Woman learns important rebate lesson

August 30, 2011 8:07:44 PM PDT
Many products come with a rebate offer which is a way to get part of your money back, but how likely are you to actually get those rebates? Well... it can be tough. There are almost always lots of rules and restrictions that come with rebates. Here's an example of a woman whose purchase came with a nice big tempting rebate, but it was impossible to collect.

Karen Trudell chose one new refrigerator partly because it fit between her cabinets, but also because the retailer offered a generous rebate.

"Home Everything. Because they offered a lower price and a 20 percent rebate, I ordered from them," said Trudell.

However, a rebate offer is one thing and actually receiving a rebate turned out to be quite impossible.

"I kept emailing and emailing, but she said 'I'm sorry, I can't do anything about it,'" said Trudell.

Trudell shopped with online retailer HomeEverything.com. The company was advertising "exclusive rebates" including 20-percent back for one particular Frigidaire model. However, there was a little catch.

"My rebate is only good for 30 days so I called, they said, 'don't worry about it,'" said Trudell.

Trudell had to mail in her rebate form, complete with serial number, within 30 days of her purchase. However, as the Oct. 6th deadline approached, Home Everything still hadn't delivered her refrigerator, so she couldn't apply for her rebate.

"I'm getting really worried. This is a lot of money. They email back and say, 'Well, just send it in without the serial number,'" said Trudell.

So she did, but without that number, her rebate was rejected and her time ran out. She didn't receive her refrigerator until Nov. 12th -- a whole month after the rebate deadline. Not only that, Frigidaire told her the refrigerator she got wasn't even manufactured until October when the rebate was already expired. 7 On Your Side verified the date that was printed inside the unit. Furious, Trudell called Home Everything.

"If you knew this would expire Oct. 6, my refrigerator wasn't made until the end of October...'Oh, something's wrong here,'" said Trudell.

She demanded her 20 percent rebate worth $287.20. Home Everything offered only a store credit that Trudell didn't want.

"Then my emails started being sent back to me undeliverable," said Trudell.

So she contacted 7 On Your Side and we found 243 complaints filed with the Better Business Bureau against Home Everything, many for late deliveries. We contacted the company and it told us, "If a late delivery causes a customer to lose a rebate, we will take care of them. We offer a store credit or a refund."

And Home Everything agreed to give Trudell her 20 percent rebate-- $287 in all.

"So I was so thrilled, I really was. So thank you. I don't know how to thank you enough," said Trudell.

If you purchase an item based on a rebate offer, make sure you read all the rules and conditions before you decide if it's worth your time.

Load Comments