The litany of excuses that rebate fulfillment houses will use for putting your rebate on ice seems never ending. But one reader decided she was going to put an end to the excuses when rebates she was owed on a refrigerator purchased at Home Depot went unfulfilled by Continental Promotion Group.
"I've got a gripe with Home Depot's rebate company, Continental Promotion Group," the reader wrote. "In a nutshell, I bought a Hotpoint frig in July and got the rebate forms when it was delivered -- one for making a purchase that qualified for a $25 gift card and another for reimbursement for the $55 delivery charge. I sent everything in on time with all the necessary documents."
"Then the excuses began," the reader wrote. "The thing that clued me into the scam was that each time the reason for not having gotten the rebates was different, like the copies were illegible (not so -- checked them carefully before I mailed them) or they didn't receive the customer invoice (I'm obsessive-compulsive, so do you think I just happened to leave something out? Not a chance.) I refused to jump through their hoops by sending duplicate stuff. I talked with the Home Depot customer complaint center by phone twice with promises, promises, and finally discovered the name of the rebate company online and called them."
Continental Promotion Group, which along with its www.rebatestatus.com website has been the source of rebate gripes before, wasn't happy to hear from the reader. "I think they were a little shocked I got their telephone number because it wasn't on any of the forms -- just addresses and websites and one automated rebate voicemail that was listen-to options only. There is no way to access a real human and no option to leave a message. I told 'Unwa' I thought his company was a scam and I'd be busy making sure as many people as I could know it. I'm so mad I want to make a big sign saying that rebates should be called scam bait and go picket in front of those huge rebate promotions posted outside the local Home Depot."
The more the reader researches rebate practices in general, the madder she gets. "I guess, when I did hours of research yesterday online and discovered that these companies get away with STEALING consumers' hard earned dollars and blatantly practicing the art of deceit, I just snapped," the reader wrote. "How these people can sleep at night is beyond me. I had a lengthy conversation with the assistant manager of our local Home Depot last evening, giving him copies of blog comments I ran across yesterday when I discovered I'm not alone. He was shocked, or at least he put up a good front. I've filed a complaint with the FTC online yesterday and will do the same with attorney general as soon as I can. Thanks for listening - I feel a little better, anyway."
Filing a complaint with the FTC, your state Attorney General's office, and the store where you bought the product are all good steps when you get stuck with a deadbeat rebate. Better yet, try to deal with retailers like Office Max and Best Buy that are generally eliminating mail-in rebates. That's probably the only way to the rebate fulfillment houses in the deep freeze.
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