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Staples Discounts, Deals and Coupon Codes

Staples Rebate Nightmare (Warning: Hilarity Ensues)

dkm16 270 56 May 3, 2016 at 08:12 PM More Staples Deals
I'm writing to share my experience with others because I've read numerous horror stories regarding Staples' rebate program. I thought others were just 'full of it' and decided to give the rebate program a shot (2 shots, technically).

In January I purchased 2 cases of paper that someone had shared here. The end result of the deal was a case of Staples brand paper for 89 cents via a $10 off coupon and a $45 prepaid visa giftcard rebate. There was a limit of 2 rebates per person, per address. I decided to get 2 cases and figured it was safest to place 2 separate orders since I would be submitting 2 of the same rebate (and I had previously heard of people having rebate issues when buying more than one quantity of the same item in the same order).

Immediately after purchasing the 2 cases of paper, I submitted both rebates separately. A few minutes after that I received emails from Staples saying that my rebates were submitted successfully. A month or so went by and I received only one rebate, so I called to see what happened to the second. I was told that there was an 'issue with my information' that put the second rebate on hold. That customer service associate assured me that he fixed the 'issue' (although he couldn't even identify the actual issue), and told me that he resubmitted my rebate and that it could take up to a month for me to receive it.

TWO months go by - still no rebate. Luckily, it was tax season so I totally forgot about it and didn't have time to investigate anyways. A few weeks ago I finally sent them an email asking what was going on. To make a long story short, we've exchanged 72 emails since then: each time they ask me for a different thing. First they just asked for the tracking numbers to both rebates as well as my name and address, so I provided the info. Then they wanted me to send them the 'description of the items' that were purchased (are you kidding me? Like they don't have this information in their system.) Either way, I obliged. Then they asked me to send screenshots of each invoice, which I did. They then told me that the rebates were BOTH sent to my address, and that I should've received them. Here's the funny part: in that same email, they included a rebate tracking number for the second rebate that I never received. This number did not match EITHER of the original tracking numbers that I received when I submitted the rebates. I then realized that the new tracking number they provided was my cell phone number (LOL). I played dumb and attempted to track the rebate using my phone number and got an invalid tracking ID error (as expected). So I sent them another email explaining this. They apologized and then told me to provide them with PDF copies of the original invoices that were received. Even though I already sent them screenshots of this info, I jumped through their hoop yet again. Then they wanted to know what store I picked them up from, when I picked them up, when I placed the order, etc. They kept dancing in circles and asking me for piecemeal information that was easily accessible from the previous email trail we had created (and even if this info wasn't available for whatever reason, we all know it was in their system). You get the idea. All in all, I sent 32 emails to them in regards to the matter.

Here's the final email I got:

"[Insert Name Here], your rebate is valid and the $45 Visa Prepaid card was mailed to you on 02/23/2016 to the address 2774 East Colonial Dr, Orlando, FL, 32803. If you have not received this card, please contact our prepaid card department at 1-866-923-0052 and a representative will be happy to further assist you. Once you receive your rebate please feel free to check your transactions and card balance on the website on the back of your prepaid card."

Go ahead and Google that address if you please. That's the address of the Staples store where I picked up the cases of paper back in January. I then sent them an email asking why they sent the first rebate to my home address, but the second one to their store in Orlando. They responded by telling me to call the prepaid card hotline and assured me they couldn't resolve the issue via email. I just spent the last 96 minutes getting transferred from one department to the next. Each representative telling me a different story. The first guy told me that he pulled up my account and after flipping through my emails, "I'm sorry sir, none of your attachments are showing up here. You'll need to resubmit the original invoices." At this point I'm done jumping through hoops and I have the emails right in front of me so I assured him that my emails had proper attachments as I was staring right at them. He just kept repeating himself so I asked to be transferred to his supervisor. The supervisor told me that I never submitted the full details required to process the rebate, so I asked why I got a confirmation and tracking number... She didn't have an answer for that so she transferred me to the rebate department. The next woman told me that the rebate WAS sent to their store, and then told me that she tracked the card that was issued and that there was only 10 cents left on the card. It had been used at 2 different grocery stores.

So there you have it, one of their own employees took my rebate and used it. She then told me that I had to go to and fill out the fraud affidavit, get it notarized, and then send it in so my case could be investigated. I refused to fill out the form because I'm not going to pay for the postage, or the fee to have it notarized. Sorry, I'm not willing to spend more money and trust your company with the responsibility of investigating the fraud when you're the ones who committed the damn fraud in the first place. Eventually she was on repeat, so I asked for her supervisor. Finally, I got a hold of my main man, Alex B. This dude understood my frustration and said that he wouldn't pay for someone to investigate the problem either. I asked if I could simply return the case of paper and get my money back because I don't even want to deal with the hassle anymore. I would then file a police report in regards to the theft. He said they have a strict 30-day return policy, and that they wouldn't even issue me store credit for the return (which I also think is BS).

He said he recorded the conversation we had, and that he would forward it to his 'escalation department,' which I would hear back from in 7-10 days. Needless to say, 'skepticism/frustration meter' is through the roof right now. I'll wait to see what happens, but I plan on going in to the store tomorrow and asking to speak with the manager.

I don't care what the end result is, I'll NEVER buy from Staples again. I just wanted to share my experience here to see if anyone could relate or offer guidance on the matter.



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Sorry this happened to you, but I have to say....I have completed hundreds of Staples Rebates worth thousands of dollars and never had an issue with a single one. I am not that surprised that things like this can happen though.
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your best protection with staples is that you may return the paper if things go awry (no time limit on non-technology items!)
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Joined Jan 2006
Master of My Domain
4,412 Posts
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I haven't had Staples stiff me on a rebate in years, though I did recently have one arrive over a month late. Their tracking system is senseless since the tracking number they provide to you is different than the internal tracking number assigned to your GC. Hopefully, I don't encounter the nightmare you did OP as I often spend my Rewards on these paper deals in order to turn my Rewards into cash.

Quote from zxcvbnm1212 View Post :
your best protection with staples is that you may return the paper if things go awry (no time limit on non-technology items!)
This. ^
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Yes, don't struggle for the rebate. If there is anything goes wrong, just return the item. And try it by next time.
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Their rebate system since the start of the year has become a joke,many rebates were never mailed or got lost. And most of all, don't request a check for a prepaid card, I have called several times waited several months for the checks to arrive,on check requests for hundreds of prepaid cards, and it never arrived. The rebate department will feed you bogus lines about escalating the issue and/or contacting you in 72 hours, they never have and never will. I have lost several thousand in rebates due to this,and plan on contacting the AG and BBB, if I had funds I would take them to court too.
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