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.
I've 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 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. 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 Complaints. 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. and are probably the best way to insure fair treatment as regards rebates ever arriving.
I encourage anyone who has had an experience like mine to contact these folks so that this pattern of unethical behavior can be investigated and the Rebate Ripoff stopped.
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 the deceitful and unethical business practices.