Circuit City Sends Rebate Check One Year After Purchase

Jan bought a keyboard from Circuit City last year. Since then, the company filed Chapter 11, the stores liquidated and closed, and another company bought the name. But last week, Jan finally-FINALLY-received her rebate check. Now she wants to know: is cashing this thing a good idea?

I got a rebate check from Circuit City this week a YEAR after the rebate application was submitted. I remember last fall when checks were bouncing even though there was supposed to be a cash pot to cover them (which I guess was used for other things). I pretty much gave up on the $30 refund for a new keyboard from Microsoft-and it is still in the box because shortly after purchase, my whole computer died (don’t get me started on that piece of junk from Dell and their rebate still missing, too and the extended warranty that was never honored).

So my question is-should I cash the Circuit City refund check? If it bounces, I am out $37 fee from the bank and the $30 from the check. I could really use the cash now that hubby is no longer working (former GM employee). So what ya think I should do here? Trust it’s a good check? Sell the unused keyboard? Or run away screaming?

Selling the keyboard probably isn’t a bad idea if Jan doesn’t intend to use it. I recommend looking carefully at the check. It’s probably from Circuit City’s rebate processor, and not from the defunct company itself, so it should be a good check.

Have any other readers received severely late rebate checks and deposited or cashed them? Were they good?

(Photo: hanapbuhay)

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  1. ptkdude says:

    Call the bank on which the check is issued to see if the funds are in the account

    • mariospants says:

      @ptkdude: You can tear a piece off of the check and they should process it by hand before putting the money into your account (i.e. they won’t just dump it in there without checking first).

  2. Travis Oaks says:

    Frame it. It’s like a limited collector’s edition because so few people actually got them. In 15-20 years you can sell it on Ebay for $$$.

  3. Galactica says:

    Some institutions have stale date – meaning that if the check is over, say, six months old, they won’t negotiate it. If I were this Op, I’d check with my institution before depositing.

    • Ben Miner says:

      @Galactica: The question I believe is not one of stale dating but rather depositing a check that might be bad and being hit with a fee(s). If she received the check 9 months ago and just found it now, then there would probably be a stale date issue.

  4. WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave says:

    I too just got my rebate check from a webcam(go figure) I bought on Black Friday at CC(a Logitech which was 9.99 after a $50.00 rebate. Even better, I had ordered this Cam online for in-store pickup, and gave them my cell# as my contact #. Well, 30 minutes after I placed my order, they called to tell me it wasn’t available, but I was in the shower and didn’t get the call. With the incoming call record on my phone, I was able to get their $22 if it’s not ready in 22 minutes guarantee. So in reality, CC PAID ME $17 after taxes+rebate to get my new cam). I submitted all the paper work and received an email on Jan 22nd, 2009 saying my rebate was processed and within 5-10 business days it would be on it’s way. Well, soon after CC went bankrupt. I was checking now and then to the CC rebate website and it had a check# and everything, but still no check. I was going through every catalog/newspaper/flyer wondering if it had slipped into something else while being mailed. Then they shut the online rebate website!

    I sent an email to Consumerist asking for any tips, but never heard back. I also started chatting w/another Consumerist reader, Sprocket79, and we exchanged info and I got a whole lot of info, including the CEO of Parago(the rebate handler)’s email addy. So on April 20th, I sent an email off to the CEO. I explained all my details and gave dates and check#’s, etc. I also included this paragraph:

    As of today, April 20th, 2009, I still have not received my check which your comapny affirms was sent out. I need to file a police/federal report for the stolen check and need some information on who in your company I should have the law enforcement contact so that we can investigate what happened to the check.

    Your help in this matter is greatly appreciated.

    I also included my phone number. Well, within 3 days, I had a call from the CEO, Juli Spottiswood. She explained that the courts had frozen all of the CC accounts, including the ones through Parago. The computers were still processing, but they couldn’t send out any checks. The money had JUST been released, and they needed to go through the system and figure out how to re-process all the rebates, but they would be sent out. This was about 4/22/2009.

    On 5/22/2009, I received my rebate check, and Sprocket79′s came in the day before. So yes, your check should be good, as it was issued by Parago, even though it has all of the CC logo’s all over it. I will post a pict of my check when I get home.

    Hope that helps!

    • Anonymous says:

      @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave:
      I received my rebate check from the same promotion and cashed it. It went through just fine. The check is from the rebate company, not Circuit City.

    • WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave says:

      @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave: Here’s a copy of the check I just got:

      • Jan Scholl says:

        @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave:

        This is Jan from the wayward rebate and that is exactly what my check looks like but it says Solutran an affiliate of Citizens Bank in Minnesota. I thought about saving it as a collectors item but decided I won’t live that long. 20 years from now, I will be a very old lady. Thanks all!

    • sprocket79 says:

      @WiiPoleNotIncluded_GitEmSteveDave: Thanks for the shout out. :)

      I really think it was your threat to file a police report that got them in gear. I sent an email a few weeks before you did and got nothing. The whole thing was a load of lies.

      Our timelines were very similar, like a day or 2 different. I called them after my check didn’t show up in February and they said that they checks had been printed and something was preventing them from being mailed out. Total lie or incompetence that wasted a load of trees because my check was dated in May.

      I’m just happy to have my money and to wash my hands of Circuit City for good. I wasn’t even sure that I would believe it was over until the check cleared. Haven’t heard anything from the bank yet, so I guess it’s good. Finally the saga is over!

  5. thnkwhatyouthnk says:

    The rebate company is probably counting on the OP to not cash it. Yet another way to get people to not get their rebate.. damn rebate companies.

  6. PLATTWORX says:

    First, the check should be from a rebate processor, not Circuit City. Second, why didn’t Jan check on the status of her rebate MONTHS AGO. I can’t imagine why anyone would sit around for a year waiting for a rebate check.

    Had Jan been more proactive, she would have had her money long before anything happened to CC.

    • italianscallion33 says:

      @PLATTWORX: You’d bet your life on that? CC was a crappy company. Typically rebates just get forgotten about or people don’t want to go through the trouble of finding out the status and bringing up a complaint if need be.

      From what I see, the OP is not upset that it took her a year to get her money, necessarily, but just wants to know if it’s safe to cash the check. That was the main concern.

    • stopNgoBeau says:

      @PLATTWORX: Calm down there, sport.

    • oneandone says:

      @PLATTWORX: There’s a limit to how much even maximum pro-activity can move rebate processors along. This isn’t Jan’s fault. Most of the time, rebate status sites say your rebate is ‘processing’. It’s very difficult getting them to budge past that.

    • Jan Scholl says:

      @PLATTWORX:

      I did check and got no reply, just as my inquiries from Dell have gone unanswered. Hence when I needed another computer, I went elsewhere and told them why. I also posted on my blogs my problems. I am very proactive-I took Best Buy to task with the state of Michigan and got 100 bucks and a free Ipod because they refused to honor a raincheck.

    • sprocket79 says:

      @PLATTWORX: Don’t blame the OP. I was in the same boat (see GitEmSteveDave’s comment above). I checked the status of my rebate weekly until it was approved. Then when the check didn’t come, I phoned twice a week until the phone number stopped working. I emailed the CEO of the rebate company and got nothing. I found GitEmSteveDave and we traded info about the rebate company. He happened to get lucky and get a call back. I heard it from him. At that point the rebate was over 3 months late and I doubted we’d ever get it, so I wrote it off. When it came in the mail I thought it was a mirage.

      So don’t say that Jan or I or anyone else with a bad CC rebate should have been more proactive. You have NO idea. I did everything short of flying to Texas to protest outside the rebate company’s office.

  7. Odaecom says:

    What, she will be charged by her bank if she deposits a check that bounces?
    Yeah she did say cash it but…

    • italianscallion33 says:

      @Odaecom: She said at the end if she deposits a check that bounces it’s a $37 fee.

    • RvLeshrac says:

      @Odaecom:

      Yes, banks charge the depositor if the check bounces.

      Not entirely sure why the depositor is on the hook for a bounced check, though. Seems to me that if the banks actually wanted to stop/reduce check fraud, they’d require more secure checks.

  8. TVGenius says:

    Perhaps the rebates are now moving as a result of the bankruptcy. Maybe the rebate processors finally got paid what CC owed them and honored rebates that they had been sitting on waiting for funding. Assuming it shows it was mailed recently, and not before the bankruptcy, I’d go for it.

  9. oldgraygeek says:

    She might want to switch banks.
    I have a business checking account that charges me $12/month (but their service is top-notch, and I can Xfer money freely to and from our personal accounts, so it’s worth it). The “returned deposit item” fee is only eight bucks.

  10. Matthew Pettengill says:

    I bought a $200 LCD monitor from PC Connection several years ago. It had a $100 rebate – a very good deal at the time.

    Did all my paperwork, mailed it in….nothing. The 90-day turn around for the check passed, and I got busy with stuff and kinda forgot about it. Then, a little over a year after the purchase, I get a check from PC Connection for $100, with a note that it had “come to their attention” I had not received my rebate. Something must have happened with their processor or something. Anyway, PC Connection pulled through and I finally got my money.

    Other than that, never had an issue with rebates.

  11. econobiker says:

    May CC rebates rot in hell. Years ago I got burned for a rebate on a 256mb usb disk (like I said years ago) that had not one but two rebates for it. They sent one but declined the other as being outside of the rebate dates. Sure, right since I sent them both at the same time. This is the final reason I gave up on CC and they didn’t see my money again…

  12. Odiase says:

    I finally got my $160 dollar rebate check on May 22. The thing is I filled out the rebate forms on Dec 18, 2008. I checked up on the status of my rebate back during late Jan and was told that my check was printed and that they needed time to get it to me. I can’t believe they were using the ol’ “The check is in the mail” bit.

    Regardless, the check cleared. What I took away from this is that…Black Friday Rebates are never worth it.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I used to be a former employee of circuit city. What i can tell you is if it’s a check made directly from circuit city it may bounced due to the chapter 11 bankruptcy.(It would come from Virginia) But if it’s directly from manufacture which most rebates are you should have no problem cashing it. Another thing I can advise is maybe talking to the bank and explaining the situation. They might be able to verify if it will bounce or go through. I hope this helps.

    -Isaac-

  14. kdollarsign says:

    because you said “hubby” you get zero dollars. you get negative dollars. life dollars.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Heck, that’s nothing, I’ve been waiting over 2 years for a $300 rebate check on a TV I bought from Microcenter! Never, ever buy anything at Microcenter and expect a rebate check…