money back http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/1753/all en-US How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/business_closed.jpg" alt="Closed sign" title="Closed sign" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="125" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>What happens to a <a href="http://www.tkqlhce.com/click-2822544-10817658">Groupon</a> if the company offering the deal closes? And how do you get your money back? (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/selling-your-groupon-coupons">Selling Your Groupon Coupons</a>)</p> <p>According the <a href="http://www.groupon.com/faq">FAQ page of the Groupon website</a>, the guidelines are promising but vague:</p> <blockquote><p>What if the business for my Groupon closes down?</p> <p>If anything happens that makes it impossible for you to redeem your Groupon, we'll make sure you get your money back.</p> </blockquote> <p>I had not given this subject much thought until a few weeks ago when my inbox contained an email with this subject line:</p> <p>&ldquo;An Important Message Regarding Your <em>ABC Bistro</em> Groupon&rdquo;</p> <p>My husband and I had tried once to use the Groupon for this restaurant. We had called on a Saturday afternoon to check on seating availability and make reservations. But it was unclear why we could not reserve a table &mdash; either seating was available on a first-come, first-served basis or all tables were booked. When we stopped by to check, we found that all tables were reserved; we vowed to plan ahead for a future outing.</p> <p>So, using the Groupon was still on my radar when the email arrived. This is the message I received:</p> <blockquote><p>We are writing to inform you that ABC Bistro has closed. While most of you have already redeemed your ABC Bistro Groupon, we know that some have not, and we want to get you your money back as soon as possible.</p> <p>If you haven&rsquo;t used your Groupon, please email us at <a href="mailto:support@groupon.com">support@groupon.com</a> and we&rsquo;ll be happy to issue you a full refund to your original credit card used for the purchase or give you Groupon Credit.</p> <p>We were big fans of ABC Bistro, so we&rsquo;re especially sad to see them go. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.</p> <p>Thank you for your continued support.</p> </blockquote> <p>I was surprised to learn that the restaurant had closed. ABC Bistro (not the company&rsquo;s real name) had opened several months earlier and seemed to be doing well. It occupied a space in a new, pedestrian-friendly neighborhood shopping center in an area with a dearth of nice restaurants. On a nearly daily basis, I drove by this shopping center and had not noticed anything amiss. Nor had I heard about its closing from friends.</p> <p>This note was the first indication that anything was wrong. In retrospect, though, the inability of the restaurant staff to communicate its reservation policy was an omen.</p> <p>Groupon&rsquo;s move was fast. The email was sent to <em>everyone</em> who bought the deal. I wondered if Groupon was in such a hurry to issue refunds (and preserve its integrity) that the deal-seller decided to notify all buyers first, get responses, figure out who had redeemed the Groupon and who had not, and then issue refunds or give credit.</p> <h2>How I Got My Money Back</h2> <ul> <li>I replied soon after getting the message that the restaurant had closed.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>My email message: &quot;Hi, I just got a note saying that ABC Bistro has closed; I had an unexpired coupon there. Can I get a credit card refund now? Please let me know if you need additional information from me.&quot;<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>Groupon support staff told me that my credit card account would be credited within 5&ndash;7 business days.<br /> &nbsp;</li> <li>The <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off">refund</a> transaction was initiated on the same day and the credit was posted in 3 days.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>Then I wondered:</p> <p>Had Groupon (or I) acted too quickly?</p> <p>No.</p> <p>Soon after sending my email, I checked the restaurant's website and saw that it had been dismantled. Its Facebook page was still active. A status update indicated that the restaurant would be closed for a few days while some business issues were resolved. Since then, the restaurant has not re-opened and the Facebook page is now empty. In this situation, Groupon knew about the restaurant's status before everyone else in town did.</p> <p><em>Do you use your Groupons immediately? Have you ever tried to use a Groupon but found that the company with the deal was closed?</em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <div align="center"><a data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-count="above" data-pin-tall="true" data-pin-save="true" href="https://www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Fhow-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2FHow%2520to%2520Get%2520a%2520Groupon%2520Refund%2520When%2520a%2520Company%2520Closes.jpg&amp;description=How%20to%20Get%20a%20Groupon%20Refund%20When%20a%20Company%20Closes"></a></p> <script async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></div> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/How%20to%20Get%20a%20Groupon%20Refund%20When%20a%20Company%20Closes.jpg" alt="How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/julie-rains">Julie Rains</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-things-you-should-never-buy-on-groupon-or-livingsocial">5 Things You Should Never Buy on Groupon or LivingSocial</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off">Track Your Refunds or Get Ripped Off</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/i-just-things-should-work-properly-too-mr-dyson">I Just Think Things Should Work Properly too, Mr. Dyson. UPDATED 7/7/09</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cheat-sheet-retail-markup-on-common-items">Cheat Sheet: Retail Markup on Common Items</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Consumer Affairs Shopping closing down groupon money back refund Mon, 02 May 2011 09:48:18 +0000 Julie Rains 532855 at http://www.wisebread.com Are Rebates Worthy of You? http://www.wisebread.com/are-rebates-worthy-of-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-rebates-worthy-of-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock_000004760539XSmall.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>With a new year, many of us may have the illusion that time management can be increased in our lives. Time management, weight management, and money management are likely the three most popular resolutions that return to the scene year after year for most of us. It makes sense. But what doesn&rsquo;t make sense are the little things in life that we continue to do even though they violate the promise we made to ourselves to do better this time.</p> <p>One such item that can be a strain on both time and money management skills is the Rebate. Sure, it sounds like a good deal to get $5 back on a $5 purchase, but like most things in life, rebates are not that simple. In fact, after credit card shenanigans, more consumers complain about rebate hassles than anything else &mdash; and rightly so. Have you ever tried getting money from a big corporation? Not so easy, is it?</p> <p>Of course it&rsquo;s not easy. Companies make it hard for anyone to cut into their profit margin. If rebates were easy then everyone would be pursuing them. So why bother? From the company&rsquo;s perspective, offering customers money back makes them look good. With nearly everyone struggling to make ends meet, or at least have enough cash put aside for the future, people will continue to flock to the places that give them the best deals. However, a wise consumer remembers what their mother told them &mdash; if it looks too good to be true &mdash; it probably is.</p> <h3>Rebates Not the Best Incentive</h3> <p>Companies are stepping up to make rebates more attractive so they can trounce the competition. Rebates are very popular in the cell phone industry. But for the consumer, the process of actually getting a rebate is less than attractive. In most cases, you have to pay full price at the time of purchase and log on later to the company&rsquo;s website to follow through another process of claiming the rebate. Those without Internet access will have to spend even more money on the cost of postage for mailing in receipts and rebate forms. The forms, electronic and paper, usually take some time to complete. Then, after completing all the paperwork, you will likely find yourself waiting at the mailbox for 6-8 weeks, if not longer, to secure that $2.00 rebate check. Worth it? Perhaps, if you have nothing else going on in your life.</p> <h3>Rebate Debit Cards Failing</h3> <p>A newer tactic companies are giving customers is the rebate amount in the form of a debit card. Sounds convenient enough but there are many consumer complaints about the debit cards not working past a certain amount. For instance, you get a rebate card of $30. You charge $27.98 on the card and the next time you go to use it, it isn&rsquo;t accepted. Oftentimes stores won&rsquo;t even let you use a debit card unless the total on the card exceeds the amount due.</p> <h3>Rebate Trickery</h3> <p>Some companies not only make it hard to get the rebate, they make it easy to get one over on the consumer. Imagine going to a store to make a purchase, anticipating an instant $20 rebate only to discover after looking at your receipt at home the company actually charged you an additional $20. It happens more than consumers realize. Failure to check receipts or rebate requirements leaves many consumers not only out the rebate amount but paying more for the item out of their own pockets.</p> <h3>Rebate Scams</h3> <p>Sadly, there are still those who profit off consumers trust. &lsquo;Rebate&rsquo; checks are sent to unsuspecting consumers that, once cashed, actually trigger charges on consumer bank accounts. Consumer who don&rsquo;t read the fine print are often surprised to find that the fine print actually states cashing the check is an agreement to enroll in some kind of program that costs consumers ridiculous amounts of money each month. This is certainly not a hassle you want to undertake in your busy life. Rebate checks have a history of taking a long time to get so if your rebate pops up in the mail in a day or two, it may be a clue that something is not on the up and up.</p> <h3>To Rebate or Not to Rebate</h3> <p>Depending on your experience with rebates and retailers, there may still be a few good rebates out there that are worth your time and effort. But they are becoming few and farther between. Instead, it is recommended that you search out legitimate money saving offers that aren&rsquo;t dependent on a rebate. Pay attention to the regular price of the item when you are shopping or comparing goods. Consider that there is never any guarantee you&rsquo;ll get your money back.</p> <p><em>What are your experiences with rebates?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/tisha-tolar">Tisha Tolar</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-rebates-worthy-of-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-can-buy-with-5000">What You Can Buy With $5,000</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-ymmv-mean-the-official-guide-to-decoding-the-language">What Does “YMMV” Mean? The Official Guide to Decoding the Language of Frugality</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-companies-with-the-best-employee-discounts">8 Companies With the Best Employee Discounts</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/ultimate-guide-to-cash-back-shopping">Ultimate Guide to Cash Back Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping money back rebate checks rebates savings Tue, 12 Jan 2010 15:00:02 +0000 Tisha Tolar 4568 at http://www.wisebread.com How Dissatisfied Do You Need to Be to Use a Satisfaction-Guaranteed Rebate? http://www.wisebread.com/how-dissatisfied-do-you-need-to-be-to-use-a-satisfaction-guaranteed-rebate <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-dissatisfied-do-you-need-to-be-to-use-a-satisfaction-guaranteed-rebate" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/guarantee.jpeg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="245" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p class="MsoNormal">Many brands offer them: satisfaction-guaranteed rebates.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>While this helps to build reputation in the industry and gives genuinely disgruntled consumers an easy fix for their problems, is there a possibility that it&rsquo;s too easy to get money back on the products you buy?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We look at both sides of the issue to help decide when &ldquo;attainable&rdquo; may not always be &ldquo;ethical.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">What is a Satisfaction-Guaranteed Rebate?</b><span style="">&nbsp; </span>Quite simply, it is an offer by a brand to give back the full purchase price of a product, assuming you aren&rsquo;t satisfied.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>In many cases, this may mean that the product didn&rsquo;t perform as promised, was defective, or had gone bad before purchase.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>While many companies offer you the opportunity to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/product-feedback-is-worth-your-time">provide product feedback</a>, these types of rebates are different, because they are usually fulfilled in the same way as a regular rebate. (You fill out a form, mail it in with your proof or purchase, and wait for a check to arrive.)<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">What&rsquo;s the big deal anyway?</b><span style="">&nbsp; </span>Apparently, many people use money-back guarantees or satisfaction rebates to get money back on all kinds of purchases &ndash; even those they weren&rsquo;t particularly dissatisfied with.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>While a conscious shopper may find that they are not happy with a purchase, search out a solution, and find that there is money-back guarantee on the product, others profit by following the process backwards.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>They scan deal and freebies boards, looking for new satisfaction-guaranteed rebates to print off.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Then they go to the store and make the purchase, knowing in advance that they will redeem the rebate &ndash; even before they have a chance to try and be disappointed in the product.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">It is important to note that there is such a thing as a regular rebate.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;Try Me Free&rdquo; offers are regularly offered with the objective of getting people to do the very thing I mentioned above: buying products specifically so that they can redeem the offer.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>The hope is that a consumer segment that hasn&rsquo;t yet tried the product will get a taste (a free one) and come back as a paying customer.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>The satisfaction-guaranteed rebates, however, are designed more as a consolation for a bad experience.<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><b style="">So what is ethical?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>And what&rsquo;s not?</b><span style="">&nbsp; </span>While I most certainly won&rsquo;t try to be the rebate police, I have my own opinions on the matter.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>So do other money-saving gurus from around the web.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Here is what they are saying:<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Mercedes from </strong><a href="http://www.commonsensewithmoney.com/"><strong>Common Sense with Money</strong></a> says, &ldquo;I am of the opinion <br /> that only when you are dissatisfied you should submit these. Doing it <br /> under other circumstances is against the intention of the manufacturer <br /> and parallel to coupon fraud in my book.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><st1:place w:st="on"><strong>Tara</strong></st1:place><strong> from </strong><a href="http://www.dealseekingmom.com/"><strong>Deal Seeking Mom</strong></a> agrees.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;I rarely use them, and <br /> I don't promote them on my blog at all. I've seen a number of other sites <br /> promoting them recently as a means to get free products, and I don't condone <br /> these practices.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong>Lynnae from </strong><a href="http://beingfrugal.net/"><strong>Being Frugal</strong></a> states, &ldquo;I think if people continually abuse the <br /> consumer satisfaction rebates, companies will no longer offer them. &nbsp;I think <br /> it's a great thing, if you're truly dissatisfied, though I've never used one.&rdquo;<o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></p> <p class="MsoNormal">It sounds like most everyone is in agreement then, right?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Wrong.<span style="">&nbsp; </span><strong>Sam Pocker of </strong><a href="http://retailanarchy.com/"><strong>RetailAnarchy.com</strong></a>, and author of <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0762434392?ie=UTF8&amp;tag=wisebread03-20&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=0762434392">the book by the same name</a>, defends the position that the rebates are there for the taking.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>&ldquo;<span style="color: black;">The number of people who do this to excess is relatively small, I believe it is around 1% of all consumers at best. Only 5% of all coupons issued in the marketplace are redeemed in the first place.&rdquo;<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Sam also says that no notice is taken of anything written on the form beyond the name, address, and dollar amount (the reason given for dissatisfaction is meaningless.)</span><span style="color: black;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: black;">So we know what consumers think of the practice of redeeming satisfaction-guaranteed rebates when there truly is no dissatisfaction, but what do manufacturers think?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>We can only guess (none would answer my request for comments.) <br /> </span><span style="color: black;"><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="color: black;">According to Sam, they could care less.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Others, like <a href="http://www.consumerqueen.com/">ConsumerQueen.com</a>&rsquo;s Melissa Garcia, aren&rsquo;t so sure.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>She works for a convenience foods company and is concerned about the rise in claims &ndash; which could possibly be a signal of false complaints.<span style="">&nbsp; </span>It is her opinion that this may be the reason that some companies no longer offer them.</span><span style="color: black;"><o:p>&nbsp;</o:p></span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><strong><em><span style="color: black;">Where do you stand?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Have you ever redeemed a satisfaction-guaranteed rebate?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>If so, were you really dissatisfied?<span style="">&nbsp; </span>Or do you prefer to go about the traditional methods of rebating and product feedback? </span></em></strong><span style="color: black;"><o:p></o:p></span></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/linsey-knerl">Linsey Knerl</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-dissatisfied-do-you-need-to-be-to-use-a-satisfaction-guaranteed-rebate">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/double-coupons-they-could-cost-you">Double Coupons – They Could Cost You!</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-protect-elderly-loved-ones-from-financial-scams">How to Protect Elderly Loved Ones From Financial Scams</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-be-ashamed-to-be-on-public-assistance">Should You be Ashamed to be on Public Assistance?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/details-of-obamas-mortgage-plan-released-will-you-benefit">Details of Obama&#039;s mortgage plan released - Will you benefit?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/my-purchase-rang-up-wrong-could-the-law-be-on-my-side">My Purchase Rang Up Wrong! Could the Law Be on My Side?</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Personal Finance Consumer Affairs coupons ethics money back satisfaction guaranteed rebates Sun, 21 Jun 2009 02:55:46 +0000 Linsey Knerl 3296 at http://www.wisebread.com Track Your Refunds or Get Ripped Off http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off <p><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/wisebread_imce/cc_small.jpg" alt=" " width="314" height="209" /></p> <p>“Refunds” are supposedly different from “rebates”, although honestly, you might never know it, since both are difficult to obtain. I find that lately, I’ve had to harass the heck out of companies, particularly companies that primarily do business via mail order or on the internet, to get my money back even after returning a product.</p> <p>In the past, when I treated money with a devil-may-care attitude, I’m sure I let dozens of potential refunds slip right by. I don’t believe that all retailers really want to rip off customers, but I don’t see refunds as a really high priority of theirs, either.</p> <p>A few months ago, I realized that I had not received a refund for an anti-virus program that I had purchased months before, the installation of which had required a hard drive reformatting. Thinking that I was being taken for a ride, I emailed the company and demanded my money back. An apology was issued, along with an immediate refund.</p> <p>It was after that experience that I started to keep track of expected refunds. Any time I returned an item to a non-local retailer, I noted the expected time frame for a refund, say 6 weeks, and then entered a reminder in my cell phone that would go off roughly 6 weeks later. When the reminder popped up, I’d check my account balance and see if the refund had been issued. I found that if I didn&#39;t do this, it was really easy to forget that I was owed money.</p> <p>I returned quite a few items following this holiday season, so I was expecting at least six refunds. Guess how many came through in the “expected” time frame?</p> <p>Yup. Zero. Not one. For every single refund, I had to email and/or call the company and ask for the refund. Almost all of them refunded my money within 24 hours, with the exception of Palmer Cash, the “vintage” t-shirt people who don’t seem to believe in customer service. </p> <p>Which got me to thinking: after your returned merchadise is received, these companies are perfectly capable of processing your refund the same day, but they don’t. They tell you it might take 4-6 weeks. Are they expecting you to forget or get lazy about it, the same way companies that offer rebates try to make it as difficult as possible to get your money back?</p> <p>My advice to people who don’t track their expenses as well as the budgeting types:</p> <ul> <li>Whenever you return an item, set up and automated reminder (be it on your cell phone, email, online calendar, or regular ol’ wall calendar) so you’ll remember to look for the refund towards the end of the expected processing time. If I hadn&#39;t been tracking these expected refunds, I&#39;d probably be out well over $400 right now.</li> <li>As always, pay with a credit card if you have one. I don’t, so I use my debit card, which doesn’t offer protection like major credit cards. Mind you, I rarely buy big ticket items.</li> </ul> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-karim">Andrea Karim</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/track-your-refunds-or-get-ripped-off">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-a-groupon-refund-when-a-company-closes">How to Get a Groupon Refund When a Company Closes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/throwing-out-your-own-trash">Throwing out your own trash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-smart-alarm-clocks">The 5 Best Smart Alarm Clocks</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-store-sales-cycle-your-monthly-guide-to-clearance-prices">The Store Sales Cycle: Your Monthly Guide to Clearance Prices</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-retailers-with-the-absolute-best-customer-service">7 Retailers With the Absolute Best Customer Service</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping alarm calendar customer service merchandise money back Palmer Cash refund reminder return Tue, 06 Mar 2007 19:41:59 +0000 Andrea Karim 326 at http://www.wisebread.com