Rick (arkaycee) wrote in bad_service,
Rick
arkaycee
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Office Depot rebate suckage

Yeah, I've learned over time that "allow 8-10 weeks" on a rebate means allow 11-12 weeks (an ongoing annoyance -- and I'm adding an extra week into that since it's "from time they receive it") ... but Office Depot set new records, and were asses about it at every step...

So last September I buy this $300 printer/FAX/copier combo (word -- if you have a sick parent whose power of attorney you have, a good one of these is INVALUABLE -- you'll be copying, printing, and FAXing almost daily).... $20 rebate.  The allotted time goes by (plus i figure a week on either end to send it and maybe to get the check back, and another week for slop)... then I go check online... yes, it was received, but it's in "mandatory verification" or something like that (runs over to check my copies of original rebate materials -- no they do not say anything about what this is)... I give it another week and it's still in mandatory verification.

OK so at this point, they're a month over their "allow..." timeframe. Then my Mom passes away and that throws me off for ANOTHER month to deal with stuff... and guess what? My rebate is still verifying.

So I calls them now that it's been over twice as long as it was supposed to take, and wait on hold for 7 minutes (handsfree is a godsend when dealing with this annoyance), ask the person who answers wtf is "mandatory verification" and how long til I get my rebate... she won't tell me what it is (I'm assuming it's marketing-ese for "we're trying to get another penny's interest off your rebate"). Then she acts like she's doing me a big favor, that she will send my rebate check! (momentary yeah!) ... in 4 more weeks (wtf?!?!?!) ...

I ask to speak to HER supervisor, who just sounds pissed that I would dare question the 4 weeks, and when I ask to speak to *her* sup, tells me "it won't matter, everyone here will tell you '4 weeks'."

OK, so I complain online to "Contact Us..." for Office Depot, even going so far as to allow them to look me up and see that I spend around $800-$2000 a year there, and tell them that if they want me to ever be an Office Depot customer again, get me the check within 10 days, or at least let me know why they can't live up to their agreed timeframe. I provide email address, phone number, say contact me any of those ways.

I get back the automatic acknowledgment, so I know they got it and that they have my email address right.

But no human being one ever so much as replies.

Of course, I get my check some 8 weeks later, not 4. Total time for what should have been 10 weeks: 9 MONTHS. some four times as long as they said it would be.

Oh well, at least no one pulled the bullshit line about the extraordinary unexpected response to this incredible printer and this awesome rebate... naw, I checked, it was selling ok but nothing special, and everyone else had it for $199 with a $20 rebate around that time too.

Now let me talk about Staples for a moment... the ANTI-SUCK!!! Got something there (wireless internet USB dongle) and it has a $10 rebate. Allow 6-8 weeks, it says. I submit the rebate. I get the check in 11 DAYS! w00t! huzzah! Hatai! (or whatever that <i>Heroes</i> dude is saying).

Guess which place I will sigh (their flyers always look good, but then again the best prices are things like "after 5 mail in rebates") but never shop at again (I wonder in which decade I'd get all five rebates back)... guess who now gets $800-$2000 a year more from me, and who gets $800-$2000 a year less?

(Meant to post this here in bad_service, posted it in my regular blog instead, so if this looks familiar to my flist...)
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