MetroPCS rebate scam / run-around / fraud / bad faith

This is what I am dealing with for buying a MetroPCS phone with a mail-in rebate.

Bear in mind I already sent them a demand letter on 4/25/2015, and I wrote this email below after MetroPCS erroneously rejected my rebate and sending me a rejection postcard not once, but TWICE; the first time, I called 800-999-6389 on 3/13/2015 and a representative told me he fixed the issue, and then I got another rejection postcard on 4/25/2015.

The associated phone was the ZTE ZMAX and was purchased by me on 1/23/2015 and activated on 1/28/2015. I mailed the $100.00 rebate form on 1/31/2015 (17 weeks ago). The rebate is for handsets purchased between 1/21/2015 and 4/05/2015, yet I have been rejected twice for the phone being “activated outside the program period,” even though a phone rep on 3/13/2015 admitted the postcard was completely wrong.

Here is the email I sent 5/28/2015 after finding that their rebate tracking website does not work on 3 separate attempts:


Hello, Amanda [last name redacted], or other Young America Special Services Team employee,

It has been over 4 weeks since the date of the email below (4/28/2015) and the $100.00 rebate card hasn’t shown up yet.

On 5/05/2015, I received an email with tracking # XXXX-XXXX-XXXX for this rebate. However, your rebate tracking website is completely broken / non-functional. I have checked it on 3 separate occasions (Fri., 5/22/2015; Tue., 5/26/2015; and Thu., 5/28/2015), and both times, I have received the following error messages:

When entering Option 1: Phone # and ZIP code:
“We’re Sorry. That request cannot be completed.”

When entering Option 2: Tracking Number or Option 3: Contact Information, the following error message has been received on all occasions:

metropcs-rebate-server-error-20150528

Please provide the date my rebate with tracking # XXXX-XXXX-XXXX was mailed, or when it is expected to be mailed.

It has now been 117 days (almost 17 weeks) since I mailed my initial rebate submission.

Respectfully, I remain,
Richard Thripp
4-year MetroPCS Customer


4/28/2015 email from Amanda at MetroPCS’ rebate processing / fulfillment house:

Hello Richard,

Thank you for contacting the MetroPCS Rebate Center, we are happy to help you with your inquiry.

Your submission has been reprocessed and you can track the status of your rebate on our website; www.metropcsrebates.com within 48 hours. Please allow 4 weeks for your submission to be processed.

If there is anything further we can assist you with, feel free to contact us by email, Web Chat or calling 1-800-999-6389 Monday – Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. CST.

We apologize for the confusion.

Amanda [last name redacted]
Special Services Team | YA Canada – a subsidiary of Young America, LLC
770 Richmond St., Unit C | Chatham, ON | N7M 5J5
www.young-america.com


4/25/2015 demand letter (email) to MetroPCS:

My rebate has been twice rejected with a postcard saying “the product activation for your submission occurred outside of the program period.”

The first postcard was received 3/13/2015, and I called 800-999-6389 on 3/13/2015 and was told the rejection was MetroPCS’s mistake and that I would receive the rebate in 8-10 weeks.

I received a new postcard with the same rejection message on 4/25/2015.

This is erroneous and at this point, arguably is an act of bad faith.

I demand my rebate for a $100.00 Visa prepaid card on the ZTE ZMAX mobile phone be honored as advertised, and have documentation proving the phone was purchased from MetroPCS.com, activated during the program period, and that the rebate was accordingly submitted and rejected in error.

Further, I demand an additional $15.00 concession for my rebate being repeated rejected and delayed, arguably in bad faith [this demand was not acknowledged in the 4/28/2015 reply from Amanda at Young America].

If my demands are not met, the actions I will take will include, but not be limited to:

1.) Submitting a chargeback with my credit card issuer (Chase Bank) regarding the transaction, in the amount of $100.00.
2.) Filing a complaint with the Attorney General for the State of Florida and the applicable state(s) of MetroPCS and MetroPCS’s rebate processors.
3.) Being that the rebate is processed in Texas, I have additional recourse permitted under the Texas Business & Commerce Code, Title 12, Section 605.
4.) Filing a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission.
5.) Filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau.
6.) Being that the repeated rejection of my rebate has arguably been in bad faith and been conducted via correspondence delivered through the U.S. Postal Service, filing a complaint with the United States Postal Inspection Service for a possible case of mail fraud.

Sincerely,
Richard Thripp


Text of MetroPCS rebate tracking error message which has been showing up on their site for at least an entire week when I try to track my rebate:

Server Error in ‘/’ Application.
Runtime Error
Description: An application error occurred on the server. The current custom error settings for this application prevent the details of the application error from being viewed remotely (for security reasons). It could, however, be viewed by browsers running on the local server machine.

Details: To enable the details of this specific error message to be viewable on remote machines, please create a tag within a “web.config” configuration file located in the root directory of the current web application. This tag should then have its “mode” attribute set to “Off”.

<!– Web.Config Configuration File –>

<configuration>
<system.web>
<customErrors mode=”Off”/>
</system.web>
</configuration>

Notes: The current error page you are seeing can be replaced by a custom error page by modifying the “defaultRedirect” attribute of the application’s configuration tag to point to a custom error page URL.

<!– Web.Config Configuration File –>

<configuration>
<system.web>
<customErrors mode=”RemoteOnly” defaultRedirect=”mycustompage.htm”/>
</system.web>
</configuration>

15 thoughts on “MetroPCS rebate scam / run-around / fraud / bad faith

  1. Today, April 26, 2017, I called about my fake rebate denial and also recorded the call. It was a 29 min. Call where no help and no answers were given and i am for sure posting it anywhere I can be cause it was so ridiculous.

  2. I purchased a new phone as well and my rebate wouldnt even go through. I’ve talked to 4 different customer service reps and each time I was directed to an automated system for their rebate center. Its a shame when companies seem to become scammers in times likw this. Its bad for business.

  3. Would never think I would have so much trouble receiving a 59.00 rebate after been denied and now waited an hour in between two calls of no answers.

  4. On 10/25/2016, I submitted an online rebate form to MetroPCS for a $50 rebate on my phone. I filled out the form completely with my contact information, IMEI number and my purchase receipt. They said it would take up to 12 weeks for me to receive it. After I submitted the form, I received an email with the information to track my rebate.

    Today, 1/9/2017, I decided to check on my rebate and found out it was DENIED on 11/1/2016 and they claim a DENIAL LETTER WAS MAILED. This is a total LIE, because I never received such letter.

    The reason for the denial, as stated on their website, was “THE RECEIPT YOU SUBMITTED IS NOT FROM A QUALIFYING PURCHASE LOCATION.” This is also a LIE, because I purchased the phone from the MetroPCS website and I provided the same receipt I printed from their website.

    I tried calling the toll free number for “Rebate Questions” provided on their website at 8:30am and I heard a message they were closed. The information of the website states they operate “Monday-Friday 7am-7pm CST”. Well, it’s MONDAY 7:30am CST and they are closed. Another LIE.

    I finally contacted them via “Live Chat” and I was told the reason for the denial was because “I DID NOT PROVIDE THE IMEI INFORMATION”. Damn, another LIE, because the IMEI was provided when I filled out the online form, which I am looking at my copy and the information provided was correct.

    These lies, after lies and after lies, lead me to believe they are trying to scam their customers from their rebates. The scam seems very clear to me, because they are banking on the following:

    – Most people fill out the form and hope to receive their rebate within 12 weeks. The assume they are dealing with a serious and honest company.

    – Not everybody bothers to check the status of their rebate, because they don’t have time, they have deleted the email or have misplaced the information.

    – Most people don’t even know their rebate has been denied, because they never received the denial letter. MetroPCS doesn’t even send a “denial email”, because most people would see it and read it.

    – After 12 weeks, most people don’t even remember about the rebate.

    – Even after knowing about a “rebate denial”, some people don’t want to deal with too much hassle and give up on their claim.

    – MetroPCS has discovered the PERFECT RECIPE FOR A SCAM. That explains the 12 week processing delay.

    – Why don’t they offer an “Instant Rebate” instead of putting their customers through such a hassle? The answer is simple, their SCAM WOULDN’T WORK.

    During my “Live Chat” today, I had to provide the IMEI information again and I was told I will get my rebate in 8-12 weeks. That is ABSURD!

    I will be filing complains with all applicable consumer protection agencies and request an investigation into MetroPCS Rebate SCAM.

    1. Yes, this is exactly what a company does to minimize the amount of mail-in rebates it has to pay out. Even the very concept of a mail-in rebate, as you’ve noted, is antiquated and is designed to allow a company to advertise lower prices while knowing that the percentage of customers who will receive the rebate is far below 100%. If they wanted 100% to get the discount, they would use instant savings. Further, even those who do receive the rebates often don’t spend the whole rebate, because it comes on a prepaid debit card which can be hard to unload.

      Also, 8–12 additional weeks after providing the IMEI number you allegedly failed to provide initially (you did not, but they are just making a rebate processing “error” here which is fraud because they do it systematically and repeatedly) is an unreasonable amount of time. Other companies would provide the rebate in 30 calendar days at most, upon resubmission.

    2. Iam going through the same. They have devised a system of scam. Its ongoing. Dont give up though. On the phone for 51 mins to speak with rebate center rep and then it dropped with error message. On the second call for 40 mins and still waiting. This is ridiculous. If they really want to compete with other carries a complete rework must be done on their business acuemens by not scamming their longtime customers and risk losing their loyalty. Contract or no contract!!

  5. I did my rebate form online 10/31/16, sent all my documentation via PDF, when I went to track it, much to my surprise it stated that my request was denied on 11/02/16? I called to find out what was up as I was eligible for a $70.00 rebate and all requirements were met. The Rep assured me this was a system error and he would process my payment immediately. Then he proceeded to tell me I should receive my prepaid card in approximately 12 weeks, I asked why so long, you took 2 days to deny me, you supposedly processed my payment manually. He said that’s how long it takes? Well lets see if it denies again.

    1. I experienced the EXACT same thing with almost the EXACT same timing as Ruth Petrie (I purchased my phone on 10/28/16). I received the second denial on 12/18/16 and called again. I was informed that my request was still being processed.

  6. Bought 4 LG Leon LTE phones from MetroPCS store on Riverdale Rd in Memphis. We paid a $100 activation fee. The store manager (Justin) told us we would get one $100 instant rebate which would pay for one phone. The other three would have a $50 instant rebate which would reduce the price of three phones to $49 each. There was a mail-in rebate for $49/phone for these three phones. So, we eventually should get all the phones free. Justin gave us the “Dads and Grads 2015 Mail-In Rebate”. He crossed out $69 rebate with $49. He said that MetroPCS had reduced the phones from $69 to $49 but they hadn’t given them updated forms and MetroPCS instructed their stores to use the old forms until the new ones arrive. We filled out the three rebate forms and mailed them. Two months later we called the number on form to check on the status. They told us they had been approved but not yet mailed to us. Another month passed and we called again. This time Peter (id #19205) said one had been approved but the other two denied. They were very vague and said that they didn’t meet the rebate requirements. I pressed for a better answer and he said it was because we got an instant instore discount. I demanded to speak to a manager (Jonella #1169). She said he hands were tied because they work for Young America and Metro PCS approves or denies the claims. She offered no help but said I could call the store where I purchased or MetroPCS customer service. I talked to MetroPCS (Shelia #67319) which told me that the three were approved and I’d get them in the mail soon. She asked if I wanted to talk to the Procurement Department to confirm when they’d be shipped. I said yes and she transferred me. After a long hold, I was back on the phone with Peter at Young America who once again told me that two were denied. I was incensed. I pressed Peter for an answer and he said it was because the form had been altered from $69 to $49 by the PCS Store manager. I again called Metro PCS Customer Service and spoke to Eric (#908012). He said that Metro PCS didn’t approve but Young America. Both companies say there hands are tied and wish they could help but neither has the authority. It seems like a blatant attempt to not send refunds to save the company money.

    Let me recap. Twice I was told the refunds were approved yet I only received one out of three refunds. Why would I get one but not the others? I had the same form for all three. Both Young America and MetroPCS said the other was responsible for approving refunds so they passed the buck to the other company. Finally I was told that I filled out the wrong form but I have confirmed with the Memphis store that they were instructed by MetroPCS to use this form until the updated forms arrived. MetroPCS (T Mobile) seem to be running a rebate scam or at the very least make it impossible for their customers to receive the rebate. I’m willing to join or be the lead plantiff in a class action lawsuit if anyone wants to join. I know a good civil attorney who fights large corporations. This seems to be a blatant act by MetroPCS and Young America to not give the mail-in rebates.

    1. This is yet another example of MetroPCS jerking customers around, salespeople giving bad advice just to make the sale or get you out of the store, and “passing the buck” where MetroPCS blames Young America (rebate processor) and vice-versa.

      I have done two MetroPCS rebates, one in February 2014 and one in January 2015. The one from February 2014 ($70.00) was initially rejected (incorrectly) and then sent fairly promptly after I complained. The rebate from January 2015 ($100.00) that this blog post about required me to repeatedly contact MetroPCS and complain, since they kept rejecting it again and again incorrectly, and I didn’t get the rebate until July 2015.

      Young America also processes Office Depot’s rebates, and while they take several months, I don’t think anyone has problems this bad with their rebates. MetroPCS and Young America might be colluding to reject rebates erroneously, to increase their profit margins and rate of unclaimed rebates.

    2. I gave up on getting my $100 rebate and switched to Cricket Wireless. I was actually satisfied with MetroPCS service but I couldn’t stay with them after they wouldn’t honor the $100 rebate.

  7. The website owner has redacted some information from this comment for the safety of the involved parties.

    I was promised by a store representative that I would be receiving a rebate. So far 3 months later Metro has yet to fulfill their obligation.

    Hello Michael [last name redacted],

    We apologize that our answer could not be more satisfactory to your situation. Each promotion has very specific Terms and Conditions that must be met in order to receive the rebate. Regrettably, we are unable do anything more from here.

    Perhaps contacting the place of purchase would be the best way to resolve your situation.

    Thank you for choosing MetroPCS.

    Michael [different Michael; last name redacted]
    Special Services Team | YA
    770 Richmond St., Unit C | Chatham, ON | N7M 5J5
    http://www.yaengage.com

    From: Michael [last name redacted and email]
    Sent: Wednesday, August 26, 2015 6:35 PM
    To: MetroPCSRebates
    Subject: Re: MetroPCS Rebate Center – Michael [last name redacted] – [YA Rebates Case # redacted]

    Mr Dan [last name redacted]

    Thank You for your reply, however as I was ASSURED by the store manager Max At the Metro PCS Store I will be receiving my $49.00 rebate. The store is located at [redacted] in Scranton PA., his number is [redacted], I feel ANY company is only as good as it’s word and run on ethics, I have been a business person my entire life and have lived by a code of ethics. Tomorrow is Thursday the 27th of Aug. I will be paying Max a visit to attempt to get my refund AS PROMISED, or making sure your store is CLOSED, of course that choice will remain in the hands of Metro PCS.

    Our local TV station is 16 WNEP there is an app for that available, you may want to keep a close eye on news emanating from the Scranton tomorrow, they are always wanting to advise people of possible rip offs!

    Thank You For You Time
    Michael [last name redacted]

    1. Unfortunately, it seems very common for employees or even store managers to make you promises they cannot keep and do not understand, just to get you out of the store. They don’t even seem to know how the rebate processors operate, nor have they filed a rebate themselves.

      I would suggest filing complaints with the FTC and Pennsylvania Attorney General:

      https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov
      https://www.attorneygeneral.gov/

      For the FTC website, there is no category for it, but you can click “NO MATCH FOUND” to file a complaint. It does say here that you should complain to the FTC, State AG, and perhaps BBB for an incorrectly denied rebate.

      I redacted your email and last name from your comment, as well as the identifying information about the store manager. You don’t want to get in trouble for “doxing,” which can be a crime even if you are republishing publicly available information, if it might incite others to take violent or harassing action against the store manager.

      Good luck to you!

  8. Any luck with metro rebate. As i am having an issue in which they are rejecting my mail in rebate for what they say was a double rebate. Metro pcs advertised a free phone with a. 50.00 instant rebate and b. 49.00 mail in rebate. Young america is refusing the rebate for this reason. Both metro pcs store and corperate customer service say i qualify. Even young america rep said i should qualify yet now 3 timea it has been refused.

    1. It took almost 7 months but I finally got the $100.00 rebate. Did you send them emails like I did? I would send another email and say you will report them to your state’s Attorney General’s office. That usually gets their attention. If they don’t reply, actually file the report (you can do it online) and you should get your rebate, eventually.

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