Autozone: Free After Mail-In Rebate (Except Not Really, Just Kidding)

Matt writes about some shady business going on at Autozone. It seems they have a “Free After Mail-In Rebate” deal going on, and while they have the product and the sign that says “Free After Mail-In Rebate” they don’t actually have the rebate forms. And they’re not interested in providing them.

I asked whether I needed a rebate form, I was told no, and went home.

The next day, I checked my receipt and the Autozone website to look for a rebate form, not finding one, I headed back to the store. A completely dis-interested employee begrudgingly looked through some rebate forms and then picked up the flyer and said “See, it says not available in all stores”. My reply was that the shelves have signs about the Free-After-Rebate product, right under where the product is sold. “Well, I guess its back there then” was his response. I searched again, and still no rebate form.

Matt never got his rebate form, so he returned his purchases. What’s the deal Autozone? Guess this is one more reason not to fall for mail-in rebates. —MEGHANN MARCO

Matt’s full email inside.

Matt writes:

This doesn’t exactly live up to the level of multi-thousand dollar
rip-offs, but little things like this add up.

I went to my local Autozone (Fort Collins, CO at Manhattan Ave and
Horsetooth Ave) to return some motor oil and buy some radiator fluid.
Autozone sometimes has specials, so I checked their flier and they were
advertising “Free After Rebate” on Gum-Out Complete Fuel System Cleaner
(reg $5.99 each). I use this product on occasion, so I figured, if its
free, I may as well buy two of them (one for my wife’s car and one for
mine). As I checked out, I asked whether I needed a rebate form, I was
told no, and went home.

The next day, I checked my receipt and the Autozone website to look for
a rebate form, not finding one, I headed back to the store. A
completely dis-interested employee begrudgingly looked through some
rebate forms and then picked up the flyer and said “See, it says not
available in all stores”. My reply was that the shelves have signs
about the Free-After-Rebate product, right under where the product is
sold. “Well, I guess its back there then” was his response. I searched
again, and still no rebate form. At this point, I left the store and
called Autozone Customer Service. I ended up leaving a message for the
regional office in Denver, Colorado, requesting them to contact me.

Since I still haven’t heard from them this morning, I returned all my
purchased items to Autozone. They seemed relatively unconcerned about
the process, even after I explained the reason for the resturn. The
“Free” sign is still up on the shelves and the flier is also still on
the counter. I am attaching a scan of the flier and although I took a
picture of the in store signage with my phone, I found out today that I
need a picture-mail account to email the pictures to myself… You will
have to trust me that it is in-fact still there, and says FREE in large
red letters.

I wonder how many other people this has happened to?

Matt

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