Rebates = Work

I used to think that rebates were just free money- all you need is to make a few copies and put a stamp on it- but after a few years of sending in for them I realized that you really have to earn the money they "give" you.

Since May I have been sending in for various rebates. I have an ongoing list of what rebates I am owed. I also make copies of everything I send in to each company so I know exactly what I am supposed to be getting.

In May, I got a set of pots and pans for Mother's day. I was supposed to receive the $50 mail in rebate 10-12 weeks later but 4 months rolled around and I still hadn't received it. I looked up the info and gave them a call. Turned out that the rebate had been transferred to another company and they just needed to flag it in the new system for approval- and it was going to take an additional 6-8 weeks to get the check! Sometimes you wonder if they are telling the truth or if they are trying to keep your money.

Just today I had to call another rebate company to see where the other half of my rebate was. I had received only $10 out of the $20. This seems to be a common problem, the representative said, and they are sending out the other $10 to me in 2-3 weeks.

Walgreen's did the same thing to me last week. I sent in my October rebates and only got $9.40 out of the $118 I was expecting. Wow- they must have just missed those others the rep said- they were flagged and the balance and certificates will be mailed out as soon as possible.

It makes me wonder how many people aren't paying much attention and would only notice if they didn't get any rebate at all. Is this a new industry standard to pay as little as possible- kind of like the insurance companies? Just give them less and see if they notice?

If I didn't have time and 500 cell phone minutes a month, I would lose out on all of that money- just this month I would have lost almost $120. Rebates are work- that's why the companies offer them. They are counting on you to not send in that form or not notice when they don't send the money to you.


Katie Gregg said...

You are so correct. I also feel like one out of every five rebates I submit results in a letter telling me I did something wrong, followed by additional work on my part. I firmly believe these companies just don't want to give you your money back, so they make the rebate process as difficult as humanly possible. I am trying to avoid them as much as possible these days, actually.

Lisa said...

The rebate game really irritates me. They have their rules, you follow them to a Tee, and then they don't provide what they say they will. And a lot of them do change the rules once you have sent in your rebate, requesting more information or delaying their payout longer than stated.