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Old 01-27-2012, 10:09 AM   #1
HarleyWJones's Avatar
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Tire Rebates - Are they Real?

In this article I mention some companies by name, not to disparage them but to give an accurate account of my dealing with them. If the moderator could leave them in it would lead to a better understanding of my experience.

I began this article as a tutorial on the most efficient method to claim a rebate offered by a major tire manufacturer for my toad, A 2008 Saturn Vue FWD. This came on the heels of a somewhat strange, but effective Michelin rebate for my 6- 275/80R22.5 DP tires a month earlier. In that transaction the amounts were not published precisely, but in the end, the amounts were about as expected and quite fair.

Boy was the procedure different for my car! After researching tires for over a month I settled on Goodyear Tires for my Saturn. I chose Goodyear Assurance ComforTred Touring tires size 235/60R17, which are an upscale version of the OEM tires that came on the car. The most attractive thing about these particular tires was a potential $160.00 rebate for 4 tires.

According to Goodyear literature the tires had to be purchased within a window of time, had to be bought from a Goodyear retail dealer, and have the paperwork submitted on time. The $160.00 rebate applied if you used their financing or $80.00 if you paid any other way. I contacted Goodyear to find an authorized store in my area. I made an appointment for the day they suggested. While on the phone with the store I asked for a credit app for the card I would need to use for the extra rebate, so I could have it filled out ant ready to go on the installation day. They told me to wait that the application was short and I could do it there while I waited for the installation. I have spotless credit and didn’t give it another thought.

On installation day they pulled in the car and started removing the wheels. I asked for the credit form and was told they only had their own brand of credit at that store and that was not included in the rebate promotion, only the true “Goodyear Stores” had the real cards and it took about two weeks to be approved to get one of those. I was at a Goodyear approved “Tire Rack” store with the same rebate signs and offers, and had been sent there by the Goodyear web site. They had already begun working on the car, so it looked like the first half of the rebate had been lost. Now with the remaining $80.00 rebate at stake I watched every aspect to make sure I was in compliance with the terms.

To get a leg-up on the process I accessed the Goodyear rebate site and printed the rebate form while I waited in the store. I found I could fill in the information directly to the form, register on-line and include the sales receipt. Then with all the info in hand in the store, they wanted me to go find a fax machine and send the information to them that way also. Remember I was already on-line in a secure connection with them and they wanted me to break down and find a 1960’s relic to send a grainy picture of my documents. After sending the first fax they e-mailed me that they needed a dealer number which did not appear on the invoice anywhere. The tire store wouldn’t give me the number over the phone, so I had to leave the copy center and return to the tire store for that number and return to fax it again. I had to fax the sheets a total of 6 times before they had what they wanted. Filling out the form on-line kept me from having to hand write all the tire serials, DOT numbers, etc. Thus far the only bright spot was that the tires seemed nice.

Goodyear sent me a link to check on my rebate a few days later. The Link was, and still is, dead. Only by going to the base address and entering my confirmation number would the link even cough up my name. After two weeks the link abruptly changed saying my rebate had been refused due to lack of documentation, and not to contact the web site again as no one was monitoring it, just send snail mail to Cincinnati. Now it appears that filling out that form on-line must have been a no-no as they wanted handwritten paper all along. It never said what paper is lacking, just that the papers weren’t attached. Maybe just a staple or paper clip in the wrong place?

So here is where I stand after all these weeks: No rebate. Only half the promised rebate even seems possible at this time. I have spent $17.00 in cash and untold hours chasing my money, and it’s still out at the end of the carrot stick.

I will never, ever again buy a product based on a rebate and will influence everyone I know to do the same.

I have this entire procedure on video complete with appropriate web inserts and brochure pages to back up my facts.

Harley & SuAnn Jones and our sheltie, Whisper
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:50 AM   #2
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Rebates can be really frustrating, even when you do everything they say. They amount to a come-on for the uninformed. I believe that the majority of rebates are never claimed, and some companies try to avoid payment for the minority of those who apply. I once worked a year and a half to finally get a $50 rebate on a printer. Saving a copy of every bit of documentation was my only fallback.

When I bought my last set of Michelin tires, only Goodyear had a rebate going at the time. So I asked for a discount equivalent to Goodyear's rebate and I got it. Just go to a reputable dealer and ask for a better deal. Often, you will be surprised and get it. My experience, and my opinion only, is that "company" stores like Goodyear and Firestone have not been as reputable or as competitive as I would have expected, and I no longer do business with them.
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