Whilst some manufacturer rebates are easy to redeem there are others which are not.
I’m raising the question of whether or not some manufacturer mail-in rebates are fraudulent, not because they are completely false, but because the manufacturers endeavour to pay out as little as possible on them.
What cannot be denied is that mail-in rebates are an effective promotional strategy for manufacturers that help to boost sales.
It is also likely to be true that a lot of consumers miss out on rebates through their own faults, i.e., they fail to send in coupons or miss deadlines.
THE RED FLAGS OF MANUFACTURER’S REBATES
What separates the genuine rebate offer from the fraudulent one is often defined by the complexity, or lack thereof, of the submission rules, terms and conditions.
Harsh time limitations with regard to mailing in the rebate or dubious reasons for denying genuine rebate requests are also a big red flag.
There are even suggestions that some companies operating rebate promotions on behalf of manufacturers are actually competing for the highest rejection rates that they can achieve.
Some highlight include the complexity of their terms and conditions as a major selling point.
Even if a given manufacturer has made a rebate offer in good faith, they can sometimes be sidetracked when they discover that there are ways of avoiding paying out on them.
When a company makes a rebate offer, but makes it next to impossible to redeem that offer, they are crossing the fine line between good business and fraud.
HOW TO AVOID PRODUCT REBATE FRAUD
The most important point is to read the fine print.
Before purchasing an expensive product with a large rebate, check that you will actually qualify to receive it.
It has been known for some sneaky manufacturers to purposefully delay deliveries of products in order to ensure that rebate periods will have already expired.
Choose rebates that are easy to obtain.
For example, those that can be initiated online are often the quickest to be completed.
They are usually easier to track as well.
Fill out the rebate form completely!
If you fill out a rebate form incorrectly then your request will simply be denied.
Read the form carefully and double check it before you send it in.
Don’t miss any deadlines that are set!
Use the right UPC code.
Some products have more than one UPC code on their boxes and using the wrong one could result in a rebate request denial.
If you are not sure which UPC to send then call the customer service number and check with them.
Make sure you provide the UPC according the the rebate’s instructions – some manufacturers ask for it to be the original, cut from the box whilst some ask for a photocopy or photograph as evidence that you have purchased the product.
Take copies of any rebate forms you have returned, in case you need to refer back to them if there is a dispute.
Also note any UPCs you have sent in too.
If the rebate involves a lot of money request a postal delivery notification so that if there is a dispute you can prove your rebate was received in time.
Follow up on your rebate if you do not receive it in a satisfactory period of time.
If you believe you have not received a rebate to which you are entitled then contact the manufacturer.
If they are in any way genuine then they will not want a customer to have a bad experience to share.