Buy.com and Connect3D not honoring valid rebates!

Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind has a new home at www.CheapEncounters.com!

Here is a warning to the world to beware of rebates offered or advertised by Buy.com. Earlier this year, I jumped on three deals for free after rebate memory cards and thumb drives marketed under the brand name Connect3D and advertised on Buy.com. As these rebates are well overdue and there are rumors that Connect3D is out of business, I followed up with Buy.com asking that they honor the rebate. Much to my dismay, here is the response I received a couple of days ago:

Dear Buy.com Customer,

You recently purchased an item from Buy.com in which Connect 3D offered a manufacturer’s rebate. We regret learning that Connect 3D has failed to honor a rebate offered to you.

Reports are circulating that Connect 3D is now insolvent and no longer performing any business functions. We are investigating these reports. Indeed, before allowing Connect 3D rebate forms to be posted on our website, Buy.com took the additional steps of requiring financial statements from Connect 3D and obtaining a contractual commitment from Connect 3D to pay Buy.com directly for wrongly-rejected or extensively-delayed rebates. This contractual commitment allows Buy.com to bypass the rebate center and invoice Connect 3D directly on behalf of those affected customers who have contacted us directly.

Buy.com has submitted demands to Connect 3D to perform on its contractual obligations. Connect 3D has ignored those requests and has refused to pay Buy.com for any of the Connect 3D rebates owed to our customers. As a result, on July 6, 2007 Buy.com filed a lawsuit in Orange County Superior Court against Connect 3D and others (including without limitation, Connect 3D’s principal officers, Marc Levaggi and Mike Walsh, Connect 3D’s distributor, Wintergreen Systems and Connect 3D’s affiliated entities) for failure to honor commitments made to Buy.com and its customers. Litigation is unpredictable, costly and time consuming. However, it’s Buy.com’s belief that Connect 3D and the other defendants in this litigation should be required to honor your rebate.

No assurance exists that Buy.com will be successful in this litigation or in attempting to enforce any judgment that may ultimately be obtained.

We sincerely apologize for any hardship or inconvenience resulting from Connect 3D’s failure to honor your rebate. Buy.com wants to remain your favored internet retailer. While we pursue this matter, please accept the following gift certificate as an indication of our sincere regret.



You are the recipient of a $10 Buy.com gift certificate from Buy.com Customer Support. You can apply this gift certificate toward any of the over 2 million products at Buy.com.

Hey Buy.com – you want to remain my favored internet retailer? How about standing behind the offers YOU advertised on YOUR website? I’m sorry, but a $10 Buy.com gift certificate is not equal to $100 in cash rebates that I am entitled to. I honestly don’t care what agreement Buy.com had with Connect3D and what litigation is being filed. Buy.com advertised the rebate, therefore it has a legal obligation to honor that rebate since the manufacturer refuses to.

I have already sent a reply to these bastards expressing my displeasure. If I don’t get my money within two weeks, it will be time to submit complaints with the BBB and the CA and TX Attorney General Offices.

Always remember my golden rule: “Everyone is out to screw you!”


July 13, 2007 - Posted by | Customer Service, Rebates


  1. Hey, I also got jipped by Connect3D and Buy.com. Don’t wait to file with those agencies, do it now. They won’t do anything unless they receive enough complaints.

    Comment by luckybob04 | July 22, 2007

  2. I am a disabled senior citizen with no living help, no pension and on Social Security. The computer is my entire world. The Buy.com company sent me two e-mails advertising FREE memory cards. You had to pay $50 for one and $30 for the other (which is 5 times! the regular price in a store) but not to worry, you would get both amounts back. I would NEVER have bought these items without Buy.com’s enticing advertisements; and in fact I have not used the cards and offered to return them, but Buy.com won’t take them back. Anyhow, both rebates have been dishonored! Buy.com’s partner went out of business, and Buy.com refuses to honor their moral (and I am sure legal) obligation. After sending many e-mails, I got one response, telling me to write a letter to the president of the company, which I did. No response to the letter, or to further e-mails. I called them on the telephone, after long wait I got a live person, but they would not tell me who the president of the company is? Or even if it’s a man or a lady. I would like to call him or her up and beg them to send me my $80. I am sure the president has a nice home, a fine car, eats in good restaurants and otherwise is well taken care of. Yet it’s the same as if he or she came into my bedroom and stole $80 out of my pants pocket! Is there anything I can do? Thanks if you can help.

    Comment by paulv | August 6, 2007

  3. I filed a complaint with the BBB and they did nothing. They closed the case on me after buy.com gave their excuse that they legally don’t have to honor the rebate. Buy.com really doesn’t care about their customers.

    Comment by Vanessa | August 7, 2007

  4. […] Buy.com and Connect3D STILL not honoring valid rebates! I posted previously about the Buy.com and Connect3D rebate fiasco. The short version is that Buy.com heavily advertises multiple memory cards for free after rebate […]

    Pingback by Follow-up: Buy.com and Connect3D STILL not honoring valid rebates! « Close Encounters of the Cheap Kind | August 24, 2007

  5. I have had the same thing happen with several internet retailers. It seems clear this this was a manufacturer/distributer rebate, that the distributor went belly up. This is generally not the retailers fault legally or morally. It look from the text like buy.com is going out of their way to sue and giving people a gift card. this is more than a lot of retailers do.

    Comment by richard | August 30, 2007

  6. If you think this is standard practice for internet retailers, you’ve been shopping Tiger Direct way too often! Either that or you don’t have the testicular fortitude to go back to the retailer and demand what you are owed. On the few other issues I’ve had like this, the retailer has always made good on the rebate, and often thrown in an extra gift card for the trouble. Considering the heavy advertising Buy.com did to promote these “free” items and the money they made off of each item sold, I most certainly think they have a moral obligation to make good on the rebates THEY ADVERTISED, and very likely a legal obligation as well. CompUSA was forced to make good on rebates the manufacturer didn’t pay, although their actions were reportedly even more slimy that buy.con’s.

    As for the gift card from Buy.con, I had three separate orders for three different items that qualified for these rebates, yet I still only received one gift certificate. Other users have reportedly never received their gift certificates.

    Comment by billyoceanseleven | August 30, 2007

  7. I also was frauded out of $150 rebate from BUY.COM on a TV I would have never bought if the rebate was never offered, got the same lame excuse about 3com going solvent. Was also given a lame $10 gift card. Please boycott BUY.COM as I am as they do not take care of customers that have been loyal to them in the past.

    Comment by Robert | September 6, 2007

  8. I also bought Connect3D SD Card and got no rebate. Is there any thing we can do if BUY.com and Connect3D just fraud the rebate?

    Comment by Shaoquan Lin | September 21, 2007

  9. I agree completely. Buy.com was engaged in unfair and deceptive marketing practices by advertising those Connect3D memory cards “free after rebate,” but then disclaiming responsibility when a third party didn’t pay.

    I didn’t buy this memory from Connect3D, I bought it from buy.com. Buy.com claims they “took the additional steps of requiring financial statements from Connect 3D” before engaging Connect3D as a vendor. Well, buy.com never offered to show me those financial statements, and I doubt they would have given them to me had I asked. In effect, buy.com said “we’ve checked them out, so you can trust us and buy safely.” Ok, I trusted you. Now assume your responsibility and follow through with your end of the agreement.

    Comment by Joe | September 28, 2007

  10. I also bought the Connect3D and did not get my rebate. Buy.com has low prices but they will not help you if you have any issues. I posted a negative comment regarding one of their products (Trilink Switcher by Joytech) and they never allowed it to be posted on their web site. The product was defective and Joytech will not return any of my correspondence.

    Comment by Michael A. | October 18, 2007

  11. I purchased a memory card w/$50 rebate that was never received. I believe Buy.com was aware of 3D’s precarious financial condition or why would they, as stated in Buy.com response, take “the additional steps of requiring financial statements from 3D”. A few years ago CompUSA and some other electronic retailers were required by the FTC to honor rebates from a supplier (who went bankrupt) because they knew the supplier was in financial trouble but continued to sell the product w/rebate. I’ll never do business with Buy.com again.

    Comment by Stephen Young | November 5, 2007

  12. i bought these cards for a non profit charity i work with. they were 1gb and 2 gb secure digital cards for our camera.

    i am out $50 + $30 respctively on rebates and unlike many here did not even get the $10 coupon. I called up Buy.com
    and no answer, but after no less than 8 emails, i did get the same canned form letter and a $10 coupon .. not 2 for 2 different orders, but 1 and that coupon just expired!

    has anyone gotten help to get their money back? please email me with advice?

    secure digital
    3d connect

    Comment by jason chu | January 2, 2008

  13. I like how everyone thinks that buy.com has a legal responsibility to honor these rebates… I did not know everyone was a lawyer. It is kinda funny how quick people bash buy.com when it clearly states that it is a manufacturers rebate. Buy.com is suing Connect3D, something they don’t have to do, because they want to get their customers the rebates they deserve. Oh, and god forbid thet we as consumers pay market price for an item. Everyone has their own situation to deal with, but you know what, everyone also needs to suck it up and move on. Put all this effort into finding and cashing in on opportunities. If you do that, you will come out much further ahead than you would focusing on this very minor problem.

    Comment by Drew | January 18, 2008

  14. Honestly I think it is still an open question as to whether there is a legal responsibility for buy.com. A few years ago the FTC found that CompUSA was responsible for unpaid manufacturer rebates for products sold in its stores, although I think there were a couple of additional details in that case that made it more clear-cut.

    Regardless of the legal responsibilty, I do feel buy.com has a moral obligation to honor the rebates. Perhaps if they had simply put the item on their website and linked to the rebate form only I would feel differently, however buy.com actively promoted these rebates through their marketing emails to drive traffic to their site. As far as I’m concerned they were an active party to this scam, and they came away with a considerable sum of revenue from the sales of these Connect3D items and any other items purchased along with them. I have had a few other unpaid manufacturer rebates in the past, and in all other cases the retailer stepped up to do the right thing and pay the rebate. Buy.com on the other hand would rather screw their customers to make crappy commercials with Howie Mandell for cable TV. I would wonder if they gained as many customers from those spots as they lost in this rebate fiasco.

    As for the question of why not accept paying market price, these items were priced above market before the rebates. At that point comparable memory cards would have probably sold in the $20-$25 range (and that would be for Sandisk or another reputable brand, not Connect3D) and not $40 and $50 as was charged here. It is beside the point anyway as the question here is whether a consumer should expect a retailer and manufacturer to honor their advertised promotions. The answer to that question is obviously “YES”!

    I agree it is likely time to move on. I’m not actively pursuing the rebates anymore. However, I do feel I have a duty to warn others of buy.com’s shady business practices and poor customer service.

    Comment by billyoceanseleven | January 18, 2008

  15. I too have bought a few items from Buy.com such as Flash drives that supposedly after rebates were free and also a Kworld TV tuner that had a $50 rebate making the price of it supposedly only like $5. After about a year now I have not received either of the rebates. If it weren’t for their hard to beat prices I would avoid Buy.com like the plague.

    Comment by Jon | January 22, 2008

  16. I gave in and used the $10 gc last month they gave me a for not getting my rebate. I had it sitting in my account for several months(I applied it to my account before it expired) and then my husband saw a deal for a Kingson 2gb sd card for $10.95. Shipping was free and I only paid for the difference and the tax. I only paid $1.74. That was my last purchase, though.

    Comment by Vanessa | March 20, 2008

  17. As a computer consultant that builds PCs & installs networks, I have purchased several hundred rebated items from buy.com over the last three years, and the only rebates I could not collect were the Connect3D rebates ($150 worth!)… That’s right, I have received ALL of my rebates, including many that are listed here as not paying their rebates. Coolmax is listed – I buy their power supplies for PCs – I have purchased at least 30 of them and received EVERY rebate from them.

    While I concur that the Connect3D company planned this scam all along, buy.com isn’t legally liable for the rebates (unfortunately!), the token offering of $10 is a nice gesture on their part… As for them making good on Connect3D’s bad rebates, it was about 4 million dollars worth of rebates, so I can’t imagine them eating that much money.

    99% of the time, people do not READ the requirements for the rebates thoroughly, and therefore do not fill out the forms properly and/or include all of the required UPCs, etc.

    Buy.com is one of the MOST reputable websites that you can buy technology from!

    Comment by Quit Whining! | May 9, 2008

  18. Yeah, right.
    Buy.com is a hustling conning organization.
    I say, no one should buy anything from Buy.com.
    I have called them and they give the same answer.Arent you supposed to check whose stuff are you protraying on a website.
    Where you rent your house to a pimp, you get arrested to.
    Shame on you, BUY.COM

    Comment by Burcu | July 18, 2008

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