Friday, October 27, 2006

Staples' Not So Easy $250 Rebate

I don't want to make this blog an outlet for consumer complaints, but I recently had a problem with Staples.

The other day I saw that HP had a 50% off rebate on a LaserJet 3055 All-In-One.  The rebate was for $250.  Being a fan of Staples, and having just tried out their EasyRebate online submission for the first time for another purchase the other day, I figured I'd buy the printer from Staples so I wouldn't have to go through the usual hassles of sending in barcodes, forms, and hoping they'd pay the rebate, especially since it was going to be for $250.

I ended up buying it through and received the printer the next day.  Then, when I went to submit the "EasyRebate" online, it said that I'd need the product's serial number and to come back when I had it.  Even though I had it already, there was no way to continue and put in the serial number.  I waited a couple of more days and tried again.  Still no luck.  After contacting rebate support through an online form, I received an email saying to try it again and if it still doesn't work, to call the number on the rebate form.  Well, it still didn't work, and since there isn't a rebate form for EasyRebates, I didn't have the number, either.  After digging up one up through the website, going through the interactive phone maze, reaching a live person, getting transferred, and then waiting on hold for about 5 minutes, they then played a message that they were sorry and weren't able to take the call at this time, and hung up.

After calling through the maze again, I reached someone who basically said they think the problem was because the printer was sent from a different warehouse so the item number they use is coded differently.  My only solution would be to call another 800 number, this time at HP to find out how to submit a rebate to them directly, since they're the ones that ultimately handle the rebate (well, I guess more correctly, they're the ones that hire the company to process the rebates) or to Google "HP rebate" to see if I could find a form.  I tried the latter and finally found the form and will end up submitting it the old fashioned way.  That's OK with me, but my frustration was that it took a half an hour of my time for them to tell me, we can't help you, Google it yourself.  This was made more frustrating by the way they promote EasyRebates as an easier alternative to regular rebates.  If it was for a $10 rebate, it definitely wouldn't have been worth my time and I would have given up.  Since it's $250, I'll stick it through and have to hope that the rebate doesn't get rejected for some reason.  I'll report back what happens.

No comments: