to consumer issues where the companies are legitimately “scamming” customers. Carey really needs to reign it in, otherwise this blog starts to look like the boy that cried wolf.

  12. iMike says:

    Beware those with hyphenated last names.

  13. LatherRinseRepeat says:

    Not all rebates are scams. I only got burned once, but that was because I didn’t read the fine print carefully. And that’s the key to a successful rebate purchase.. read the fine print and follow the instructions exactly.

    Also, buy rebate products from reputable retailers and from well-known name brand products. Honestly, I’ve never heard of Gigafast. And from checking their website, they look like a here-today-gone-tomorrow type of company. Buyer beware.

  14. rachmanut says:

    True story about micro center:
    In college I got annoyed at Radio Shack’s tendency to ask for my name and address whenever I bought, say, batteries. Rather than simply refusing I figured it would be funny to put them on their own mailing list, so I used the address of the store I was in and for added humor said my name was “Ray Dioshack”. Yes, this was how I had fun in college. No, I didn’t get laid.

    Fast forward a few years and I’m in the Micro Center in Cambridge, MA. I note they have the same “ask-for-your-name-and-address” policy as the shack and so I think, “what’s a good name to use?” The obvious choice, of course, is “Mike Rossentor”. So when the clerk asks me for my name I give it, and wait, prepared to give the address of the store.

    But they don’t ask and the transaction completes. Curiously, I look at my receipt. Mike Rossentor was already in the system! His address? The address of the micro center I was in. I still wonder if this was the work of some smartass that came before me or an entry they used to test their system.

  15. valthun says:

    I don’t think that all rebates are scams. Best Buy had the best rebate I had ever received. I got a wireless router for free with a 10 or 15 dollar gift card on top of it. Granted I had to sign up for Vonage, but I wanted to do that anyway. I also needed a router. It did require three different forms to be sent in though, but it worked out. As for cell phone rebates. I just go to BestBuy, they don’t mess with mail-in rebates, the price was already the “rebate” price. Although you could still purchase the phone for full price if you really wanted to.

  16. krunk4ever says:

    @humphrmi: what amazes me is that people can be so naive to think just because a few rebates got denied, the lump the rest of the rebates along with it.

    If that’s how you’d think, I can’t imagine you shopping anywhere with all these horror stories of about people getting shafted in an electronics store, etc.

    Then there’s all these credit card/loan horror stories. Does that stop you from using your credit cards or borrowing loans. Of course not. I use my credit card fine, and I make sure I know all the associated fees and rules. Same with borrowing a loan (i.e. for mortgage or car). I don’t just go out and find the 1st one that’s most convenient. I go out and do my research and find which ones are reliable and reputable and have a good interest rate.

    The reason why you see people posting here saying rebates ARE NOT scam are because of posts that keep saying: All together now: rebates are scams.

    There’s one thing about increasing consumer knowledge. Then there’s FUD.

  17. krunk4ever says:

    @krunk4ever: I’m sorry if I offended anyone, in particularly the author. I really like Consumerist and have often sent in stories.

    In fact I sent in a rebate problem myself in regards to a CompUSA rebate which they were about to shaft over 1000s of people that participated over differet deals/bargain forums, which never got posted:

    Bait and Switch
    http://www.krunk4ever.com/blog/?p=961

    However, after everyone started contacting their State AG (attorney general) and BBB (Better Business Bureau), CompUSA finally gave in and started approving everyone’s rebate.

    If you don’t like rebates, I can understand. I know many people because they misread the fine print or forgot to keep track of them that never ended up getting their rebates, and from that point decided to hate rebates. Most people want to submit rebates and forget about it and just wait for the check to arrive. But rebates require a bit more work in terms of documenting, tracking, and even contacting their customer support when issues arise.

    Bias is one thing, but saying all rebates are scam is just trying to mislead your readers. I can say credit cards are scams and link to a couple bad credit card experiences posted on Consumerist, but that doesn’t make it true.

    This is a good story, but I’ve got to disagree with the message you’re trying to send with your last sentence. Telling readers to be careful about rebates by reading the fine print, keep good records, track the rebate, do only rebates that are reputable is one thing. Telling readers that all rebates are scams is another.

  18. forrman says:

    Microcenter are a kick-ass computer store. In general their only problem is the speed of checking out or returning goods (v e r y s l o w), other than that they rock.

  19. Sudonum says:

    Can anyone tell me what the purpose of a rebate is? If you are going to get the item at a discount then give me the discount at the register. If you want me to jump through hoops to get the savings, then sorry, I’d rather spend that time looking for a vendor or product that gives me the discount up front. And yes, maybe some rebates are easy to get, which makes this game even sillier. If the rebate is so easy, give it to me during checkout!

    For those of you who use rebates and have never had a problem, that’s great. But if any company were serious about giving you a discount they would do it at the register rather than hope you didn’t follow through on the deal, or worse yet, claim you failed to submit properly and try to run out the clock on you.

  20. apotheosis says:

    I’d echo the comments of those above who’ve had good experiences with Micro Center, and in particular their customer service.

    I recently purchased a couple of systems’ worth of components from the Micro Center in Overland Park, KS. When one of the motherboards began acting wonky after a week, I took it back in to them sans receipt and accessories (SLI brackets, cables, manual, etc). All info on the purchase was still stored on their systems, which they were happy to look up.

    They said they didn’t typically test components in homebuilt systems for legal reasons they didn’t elaborate on, but they did allow me into their tech support dept. to hook the board up to a power supply, plug in a vid card, and verify that the motherboard didn’t even come up to a POST screen. Then they went out and pulled another board off the shelf, allowed me to mount the CPU and RAM to it, and hooked it up to verify it was working.

    Then they bagged up the working board, gave me a receipt for the swap, and sent me on my merry way. As far as I’m concerned, these guys are the class of the industry, and I’ve nothing but praise for them.

  21. krunk4ever says:

    @Sudonum: the purpose of a rebate is often times it’s a manufacturer’s rebate and not a store rebate. For example, if you purchase an item from compusa and it comes with a manufacturer’s rebate, you’re paying money to CompUSA, but the manufacturer is the one who is funding the rebate.

    They often do this to move stock. CompUSA already paid $x for the item and can’t discount it anymore unless the manufacturer sent them a check directly for every item sold. Therefore, in order for the manufacturer to discount it directly, they make rebates.

  22. umonster says:

    Rbts r scms? ‘v nvr hd prblm wth thm. vr. h Cry, y lwys gt t wrng.