Mail in Rebate Problem

I recently purchased a Samsun SyncMaster712N from Cirtuit City (a store I loathe, but it was Christmastime and there wasn’t any other stores carrying a monitor I felt was appropriate at the time. The monitor was a gift but I will be using it myself as well so I definitely wanted to make sure the monitor was one I had experience with and one that I felt displayed things well, and plus out of the holiday spirit I wouldn’t want to give a crappy gift) and it was advertised as selling at $299.99 after mail in rebates.

And when I say advertised I mean there was no price displayed near the monitor other than $299.99, and then “after rebate.”

So I purchase it, comes to $423 or so (the real selling price was $100 higher, at $399.99, + sales tax.)

Well that’s okay. Now today I finally get around to looking at these rebates. There are three separate rebates, one for $50, one for $30, and one for $20. All of them say “limit of one rebate or promotional offer per purchase.” So instantly I think I’ve been had, I’m pretty sure this means the most I can get is a $50 rebate. This is bullshit because they promised me a $100 rebate at the store.

Am I wrong about only being able to get a $100 rebate? And if I’m not, what recourse do I have against the store? Because I really don’t see them cutting me a check for $50.

Seems to me, as an Alert Consumer, that this is, unfortunately, pretty clear cut:

Gotta read the fine print on those things, 'cause they’ll sandbag ya every time.

Ummm…no, they didn’t. They promised you “a rebate”, not, “A $100 rebate”. Sign said only, “After rebate”. Didn’t say how big a rebate. The onus is on the purchaser to figure out for himself “how big” a rebate. They’re covered.
Recourse? None. They’ve got it locked. They’ve been doing this a long time.

What I would do is return the whole shebang (you do still have all the receipts and boxes, yes?) and keep shopping.

Eh, your analysis is way off.

Upon further review here is exactly what was displayed in front of the monitor I purchased:

You Pay $299.99

Then in smaller beneath it it said (After mail-in rebates) and then it did this number:

$399.99 (with a strikethrough it)
------------ (equals line)

I don’t see how they didn’t say I was getting a $100.00 rebate.

The only way you get access to the sheet which says “limit of one rebate per purchase” is after you have bought the item, because it is only listed on the receipt and accompanying rebate information slip, of this I am certain.

Look at each rebate closely and see what they require to be sent in with them. Most likely each one needs a copy of the receipt and the rebate form and then ONE of them will ask for the ORGINAL UPC, and the other two will ask for a COPY of the UPC. The limit of one rebate means each rebate can only be sent in once, not that you can only pick one rebate. They’re protecting themselves from someone running out and buying a whole bunch of them. If the way I explained it isn’t the case, take the rebate forms and the receipts back to the store and ask THEM how to claim your $100 rebate, if you really can’t claim it, then return the monitor.

Oh and make copies of everything before you send it in, including the front of the envelope after you’ve addressed it, and now that I think of it, it would probably be wise to do it after you address AND stamp it, that way if it never arrives you never have to wonder if you forgot to stamp it.

The Circuit City salesperson that sold it to me was actually an old friend of mine.

The rebates certainly say “not valid with any other promotional discount, unless expressly stated.” And since they were bundled together maybe that is the “expressly” stated.

I have a whole other batch of problems now, though. I notice the original UPC barcode on the box is torn, torn I say, and unscannable.

And I even remember now when I was checking out at CC the cashier had to call into the back because the barcode was ripped then and he couldn’t scan it out. Man I never thought a second about it then. I’m going to have to ask for advance copies of the rebate details in the future.

I haven’t made many computing purchases in real stores for a long time, been mostly doing that via internet and now I think it’d be much easier just to always do that. This particular monitor for example is offered with all these rebates all over the 'net, but most internet merchants automatically deduct the rebates (I guess they do the leg work?) so the hassle to me isn’t nearly as much.

Plus I would have saved $23.00 in sales tax.

But these are hollow arguments when I’m getting together a Christmas present.

I’ve bought items with two rebates (one from the manufacturer and one from the store). The rebate forms said “one rebate per purchase”. They apparently meant “one of this rebate, using this form, per purchase”, because I got both of them. At least one form seemed to acknowledge that there was another rebate i could send for, because it didn’t require the UPC code . Who is offering you the three rebates, and are the rebates named on the forms?

Two of the rebates come from the manufacturer and one comes from the store.

I actually buy a lot of that stuff with multiple rebate offers and I’ve never had one rebate rejected because three were offered.

It’s really more like “only one of THIS rebate per customer.”

Just make sure you send the original to the offer that wants the original, you send the copies to the ones who’ll accept the copies, etc.

Sure it’s a pain in the ass, but the reason you bought that model was for the rebate, right?

Seems to me that the you are entitled to one rebate of $50, one rebate of $30 and one rebate of $20. That’s what the limit of one rebate per purchase is. Fill in all the forms, send them off and wait for the seeming eternity for the checks to arrive.

Which still may not be enough. I recently tried to redeem a rebate on house paint from Lowes and they rejected my form because they claimed I sent a copy of the product UPC rather than the actual UPC. How am I supposed to prove I actually sent the real UPC? The only proof I have is the empty paint cans with the cut-out labels, the copies I made for myself, and my memory of having done as instructed on the form. I’m sure they were hoping that the majority of people who got that far would throw up their hands in frustration and not pursue it. They only honored the rebate after I went through several layers of customer service and made it clear their behavior was dishonest and fraudulent, and even then they acted like they were doing me a favor. I have had a similar experience with several other rebates and only recall a few that went smoothly.

IMO, retailers offer rebates hoping few people will successfully jump through the hoops to redeem them and they will do anything possible to reject your paperwork. To me, rebates are an indication the retailer is shady to begin with. If they were honest about it, they’d give you the discount at checkout. I’m not saying you shouldn’t try to claim them, just that the fact that they offer a rebate should prepare you for the trickery to follow.

I rebate LOTS and LOTS with Circuit City items with very few problems.

1: The $ 100 is the sum of the three rebates. They are all valid.

2: Each rebate will be sent in and processed individually . You will get three checks.

3: Unless the UPC is mangled beyond belief it (and the copies) should be accepted even if slighly torn or cut. There is no requirmeent I know of that they be “scannable” and people are slicing these things off with all manner of cutting instruments. I’d be surprised if a substantial number weren’t mangled.

4: Make copies of all submission slips and receipts. If one is kicked back due to a mangled UPC or other valid problem the CC store will usually credit you the difference back to you card if you can show then the paperwork and the refused rebate.

5: Make sure the address is neatly lettered on the envleope and that all the requirements (signatures etc if required) are completely filled out. Staple the UPC, the receipt, and the rebate form together when putting in the envelope.

Before you pay for the item be sure you and the sales associate (clerk) are agreed on exactly what the deal is. Then double check the receipt and rebates before letting him get away.
Follow the instructions for rebate to the letter. Make a photo copy of everything mailed in for rebate.
Follow up on rebate site, after allowing the estimated time for rebate to be mailed.

Since things are already messed up go back to the store and ask for the manager to consult with you regarding the screw up!

Well, if you don’t give all the facts upfront in your OP, I dunno what you expect.

Because I’m not a mindreader?