September 7, 2007


by Dean Takahashi
Mercury News [link]

I know that Shu Wong of San Jose hasn't received the $3.50 mail-in rebate for a Vastech computer networking USB hub purchased at a Fry's Electronics in May. Richard Louie of Austin, Olivia Sattaypiwat of Saratoga and Buu Duong of San Jose haven't received their rebates, either.

I know this because they told me so, and because I am staring at more than 1,300 rebate requests sent to Vastech on Bonaventura Drive in San Jose. The envelopes were tossed - unopened - into a garbage dumpster near Vastech. I have two boxes of envelopes that were thrown out without being processed. In all of my years of reporting, I have never encountered such outrageous behavior against consumers.

An employee of nearby Dominion Enterprises found the letters, along with hundreds of others addressed to Vastech, at his company's dumpster. He turned them over to his boss, Joel Schwartz, who gave them to me. All of the letters were addressed to UR-04 Rebate or some variation of the product name at the Vastech address...

(Thanks to Rand Simberg)

Of course the really big scam is that the manufacturers know that most rebates never get sent in at all. People process the low "after rebate" price, buy the product and think they got a good deal, and then lose the form or never find the time and energy to send it in.

Posted by John Weidner at September 7, 2007 8:08 AM
Weblog by John Weidner