I'm afraid that I too may have fallen for a rebate scam. Almost 2 months ago, I bought two cell phones, one for myself, one for my husband, from Radio Shack. After explaining to the salesmen who I was purchasing the phones for, he informed me that I would receive two (2) $150 rebates, one for each phone. The salesmen gave me two rebate forms to send in. He even suggested that I send them in separately. I received two separate emails from Sprint's rebate center letting me know that my rebates were being processed and to check back in a few days/weeks. I checked back after a week or so and my status for one rebate is invalid. This was their explanation, "We apologize for the misunderstanding, but your rebate is invalid because this promotion allows only one rebate per item per household. A postcard acknowledging your invalid reason will be mailed to you."
Now if I told you that I was buying a phone for my husband, and myself is it pretty clear that we live in the same household? Funny, the salesmen at Radio Shack forgot to mention that important detail. At this point, I'm not sure who is running this scam, Sprint or Radio Shack. I haven't contacted either yet, but have a strange feeling that both parties will point their fingers and the other. After reading similar stories on the Internet, I have a feeling that both parties know exactly what's going on. It's just easier for Sprint to say, those Radio Shack people are misinformed and don't know what their doing and for Radio Shack to say that those Sprint people are big corporate scammers. I personally think that it is the responsibility of both the retailer (Radio Shack) and the supplier (Sprint) to know and provide the correct information to the consumer. The fact is, someone dropped the ball, and the one that will have to pay for it is probably me. Being that there are so many complaints like this out there, it's clear that both parties know of the problem. You would think that Sprint would make more of an effort to educate the retailers of it's products, and that Radio Shack would make more of an effort to educate themselves on the products and services they sell. I don't want to sit back and be taken advantage of though. Somehow going in and screaming at a Radio Shack employee, who of course will probably have been a new employee and probably think saying, "Oops, sorry dude," will be enough, just doesn't seem very satisfying or like the best route. I also am thinking of contacting Sprint, but am pretty sure they'll shrug their shoulders and say, Radio Shack should have told you, especially since I didn't buy them directly through them. I'm very irritated and disappointed by this because I've been a happy Sprint PCS customer for over 4 years.
I of course will never shop at Radio Shack again, and sadly, am going to have to join all the Sprint haters after defending them for so many years. At the very least, I WILL give them both an earful of my opinion about this by making a complaint to both. I will also post my story on as many websites as I have time to so that maybe one person won't fall victim.
So as far as the war over who's is at fault, I think both Sprint and Radio Shack are. I think they both know the deal and are working together on it. Some may think I'm at fault because I didn't, crack the code, of question asking to find out exactly what the catch was and how exactly I was going to be bent over. Some may think I'm being passive by not have wrung the scrawny salesmen at R. Shacks neck, or squealed at Sprint over the phone yet. That's fine, you are entitled to your opinion and maybe I should have known all the sneaky questions to ask, (though I don't know how knowing to ask if I can use 2 rebates per household would help if the salesmen doesn't even know that I can't, obviously he would have said, sure you can!) but I'm just tired. Tired of having to go through all that teeny, teeny, tiny fine print reading, tired of companies creating so called deals, that they really don't have any intentions of upholding, tired of the scams. Aren't you?
P.S. My other rebate is still in the verification status, but I won't be the least bit surprised if that one falls through also. Any advice?
Comstock Park, Maryland
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