Can a company pull the rebate runaround?

WEST VALLEY CITY — As cell phone companies compete for your business, they will offer major deals for you to stay with their service or to upgrade. When a West Valley City woman took up Verizon on a rebate offer to upgrade but could not get the rebate, she contacted the KSL Investigators for help.

Way back last September, Cherri Ross had two different cell phone lines with Verizon and got an email confirming she was owed a rebate through gift cards.

“So, two times $350 – $700,” Ross said about the rebate offer that she said she never received. It was not for a lack of trying.

“Every time I call them, they tell me, ‘Yes, we’ll follow through. It’ll take 7-10 business days and we’ll follow up with you,” Ross said. “And none of that has ever happened.”

Sick of fighting for the rebates on her own, Ross decided it was time to call KSL.

“Like, I’ve been cheated,” she replied when we asked her how she felt.

Let’s start with the law which makes it clear: if a company offers a rebate, they don’t get to pick and choose whether to honor it. Both the Utah Consumer Sales Practices Act and the Federal Trade Commission say it is “deceptive” to offer rebates and not provide them in a timely manner.

We reached out to Verizon on Ross’ behalf, not through customer service but through its corporate communications department. And just one day later, Ross received good news.

She told us she got a phone call and an email from Verizon’s executive offices which immediately processed her rebates. Ross said her only regret now is that she did not call the KSL Investigators sooner.

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