Those rebate offers are tempting. However, the rules for redeeming the cash are usually very strict. A Marin County woman came to 7 On Your Side after she did everything right and still couldn't get her rebate.
Sue Carlson of Larkspur says she wouldn't normally make such a fuss over a $100. However, something got her upset.
"I think if they make these offers they should stand by what they're saying," said Carlson.
It happened when she was comparing prices on a security system for her vacation home. A dealer with ADT Alarms offered an incentive -- a $100 rebate -- if she signed up.
"Cash. He said it would be on a Visa Card, you could use it anywhere you want," said Carlson.
Carlson was inclined to go with ADT anyway, so she did sign up. She also acted right away to collect that rebate.
"Most people don't follow through with rebates. They laugh and say, 'Oh no, I'll never get it.' But this time, because the sales guy was so emphatic about it, that I decided I was going to follow through," said Carlson.
She carefully followed instructions by filling out forms, mailing photocopies and activating the alarm within 30 days. The instructions said her check would arrive in 16 to 18 weeks.
"I figured OK, February, March, April for sure I would be hearing from them," said Carlson.
However, April came and went. Spring turned to summer, and Carlson still did not have her money.
"I gave all the information to the people over and over again. And it is very frustrating, but at the same time, it's the principal," said Carlson.
She kept calling the company. Agents kept telling her there was a backlog of processing.
"'It takes that long to get through everyone and just keep trying.' So I pursued it by calling On Your Side, Channel 7 with Michael Finney," said Carlson.
We contacted ADT which tells us, its authorized dealer had offered the rebate, not ADT. However, ADT did contact the dealer, Protect Your Home of Indiana.
"Well lo and behold, I got a call the next day from someone from ADT saying that I was going to get my rebate," said Carlson.
Protect your home not only sent her this Visa Card worth $100, but also a check for another $100.
The company said: "We recently learned that Ms. Carlson's rebate card had been mailed to her vacation home instead of her residence. We are committed to customer satisfaction, so Ms. Carlson received an additional card for her inconvenience. We are pleased this situation has been resolved."
"My goodness, it just takes someone to be on your side," said Carlson.
The lesson here is to be persistent and if you are promised a reward, make sure you get it. If you have a problem getting a rebate, or any other consumer issue, let me know about it. Contact me here.