FTC Cracks Down On CompUSA Over Bogus Rebate Program

from the ah,-that-again... dept

The rebate scam used by consumer electronics firms is fairly well known. Basically, the retailers advertise a very low price, but the only way to get it is to pay a much higher price and send away for a rebate (which many people forget to do). However, most of these retailers contract out the rebate programs to firms who have the incentive to figure out ways to deny or delay your rebate. This includes common tactics like denying the rebate for some random reason or waiting until you called to send out the rebate (and then telling you "it just went out yesterday..."). While it's always done by third party firms, it looks like the retailers are finally getting in trouble for the practice. Last year, the state of Ohio cracked down on Best Buy for rebate failures, and now the FTC and CompUSA have settled charges concerning false rebate info, including delaying payments (promised in six to eight weeks) for many months.
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    AW, 12 Dec 2005 @ 6:42am

    CompUSA Rebate Scam - New

    CompUSA has a new way to prevent customers from claiming rebates -- so beware!

    They have an e-rebates website where they encourage you to enter the purchase information to expedite the rebate. However, the website does not permit you to enter the time of purchase, which is needed for the processing of the rebate. Entering the time just causes it to revert to 00:00.

    I noticed this when I entered my information, that it would not take the time. As a result I mailed in the information since the website was not functioning.

    When I called to find out where the rebate was, I was told that using both the website and mailing in the form invalidates the rebate. When I complained that the website did not allow entering the time, I was told they knew that, it was a "glitch" in the website.

    So -- don't use the e-rebates website as it is designed to fail. Just mail in the rebate using the form and hope for the best. Beware that using both methods will invalidate the rebate (I was told that is the "number one rule" by CompUSA.)

    Where is the Better Business Bureau when you need them?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Make this the First Word or Last Word. No thanks. (get credits or sign in to see balance)    
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Discord

The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...

Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.