Follow-up: Buy.com and Connect3D STILL not honoring valid rebates!

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

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 in emails and on their website, the manufacturer disappears without paying out the rebate claims, and then Buy.com refunds a few customers who complained early about the situation and then shifted positions and now will not provide any refunds or allow for product returns. Any inquiries of Buy.com through customer service produce the same canned responses denying responsibility. Likewise, the BBB has shown themselves to be absolutely useless as hundreds of victims have filed formal complaints about buy.com on this issue, yet the BBB simply accepts the canned response as resolving the issue and closes the complaint, meaning that Buy.com’s official rating with the BBB is still very positive despite hundreds of unresolved complaints. So I ended up submitting my complaint to the California Attorney General’s office. Unfortunately, no action seems to be pending based on the responses received.

CA AG Response - July 26, 2007CA AG Response - August 9, 2007 (Pg. 1/2)CA AG Response - August 9, 2007 (Pg. 2/2)

As an FYI, it seems a user over on SD has filed a class action suit against Buy.com in hopes of forcing them to fulfill their obligation to their customers. Hopefully that will work, as everyone seems content to have the little guy take it up the tailpipe at this point.


August 24, 2007 - Posted by | Rebates


  1. that is the law.
    From the cnet article: “Under the rules of the Federal Trade Commission that govern consumer protection laws, Buy.com has no legal obligation to honor Connect3D’s rebate, says Matthew Gold, staff attorney for the FTC.”

    Comment by richard | August 30, 2007

  2. Richard – your quote is directly from the canned response buy.con had been sending to their customers. Based on discussion on SD, there is some question as to whether Mr. Gold ever made this statement and it has been reported that Buy.com is no longer quoting Mr. Gold in its standard response.

    I don’t think this legal question has been settled by any means. Regardless of the ultimate legal ruling, paying these rebates still makes good business sense in that Buy.com avoids a public relations fiasco and builds goodwill with their customers. After their handling of this situation I know there are thousands of users that will never shop with Buy.com again, myself included. Considering according to my personal finance software I spent more than $1200 with them in the previous twelve months, at least in my case they lose a lot more than they gain my screwing me out of my rebate.

    Comment by billyoceanseleven | August 30, 2007

  3. I have a taped audio conversation with Matthew Gold where he disputes ever making that statement.

    Comment by buydotcomblows | April 15, 2008

  4. I made 2 purchases totaling $80 from BUY.COM solely based on promise of the rebate.
    What makes BUY.COM responsible for this rebates are the manner in which they advertised the sales. They advertised them as free or costing $0. Nowhere in the advertising e-mails they mentioned contingency or “subject of manufacturer honoring the rebate”. Moreover, the rebate was not referred to as “manufacturer rebate”, bat simply as mail-in rebate. Thus, IMHO, BUY.COM is responsible for paying off rebates, and then they may sue connect3D to recover the money.

    Comment by Paul Filstein | January 16, 2009

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