Rebates can provide a nice shopping bonus – as long as you follow the strict redemption rules. Many go unclaimed because consumers throw away proof of purchase codes or miss deadlines.Here are some tips to help ensure that you receive your rebate:
- Read the offer carefully before you buy.
- Fill out paperwork promptly.
- Enclose all required documentation.
- Make copies of all paperwork to be mailed, including forms, receipts, and UPC codes. You will need this should anything go wrong.
- Consider certified mail and request a return receipt as proof the company received your request.
- Watch out for so-called “delayed” rebates offered in connection with a variety of purchases and services including cars. These jumbo cash-back offers are too good to be true for the majority of people.
- Lastly, remember that mail-in rebates typically take up to 12 weeks to arrive, so budget accordingly. If a timely refund is a concern to keep your account in balance, it may be wiser to comparison shop for a lower-priced item.
If your rebate doesn't arrive within the time promised, contact the store where you made the purchase and the rebate fulfillment center, then file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Better Business Bureau.