Monday, January 24, 2005

 

How TigerDirect.Com gave me the shaft

In an earlier post I mentioned buying two 60GB MAXTOR drives. I got them from TigerDirect.com. I'm not hyperlinking that because I wouldn't want anyone else to get the shaft like I did.

The drives I ordered were: Maxtor 60GB / 7200 / 2MB / ATA-133 EIDE Hard Drive for $39.99 after mail-in rebate. Full price is $69.99. So anyway the drives arrive and I sort out how to go about getting my rebate.

Now I have bought hundreds of $ worth of kit from Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, and so on... and never had any problems claiming rebates.

When the drives arrive there's a note pointing you to www.tigerdirect.com/rebates to find out how to claim. You then put in the manufacturer (Maxtor) and find your product. You download a PDF file which basically tells you to go to www.onrebate.com and enter a bunch of stuff. They make a big thing about onrebate.com being a separate, independent organization.

Looks great, doesn't it? Well, go to www.onrebate.com and type anything you like into the "Quick Search", "Enter Your Rebate Tracking Number", "Enter your Email Address", boxes and click GO. Or, click the "Start Claiming your Rebate" button and type anything in any of the boxes on the screen which appears.

Whatever you do, you get "There was an error, please try again.".

Smelling a rat now, I did a DNS lookup on tigerdirect.com and onrebate.com

Domain Name: TIGERDIRECT.COM


Administrative Contact , Technical Contact :

Amato, Peter

(PA2428)

peter.amato@tigerdirect.com

16140 South Post Rd

101

Weston, FL 33331

US

Phone: ***-415-2351

Fax: ***-415-2352

Then I did one on onrebate.com:

Administrative Contact :
Amato, Peter
rw5xh4gc6z3@networksolutionsprivateregistration.com
ATTN: ONREBATE.COM
c/o Network Solutions
P.O. Box 447
Herndon, VA 20172-0447
Phone: 570-708-8780

Mr Amato is a busy guy!

C:\>ping www.onrebate.com

Pinging www.onrebate.com [199.181.77.77] with 32 bytes of data:

C:\>ping www.tigerdirect.com

Pinging www.tigerdirect.com [199.181.77.53] with 32 bytes of data:

Hmm.. what a coincidence!

Finally I just did a google search. Try it!

Earlier I observed that it's hard to be the first to write some cool software. It's also pretty unlikely that you are the first to be scammed. And indeed, I wasn't!

I cannot fault TigerDirect.com for the product itself. The drives arrived promptly and worked fine. I can and do fault them, however, for pretending to offer a rebate when they clearly do not. If it had not been for the rebate, I'd not have bought these drives. Having got your money they bank on forcing you to claim your rebate through a website which looks great but which I am sure is merely a 1-page site designed to make people give up in frustration.

And that, regretfully, is what I've done. Life's too short.






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