You've probably been ripped off by a rebate offer just like me, or you wouldn't be reading this page. I tried for over eight months to get my rebate of $79.99 on 2 32mb SIMMs, manufactured by MGV International of Irvine, California, and purchased at a Best Buy store in Denver back in February of 1998. Repeated phone calls and emails to MGV produced nothing but promises ("the check is in the mail," that sort of thing). MGV didn't deny receiving my rebate request. They didn't try to tell me that I hadn't done my paperwork properly. They simply refused to send me my money.
After complaining to various authorities (see the links at left), I learned in mid-October that Best Buy would pay my MGV rebate. I received my check from them on October 31, 1998. MGV filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 13, 1998.
CompUSA is also paying rebates for MGV products bought at their stores. Call the number shown at left if you bought your MGV memory at either of these retailers.
Storm Technology of Mountain View, California, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on October 21, 1998. They converted this to Chapter 7 on November 25, 1998. They stopped paying rebates on their scanners sometime in July 1998. Best Buy and CompUSA will pay the rebates on Storm products bought in their stores.
In general, it's probably worth trying either of these retailers if you've waited beyond a resonable amount of time for a rebate on any product bought in one of their stores. If you didn't buy at CompUSA or Best Buy, call the retailer where you did buy and tell them what their competition is doing about unpaid rebates.
Not all rebate offers are scams. Here are a few recent success stories (relatively speaking), with the turnaround time in parentheses.
Maxell zip disks (7 weeks)
Sierra Print Artist 4.0 (4 weeks)
Learning Company Reader Rabbit (15 weeks)
Fuji zip disks (9 weeks)
Office Max OneCheck (7 weeks)
Here's a big thank you to Katie Dolan of Smart Computing magazine, for alerting me to the fact that Best Buy had started fulfilling MGV rebates on their own. She was doing research for an article on rebate and warranty problems, due to appear in the January 1999 issue of the magazine, and was kind enough to pass that information along to me, so I could pass it along to you!
I am told that the NBC news magazine Dateline is working on a story about rebate scams. I urge you to email them at firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know you want them to expose companies like MGV on national television.
Please write and tell me your rebate story - good or bad! I'd especially like to hear about your experiences with retailers other than Best Buy and CompUSA.