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Old 09-11-02, 03:52 PM   #1
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Best Buy and the missing UPC symbol

Here's another story of that gentle giant Best Buy at work.

I went to Best Buy to pick up a hard drive for my PC. While looking at the shelves, I see a rebate deal on a 60Gig drive that makes it cheaper than the 40 Gig I was originally there to get ($50 rebate). I grab the 60 gig, go home and install it. Then, I proceed to cut the box up for the UPC symbol and pack that up along with the receipt and rebate form.

A few weeks later I get a letter from Best Buy telling me I didn't send in the UPC symbol. I look at the box (which I kept) and there's the hole where the UPC symbol used to be. I've got nothing to do but call the number in the letter and explain that I don't have it because I sent it to them. The woman is nice and does something on her computer that tells the rebate center to check again. She then tells me to call back if I don't here anything.

More weeks pass and after no word, I call back, and explain the situation. This time the customer service person is decidedly less helpful. She asks me if I have the UPC symbol, to which I say (again) "No I sent it in". Then she tells me I need to find it and send it in. Not only is she not listening to my explanation( or anything I'm saying), but she's following her very rigid set of rules which state "no UPC no rebate".

At this point I begin to realize I've been screwed. I have a box with a gaping hole in it and now I'm past 30 days so I can't return it either. I was all set to send in pics of the box and it's UPC-less hole. But this explanation doesn't matter to the four other people I talk to at customer service, some of whom are downright rude. "No UPC=NO REBATE".

Now to be fair I'm sure they have this rule so they don't have some scammers trying to get multiple rebates. And I'm sure people have tried to scam stuff before by not sending the in the UPC. Unfortunately there is no room for negotiation and I get shafted to the tune of $50.

I'm tempted to go in and cut the UPC symbol off another one in the store.

Needless to say, Circuit City is getting my business from now on and no more mail-in rebates from anyone.

Anyone else have rebates problems with Best Buy?
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Old 09-11-02, 04:04 PM   #2
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The only rebate I have used through Best Buy I sent in a photo Copy of my UPC and it went through just fine.
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Old 09-11-02, 04:08 PM   #3
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I bought the 16x CDRW 110pk for like $0 after MIRs (last Thanksgiving sale). Needless to say I cut the UPC out of the box and sent it in with the rebate and receipt. Weeks later I received a postcard saying that I didn't send in the UPC. I called the number in the postcard and explained the situation. The nice CSR asked me if I had a photocopy of the stuff I sent in. I make it a habit to photocopy everything before I send in for a rebate. She didn't require me to send in the copy (some rebate center required that in case of a dispute) but read the UPC over the phone. Then she did something on her computer to mark my rebate valid. Later I received the check in the mail.
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Old 09-11-02, 04:44 PM   #4
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Find out the UPC and call them back and tell them you have the photocopy in front of you. Hopefully they won't call your bluff and ask you to send it in.
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Old 09-11-02, 04:46 PM   #5
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Just go to the store and cut the UPC off one of the packages there.
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Old 09-11-02, 09:23 PM   #6
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groucho that is like stealing and if you get caught, you are getting (BANNED) (arrested)
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Old 09-11-02, 11:52 PM   #7
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I've had good luck most of the time, but in July I bought a hard drive, sent in the rebate stuff and just got a postcard saying they received it past the postmark date. Thing is, I mailed it the same day as my Pearl Harbor rebate, the expiration date of which was EARLIER, and I got that check in the mail. I'd rather have had the hard drive rebate, it was three times as much.
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Old 09-12-02, 01:16 AM   #8
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I wonder if you could do a chargeback for that amount . . . probably not, but maybe--you didn't get what you were promised, afterall.

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Old 09-12-02, 06:04 AM   #9
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Realize that the majority of retailers use third-party companies to manage their rebates. Also, the vast majority of purchasers do NOT end up sending in the rebate forms. Because of this, there has been a push among retailers to push "prices after rebates." The results? The third-party companies get swamped with those that are sent in and then invariably use a variety of delay tactics. There are several lawsuits against rebate companies already and I don't know if Best Buy's rebates are also in that situation.
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Old 09-12-02, 08:12 AM   #10
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I suppose you didn't make a copy of the rebate form before you sent it away? That's the key...with the copy, you're always protected. Anyway, don't give up on rebates altogether--just make a copy next time.
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Old 09-12-02, 11:36 AM   #11
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Thanks for the replies. I didn't get copies of the rebate form or the UPC symbol, so I guess I screwed myself. It still goes to show that if you get a helpful customer service person, you can work through issues like this. I got stuck with some really rude and unhelpful people at Best Buy. The rebate has expired now so it's too late, but I should have just copied down the number from another HD and called it in.

By the way, Best Buy has its own Rebate Center (at least this case).
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Old 09-12-02, 10:46 PM   #12
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That's one thing of many I learned because of this forum. Always make copies of everything you are going to send.
I don't mean to offend anyone and yet it happens anyway.
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Old 09-13-02, 12:54 AM   #13
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I learned the hard way also. Now I make a copy of EVERYTHING that needs to be sent in (forms, UPCs, reciepts, EVERYTHING!) all on one page (11x17 if need be) and keep that copy in a file. Heck, sometimes I even copy the envelope!
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Old 09-13-02, 03:24 PM   #14
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Those rebate centers are *****ing scams. I've had four or so rebates in the last several years, all legitimate, and two have been denied. One was for free OfficeMax CD-Rs, and they just made up a list of bogus reasons why my submission didn't qualify (submitted too late, didn't include receipt, etc--all a bunch of bullsh*t). I finally let it go since I had no way of proving they were simply lying, since they waited 4 months to deny my rebate and I had no way of proving what I had sent in way back when.

The second was for that $5 Nestle GC "For the Way you Live" promotion. I was denied relatively promptly and sent the rebate denial and copies of my submission to Nestle...the lady in charge of promotions personally called me to apologize, sent me $15 in GCs, and told me they had a "retraining" session for the rebate people where it was explained it wasn't worth alienating customers over a $5 rebate...

I suppose the retraining was necessary because these rebate folks, by default, DENY, DENY, DENY requests.

Anyway, I no longer consider mail-in rebates when looking at prices.
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Old 09-17-02, 07:39 AM   #15
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I recently got a $50 BB gift card (kinda like a rebate) for buying a specific printer during a specific week...made copies of everything of the card with no problems. FWIW
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrgde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprometnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
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Old 09-19-02, 03:56 PM   #16
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Here's the deal on the rebate. If it's a rebate through Best Buy, all you have to do is go into the store and get them to photocopy another box's UPC, as Best Buy Rebate Center generally accepts photocopies, regardless of what the form says.

If it's a manufacturer rebate, you're **** outta luck, and it isn't Best Buy's fault or problem.

That's pretty much the bottom line on rebates, except in very rare situations in which the rebate is taking care of in the store - this nearly always involves situations in which Best Buy's rebate center refuses to send you a rebate no matter what.
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