Attorney General's News Release
December 18, 2007
Rebates and extended warranties — Nixon offers tips for holiday shoppers
Jefferson City, Mo. — Attorney General Jay Nixon is offering holiday shoppers some advice for dealing with rebates and extended warranties in the coming week. Both are popular products among retailers, and consumers are likely to see offers for one or the other, regardless of where they shop.
Nixon says rebates may seem attractive at first, but says more than half of consumers never redeem the rebates they're owed. Those who do redeem their rebates often complain to Nixon’s office that it takes much longer than expected to get their money back.
“Rebates are handled by third-party companies that profit when consumers don’t redeem their rebates,” Nixon said. “So if you buy a product with a rebate, make sure to keep your receipts and exactly follow all the instructions on the rebate form.”
Extended warranties are another popular and profitable item for retailers and their sales staffs. Nixon says these warranties are offered on everything from cars to electronics to appliances.
Nixon offers these suggestions for consumers considering an extended warranty:
- Most products come with a warranty at no extra charge. This is often a one- or two-year replacement warranty, meaning the manufacturer will replace the item if it stops working under normal use.
- Extended warranties are often handled by third-party companies. Some of these companies may go out of business during the life of a warranty contract. That means consumers who’ve paid for the warranty may get nothing if they file a claim.
- Extended warranties may seem inexpensive, but many consumer products today are reliable and won’t need repairs. Rather than buying an extended warranty on every expensive item, consumers could save that money and use it in the unlikely event that a repair is needed.
Missourians with complaints about warranties, rebates or other concerns can contact Nixon’s office through his Web site, ago.mo.gov, or the Consumer Protection Hotline at 1-800-392-8222.
Inquiries from consumers should be directed to email@example.com or 1-800-392-8222 (from within Missouri) or 573-751-3321 (outside Missouri).
All media inquiries should be directed to the Press Secretary.
E-mail Phone: 573-751-8844 Fax: 573-751-5818