What Should I Do About A Lost Receipt?

Reader F asks:

I bought a Playstation 3 last November, wooed by the thought of 5 free Blu Ray movies. However, last night when I went to fill out the rebate form, I found my wife had thrown away the sales receipt! Doh! I purchased this from Shop Ko using a credit card, but Shop Ko has told me they cannot look up or reprint my receipt.

Despite having this in my house, along with the Blu Ray remote, I am getting a new entertainment center installed and so my PS3 is brand new, unopened, in box (as is its remote).

I was wondering if you or your readers had suggestions as to what I can do to obtain this rebate. I’ve thought about returning the unopened PS3 to a store for credit and then using the credit for a PS3 to get a receipt, but I wasn’t sure if any of you had a better suggestion.

Yeah, we’ve got nothing. Mail-In rebates are designed to discourage redemption, which is why when we are shopping, we pretend that they don’t exist. Life is too short.

We know that some of you are all about the rebates. Any ideas?



Edit Your Comment

  1. qwickone says:

    as long as the store doesnt have a “restocking fee”, the return and re-buy option sounds the best

  2. Try calling their corporate headquarters with all of the details of the transaction. They should be able to look it up especially if you have the ref# from the credit card company and a date. I had to do this for a boss when he lost a receipt and I needed it for a report.

  3. Joedel263 says:

    I would be more concerned if the system is defective than the rebate.. most stores wont take back an opened system if you don’t have the receipt..

    I would go with exactly what was mentioned if the store will allow it (return without receipt for credit, and repurchase) there are two flaws with this though, the first being that the store may not allow it, and the second being that most states prohibit the return of sales tax when returning without a receipt. so you’d be out a few bucks if they did allow it.

    The other option would be to bug the hell out of shopko until they lookup your receipt.. (any of us who work in retail can tell you exactly when the system was purchased (thanks to SIRAS))

  4. darkened says:

    @qwickone: That was what i was thinking myself

  5. stinkingbob says:

    You are pretty much out of luck. Just chalk this up to experience and make sure that next time, you set aside a separate place for your receipts that you and your wife know about so it doesn’t get thrown away. Technically, they could look it up, but why would they? They did nothing wrong.

  6. ussra2 says:

    I don’t understand why they wouldn’t be able to look up the receipt when you use a credit/debit card. I have always been told that and I would be sure it to be true since there is always a record at the company you bought the product or service and then your credit/debit card company gets a record of the purchase. The employee’s seem to be misinformed and need to actually ask someone else and finally get a good answer from someone.

  7. mgyqmb says:

    I thought that promotion was through Disney and ended October 31….

    Maybe I can still get in on that :x

  8. EBounding says:

    I’ve never had a problem with MIRs, but it is best to accept that you might not get it.

  9. mrosedal says:

    This is why when I have those rebates I do them ASAP! Otherwise I would lose or throw away that receipt.

  10. Shappie says:

    Wasn’t there something awhile ago about companies complaining that they HAD to keep records for so long? Wouldn’t they have it then?

  11. LeJerk says:

    @stinkingbob: Because they CAN, and it would be easy with everything being computerized. Unless they use an adding machine and a stack of paper receipts, you can look up a transaction in minutes or seconds. Also, they should do it because they value you as someone that shops there, and it’s just good customer service.

  12. lazyazz says:

    Yea, return it… Without a receipt.

  13. stinkingbob says:

    Hey Darkened,

    I hope I didn’t come across as sounding like a prude. That wasn’t my intention. I feel for you. Before you turn it in and buy another one, check to see if they charge a restocking fee and also check to make sure the terms of the free movies will still be valid. Usually, there is a date deadline.
    Now, if there is a restocking fee, you have to ask yourself if it is really worth it to go through all that hassle. HD movies should be no more expensive that a regular DVD movie. Peace mana nd let us know what you ultimately decided to do.

  14. stinkingbob says:

    If I am not mistaken, the credit card company has a record of your total transaction and not for individual items purchased. So, if you used your Visa to spend $100 at Vonns, they will show that $100 but not $2.00 for cereal, $500 for coffee, $4.99 sandwhich, etc

  15. Blueskylaw says:

    I bought some lumber a while ago to use for home repair (at high end lumberyard, not Home Depot) and three weeks later needed to return what was left over. I did not have my receipt and they do not store credit card numbers. I told them about what day I purchased it and a few other things that were on the receipt and within a few minutes they found my copy and gave me a refund, along with a replacement copy of the receipt.

    They can find it if they want to, but it might look bad on Wall Street if the company is seen giving away free money when they did not have to.

  16. beavis512 says:

    Call corporate and act as though you were looking to see if that charge to your cc was valid. Then, ask them to send you a copy of the signed receipt or some other acknowledgment of purchase so you don’t try to initiate a chargeback. Just follow the same procedures as if you were to dispute it for real.

  17. Justin42 says:

    Not to lecture, but it’s always a good idea to keep receipts of any big ticket items (and a $500 PS3 is definitely big ticket) for stuff like warranty and the like, not just worrying about the 5 free mediocre movies…

  18. arniec says:

    I know, and I’m usually really good about keeping receipts. I found one for a VCR I bought in 1998. But this was around the holidays and it was apparently thrown away during that time. Otherwise we have a drawer for all big-ticket item receipts.

    I am going to ask ShopKo again about reprinting the receipt, look into questioning the charge (I have only a month though…) or maybe the return and rebuy option as the receipt only has to be dated before 1/31…

    Keep ideas coming, please, but I’ll post how it ends up.

  19. NoNamesLeft says:

    Call the creditcard company and ask them to talk with the company to get some sort of proof of purchase.

  20. HurfDurf says:

    This is a great idea. Corporate will have your receipt, but probably not the local store.

    I’ve done this to stores and restaurants before so I know it works.

  21. TechnoDestructo says:

    Never let a rebate influence a purchasing decision (unless it’s an “instant rebate”)

  22. Dibbler says:

    First thing to do is give her a bitch slap… No No No I’m kidding… I bet no matter what you do you’re going to be out of luck. If they print you up a copy it’s going to say “copy” or “duplicate” and I’m 99.99% sure that somewhere in the fine print you’ll find something about “original receipts only” and you’ll be disqualified if you send anything else.

  23. seashellisawesome says:

    Your credit card company can provide you with a copy of your receipt. I have gotten a copy of a lost reciept with one phone call.

  24. XTC46 says:

    federal law requires retailers to hold the transaction records for a year I believe (if not more). It is up to the store if they want to make those records available. Your best bet would be to contact their corporate office and they will be able to get it for you. Our store has a policy in place to charge 15 bucks to reprint a receipt, we almost never charge the customer but it s in place so be sure to look for that as well (we use the fee as a discretionary stupidity tax and also for those who demand receipt reprint frequently)

  25. dgcaste says:

    At Walmart you can do receipt-less returns – a total of 3 per year. They track them. Store credit, I believe. Beats being stuck with the PS3 if you don’t want it.

  26. arniec says:

    Okay, they now said they can find the receipt but only print a transaction and it won’t work for the mail-in as that requires an original receipt.

    I then asked what their return policy is for unopened Playstations. She said that they could look up the receipt and then I could return the unopened playstation and buy another, but the coupon I had (20% off any ShopKo item) would not be applicable. So I asked if I could just return the item for credit and buy it again and her response was “You’re making me think too hard, so I’m going to have to say ‘no'”. (That’s a direct quote).

    I then pushed a bit more and I talked to their Loss Prevention guy. He said if I go in with the Credit Card and tell them the date of purchase (11/11) and which register (I can guess) that he can pull a receipt, but it will do me no good on the mail order rebate as that requires the original receipt, and he can’t give me that. He can only look up to see what was purchased.

    He also said he used to be able to look things up by CC number, but now he can’t due to privacy concerns.

  27. Craig says:

    There’s some good advice regarding contacting corporate and also seeing what your credit card company can come up with. In the meantime, I’d strongly advise investing in one of the receipt scanning/organizing software apps that are available…scan your receipts the moment you get home and they’re instantly available whenever you need them from your computer. Since some rebate companies don’t allow copies of a receipt, staple the receipt after you scan it to the rebate form. Then at least when you remember to fill in the form the day after it expires you know where the receipt is!

  28. arniec says:

    Looking into WalMart receipt-less return and repurchase as an option… I’m wondering if WalMart will blanch at a $500 return, but it is unopened and in great shape.

  29. Amelie says:

    The store CAN issue you something that will prove that you bought it. Depending on the clearinghouse, this may or may not work. Though returning it – if it will fit in the date requirements – is the best advice you’ve received.

  30. DjDynasty says:

    I agree, I’ve had my credit card company get reciepts for me all the time, I just play dumb and act like I don’t reconize the transaction, can they please get me a reciept!

  31. mackpayson says:

    They can look it up. They just don’t want to. Yet. Ask nicely one more time and then escalate the matter. You’ll get it. The home office has other things to do besides be the referee over a misplaced receipt. Good luck.

  32. macinjosh says:

    There’s one thru Sony that’s stil active. Unfortunately, it requires a postmark within 30 days of purchase date. No thanks, plus I found myself unable to pick a dvd in a few categories. I’m just gonna pass on this one.

  33. KyleOrton says:

    Just wondering… Does anyone else (who still shops at a Best Buy) use their Reward Zone card just so they can look up all of their purchases easily online? I love that feature. It provides all of the transaction numbers so they can look up a receipt lickity split.

  34. shadow735 says:

    even getting a replacement reciept may not work unless you have a copy of the rebate form and it hasnt expired. if it was on the reciept you are out of luck because usually they cant reprint the rebate form.
    Most electronic store where I am have the rebates printed on the recipt or on a separate.
    Also not all stores are tech upto date, so depending on thier computer system and tracking of sales could determine if they can reprint your reciept

    Good luck though

  35. b-real says:


    Deadline is end of February, not within 30 days of purchase. [www.bluraysavings.com]

  36. Landru says:

    Most rebates say they want store receipts, that credit card receipts are not acceptable.

    The insistance of the acutal store receipt is just another hoop they make you jump through – they are counting on you missing at least one.

  37. KIRZEN2007 says:

    Live and learn.

    Always keep your reciept, photocopy it, put the photocopy somwhere safe. Imagine if you have a problem with said PS3 6 months from now and when you turn around to Sony they demand you provide a copy of the reciept, and the credit card reciept is proved to be ‘not good enough’ because it doesn’t stipulate that its actually for a PS3?

    (As a preface, I work in warranty. And though we’re relatively soft about it, I know some major companies will refuse to provide any sort of warranty coverage what-so-ever without a reciept {Even on… say, a $2000 television})

  38. doireallyneedausername says:

    Initiate a charge back with the credit card company and force the store to send you a copy of your receipt from their register journal entry. I’ve used it before to qualify for a rebate.

  39. Wdeal says:

    You could try returning your wife and obtaining a replacement wife who won’t toss important documents like a receipt for a $500 game system.

    Caution — you are likely however, to incur a wife restocking fee of 50% of your marital assets.

  40. bodgy says:

    @Wdeal: I’m the wife! Don’t return me! It was an accident. I never should have shown my husband this website. It’s been one of his daly stops since I showed it to him.

  41. fratgirl says:

    Strange – I work at ShopKo and I’ve seen our CSS look up receipts before using credit card information.

  42. jvandub says:


    “Technically, they could look it up, but why would they? They did nothing wrong.”

    And people who work in customer service wonder why people hate them so much. Why would they look it up? Maybe because they’re not an a-hole? Maybe?

  43. trinkagen says:

    The refund and then redo the sale will not be valid if the rebate is no longer in process because the rebate and date of purchase must be the same date.

  44. zgori says:

    Photoshop yourself a new receipt. Buy something cheap at Wal-mart, scan in the receipt, change the item, price, date. “Accidentally” rip off or damage any barcodes.

  45. theWallace says:

    Call the credit card company. Stores are required to keep transaction receipts for a specified amount of time. You CC company can request a copy of the receipt on your behalf.

    I had to do this to return something at Wal-Mart. I got the same response as you from the Wal-Mart rep who said they cannot pull up receipts. So I called CitiBank and they ordered it and sent it my house.

  46. nox says:

    @arniec: Walmart Return without Reciept you are likely only going to get a 40 gb or 80 gb (if your lucky). If you bought a 60 gb PS3 I suggest you cut your losses and just buy the movies (Hardware BC). When I worked at Walmart the return desk didn’t process returns that fast. Good luck with your return.

  47. nox says:

    Could he buy a PS3 at Walmart and request a gift reciept and then return it with said gift reciept, leaving him the original reciept to mail in for the offer?

  48. Deusfaux says:

    Jesus Christ this one is so easy.

    You’re never asked to send in original receipt (that’s unreasonable in the event you need it for something)

    so just BUY ANOTHER ONE from (who cares!), get a copy of the receipt or photocopy yourself.

    Then return it! So hard!

  49. trschilke says:

    I’ve worked at ShopKo for eight years, including several as a customer service supervisor. ShopKo really doesn’t have the ability to reprint an original store receipt – at the store level or at corporate. The closest would be a “duplicate receipt” (it’s labeled as such) that can be printed only on the same day as the transaction occurred. The transaction logs from the register are available, but they don’t contain the information that Sony would be looking for to process a mail-in rebate. They’re just plain text, and they would look like you just typed one up yourself with a typewriter. They don’t even have the store name or location. If you threaten with a credit card chargeback, the store needs only to produce the signed credit card authorization slip – these are on file at each individual store but do not give any product information – just a purchase total and tax amount.

  50. helping_hand says:

    this might work, I am aware that sometimes banks can get reciepts for transactions through the retailers bank. Call up your banks credit card centre and ask for the retail disputes department (they have different names in different banks) and ask for a retrieval request. The bank then asks the merchants bank for a copy of supporting documentation. there is a chance a receipt will be sent but its not certain.

  51. arniec says:

    To all who wrote and helped me…

    I used a receiptless return to Wal Mart. Went without a hitch since it was unopened. However…Wal Mart was out of PS3s and I couldn’t see myself asking to buy the one I just returned.

    ALL Wal Marts in my area were out. So I went to GameStop and bought another one and have already mailed in the rebate.

    This works for me as we can grocery shop for 2 months at Wal Mart on a $500 gift card, so the out of pocket expense didn’t hurt.

    THANK YOU for that wonderful idea! You all rock.