ATT Rebate Program Sucks

I bought my daughter a new phone for her birthday in the spring, and the phone included a $100 rebate. Normally, I avoid every product with a rebate, but my hatred for rebates couldn’t bring me to reject the phone my daughter wanted. So I got the phone, and the rebate came in a decent amount of time.

Unfortunately, ATT sent the rebate on a gift credit card. Not a check, not a service discount, but a stinking orange ATT Visa Promotion Card. Unhappy was I.

More unhappiness followed when I had to jump through three hoops to get it verified and activated. The online option wouldn’t work, so I had to call customer service. Twice.

Even more unhappiness followed when I did what most people do – forget about the gift card most of the time, because it’s a hassle to track the amount left on the card. So imagine my joy when I tried to take the family to the movies with the card, and found out the card had expired.

Yes, there are nearly 40 dollars left on that card I can’t get out. The card life was less than six months, because I bought if for my daughter in March.

When I get back from the ITEC show in St. Louis next Friday, I’ll call and see if I can get the card extended. After all, it is my money, right? Or maybe not. Maybe the entire idea for ATT is to give rebate cards instead of real rebates, hoping many people will lose them, forget them, or let them expire.

Just when you think the rebate business can’t get any sleazier, look at ATT. They should be ashamed of themselves. And they better have a good answer about extending my card’s usefulness, or send me $40.

10 Responses to ATT Rebate Program Sucks

  1. Anna says:

    Hi there, I am having the same problem! My promotion card expired after four months and i still have $50 left on the card! Did you ever get a chance to call ATT? If so, how did it go? I wanted to search around and see if anyone actually had any luck in getting a new card issued. Let me know. Thanks!

  2. James Gaskin says:

    I called Friday – no joy. I’ll write an update post tonight.

    James

  3. Phyllis says:

    I was stupid for buying 3 phone with this rebate crap. You have to shell out money upfront then you get a card you have to use as a credit card if you use it and return an item can’t reload this card you get store credit. the card is issued to the account holder’s name, I’m the wife had to call on each phone rebate follow up call and call. Piece of crap card most of the time it would say “bad card” you don’t get out what you paid upfront.When my contract is up I’m going elsewhere tired of contracts,rebates rip offs! Think of who much AT&T pockets when money is left on cards and they expire!

  4. Janet Patterson says:

    I just received my $50 rebate card in the mail. While the online activation access is confusing and appears to be a way to force users to view endless advertising, I call the 800 number and had no problems activating my card.

    The expiration date is clearly printed on the face of the card. The balance remaining is easily accessed by calling the 800 number or going online.

    It’s not ATT’s fault that you did not take the responsibility to check these important features of your rebate. Surely you are not this irresponsible with your credit and debit cards!

    I would prefer a check to the rebate card, but it is a convenient way to have some extra “cash” onhand to spend.

    If you are so unhappy with ATT, there are numerous other providers out there. I don’t think you’ll find their service or rates any better than ATT. Unfortunately, all of us consumers are bound by the rediculous rules and limitations of the cell phone companies, something we should address with our lawmakers.

  5. Janet Patterson says:

    When you are buying ATT or any other products offering rebates, listen to the sales pitch and read the rebate materials!!! I guess you folks blame the oil companies when you let your car run out of gas??
    Do you expect grocery stores and retailers to accept your expired coupons?

    My salesperson clearly stated when I bought my new phone that the rebate would be on a VISA debit card. The cards are how most companies now provide rebates.

    I just received my $50 rebate card in the mail. There were plenty of instructions that came along it; you’ve got to read them, people!!

    While the online activation access is confusing and appears to be a way to force users to view endless advertising, I called the 800 number and had no problems activating my card.

    The expiration date is clearly printed on the face of the card. The balance remaining is easily accessed by calling the 800 number or going online.

    It’s not ATT’s fault that you did not take the responsibility to check these important features of your rebate. Surely you are not this irresponsible with your credit and debit cards!

    I would prefer a check to the rebate card, but it is a convenient way to have some extra “cash” onhand to spend.

    If you are so unhappy with ATT, there are numerous other providers out there. I don’t think you’ll find their service or rates any better than ATT. Unfortunately, all of us consumers are bound by the ridiculous rules and limitations of the cell phone companies, something we should address with our lawmakers.

  6. HP says:

    Janet Patterson: your holier-than-thou attitude is offputting to say the least — do you work for AT&T? If so, I hope I never get you on the phone at your call center.

    Regardless, I still can’t understand the logic of restricting the window of use on these AT&T promotion cards. It’s a crass, backhanded way to make money by AT&T. If they didn’t promote the rebates on phones or Bluetooth technology at the point of sale as a way to induce the sale, they’d stand on sturdier ground if they are to implement these ridiculous restrictions. But alas, they do not. They should be ashamed. It’s a sure way to annoy their customers, which is the last thing an able business should do.

    And any argument you’re going to make that the company’s acts are defensible under the law is intellectually dishonest — misguided law does not a customer keep.

  7. Steve says:

    Add me to the list of frustrated AT&T customers. I just found out my rebate card expired and my $50 (or $100) is lost and I’m SOL. AT&T is such a horrible company, from it’s poor 3G network to these damn rebate cards. When will customer service make a comeback? If you’re not tied to an existing contract, DON’T go with AT&T.

  8. Lucy says:

    I was so frustrated that I have 150 left before the card expired. Since it says “Debit” on the card, I never thought about the card would expired within 2 month. I called att, the only answer from the superior is that “the card is expired, you can not have anything back, what a rude answer”.

    ATT sucks, I swear I will never use this company any more, I hope there are no more victim. Anyone knows how to dispute this?

  9. Mary Robertson says:

    Me too! ATT is horrible! I know that they make a lot of money on these ridiculous phones and services…now they make even more money off of a rebate program that isn’t really a rebate. These cards should not be different from gift cards; it is an agreement based on the sale price of the phone and a rebate should be real with no expiration date…just like a gift card. Or, how about this…apply the rebate directly to my bill! Of course they wouldn’t think of that; that would mean real money and they would much rather rely on at least half of their customers losing the card, or the card not working properly, or at least balances left over and expiring before people get around to using them. As soon as my contract is up with ATT…that will be it. Done with ATT!

  10. Am says:

    I hate AT&T too. The service is not good in many places whether it is NYC or League City, TX. But the rebate scam is incredible. They should not give a rebate, they should just take the money off the price of the phone. I’m looking at other providers. I stayed with AT&T because I had a friend who had the service. He no longer uses AT&T so I’m moving on.

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