On Your Side: Rebate Company's Bankruptcy Leaves Customers Empty-Handed
Last year I purchased a Samsung CLP-300N color laser printer that came with a $150 mail-in rebate offer. The Samsung Rebate Center verified receiving my rebate submission, but I've never received a check. They keep giving me the runaround, saying that they mailed the check at least twice. Now it has gotten harder to contact the rebate center, as the original phone number has been disconnected. I think that they're hoping that eventually I'll give up. Can you please help?
David Gertz, Hailey, Idaho
OYS Responds: After Gertz initially contacted us, he received an e-mail message from Samsung’s claims department stating that the company that processed Samsung rebates had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.
Samsung confirmed that the company, Continental Promotion Group, had misled Samsung customers by telling them that their checks were being sent out when in fact they were not. In addition to Samsung, a wide range of companies use CPG’s services, including retailers such as Costco and Newegg as well as manufacturers such as Adobe, Canon, Logitech, Pentax, and Westinghouse Digital.
In a letter on its Web site, Samsung states that it is “working through the details to ensure that all customers who currently have a mail-in rebate claim for a printer will be paid in full.” Any customer who has not received a rebate should send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org. After we notified Samsung of Gertz’s issue, representatives assured us that they would send him his rebate within a couple of weeks.
Resisting Facebook Recruitment
Kevin White of Willimantic, Connecticut, contacted us because he kept receiving friend requests from Facebook even though he doesn’t have an account on the social networking site. Frustrated, he e-mailed the company to find out how it had obtained his address and how he could stop the messages from flooding his inbox. Facebook sent him an automated response asking him to confirm that he was the owner of the account he referenced–even though he explained that he didn’t have an account.
A Facebook spokesperson confirmed our suspicion that the popular social networking service probably got White’s e-mail address through Friend Finder, an application that scans a member's e-mail account for contacts who are either on Facebook or who haven’t signed up yet. (Alternatively, the spokesperson said, White's friends were simply inviting him directly.) The representative says that if you receive such notices, you can stop them by clicking the link in the disclaimer at the bottom of the e-mail, which states: “This e-mail may contain promotional materials. If you do not wish to receive future commercial mailings from Facebook, please opt out.”
For more on Facebook privacy issues, read "Facebook's Privacy Flap: What Really Went Down, and What's Next."
Product Recall: Acer Desktop Computers
Acer, in conjunction with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has recalled approximately 215 Predator desktop gaming computers (model numbers ASG7200 and ASG7700) that are prone to overheating due to stripped or bent insulation on internal wiring. The company has received two reports of computers short circuiting, resulting in melted internal components and external casing. Though no injuries have been reported, these computers pose a burn hazard. Consumers should immediately stop using the PCs and contact Acer toll-free at 866/695-2237 to schedule a free repair.