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Connect 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 3D’s 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 company’s 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.

Most complainants 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” on Buy.com.

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 the companies.

On July 9, Buy.com emailed afflicted customers to explain the situation involving Connect 3D’s 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. It’s the only record a consumer will have of the transaction if anything goes wrong.
d.. Contact the company if the rebate doesn’t arrive within the time
promised.
e.. If the rebate never arrives or arrives late, file a complaint with the
BBB, FTC, or your state Attorney General.

©2007 The Better Business Bureau of Southwest Idaho & Eastern Oregon | Privacy Policy