I bought a Samsung HM1000 Bluetooth headset for $22 thinking it was a great deal because they were offering a $20 mail-in rebate. In fact, I thought it was such a good deal that I bought 3. I diligently filled out my paperwork on time, then waited for my rebates to arrive.
I got an email from firstname.lastname@example.org confirming they had received my forms. So far so good. Problem #1: the check status link included in their email didn't work, but I went directly to the rebatetrack.com site and was able to check the status. Problem #2: their site sucks and it just kept saying that the status was "Processing."
After some time, I decided to contact them. They have a chat function on their site, and the chat agent gave me a number to call: 877-860-0022. When I called, the customer service agent said they could ship out a new set of "reward cards" (Visa debit cards with the rebate amount on them). That wasn't bad I thought. Problem #3: the agent never mentioned any fee for replacing cards.
More time went by and I still didn't get my rebate rewards. So I called a second time. The customer agent was nice again and said they could resend my reward cards again. Problem #4: this time, the agent said replacing the cards would cost $6.95...for each card! Even worse, they told me that $6.95 had already be deducted from my rebate from my first replacement request! Now I was pissed! I had been patient up until then. I asked to speak with a manager and was connected with a woman who said her name was Molly. She was nice enough, but said that the $6.95 was a policy. She said she could only check with "corporate" to see if they would waive the fees. I called back after a few days to see what the corporate decision was. I couldn't reach Molly again but the agent I did speak with simply said they couldn't waive the fees.
Here's the sadly funny part. I asked this agent what the name of the company was. First she said they were just a rebate processing center. I asked again what was the name of the company she worked for. She refused to tell me. Even the mailing that the reward cards came in had no company name. The cards were branded Samsung, but I doubt Samsung is the bad guy. The real bad guy is this nameless rebate processing company and the card company they use. I'm guessing they are Parago Inc. because that's who owns the rebatetrack.com domain. When you go to http://www.parago.com/, it says, "Our consumer incentive and rebate programs drive billions of dollars in sales for our clients" so I'm pretty sure it's them.
I eventually did get my reward cards by changing the delivery address to my work address. Out of the $20 I was supposed to get, I only got $6.10 on each card.
So here's the ripoff: they kept $13.90 per card or $41.70 total that I should have received, all through no fault of my own. And there was nothing I could do about it because they could simply deduct any amount from my rebate amount. Worse, there is no way that replacing a credit card costs $6.95 - it's simply another way to make money for them. I believe this should be illegal for them to charge excessive replacement fees, especially before I had actually received them. I could understand a penalty fee if I actually lost the cards. I would report them to my attorney general if I had the time.
I hope this helps others somehow.