How long is too long to wait on a rebate check?

Dec 2, 2021, 7:04 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 10:02 pm

RIVERTON, Utah — One hook retailers often use to snag our business is the promise of a rebate. Rebates can turn anything from smartphones and laptops to mattresses and paint into a whale of a deal. But getting that rebate often takes time.

So, how long is too long to wait for a rebate?

Way back in January 2020, Kelly Zaugg was remodeling his home.

He bought $300 worth of paint from Lowe’s, with the expectation he would get 25% of that money back in the form of a rebate check for just over $75.

“It was a really good deal,” Zaugg said. “So, we bought enough paint that we could remodel our whole house and paint the whole house.”

Though Zaugg said he submitted for his rebate right away, he is still fighting for that $75. That is nearly two years of back-and-forth communication with Lowe’s and the company it hired to handle rebates.

“Every time I emailed them, they’d ask for more time,” he said. “They’d give me a time period, and then I wait a few weeks after that, and I’d email them again and remind them I’m still waiting.”

So, convinced he was that the company was counting on him to just move on, he decided it was time to call the KSL Investigators.

“I felt like I was getting strung along all the whole time,” Zaugg said.

The Federal Trade Commission says consumers should get their rebates in the timeline promised by the retailer. And if there is no promised timeline, rebates must be received within 30 days after you send all the documents to the company.

When we asked Lowe’s why Zaugg cannot get his rebate as promised, they agreed to look into it.

Within several days, he finally received his rebate.

“It was never about the money,” Zaugg said. “It’s only $75. It was about the principle.”

Lowe’s didn’t offer us an explanation, but often, we don’t get our rebates because we either forget about them, miss the deadline, or we don’t submit everything we need to. So, be sure you know all the requirements and deadlines of a rebate before you buy, and then hold onto your receipts.

If a rebate is late, contact the company, and if you still cannot get help, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.

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How long is too long to wait on a rebate check?