Shophacks: Don’t Give Up on Rebates

Matt W. writes us with this handy admonishment for those tempted to the evil of rebates:

I purchased a new HP Pavilion m7250n Media Center PC at Circuit City on Nov. 26. One of the reasons I did so was that they had an incredible deal if you factored in the rebates: The PC was $1069.99, then there was a $50 HP MIR, plus a whopping $120 Circuit City MIR. Which made the PC $899.99 after rebates. Like I said, a fabulous deal. The rebate window was ending in 24 hours after I saw the price, and you hade to make the purchase on-line. With Circuit City, that’s no big deal, since I could specify in-store pickup as the delivery method, and the closest one is 1.5 miles from my house. There would be no delayed gratification for me.

My wife calls me the rebate whore. I don’t disagree with her. I’m methodical, and lightning quick about sending them in. I know the drill and can Xacto off UPC’s blindfolded. Plus I follow all the rebate requirements to the letter and, as a result, have a very low rejection or misfire rate on them. But today I got a letter from CC rejecting my rebate app, citing “invalid location” as the reason. Amazingly, their rebate call center was still open at 9PM Central time, so I gave them a jingle. I already had my e-mail receipt as well as a PDF copy of the web pages with the rebate instructions (I do that on larger $ rebates, or make paper copies). I was ready to mix it up. But once I got through to the rep, she immediately told me that she’d corrected the code and I would be receiving my rebate in additional 3-4 weeks. What? No fight?

So what’s the big deal? I’m getting my rebate. True enough. But how many of these particular rebates were bounced vs. how many people who correctly submitted them are diligent enough to call them on it? Makes you wonder if they are just rejecting some percentage of them to see if they can whittle down the ones they have to fulfill.

Anyhow, for all you rebate whores
don’t give up without a fight, or at least a call.


Edit Your Comment

  1. Josh says:

    Glad to hear you got it corrected I have had this happen with several rebates even a staples easy rebate. Like you said it’s gratifying to get the correction but if you’re like me you almost wanted an argument to get it right.

    RWA (Rebate Whores Anonymous)

    Me: Hello, My name is Josh, and I’m a Rebate Whore.

    Matt et al: Welcome Josh.

  2. Josh Cohen says:

    My wife and I both had good luck with Toshiba rebates… I received my check, and she received her add-on items (she had a choice of $50 or two accessories from the catalog, and she chose the accessories). I also had good luck with my $150 Circuit City rebate, and she received her $50 one as well.

    Until about one year ago, I had never actually received a rebate check after submitting it, but last year I applied for three rebates and received all three. I think companies are starting to realize that conveniently “losing” rebate forms will no longer be tolerated.