Mail-In-Rebate. Those 3 words must bring a smile onto the face of any manufacturer/retailer. Never has a more enticing scam ever been developed. The main portion of the scam is that less than half of people actually send in their mail in rebates. That is a pretty good deal, the discount is really only half of what they advertise. Well I have been finding out over the past few weeks that there is a second part to this scam.

Three weeks ago one of my colleagues was saying that she had a terrible experience with a mail in rebate from the states. Apparently she had to fight for months to get them to actually send the rebate. That seems kinda shabby.

Where this ties into my experience is on August 19th I bought three GE appliances from Home Depot. They didn’t have the best price until you factor in the rebate; which totaled $300.  I mailed it in promptly, and began waiting. As it got to the middle of October I still didn’t have my rebate, I went to Home Depot to ask what I should do, and they gave me a number to call to ask about the rebate. I phoned the rebate center in Missasauga -apparently rebates are handled by companies that specialize in rebates. They have a policy of not answering their phone -again kind of Shabby- so I left a detailed message as requested. The next day they phoned me back at work and asked for more information. At that point they informed me that they had not in fact received my information (that I had mailed in eight weeks earlier) and asked that I resend it. I asked if I could fax it in rather than mail it. Surprisingly they agreed.

On October 31st I faxed in all of the documents and later that day they phoned me back to confirm that they did receive it, and everything looked in order for me to receive my $300. They also informed me that my cheque would be going out within the next few days. Fast-forward now to November 15th, and still nothing. Now I know that Canada Post is terrible, but it should not take two weeks to get for a letter to get from Missasauga to Ottawa. I thus once again phoned the rebate center in Missasauga and asked about the status, they returned my call -since they have a policy of not answering the phone- and informed me that my cheque had been mailed out this past Tuesday. Here we are Thursday night, and it should arrive tomorrow or Monday at the latest. If it does not I have honestly no clue what I will do.

Long and short of it is, that I think from now on I will go for the lowest non-rebated price. It just makes things easier.