Thursday, May 28, 2009

Rebates and Receipts

Recently I began paying the bills (one less thing for Joshua to do while studying) and quickly learned a few important lessons.

Submit rebates immediately: the longer you wait, the greater the likelihood of forgetting entirely or waiting until it's too late. Then that great deal is no longer so great.

Keep track of those rebates: I didn't realize how important this was until just recently and am beginning to get a bit suspicious. Has anyone else had trouble with their rebates lately?

I submitted a rebate for a phone in January and by the end of March still hadn't received it. After a quick phone call they told me they had already sent it. It hadn't arrived. I asked if they could check and see if it had been used (perhaps it got stolen??) and was told that "we have no way of tracking rebates." Huh? When I called to request another one, I didn't have to prove a thing... but finally received my rebate.

About a month later, after submitting another rebate, I received a letter saying we didn't qualify (even though we did). A 2-minute phone call later and the rebate was in the mail. The exact same thing happened to a good friend.

So even though it might be a bit of a hassle, it's definitely worth keeping track of rebates. A five minute call is worth $100 to me.

Pay bills online: Not only does it save a stamp, but makes it very easy to pay immediately and keep track of fluctuations from month to month.

Hang on to receipts: ...for all those times when your word simply isn't enough. When switching internet services, I made sure to cancel our original provider before the next billing cycle began-which included a last minute trip to return the "box". I hate hanging on to extra pieces of paper, and since I wouldn't need to return anything, why bother?

A few weeks later a bill arrived from the old company for the new month. The customer service rep said, "well, it looks like you didn't cancel until the 13th and the new cycle started on the 4th."

"But I checked to see when the cycle began and specifically canceled before it."

"Well, the computer says you didn't cancel."

"I did cancel and we certainly didn't use your internet service after the 4th. Is there nothing you can do?"

"No, but you can pay the bill before it's late," she answered rather rudely.

...and then I remembered the receipt (which I'd reluctantly filed). What a difference it made.

"Oh, I am so sorry. I'll take care of that right away. There must have been a mistake in the recording. Please disregard the bill. So sorry for the trouble."

Linking to Frugal Fridays over at Life as Mom

photo by lusi


~Sara said...

I keep all my receipts no matter how minor of a purchase! I have needed them in many occasions. Thanks for the great tips.

Candace said...

We finally got our rebate from At&T - after several phone calls! You're right though, $125 is worth the time spent on the phone.

Davonne said...

You won the $25 gift card to Bellissima's! Details are in your inbox and here: