by Diane R. Schmidt
Beating Rebate Rejection
My Story: What I Learned about Rebates
You filled out all the paperwork, mailed it in, but never received your $100 rebate from the cell phone company. What happened? You know you filled everything out or did you?
If you didn't photocopy the rebate form, UPCs, receipts and other required paperwork, including a contact phone number or email address, you may be out of the rebate. Companies have been offering generous rebate offers lately, but they don't expect consumers to cash in on them. For those who do fill in the forms, cut off the UPCs and jump through the hoops, it can be a struggle to get paid.
So what can you do to insure that your rebate form will wind up in the accounting department, instead of in the trash? Here are some tips:
Tip 1: Fill out everything
Companies would love to find one flaw in your rebate form, just so they don't have to pay up. Don't give them the chance to reject your rebate! Fill out all the required information and be sure to photocopy it, so you have a copy for your records.
Tip 2: Attach the required documentation
Some rebates require specific proofs of purchase, receipts with purchase prices circled and other requirements. Read over the rules very carefully before gathering together the paperwork.
Tip 3: Mind the deadline
While some companies have generous deadlines for sending in rebate forms, others require a very short time frame for sending in rebate forms. Pay attention to the deadline!
Tip 4: Send it certified
In general, if your rebate amount is over $20, or whatever amount you decide on, send it certified, with delivery confirmation. This way, you'll know for sure if and when they received it.
Tip 5: Package it securely
If you have a ton of paperwork to send, be sure the envelope is big enough and sealed securely. Also, be sure there is enough postage on the envelope and your return address is written clearly.
Tip 6: Keep your rebates organized
Even if you've passed the test and mailed your rebate in on time, the company will hope you have a very short memory. Typically, rebate checks take six to eight weeks to arrive, sometimes longer. To remember what was sent in and when, create an Excel worksheet with the name of the rebate, the address, the phone number, the amount owed to you, when it was sent and if it was sent certified. If your rebate doesn't show up, you'll know how to contact them.
Tip 7: Persistence pays
If you find yourself in dispute with the company over a rebate, be persistent and provide every form of proof you can that you sent in everything correctly. Companies don't want to lose customers and would rather work with you, than refuse to honor the rebate.
Diane Schmidt is editor of SavingsMania.com, your one-stop savings site for printable coupons, freebies, contests, and lots more. It's updated daily with the best deals!
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