3D Busy Closing US Office as it Fails to Deliver on Rebate Offer
San Jose July 12, 2007 Over 350 complaints have poured into
the Better Business Bureau (BBB) regarding Connect 3Ds failure to
honor a rebate offer for products advertised on Buy.com. The former president
of the company, whose name has been withheld for safety reasons, informed
the BBB on June 28 that Connect 3D is insolvent because of a lack of payment
from a major distributor. The companys San Jose office is in the
process of shutting down.
After receiving only
three complaints in 2006, the company received two in March of 2007 regarding
unfulfilled rebates. Nine more complaints about rebates were filed in
April. When May came along, the complaint numbers grew by 56 and continued
to explode with 236 in June. So far, in July there have been 77 additional
complaints against the company to make up the current total of 383.
reported purchasing a 512 MB, 1 GB or 2 GB Connect 3D 2.0 USB Drive or
Secure Digital Card. While a few complainants mentioned purchasing Connect
3D products from Office Depot and Amazon.com, the vast majority of complaints
stemmed from the products advertised on Buy.com. Rebates offered were
any where between $20 and $50. According to complainants, the rebated
items were particularly enticing because the price was advertised as FREE
According to the terms
and conditions on Buy.com, Connect 3D offered the rebate between January
30 and February 28. Rebates were to be postmarked within 30 days of the
purchase date and were supposed to arrive 8-10 weeks after the rebate
form was received. Some consumers reported that they had been waiting
for more than 20 weeks since submitting their rebate forms and have still
yet to receive a rebate check.
The last response
the BBB office received from Connect 3D was on March 28. One consumer
allegedly received a postcard from Connect 3D on April 19 claiming his
rebate form was invalid. Many consumers commented that they attempted
to contact the company via its rebate phone number, but were met with
a message that allegedly stated due to the high volume, the rebates
were turned over to a rebate clearing house and that all checks should
be mailed by May 30, 2007. As of June 25, the phones and US Web
site were confirmed to be inactive and reports from consumers claim that
checks have not been mailed.
The BBB visited the
former office of Connect 3D in San Jose on June 27 and 28 to find cubicles
being torn down and many items in boxes. The Web site, www.connect3d.com,
lists overseas offices as well as the San Jose office and is registered
to Connect Components, headquartered in Great Britain. When asked what
the connection between the overseas offices and the San Jose branch, the
former president said he could not comment on any relationship between
On July 9, Buy.com
emailed afflicted customers to explain the situation involving Connect
3Ds failure to honor its rebate offer. The company also issued a
$10 customer care gift certificate as a sign of goodwill. Recent Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) cases involving manufacturers defaulting on rebates
advertised by retailers have resulted in the retailer being held liable
to fulfill the rebate because it was the retailer who advertised the rebated
price. No such case is pending yet.
The BBB offers these
tips when dealing with rebates:
a.. Follow the instructions
on the rebate form and enclose all required
documentation in the envelope when filing for a rebate.
b.. Consider sending your rebate paperwork via certified mail if you want
to secure proof that you mailed your form by the required deadline.
c.. Make a copy of all paperwork to be mailed when applying for a rebate.
Its the only record a consumer will have of the transaction if anything
d.. Contact the company if the rebate doesnt arrive within the time
e.. If the rebate never arrives or arrives late, file a complaint with
BBB, FTC, or your state Attorney General.