CANON and Other REBATE PROBLEMS,
SCAMS, and RIP-OFF
and HOW TO REALLY GET YOUR REBATE
The biggest manipulative consumer scam perpetrated on the unwary consumer during the past decade has been the advent of REBATES. This practice is so common, that it hardly ruffles a feather any more of concern. Be aware, that the odds are stacked against you in receiving a manufacturer's rebate as promised.
What it means is this- more money in the pocket of corporate manufactures, and less bang for your buck.
Here's how it all works, and why manufacturers and retailers LOVE rebates.
In my experience recently, two rebate offers for which I applied were noteworthy in their inexcusable delay in fulfillment. Many companies fulfill rebate checks within a matter of two weeks, three weeks, or a month. Canon took 12 weeks to send my rebate check of $50, and Western Digital Hard Drives took 14 weeks for a $30 rebate. Why? Greed. Companies make interest on your money. The faster they send back to you, the less time they have to make interest.
This month, on the above Canon $70 rebate offer, Canon took 9 weeks to fulfill, and then shortchanged me $50 of the offer, and sent me a $20 check instead of the $70 as promised.
I was exacting, careful and meticulous about sending in all of the required receipts, forms, and original UPC in the allotted time frame for the offer. Canon Rebate Center claimed erroneously that I did not submit the store receipt for the camera portion of the offer- an absolute falsehood. How do I know?
I made photocopies of the entire contents of my rebate submission envelope, including the exterior postmarked envelope-- exactly because of this kind of scenario.
Not only was the copy of my original receipts BOTH on the SAME sheet of copy paper, but both were as clear as could be, AND I had further hand written above both receipts "CAMERA" and "PRINTER" so that anyone looking at the copy would easily be able to identify both.
Despite this, the rebate person handling my case screwed it up.
When I contacted the rebate center and explained their error to them, and that I had proof of their error, they then asked that I send in via FAX a copy of my receipt.
After TEN HOURS, their FAX number was still busy - either totally out of order, or they have so many cases calling in correcting rebate problems you can't get through.
I finally called two Canon corporate offices and talked to executives in customer service. They personally contacted the rebate fulfillment company (always a third party outside the actual manufacturer) and SURPRISE SURPRISE SURPRISE-- they found all of my original documentation and did not understand why I did not receive my full $70 rebate since they DID have all the required information after all. Corporate offices have now sent me an email confirming that I do not need to send in any additional information and that I will be receiving the balance of my rebate.
I asked that they email me this confirmation of acknowledged error on their part in WRITING, and confirmation that I will be receiving the balance during the next 7-14 days.
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BRAIN SANE REBATE STRATEGY:
Considering rebates are often in amounts of $20, $30, or more, it pays to take the extra time to insure you get your money. Otherwise, rebates are a big crap shoot. Does spending a half hour or more on your rebate seem like a long time? How much do you make an hour?.... thought so. :-)
If you follow these steps, you increase your chances of actually getting your rebate refund as promised. If the rebate offer is screwed up or lost by the manufacturer, then you have all the proof you need to hammer them and have them fulfill as promised.
In those cases where your rebate is mishandled, you must be ASSERTIVE and speak to whom ever will give you satisfactory resolution. This may require calling a corporate office or public relations executive if the rebate fulfillment company is incapable of helping you. In the case of Canon and Western Digital, only calling the corporate offices brought about a reasonable amount of attention to my badly handled cases.
Good luck- !