Warning! Mail-in-Rebate May Take 12-150 Weeks

Warning! Mail-in-Rebate May Take 12-150 Weeks

Almost being sideswiped by a teenage driver in the middle of the day, teachers sleeping in till noon, a decline in parka sales in the midwest and east coast; these are all signs that summer is upon us. For geeks, this is also the time of year when the upgrade bug hits. After all, what better way to spend those gorgeous sunny days than cooped up inside with the blinds drawn and basking in the LCD glow of a rendered sunset?

Alright, so camping, fishing, bar-b-ques, bike rides, picnics, frisbee golf, and a wealth of other summertime activities present a pretty good case for venturing outside. But for the DIYer, there will be plenty of temptation in the coming months to forgo acquiring a good tan. Impending price cuts have quad-core processing poised to enter the mainstream, DirectX 10 gaming is peeking around the corner, and DDR2 pricing continues to plummet. And on top of it all, juicy looking rebates are becoming commonplace, giving further justification to rack up that credit card bill. But buyer beware when it comes to promised partial refunds, or anytime someone tells you the check is in the mail, you could end up sitting by the mailbox far longer than you bargained for.

My story begins nearly three years ago and concerns a company called Soyo. Newer enthusiasts aren't likely to recognize the name, but Soyo at one time churned out a line of motherboards, with their DRAGON series denoting the flagship models. One of the last boards to roll off the assembly line, Soyo's SY-P4I865PE Plus DRAGON 2 v1.0 advertised itself as a 'Prescott-Ready' slice of silicon riding the highly popular (at the time) Intel i865PE chipset. Further enticing would-be builders, the board carried a budget friendly $75 price tag, and though it wouldn't seem the pot needed any more sweetening, Soyo upped the ante by offering $75 in mail-in-rebates, in essence making it a free motherboard. Who could resist, right? Certainly not I, along with hundreds of others, and perhaps the overwhelming popularity is why things ultimately turned sour.


Look too good to be true? For many, it was, leaving most users with a free motherboard that wasn't so...free.

Having dutifully filled out and photocopied the forms (for my own records), I mailed out the appropriate paperwork and waited. And waited...and waited...and waited some more. The online status of my rebate went from processing to not received, and I was given the ping pong treatment when contacting customer support. Having exhausted my energies (more details can be found in this 8 page Dog Pound thread, along with other MPC members who got burned by Soyo), I logged a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and chalked it up as a loss.

This all took place back in August of 2004, and normally that'd be the end of the story. But because of that BBB report filed almost three years ago, Soyo recently tracked me down to verify my address and sent a long overdue $75 check. Apparently they're trying to clean up their 'F' rating by making good on old debts, and they've since been upgraded to a 'B' for their efforts. Looking to get back in the game perhaps? That's a story for another day...


Consider youself among the lucky if you've ever seen a Soyo rebate check in person.

So before you click that BUY button based on a mail-in-rebate, understand that you're taking a risk. Rebate companies are notorious for not following through, often times stating they never received your paperwork, or that you filled it out incorrectly, instantly rendering the claim null and void. And if you do decide to roll the dice, take some steps to put the odds in your favor:

1) Read the form(s) carefully and follow the instructions to a T. That means circling the rebated item on your receipt if told to do so, printing legibly, and meeting the post mark date.

2) Pay attention to whether you need to send in the original UPC barcode and receipt, or photocopies. And then don't forget to include them.

3) Make photocopies of EVERYTHING for your own records. You may need them in case you're requested to resubmit your information.

If you've taken the above precautions and are still unable to receive your rebate, utilize all the customer service avenues you can, including the place where you purchased your item from, the company handling the rebates, and the manufacturer of the rebated product. Become a nuisance, and if all else fails, file a report with the Better Business Bureau to help warn others. And who knows, some 150 weeks later, you may get an unexpected phone call.

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jetcat13

I gave up on rebates about 4 years ago after i had a few problems with them. I no longer pay any attention to them and just look at the real prices of things. It has me me much happier LOL.

BUT....i just built a new gaming rig, and almost everything i bought had a rebate of some sort. So i figured "Hey, i might as well fill out all this crap and at least recoop some cash". (around $200)
Surprisingly, almost everything went well.

OCZ was the only one that screwed me (read below), which brings me to my point.
After a company gives me problems with a rebate, i NEVER purchase another product from them. EVER. I believe i am not the only person who feels this way.
SO, when these companies are paying other companies to do their rebate dirty work, arent they really opening themselves up to bad PR?
******
To be fair to OCZ, after going to their support page, a person did email me and ask me to email them all my forms and said he would take care of it for me. I chose not to, because a $30 rebate isnt worth taking up this much time of my life.

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bloom

I am convinced the whole business plan behind rebates is the laziness/frustration of the consumers! I know lots of people who have simply given up on trying to get rebates because of way things seem to somehow go wrong. The result is the companies get "free" money. True story: yesterday I got a rejection card from Radio Shack saying that I didn't send in the item UPC code. When I called them to see what was going on, I was told, Yes we have the UPC and will be sending the rebate, after another four weeks wait! It's tempting to think Radio Shack was hoping I would just give up.

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kanehi

Had one sent me a notice that I didn't qualify due to it's was only good in the USA. Idiots didn't know that Hawaii is part of the US!

Also had one where they say they didn't get the proper forms and was denied. Good thing I made copies of the paperworks.

Rebates redeemtion centers are not run by the actual company, they're just clearing houses.

I've seen an investigative reporting that companies actually make monies from these rebates. It sort of a bait and switch. Most people are denied and they don't follow-up.

I rarely buy items with mail-in rebates. Best Buy essentially got rid of them. My biggest question is why have a mail-in rebate when they could just sell the item at a reduced price! Doesn't make sense at all.

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D Waterhouse

LOL! Those were the good ol' days of NewEgg, where you still had a chance of being the only one amongst your friends who knew about it.

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mac1504

Soyo pulled this same trick on another deal going on about the same time. It was two $45 rebates for their other 478 socket motherboard the P4RC350. I received one check for $45, but the other did not come. Even after I sent repeated emails, calls, and finally a report to the BBB, I still did not receive my check.

I hope they are going to make good on this offer as well.

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Nick5324

Wow, I remember when this deal was going on. I passed, and when the rebates went unpaid, was very glad I did.

Seeing that screen cap from Newegg makes me miss the days of free FedEx shipping. Sigh, stupid $5 UPS is the norm now.

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