[Hints for getting your rebates]

Rebates - Who needs the aggravation!

Note: links to companies are for your help in obtaining rebates. They are not meant as endorsements of these companies. Quite the opposite in fact.

You may not have problems with these companies. I'll list my experiences and let you draw your own conclusions.

If you have any comments, feel free to write (email at bottom) unless you're from one of these companies complaining about not getting a fair shake. Seems to me you don't give me a fair shake. I uphold my end of the bargain by buying your product. Uphold your end.

Digital Research Technologies CD-ROM drive - Staples

This was a $20.00 rebate, but you had to purchase the drive at Staples, so they're involved with it somehow.

Mailed the rebate in February 21, 2000.

When I hadn't heard anything by July, I went online to Staples rebate page and filled out the form. Got an email from "Patricia" saying she would forward the email to get it taken care of. After 2 weeks when I emailed her back, I got a reply from "Steven" saying to call Staples rebate number at 1-877-266-6483. The gentleman there gave me two phone numbers for Digital Technologies (1-888-431-4448, 1-888-221-4933). One of them is a wrong number, and the other is disconnected. Fat lot of good the online rebate form does.

August 11th. I'm writing Staples (address at bottom of page) and giving them until September 11th (1 month) before I write the Maryland Attorney General's office.

Note: I should have known better than to try the email way, but I felt lazy. A letter always seems to work better.

Finally got a check from Staples in late August.

Hi-Val CD-ROM drive - CompUSA

This was a $20.00 rebate, but you had to purchase the drive at CompUSA, so they were involved with it somehow.

Mailed the rebate in December 8, 1999

No rebate as of March 9, 2000, so I wrote to CompUSA (address at bottom of page) giving them three weeks before I contact the Attorney General's office.

Got a check from CompUSA April 1, 2000. They missed my deadline by one day, but what the hey. I hadn't done the Attorney General thing yet.

The winner of 1998's Most Aggravating Rebate (MAR) went to:

Atlas Peripherals - modem

This one takes the cake. I have been trying since November 24, 1997 to get the stupid $20.00 from them for a modem. I've written and called a ton of times, but still no rebate as of August 13, 1998. I've just passed this one off to my state's Attorney General.

10/1/98 According to the Attorney General's office, the rebate is being sent. I'll believe it when I see it.

10/5/98 Some puddin' head from Newcom called to give me a check number. When I asked what I'm supposed to do with that he said it was a "courtesy" call. They call and give you the check number the day they mail it. Ha! Courtesy would be sending the damn checks without having to write them 8 million times.

I did finally get my rebate sometime in October, 11 months after I had sent it in. My advice is don't buy their products if you have to deal with the rebates.

According to the postmaster of the station where you send these rebates, Continental Promotions is taking care of the rebates. Continental Promotions referred me to NewCom Inc. of Westlake Village CA. I guess they're the parent company of Atlas Peripherals.

Maxtor - hard drive

Getting a $30.00 rebate for a hard drive took a lot of letters, emails and even a fax. I mailed it July 7, 1997, and didn't get the check until November 25, 1997. Surprise! this was also handled by my friends at Continental Promotions.

In all fairness, I submitted another one to Maxtor on March 17, 1998 and got it by June 8, 1998. Not great, but within their 12 week promise (barely).

Submitted two to more to Maxtor 7/15/98. Just got the rebates 10/8/98. Boy, they really hang on to that money until the last minute don't they?

Verbatim - floppy disks

I mailed this one in February 7, 1997.

I got a card back saying it was denied because it wasn't purchased within the proper date period. What crap. The thing expired September 30, 1997. Now how did I send in the rebate on February 7th if I didn't purchase it before September 30th?

I pointed this fact out to them in a letter March 31, 1998. They must have hired an outside consultant to do the math because they sent me my rebate that June.

Imation - floppy disks

I mailed this one on December 10, 1997. Since I hadn't heard anything within the promised 6-8 weeks, I wrote to Imation on March 1st, and decided to write a little letter to CompUSA at the same time saying they should make sure a company backs up the rebates if they're going to advertise them.

Got it March 18th. The stub for the rebate check says Imation "promises a customer-first focus!".

Rebates - Hints for getting them

Keep copies. Either photocopy everything, or scan it into a computer. SAVE it all until you get the check.

Insure the letter. That way if they say they didn't get the rebate, they'll need to sign off to the US Postal Service saying they didn't.

Put it in writing. A letter holds more weight than a phone call. If you do have to rely on phone calls, keep track of the date and time, and the name of the person you spoke to.

Write anyone you can think of. Examples are:

     The postmaster where the P.O. Box is located. 
     Just address to:

     Postmaster xxxxx

     Where xxxxx is the company's zip code.
     The store where you bought the product.
     Try and find the main company address.

     [Sample letter]

     Here are a couple popular addresses:

          Staples, Inc.
          Attn: Customer Service
          500 Staples Drive 
          Framingham, MA 01702 

          CompUSA Corporate Headquarters
          Attn: Customer Service
          14951 North Dallas Parkway
          Dallas, TX 75240 

     The Federal Trade commission. They won't help in individual cases, 
     but if the see a trend they may step in. They have an 
     [Online complaint form].

     The FTC mailing address is: Federal Trade Commission
                                 Washington, D.C. 20580 

     The Attorney General's Office in your state. 
     [Some Attorney General office addresses]

     Maybe the one in the company's state also.

And most of all, don't give up!

Jeff T. - Remove the brackets in the email address to email: jthorsse[@]gmail[.]com

Ocean Pines, MD