(Posted Friday 1-23-2004) When I went to Fry's
Electronics in Phoenix, AZ in mid October of 2003 I'd been
forewarned about buying anything from their store that had
any kind of rebate attached to it. Personally I've never
had any problems with (the mailing of) rebates but looking
back now I wish that I'd of taken the advice given. This is
my story and if you don't want to get ripped off by Fry's
Electronics I'd advise you learn from this
On Saturday October 11th 2003 I purchased two items from
a Fry's Electronics store. The first was a phone that had a
$10 mail in rebate and the second was a 50 pack of CDR
burnable CD's. The latter also had a mail in rebate for $5.
Both items were purchased way within the time frame given
for the rebates validity and both rebates were mailed
within 96 hours of purchase.
Firstly I've got to say here that it's completely beyond
my intelligence how a company conducts its business by
asking its customers to wait up to THREE MONTHS for
the return of the rebate check. Two weeks I can understand,
a month is pushing it, six weeks is a total insult but 12
weeks, come on? Anyhow both rebates were sent to two
different addresses in two different States. The CDR rebate
was meant to be back at my home within eight weeks and the
phone rebate, (as stated above,) three months.
By January 8th 2004, 'THREE MONTHS LATER' neither rebate
had come back. I must add here that in my 13 years of
living in the United States I've never lost one piece of
mail and all mail that I've known of, that was on its way
to me either within the United States or from overseas has
NEVER gone missing.. Delayed maybe, due to 9/11 or nearer
the Holidays for example, but the odds of both pieces of
mail going missing to two different locations, sent from
two different mail boxes on two different days in my
opinion isn't a mail issue. I believe both pieces arrived
and we're dealing with bull sh*t here.
Their policy is for you or I to waste another 74 cents
and mail a letter to both rebate stations to inquire about
the status of each rebate. Sorry but if a company can't
get something mailed off to you in the time frame mentioned
above (and from two different locations might I add,) then
I feel that I'm dealing with complete incompetence here and
wasting more of my time and money on a company like this is
suicide. So forget it!
Disgusted by their performance and uselessness I filed
three complaints with the Better Business Bureau (known as
the 'CAB' - Citizens Advice Bureau in the UK) in early
January of 2004. On Friday January 16th, I got a letter
back from Fry's Electronics in the Bay Area in CA. I was
asked to fax them what I'd originally sent to both rebate
centers (in the mail). So I faxed them the original
photocopy of the rebate form that I'd filled out (before
mailing) and my rebate receipt from the stores cash
register (both of which I'd photocopied before I mailed out
both letters in October of 2003) along with my BBB letter
and a hand written letter of disgust to them.
I also mentioned in my (hand written) faxed letter to
them that if I didn't hear back from BOTH rebate centers by
Monday 1-26-04 (giving them nine days to act) then I'd be
contacting Consumer Affairs next, followed by both States'
On Wednesday January 21st I emailed Fry's Electronics
Customer Support requesting a phone/fax/email
number/addresses of the CEO of Fry's stating that I'd like
to personally talk to him or her before I got in touch with
Consumer Affairs. Hearing nothing back, on Friday January 23rd I emailed them again. By this point I'd found an alternative email address for Fry's customer support so I contacted them also. (MIGHT I ADD BY "MONDAY MAY 10TH," 2004 I'VE STILL HAD NO REPLY TO EITHER EMAIL?)
On Monday January 26th, 2004 after hearing
nothing back from Fry's via the BBB, the phone, by mail or email and having given them NINE DAYS to act, (as said) I then filed a complaint with Consumer Affairs.
I'm not saying don't buy anything from Fry's
Electronics, I'm simply forewarning future customers out
there to 'be prepared to get ripped off' and never see your
money again if you decide to buy anything from them and
expect to get a rebate check back. If I hear anything at
all from Fry's I'll update this page, but if I don't, which
I don't expect to, then assume that I got ripped off fair
and square by TWO different Fry's Electronics Rebate
I'd appreciate any feedback from others out there who
may have had a similar experience? I say this as once you
start to do the calculations here Fry's Electronics could
be withholding thousands if not tens of thousands of
dollars which isn't theirs! What a nice way to make money
ha? Gain a customer's trust by advertising a rebate, this
entices the consumer to buy and we never see the $5 or $10
(or maybe more) again. That certainly adds up to whole lot
of money when you consider a few thousand customers here
Complaint filed with the California Attorney General Bill
Lockyer for his staff to review on Thursday 1-29-2004.
Thanks for your reading, Johnny Anderson.
I've gone to www.google.com since posting this and it seems there are MANY dissatisfied customers out there who have previously shopped at Fry's. What a joke for a company!
CONCLUSION: On Monday 3-22-04 I recieved a certified envelope containing my rebate check. Finally it had arrived after "ONE HUNDRED AND SIXTY ONE DAYS" of waiting. And this was only made possible by filing complaints with the BBB of Industry and San Jose, CA, along with the Attorney Generals office of CA and Consumer Affairs.
So in the end I waited FIVE AND A HALF MONTHS for a rebate that was supposed to take no more than 3 MONTHS. And this only came after numerous complaints were filed with organizations that were willing to help and I'm most grateful for that help, believe me.
Today is Monday 5-10-04 and I've still had no response whatsoever from any of the 3 emails that I sent to Fry's Electronics on 1-21 and 1-23-04 where I requested the CEO's information. This company in my opinion IS the epitome of the worst and most appalling customer service that's out there in the United States today.
There's an old saying and I think it fits in very appropriately here; AVOID FRY'S ELECTRONICS LIKE THE PLAGUE! Thanks for reading, Johnny Anderson.
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