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Lowes – Improving Home Improvement Rebates (please!)

February 24th, 2005

My first experience with Lowes Home Improvement rebates was rather frustrating, although all ended well yesterday when I got my check for $35 from them. Of course, it begs the question – did I get ripped off initially, or did they make a mistake in my favor? But I’m getting ahead of myself.

In November, we bought some paint that offered a rebate of $5 per can. I can’t remember how many cans we bought, but I thought it was seven. On January 13th, I checked the rebate status on Lowe’s website, and it said the check was mailed on Dec 27th. I thought it a bit odd that the check hadn’t yet arrived, so I emailed them the following day, hoping they could track the check’s status:

“Hi, I see on your site that my rebate check was issued on 12/27/04, but at this time I still have not received it. The rebate number is ### and the submission number is R2#####. Is there any way to confirm with the post office where the check is? I find it hard to believe that it hasn’t made it to me in two weeks. I appreciate your help!”

Two days later, I received the check, so I cashed it. I didn’t bother to email Lowes back because I was certain that a) they read and responded to emails in the order they were received, meaning my “nevermind” would be useless and b) they could see in their records that the check was indeed received and cashed by myself. Do you see where I went wrong there?

On Jan 21st, more than a week after my email, I get this response back from Lowes:

“Dear Lowes Consumer:

Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding the status of your rebate. We have noted in our records that you did not receive the check that was previously mailed to you. As it has been over 30 days since we mailed this check, a replacement check will be issued.

MAILED: 12/27/04

We have notified our bank that the original check apparently was lost in the mail and we have placed a stop payment on the above-mentioned check. This check, should you receive it at a later date, will not be valid. Attempts to cash an invalid check, may incur additional fees applied by your bank which will be your responsibility.

Please allow 6-8 weeks to receive the replacement check.”

Hmmm … now this doesn’t make sense to me for a few reasons. First of all, I didn’t ask that they replace the check, I was just looking to see if they could track its whereabouts. Second of all, 30 days had not passed since the issue date, and finally, I had already cashed the check and it cleared the bank at least two days before they sent me the email. Could they not look that up in their banking system and reply back “we’re sorry, but we show it was received and cashed”? WTF? So I replied back to them:

“To Whom It May Concern,

I would hope you would have checked status on the check at the time of your reply since I emailed you a week before you replied and then received and subsequently cashed the check on 1/17/05. I do not know if you can place a stop payment on a check AFTER it has been cashed, since the funds have already cleared. If so, I will cash the replacement check. If not, I will return it when it arrives. Please advise what I should do. I have checked my bank account and the money from your check is still there. Therefore, unless this changes, I will return your second check when it arrives.

Thank you,

Well I never received a reply to my email, and on the 25th I saw in my account that the $25 credit had been debited, along with a $5 fee for the stop payment. Nice. Then I went to Lowe’s site to check my rebate status and it showed as “in process” but the amount was now $35. Which, as I said before, makes me wonder if I got screwed from the get-go, they screwed up, or they sent me more money since they knew I was slapped with the bank fee. But screw it, I’m just gonna go deposit that thing and I hope I don’t have to deal with them again in the near future.

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  1. February 25th, 2005 at 16:06 | #1

    Just a test comment. ;-)

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