Good Luck Getting Your Rebate From Amp'd Mobile

CBS 13 has the story of a 13-year old kid who saved up his money and bought a pre-paid Amp’d mobile phone from Circuit City. The phone was $100 with a $120 rebate.

The kid filled out his rebate form, sent it in, but never got his money. When he called Circuit City they told him to call Amp’d mobile. When he called Amp’d mobile he got a recording.

Then he got a text message telling him that Amp’d was cutting off service on July 31. Amp’d was bankrupt. Whoops.

Now all he can do is submit a claim form and hope that it gets paid.

Call Kurtis: A Wireless Waste Of Money [CBS 13]

File a claim with the bankruptcy court [The Bankruptcy Court]

PREVIOUSLY: Amp’d Mobile Files For Bankruptcy After 1/2 Of Their Subscribers Don’t Pay Their Bills

Amp’d Mobile Shuts Down Tomorrow, Port Your Number Today!

Amp’d Mobile Bankruptcy Costing Verizon $370,000 A Day

Comments

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  1. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    “Where my refund at?”

  2. socialmisfit says:

    This isn’t much of a suprise. I bought an amp’d prepaid phone in April and am in the same boat. I’ve written off the rebate as a lost cause. With all the other headaches of losing my number and having to find other service, it’s just annoying.

  3. ColdNorth says:

    Amp’d sounds a lot like Punk’d.

    Another cruel life lesson brought to you by The Cold Hard World.

  4. Cowboys_fan says:

    Not to blame a 13 year old as I’m sure he doesn’t know better, but to get $120 rebate on a $100 pre-paid phone? So they are going to pay me $20 to buy their phone? It seems a little far fetched to me. Unfortunately this kid has to learn the hard way, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

  5. InThrees says:

    I think that means $100 *with* the $120 rebate, meaning a sticker price of $220.

  6. eheynowg says:

    To Cowboys_Fan:

    I’m pretty sure that the phone was $100 AFTER the rebate was taken into account. So this kid shelled out $220 expecting to get back $120 in the form of a rebate check.

  7. Trai_Dep says:

    Yet another example of why you never buy things based on what a rebate promises.

  8. Jerim says:

    @ColdNorth:

    Life Lesson #1: Don’t do business with a company that is “all about being up in your grill with the latest music and videos yo!”

    Seriously, the entire business model was geared toward the great “untapped” market of urban youth. Not to say that other’s didn’t buy the phone, but obviously their name and marketing was geared toward your urban street youth. The reason that market was untapped is because everyone already knew they wouldn’t pay their bills. But just like the mortgage industry, some very stupid business people decided that it was worth a shot. I am sure that most of the executives who implemented the plan quickly got their bonus checks for all the signups, left the company with golden parachutes and are now relaxing in their 15 room mansions. Ain’t the free economy grand?

  9. ChrisC1234 says:

    Honestly, I think the store should be on the hook for the $120. THEY are the ones who sold him the phone, and THEY are the ones who probably displayed the price as FREE (and then in tiny text put “after $120 mail in rebate”).

  10. SirKeats says:

    @Cowboys_Fan: It’s not uncommon for cell phone providers/makers to offer this kind of deal (though I don’t know if it’s as common with pre-paid services since I never use them).

    I hear about deals all the time that actually pay the customer X amount of dollars (usually applied to the customers bill) after a rebate. Usually the phones these types of rebates are on are junk… but still, the deals are indeed out there and I hear about them often.

    Know you weren’t harping on the kid or anything, just thought I’d point that out though with respect to these kinds of deals in general.

  11. mermaidshoes says:

    it’s not entirely clear (to me) from the story what the rebate was supposed to be, but the kid does state he only wanted the phone because it was going to be free after the rebate: “‘I’m not too fond of rebates but I did it anyways because it was free. I paid $100, $120 and got the rebate,’ said Garcia.” still, the quote totally confuses me. did he pay $100 or $120 for the phone? and how much was the rebate supposed to be for? i wish the reporter had cleared that up.

    it sounds like other people are having trouble getting a $100 rebate from amp’d mobile due to the bankruptcy, so maybe that’s the rebate the kid was supposed to get:

    [forums.slickdeals.net]

    just proof that paying people to use your phones–so they can go on to expect you to pay their bills–is not necessarily the greatest business model.

  12. JoeFus says:

    @Cowboys_Fan: Seconding what Sirkeats said. I bought a mobile phone with plan from T-Mobile through Amazon, and the phone was $39.99 with a $150 mail-in rebate.

    In general, I’d advocate looking at what’s on offer on Amazon if you are shopping for a new phone/service plan. There are some good deals to be had.

  13. Saboth says:

    Let that be a valuable lesson to everyone. Kids and teenagers don’t need cell phones.

  14. TechnoDestructo says:

    This thread would probably be here with minor modifications even if they WEREN’T out of business.

  15. BrianH says:

    @AlteredBeast:

    Hilarious.

    Anyone who saw the Amp’d television ads knows that the company was going after a very specific demographic.

    I’ll bet there isn’t a single person living in Ames, Iowa or Fargo, ND who knows what Amp’d is.

  16. Mr. Gunn says:

    I’m so damn glad that crap is off the air.

  17. trippknightly says:

    I can clarify the rebate – I’m a former customer. I’m pretty sure he spent $120 and the rebate was $100. That’s the deal circuit had off and on for months. AMP’D also sold the phone direct for $100, rebate $100. The article has a typo.

    In my case I bought direct and expect to have luck issuing a chargeback against a now non-existent company…

  18. Karl says:

    I’m sure Amp’d outsourced their rebate processing to some other company. Anyone know if this changes anything? Can you go after the rebate processor for your money? It seems like they were the ones to stall the rebate process until Amp’d went bankrupt. If they can’t get paid by Amp’d, tough. They screwed up.

  19. @AlteredBeast: Ask the customers whom didn’t pay their bills.

  20. promotions-man says:

    To answer Karl’s comment ‘It depends’. I work for a promotion management company that processes rebates. If the rebate processor received the money in advance from the cell phone company then the rebate processor will pay the rebates until those funds run out. If they are being paid on a per case approval basis from the cell phone company then the consumer will not get paid as the cell phone company can no longer approve the transactions and supply the funds.

    The reason most mail-in rebates take so long to process – and sometimes never process is almost always because the sponsor is not supplying the funds for payment. In most cases the fulfillment company phone operator is not permitted to say ‘Your rebate hasn’t been issued because XYZ is too damn cheap to supply the funds’ but can only say ‘Your rebate is processing’ or ‘You will need to speak to XYZ company’. The problem here is when you speak to ‘XYZ’ they will most likely tell you that the rebate processing is outsourced and direct you back to the fulfillment company.

    Filing a complaint against the fulfillment company with the BBB or the State Attorney will have little effect as once the fulfillment company explains in their reply that the sponsoring company has not supplied the funds for payment the case will be marked as resolved. You would have to file against the sponsor themselves, which in this case would be pointless.

    My advice would be to look on the rebate form for the contact details of the fulfillment company, most supply an 800 number to call for help. If the number has been deactivated (probably due to non-payment by the cell phone company) google the address to find the local number for the fulfillment company and explain the situation in full. They may be able to help or at least provide some information on what steps you should now take.