By Alan Graner
Last time http://dsprel.wpengine.com/hate-mail-rebates-tactics-used-discourage-redemption/ I discussed how to tell if a mail-in rebate is a scam.
Assuming the rebate is legitimate, here are some ways to make sure you get your money.
Before your make your purchase…
Read all the fine print. If you don’t understand the rebate rules, don’t purchase the item because chances are you’ll accidentally do something “wrong” that voids the rebate.
Double-check the rebate’s expiration date. You often have a smaller time limit than you think, e.g., the rebate form must be received within X days after purchase or it’s void. It’s also possible the eligibility period has already expired.
To qualify for a mail-in rebate you must cut out and mail the UPC barcode. In doing so, however, you may encounter problems returning the item.
Tactics for getting your money
- Make sure you understand the rebate instructions and follow them to the letter.
- Double-check you have:
- Filled out all forms correctly.
- Enclosed all required documentation.
- Included the correct UPC barcode (some boxes have more than one. When in doubt, call the customer service number listed on the package).
- Photocopy each piece of documentation for your records.
- Mail your rebate documentation immediately. If you wait a week or so you may exceed the rebate’s time limit.
- Consider sending the rebate documentation certified mail for larger rebates.
- Write your purchase date on a calendar and mark its two-month anniversary. After this anniversary call the fulfillment company and ask where your check is.
- Track your rebate on the fulfillment company’s website (lots of manufacturers and retailers use third parties for rebate fulfillment).
- Call the fulfillment company’s toll-free 800 number if your rebate doesn’t arrive in a timely fashion (usually 6 to 8 weeks) and:
- Complain about the slow payment.
- Ask for details if your rebate was voided or refused.
- Ask the company to reverse the rebate if it’s been rejected.
Any other suggestions for getting your rebate money?
Image: OTA Photos via Flickr®
Next: Where to complain
Alan Graner is Chief Creative Officer at Daly-Swartz Public Relations, an Orange County, CA marketing communications firm. For a public relations campaign that makes you stick out from the crowd, email Jeffrey Swartz at email@example.com. Or visit www.dsprel.com.