Message emailed to Ronaldo Marin, OnRebate.com Consumer Advocate (Yeah, right!) advising of my intention to beat both TigerDirect.com and OnRebate.com over the head with the truth regarding their rebate ripoff scam.
Please examine the following most carefully and advise me of any obvious errors. I will be more than happy to correct them for, unlike some, it is not my intent to mislead others. It's also important that this information is as factual as possible since it is being shared with the agencies indicated below as well as the general public and particularly that public which is most engaged in technology and electronics. Incidentally, Mr. Parkinson is with the Florida Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services Bureau of Mediation and Enforcement.
OnRebate.com Tracking # 5628562791076202
Tigerdirect.com Invoice. # P83439320101
Attached is the latest email from OnRebate.com (6/15/2007) which is also pasted below (in a reverse chronological order) with several other missives received from OnRebate.com during the last month and which reflect their ongoing intent play the 'confuse, delay and deny the rebate' game that has been going on since mid- March. Although it's most confusing, I can easily document at least two approvals of my rebate (4/17/2007 and 6/15/2007) and at least two denials of the rebate (4/13/2007 and 5/21/2007) along with a multitude of worthless assurances.
Additionally, there's the blatant failure to honor the 'NoWait Rebate' even though the latest email indicates that the $4.00 charge for it is still being deducted from the original $50.00. I'm also taking steps to share my experience with the public in hopes of encouraging others who have had similar experiences to contact your department with their complaints. Updates will be forwarded for as long as OnRebate.com continues to provide evidence of their avoidance of obligation and accountability.
Thank you again for your support,
OnRebate.com's Latest Email Indicating A Rebate Check Is 'In The Mail' (6/15/2007)
OnRebate.com pleased to inform you that your rebate has been processed on Jun 15 2007 4:22PM.
Your check will be mailed in 6-8 weeks. Please contact us if you have any additional questions.
Below is the summary of your rebate registration information: Tracking Number: xx6202
Rebate Offer: $50 MIR on Plextor PX-M402U US
Rebate Item : Plextor PX-M402U USB 2.0 Real-Time Digital Video Converter
Rebate Award: 50.00
Final Award: 46.00
Thank you for using OnRebate.com!
*OnRebate.com Response to SE Florida BBB Regarding My Most Recent Complaint Indicating That I'm Lost In Their Database (5/24/2007)*
> We received the complaint that Ben A filed with your office.
> Thank you for this opportunity to respond to the customer complaint.
> We attempted to locate the customer in our database, no search results were found. In order to better assist the customer, please provide us with the customer e-mail address, tracking number and offer code used to register for the rebate.
> If you have any additional questions, please contact April Jackson at (888) 222-9300.
> /(This phone number is to an automated system that has yet to yeild up a real person to talk to. Ben)/________________________05/24/07______
*The Second Denial of My Rebate Claim From OnRebate.Com Sent the Day After Mr. Marin's Assurances That, 'The customer should receive a check no later than June 7th.' (5/21/2007) *
Thank you for using onrebate.com we are very sorry to inform you that your rebate application does not meet the sponsoring manufacturer conditions for approval and therefore has been denied.
In order to qualify for the rebate you must have met and complied with all the terms and conditions as set forth by the manufacturer in the terms and conditions of the rebate offer. The manufacturer or vendor who sponsors the rebate sets the rules for disbursement and OnRebate job is simply to administer those rules by determining compliance and disbursement of payment when completed compliance with all manufacturers terms and conditions has been demonstrated. Since one or more of the requirements were not met Onrebate.com is regretfully unable to approve your rebate submission.
The following manufacturer requirements were not met: Rebate form is not signed
Copy of Receipt/Invoice or Packing List is missing
Original UPC/Serial Number Barcode Label is missing
P.O BOX 440588
Miami, Florida 33144
*Response From OnRebate.com's Ronaldo Marin to the SE Florida Better Business Bureau Regarding My Initial Complaint Indicating A Check Would 'Be In The Mail' (5/17/2007)*
We have received the complaint that Mr. Ben A filed with your office. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to respond to the customers letter.
Based on the information that Mr. As provided, we have located the rebate in question. The rebate was approved on April 17, 2007. At the filing of the rebate, the customer had opted for the No-Wait rebate option; which indicated that payment was to be sent within 3 to 5 business days after the processing was complete. However, due to a processing error, payment was not sent within the time frame specified. Therefore, we will be refunding the entire amount to Mr. As totaling $50.00. The customer should receive a check no later than June 7th, 2007. We appreciate the patience the customer has shown.
We thank you for your support in the efforts to resolve this case. If you have any additional questions, please contact Ronaldo Marin at 1.866.310.8085.
Onrebate.Com Customer Service Advocate.
To Whom It May Concern@ TigerDirect and OnRebate.com:
In light of the fact that the game of 'keep the rebate from the customer' is still being played and, since Mr. Ronaldo Marin's assurances appear to lack the integrity, reliability and credibility that has been so lacking throughout these interactions with onrebate and tigerdirect, it seemed a good time to start the promised campaign wherein word of the sister companies' dastardly deeds as regards the rebate ripoff of their customers is dropped like scat and posted here and there and everywhere. To that end, the following missive is being posted in numerous locations on the web in hopes that all those customers that have had experiences similar to mine will contact the appropriate agencies and file complaints that reflect collusion of the sister companies and "a pattern of 'unethical and/or deceptive' practices" that will result in an investigation. An investigation would be really great and with the added potential for saving future victims from the rebate scam and preventing their consumer dollars from ever landing in the Tigerdirect and OnRebate pockets, my motivation to spread the gospel remains pretty high. Ben
My purchase of a Plextor Digital Video Converter came with a $50.00 rebate and seemed like a good purchase. Not so! While the product is fine, the rebate advertised is a scam and I've written a mile of emails attempting to resolve the issue and have discovered that few companies are as adept at insuring that customers never receive a rebate as TigerDirect.com and its sister company, OnRebate.com. The two companies (both are owned and operated by Systemax, Inc.) employ practices that are purposeful and gauged to deny customers promised rebate checks and, if fraud can be defined as gain through deception, their practices are certainly fraudulent in nature.
The strategy employed by TigerDirect and OnRebate is simple; merely confuse, delay, deny the rebate, demand additional paperwork or documentation, approve the rebate claim if the customer is really persistent, then delay some more until the customer becomes totally frustrated and decides that the dollar value of the rebate is not worth the effort. My most recent experience would suggest that some rebates are 'declined' automatically since the reasons for their rejection are bogus.
My claim has been rejected, approved and then rejected again with reasons given for the denials having no basis in fact. The latest rejection came just a day after I was notified by Ronaldo Marin, an OnRebate Customer Service Advocate (through the Florida Better Business Bureau) that my rebate would arrive by June 7th. (see memo below) In spite of Mr. Marin's assurances to the Better Business Bureau and to myself, it's now June 13th and there is still no sign of a check or further word from OnRebate.
I have contacted both the SE Florida Better Business Bureau and the Florida Dept of Agriculture and Consumer Services Bureau of Mediation and Enforcement. Both are attempting to help mediate the issue and Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services personnel advise me that, "The most important thing that can be done is for consumers to report these issues (and any other issues) and concerns to our department."
They also indicated that, "if a pattern of 'unethical and/or deceptive' practices is determined then the department can seek assistance from various agencies and the Office of the Attorney General in conducting an investigation."
Filing complaints with their office is probably the best way to insure fair treatment as regards rebates ever arriving and shutting down the unethical business practices.
I encourage anyone who has had an experience like mine to contact these folks so that this pattern of unethical behavior can be identified and investigated in hopes of stopping the Great Rebate Ripoff.
Last, I will copy and forward a copy of this complaint to Tigerdirect and OnRebate along with my contact information and invite either company to attempt to 'slug it out with me' in court or anywhere else; I've kept and maintained meticulous documentation of this petty little drama and am eager to share it with anyone having a legitimate interest in seeing Tigerdirect.com and OnRebate.com held accountable for their deceitful and unethical business practices.
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Tiger Direct STOP! ..before you think about using the Better Business Bureau (BBB)... CLICK HERE to see how other consumers were victimized by the BBB's false or misleading information. Don't be fooled! It has been reported, when there are thousands of complaints and other investigations underway by authorities, the BBB has no choice but to finally give an UNsatisfactory rating to a BBB member business that is paying the BBB big membership fees every year. When a business is reported that is NOT a BBB member, BBB files WILL more likely show an UNsatisfactory rating, then reportedly shake down that company to become a member of the BBB. One positive thing about the BBB is, either way, if a business has an unsatisfactory rating with the BBB, you can be sure, the business is bad. But what about all those BBB member businesses that had complaints filed against them? Consumers never get to hear about them. What about the BBB advertising to the public? Is this a false and misleading perception they are giving about consumer confidence when dealing with a business? Click here to understand more of what consumers and business alike are saying about the BBB. You decide. ..Remember. The BBB membership is not earned, it's paid for! Click here to read The *EDitorial: The Marketing Rebate Rip Off ...Manufactures invent reasons why not to pay the consumer