mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

The way that customer service should work...

A few months ago, I started seeing large rebates offered on Connect3D flash memory products. The first one I saw was a FAR (Free After Rebate) 2 gig sd card through The rebate seemed shady though - it went directly to the manufacturer in California, and the form looked cobbled together and at one point refered to a video card rather than a memory card. I decided to skip it - I've had some good vendor-fullfilled rebates, but at the same time most of the rebates that I've had trouble with or have never shown up have been random vendor-fullfilled rebates to California addresses.

But a few weeks later, Office Depot had a 1 gig Connect3D card FAR. This rebate went to Miami, Florida - home of Parago/RebatesHQ, a major rebate processor. So I bit and sent for it.

A month or two later, a number of threads starting poping up on the rebate tracking forum of my favorite deal discussion site that Wintergreen Systems, the company behind the Connect3D rebates, had gone bankrupt and would no longer be fullfilling rebates.

And if I searched form my rebate on Parago's site, I got this dunning message.

But people on FW also started reporting that their rebates had shown up on the site of, run by Young America, and the company the Office Depot uses for their rebates. I checked, and mine showed up there. Evidently they got Parago to send them the data for the connect3D rebates (and other rebates from Wintergreen Systems).

And a few days ago, I got an envelope. Not only did it contain a $30 check, but it also contained a letter appologizing for the delay and a $5 Office Depot gift card to make up for the delay.

Now, the FTC has previously made CompUSA pay for rebates from a company that went bankrupt, QPS, so it's not surprising that OD stepped up. Also, several years ago I had OfficeMax send me a check (without me calling or anything) for a Cendyne rebate after Cendyne went bankrupt (back in the day when OfficeMax used to actually compete on price instead of going after people too dumb to read sales circulars).

But OD didn't have to send the gift cars, and the fact that they did - and that they stepped up and got the rebates paid quickly and without people having to call - speaks well of them.


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