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Wirefly.com Masters the Art of Rebate Phishing

Rebate Phishing: The practice of luring customers online to make a purchase with the promise of receiving a nonexistent rebate check in return.

I2m_wireflylogo Recently unleashed from the bonds of my 2-year mobile phone contract, I went online this weekend to search for a new mobile phone.  Within seconds, I ended up at Wirefly.com – one of the most popular online sellers of mobile phone contracts.  On their site, I looked for new phones on Cingular (my current provider) and found lots of seemingly great deals.  As an informed consumer, I knew that wireless providers initially subsidize phones based on signing two year contracts and that online phone vendors make hefty commissions.  But I also know that deals are different when upgrading phones as an existing customer versus becoming a new customer.  At least, they are everywhere online except Wirefly.com. 

Wirefly is the only site that offers the same rebates for existing Cingular customers as well as new customers.  And their deals are the best.  What’s the catch?  To find out, first I called and spoke to a very nice saleswomen who guaranteed that I would, in fact, be able to get all the advertised rebates easily. Unconvinced, I started reading customer reviews on Wirefly from Reseller Ratings and Epinions – both of which showed the same story.  Turns out, lots of consumers shelled out full purchase prices for phones, then were denied their rebate checks.  They had been victims of rebate phishing.  It’s a great scam, because only a few of the victims will actually find out about it … the rest falling off because of the mandatory 3-6 month waiting period before being allowed to submit rebates.  Rebates have always been profitable for marketers, when you factor in the non-redemption rate.  For Wirefly, and others like them online – they have figured out a way to make rebates a lot more profitable.  Just offer them to everyone and deal with the fallout 3-6 months down the road.  Ultimately, I purchased my Sony w600 directly from Cingular with a corporate discount.  It wasn’t free – but I paid a discounted up front price for it, and at least I’m sure I will actually get it.  Best of all, I don’t have to file any rebates.

Update (02/26/07): Apparently, Inphonic has finally settled on claims for the ongoing government case against them and will be paying "restitution" to about 9000 customers, according to ConsumerAffairs.com.

44 thoughts on “Wirefly.com Masters the Art of Rebate Phishing”

  1. Hi Rohit,
    as a VP of Marketing it’s unfortunate that you’re so eager to trash a company you don’t even know.

    This company is the largest authorized dealer of cell phones on the web, so of course you’ll see more complaints as well. They use the same rebate deals as Amazon – and you wouldn’t use politically loaded words like “phishing” and “scam” to discuss their operations, would you? It’s a publicly traded company, which has paid out millions of dollars in rebates. I’m sure it denies a huge number of rebates too … but not on the basis of whether you’re buying a contract extension or not. That’s ridiculous.

    It’s also one of the largest channels for all of the major wireless carriers. The fact that they offer the same great deals on Cingular contract extensions as they do to new customers can mean any number of things … perhaps that they’ve managed to negotiate a superior deal with Cingular on account of their market dominance. Who knows… especially if you don’t bother to ask them.

    Saying their good prices are “evidence” of a scam is totally false logic.

    I know how easy it is to gain blog posting popularity with inflammatory postings, but as an executive at a major PR firm, I think you have a little more responsibility to the public than that.

    Considering you didn’t even have any personal dealings with the company at all, I think it would only be fair if you contacted them for their side of the story.

    Signed,
    Tired of Sloppy Journalism

    Reply
  2. Thanks for your view. To clarify a few of your points – first of all, the opinions shared on this blog don’t reflect my employer and I am certainly not a journalist and make no pretense of following the code or ethics of journalism. This blog shares my personal view of what works and what doesn’t in marketing. The experience that formed the basis for this post was my search as a consumer for cellphone deals online. Unlike you suggested, during the course of my research, I both contacted Wirefly personally by phone, as well as moved beyond online reviews and looked at the less than favorable rating of InPhonic (the parent company of Wirefly) by the Better Business Bureau.

    Yet most people who have spent time reading product reviews or consumer opinions online on sites like Amazon.com or epinions would tell you that the real truth about products or services (good and bad) can generally be found there. As a consumer, what I read of other’s experiences led me away from Wirefly. I suspect your true reason for writing is because I’m not the only one.

    Reply
  3. Dear Mr. Bhargava,
    Thank you for taking the time to consider our service. We’re certainly pleased that you noticed and pointed out that we are unique in offering the same competitive pricing to renewing Cingular customers as we do to new subscribers.

    We hope very soon to be in a position to offer this type of pricing for other carriers as well. We feel this is a win-win because it greatly simplifies an experience that is usually quite confusing to the customer, and we generally benefit as well since renewing customers are more likely to meet the carriers’ credit approval and less likely to quit the service before 180 days.

    I’d also like to take the opportunity to point out that we offer many phones with instant discounts that don’t require any mail-in rebates, for those shoppers who prefer not to deal with them.

    We’re quite proud of our award-winning service and appreciate the opportunity to share this information with your readers:
    https://www.wirefly.net/articles/1105/wirefly-customer-experience-award.htm

    If you have any questions or concerns about our offers, I strongly encourage you to contact my office (my email address is submitted with the form).

    Thank you again.

    Sincerely,
    Doreen Dennis
    Office of the President
    InPhonic

    Reply
  4. Doreen, thanks for writing and offering more details for cell phone shoppers about Wirefly. I appreciate your proactive approach to clarifying misconceptions about Wirefly and InPhonic in the marketplace and wish you the best of luck in your efforts to get the positive word out to customers. I am sure that you have many satisfied customers along with the disgruntled ones who may have shared opinions online. The real trick will be getting your best customers to vocally support Wirefly. Adding their voice to yours will ultimately be the best way to combat negativity from any unhappy customers – and convince new prospects to do business with you.

    Reply
  5. THEY OFFER ALL THE FANCY REBATES AND STUFF BUT SEEK EVERY SINGLE OPPURTUNITY TO NOT SEND THE MONEY TO THEIR CUSTOMERS, SOMETIMES CLAIMING THE BILL IS INCORRECT AND OTHER TIMES SAYING IT WAS POSTMARKED ONE DAY LATE.

    There have this clause that it must be postmarked from 60-120 days from the date of activation. Firstly, i saw a slack to send it in postmarked on the 120 day day after activation but they claimed the rule was 120th including the day the phone was activated. Now it seems like they are putting these weird clauses of 60-120 days waiting before filing a rebate and subtlities like 120 days including the date of activation to throw customers off.

    Secondly, to make it worse they said about 3 months ago that they will be able to make the exception but the problem seems to be not only that my wireless bill is invalid. Now how much worse can it get than this. I simply sent the bill that i received by t-mobile every month.

    Now, finally my contract is about to expire in 4 months i have still havent received a single penny of the promised $360 rebate on my two phones and i continue to get harrased everytime i call as they say it is postmarked one day late and the other rebate is still under review.

    Dont buy from them, they seem to have come down to dirty tactics very similar to fraud.

    I spoke to their superviser Linda (employee number 9863)
    who was extremely rude and made clear she was in no interest to entertain a request from a customer who bought two phones from them and whom them owe $360 in reabtes.

    Reply
  6. **WIREFLY IS A VERY DISHONEST ORGANIZATION** The rebate scam is true. I followed their guidelines to the dime and guess what, I forgot mailed in the VAST amount of info they required without a signature confirmation. Wirefly claimed they never recieved the letter. DO NOT PURCHASE from Wirefly, you will loose in the end.

    Reply
  7. So i ordered 2 phones on cingular off of wirefly today. Both numbers to be ported. they messed up on the porting of the second number preventing my order from being shipped out today. i have probably called their customer support at least 15 times today just to get them to fix the problem. all they say is that they will escalate to this one and that one, and expect an update within 24 hours and all kinds of excuses. i read alot of reviews on wirefly and many say its because it has outsourced to india, i dont think that is the problem, or at least not the entire problem. i think it stems from the lack of proper training, these companies spend to much time training these people to sound american (i am of indian decent) and not enough time training them in problem resolution. the support website boasts “real-time” updates, which in my experience is a load of BULLS***. i am hoping i get my packages tomorrow as i paid for overnight delivery. its sad but i cant recommend wirefly.com and i havent even gotten my equipment as of yet. these opinions are based on experiences in the timframe between ordering and delivery.

    Reply
  8. I JUST GOT MY REBATES AFTER TURNING THEM IN TO THE BBB
    SENT PAERWORK JAN. 1
    GOT REBATE JUNE 1
    8-10 WEEKS FOR PROSS. I THINK NOT
    DONOT BUY FROM THEM

    Reply
  9. I totally agree with Bhargava. Wirefly.com – Masters the Art of Rebate Phishing.

    I too had same experience as Bhargava.
    Before calling wirefly, I was a very happy customer for Cingular for 5+ years. Now I am a very upset customer.

    My experience with wirefly.

    First phone call:

    Happy talks with sales person on the phone, my number will be ported to new device with same level of service and rebate. But (Careful) sales person was very clear in making this remark., once the order is placed, for any thing I need to speak to customer service. ( so the sales commitments are gone)

    second call :
    where is my rebate form. customer service person told me to check my account page in whereismyorder.com and it wasn’t there either, so she said she will mail me the form.

    thrid call:

    I waited for 2 days to receive rebate forms, then I called again customer service, this time they told me I do not qualify for rebate due to some changes in my order. ( changes are made with out my permission, supervisor and customer service rep apologies for the mistake and the only option given to me was to cancel the order and gave me RMA number.

    4th call

    Called up wirefly and asked me to switch back to my previous carrier AT&T, wirefly conference me with cingular rep and cingular said that they can not switch me back to AT&T, again only option i had was change the service provider to keep the number or pay that extra money.

    5th call

    I called up asking my RMA number to return the phone, this time customer service rep told me that they got an approval from me for the order upgrade based on that they processed the order.
    ( I did not receive any mails from them on that day and I am not fool to pay $310 extra to a dealer when I can buy cheaper from cingular)

    I asked them to send me the copy of that mail. they said they can’t !!? .
    I asked the rep, does that mean earlier supervisor and customer rep did not see that mail which you see now and she answered ” I don’t know”.

    After all this do you think I will any kind business to Wirefly. ( if I keep the phone the wirefly gets the commissions, It is my part time job to share my experience where possible)

    I already complained about this at BBB, fcc.gov and other forums.., I will continued to do so.

    Stay away from wirefly or any inphonic sub-dealers.

    Reply
  10. Rohit,

    Please post Doreen Dennis email address and phone number so we can all contact her. I have all of my correspondence between the company if they would like me to post. There will not be any doubt to the validity of the company after this point. Has anyone heard the latest news about the errors on there end and that all refunds are being re-processed. This mens the refunds will not be processed until the better business bureau steps in and lawsuits are filed. Let’s put them ou of business. Also, Cingular and other companies should drop them as a vendor to maintain there existing clients.

    Thanks
    Vicnce

    Reply
  11. Received a little more information. The company which doesn’t have a listing on MSN Yellow Pages for the DC office number is (202) 333-0001 and the contact for Doreen Dennis is actually Holly Capers. I am sure if we all contact her the word may get out how the sister company – Wirefly is operating. They are being completley dishonest and taking people’s money (probably their next door neighbor). Not sure how we as American’s get a kick out of screwing ourseleves to make another rich. Also, if interested check out the recent news on Inphonic’s website. Notice all of the recent SEC filings giving away stock to employees. Probably being funded by the refunds never generated. Last, notice the stock price drop from $17 to $6 within the last year.

    Reply
  12. Hi, everyone:

    We have a NEW, dedicated rebate hotline. Our agents can assist you with your specific rebate submissions. Please call (866) 607-9877.

    Thanks,

    Jon Delahay
    InPhonic – Office of the President
    jdelahay@inphonic.com

    Reply
  13. If You buy things from Wirefly, you are buring your money.

    I bought a T-mobile cell from Wirefly and regretted so much.

    I never get the two rebates worthy $170 back, wirefly deliberately denies pay it back.
    The customer services really suck. Even when I had notified it of the mistake, it took nothing to prevent and my order was delayed for over 1 week. I have to contact Fedex to fix the problem myself.

    Nobody replies your email, you have to make tons of phone calls and just to anger yourself.

    NEVER trust this company. It makes false AD and brazenly denies it.

    I should have read all the customer rating in advance.

    Reply
  14. I dont think that all the rebates that are denied by wirefly is a scam. Everybody complain about what went wrong but they dont say what was their mistake. If it was a scam inphonic would not have provided a toll free no and an address for the rebates center. Why cant people have some patience and wait for their money back? For all of them who complain about not getting their rebates, please tell me one company which does not have consumer complains? Its obvious that inphonic will honour our rebates after they get paid after 6 months of good standing. are they any charitable institution to provide free fones. After all they are also a business concern, aren’t they? just a small suggestion… We all work for different business concerns, I think we all should call BBB and ask how many complaints are lodged against our business. Every business has their own policy and terms and conditions.

    Reply
  15. I am looking forward to seeing if Vedika gets her rebate. I followed the rebate requirements perfectly and am still awaiting the money even though the correct amount of time has lapsed. I am seriously concerned considering the number of complaints online against this company. It definitely seems like a scam to me. Their latest message on the phone line is that there are irregularities with some of the rebate forms and so it is going to take longer to process them all..how convenient and how long is it going to take? I will happily post again on this site and apologize IF I ever see my $150.

    Reply
  16. The executives at InPhonic are full of shit.

    – March 5, I received an email saying that I should allow 8-10 weeks for processing.

    – June 9, I received an email saying that my 2 rebates were approved.

    – I no longer have the emails, but I received another email which said my refund would be sent around July 19.

    – August 3, I checked the rebate web site and found this info regarding my status:

    “We were able to locate the rebate claim(s) shown above based upon the information you entered. Unfortunately, we are currently reprocessing all recent rebate submissions, including the ones referenced above. There is nothing that you need to do at this point; we will contact you directly if there is anything we need from you to complete your claim submission. We are committed to paying all properly submitted rebates and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. Please check back in 3-4 weeks for an updated status.”

    WHY IS MY REBATE BEING REPROCESSED WHEN IT WAS ALREADY APPROVED? What the f***? And why didn’t I receive any notification about this “reprocessing”?

    This makes me so angry! I have been waiting for my rebate, which is $200. I need this money because I’m unemployed, but the folks at InPhonic don’t care and just make up excuses. I don’t know how they can sleep at night, knowing they provide such crappy customer service. Oh, but I guess it doesn’t matter because they making money and laughing all the way to the bank.

    Why does InPhonic enforce difficult criteria to receive a rebate, but yet, they don’t hold up their end of the agreement to process the rebates when they SAY that they will?

    Reply
  17. Hi, everyone:

    Michelle, please e-mail me directly, and I’ll provide you with a concrete timetable for your rebates. Any answer I’m able to give you will take precedence over what you might see on the rebate status website, and I’ll be sure to answer your e-mail ASAP.

    Oh, and please include your order number.

    Thanks,

    Jon Delahay
    InPhonic – Office of the President
    jdelahay@inphonic.com

    Reply
  18. Last year october, i ordered two cellphones with T-Mobile service activation from INTELENET. I haven’t yet received their rebates (i am supposed to get $450 in rebates). Even after repeatedly calling thier number, they are not giving me any response regarding the rebates. Please help. I am very VERY ANGRY at them…

    Reply
  19. Beware all! I was “personally” e-mailed by this Jon Delahay. He told me I would receive my checks in 7-10 business days. That was 20 business days ago. More stonewalling. Considering I purchased these 11 months ago, I am not shocked. I have field a consumer complaint with the Attorney General of the District of Columbia and I suggest you all add your name to the ever-growing list!
    https://www.oag.dc.gov/occ/site/default.asp?occNav=|31678|
    If you need to call them directly, call 202-727-2102

    Mike

    Reply
  20. Below is the email I send to the InPhonic, their auditors, Cingular, Staples (InPhonic latest business partner), Buy.com on 08/14/06

    InPhonic called me with in a few days.
    I received my check in the mail on 08/26/06.

    I received a second phone call with in a week. This time it was from Cingular wireless customer care rep. She confirmed that Cingular has received many complaints about InPhonic. She asked me to follow up with her and let her know if I have received my rebate. She was so concerned that even offered for Cingular to give me a $150 credit if InPhonic doesn’t mail the rebate.

    I suggest you send similar emails to all recipients listed below.

    ———————————————

    dsteinberg@inphonic.com, rcalder@inphonic.com, jpurcell@inphonic.com, media@inphonic.com, wireflyclassaction@yahoo.com, LWinkler@inphonic.com, FBennett@inphonic.com, BWestrick@inphonic.com, BCurran@inphonic.com

    Filing a complaint with NASD / SEC – InPhonic, Inc.

    Dear Sirs:

    Pls note that I will be filing a complaint with NASD / SEC to investigate InPhonic, Inc.practices in processing Customer Rebates and reporting Rebate Revenue / Commission on your financial statements – i.e. your Revenue Recognition policy stated on your most recent 10-Q:
    “Our wireless revenue is reduced for estimated deactivations of customers prior to the expiration of a time period that ranges 120 to 180 days from the date of activation, depending on the wireless carrier. We estimate deactivations based on historical experience, which we developed based on our experience with carriers, customer behavior and sources of customers, among other factors, allowing us to accrue estimates with what we believe is a high degree of certainty. If we determine that we cannot accurately predict future deactivation experience, we may be required to defer 100% of our carrier commissions revenue until the expiration of the appropriate chargeback period. Our reserves for deactivations are included in accounts receivable and deferred revenue on the accompanying balance sheets.
    In addition to receiving commissions for each wireless subscriber activated, we earn performance bonuses from the wireless carriers based on negotiated performance targets. The most significant bonus we earn is the quarterly volume bonus, which we bill wireless carriers for on a monthly basis, based on current month activations. We record these bonuses as deferred revenue at the time of billing until we achieve the quarterly targets. We also earn other quarterly bonuses from certain carriers for maintaining low customer churn and signing up customers for certain additional monthly “featuresâ€￾ such as text messaging or data service. Wireless carriers also periodically offer bonuses for achieving monthly volume and other performance targets. We recognize these monthly bonuses as earned in accordance with the provisions of Staff Accounting Bulletin (“SABâ€￾) No. 104, Revenue Recognition in Financial Statements . Revenue is recognized only when all of the following criteria are met: (1) persuasive evidence of an arrangement exists, (2) delivery has occurred or services have been”

    On 04/21/06 I received an email from CellPhoneRebates@cs.rebatestatus.com, stating that my rebate was received and is currently being processed. Four months later and many unsuccessfully phone calls, I still have not received my rebate. On 07/07/06, a recording was posted at 866-800-4303 that due to recent problems all rebates have been re-processed.
    I have filed a complaint with BBB Metropolitan Washington DC and Eastern Pennsylvania office – Complaint tracking number 0C213-204D8-834AD-581AA-26EA6-05B35-A3

    D.C. Sues InPhonic Over Rebate Restrictions
    By Annys Shin Washington Post Staff Writer Friday, June 9, 2006; Page D04
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/08/AR2006060801810.html

    On June 8, the Attorney General for the District of Columbia informed InPhonic that it filed suit against the company because of certain advertised rebate offers.
    https://www.wireflyrebates.com/rebatestatement.html

    There is evidence that the foregoing is a common practice of InPhonic, Inc. and a class action seems imminent – https://reviews.cnet.com/5208-7817-0.html?forumID=74&threadID=149735&messageID=1668489

    Yahoo Finance – Message Boards: InPhonic, Inc. (INPC)
    https://messages.finance.yahoo.com/mb/INPC

    https://messages.finance.yahoo.com/Services/Communications_Services/threadview?m=tm&bn=24859&tid=3824&mid=3861&tof=-1&rt=2&frt=2&off=1

    Cc: – the following have been Cc as follows as they maintain current business partnerships with InPhonic,Inc

    * Outside Auditor Grant Thornton LLP

    Grant Thornton Ed Nusbaum CEO ed.nusbaum@gt.com
    Grant Thornton Kara McFarland Manager, Public Relations kara.mcfarland@gt.com

    * Buy.com (b/c I purchased the phone from Buy.com)

    Buy.com, Inc Scott A. Blum Chairman scott.blum@buy.com
    Buy.com, Inc Neel Grover CEO neel.grover@buy.com
    Buy.com, Inc Roger Andelin CIO roger.andelin@buy.com

    * Cingular (b/c I purchased a Cingular Plan)

    Cingular, Inc. Kathy Dowling VP Customer Kathy.Dowling@cingular.com

    * Staples (b/c they signed on 07/13/06 today announced that they have signed and launched a multi-year agreement with Staples, Inc. to be the exclusive provider of cellular products and services on Staples.com. )

    Staples, Inc. Owen Davis Manager, Public Relations owen.davis@staples.com

    Thanks,
    (Name)
    (Phone Number)

    Reply
  21. I sent in all necessary paperwork with documentation (retained) as directed to receive four (4) rebates toataling $500.I received an e-mail confirmation (retained) stating that they were sucessfully submitted and I would be receiving the rebates.The date passed with no rebates.They have progressivly shut down access to their internet sites or phone access.When is the appropriate agency going to act?. THEY ARE STILL ADVERTIZING THESE REBATES….

    Reply
  22. I dont know how the law works in this country. Inphonic ripped of 500$ from me. Tell me a way to fight for justice. Please guide me through every step to curb these guys for their bad practices. I need information on how to approach a lawyer and and how I bring them to court, I have requested BBB to do this but they tried contacting them many times and no response. I want to bring down this inphonic or wirefly so that justice can prevail…

    Reply
  23. Here are the facts “on the ground” as they say.

    InPhonic has been sued by the Washington, D.C., Attorney General’s Office as a result of more than 2,000 consumer complaints filed against the company during the past three years.

    https://redtape.msnbc.com/2006/06/ag_sues_cell_ph.html

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/08/AR2006060801810.html

    Inphonic’s membership in the Better Business Bureau was revoked.

    https://www.dc.bbb.org/report.html?national=Y&compid=23004111%20

    And speaking as a rebate-owed customer myself, I can tell you that Inphonic is training their customer support people to lie. I was personally told that Inphonic and Wirefly were different companies.

    Don’t believe anyone who trots out the lies: “There are only a few complaints” and “Inphonic is addressing the problems”. The facts are that there are thousands of complaints, and Inphonic is still lying to people.

    Reply
  24. I purchased two Motorola MPx220 phones for $300 each with rebate to follow after 6 months of service with Cingular on Jan.14, 2004. Like many others on this site, I have NOT received my rebates since for almost two years as they promised, although I submitted four times mail-in rebate request. This is deceptive trade practices and supposed to be known by every consumer.

    Reply
  25. I have had a similar experience with Wirefly.com aka Inphonic. My check has been ‘waiting to be mailed’ for several weeks. They claim they had irregularities with a Phoenix processing firm … so they moved the game to Minnesota.

    I am not an attorney … but believe that the practice of inducing customers to purchase a cell phone and service from any provider — in my case Verizon … in consideration of a $150 ‘Customer Loyalty Rebate’ promise is fraud. The run-around, which transpires thereafter is simply aggravation. The Rebate Escalation Center @ 866-274-8573 is Pong and Wirefly’s 1-866-607-9877 is Ping. The latter tells me that the former isn’t known to them. Consumers are the Ping-Pong Balls.

    Recommended Courses of Action:
    Raise hell with their clients … your cell phone service carriers (try to contact their V.P.s of Customer Services). Good Luck with that. Verizon’s call center personnel are trained to stop your complaint process with them and cop the plea that they aren’t responsible. Their personnel claim that they have no phone number for their own corporate offices. Let legal authorities determine if your carriers’ omissions in ceasing these practices is negligence. They are selling their product through Wirefly.com and they shrug off partial responsibility for enabling Wirefly aka Inphonic to play this game. A Judge would determine if in fact service carriers have earned the status of co-defendants in lawsuits.

    Contact your Attorney General’s Office — Consumer Affairs Division and file a formal complaint.

    Contact Robert S. Green in San Francisco or another Class Action Litigation attorney.

    Explore complaint processes with the FTC.

    Contact the United States Attorney’s Office in your area.
    Online internet fraud is, I believe, a federal crime.

    Reply
  26. I bought a Motorola cellphone from Wirefly almost a year ago. I very carefully read the requirements for my rebate and sent everything in on time. On 15 May 06 I got a notice saying my wireless bill was invalid. I called the Rebate Center 25 May 06 at 1101 and talked to a woman who could not tell me what was invalid about the copy of the Verizon bill I sent, but since I was a ‘good customer’ they would go ahead and process the rebate. In September I received another notice saying my wireless bill was invalid because it didn’t have my cell phone number on it. I sent in a copy of my newest Verizon bill, making sure the cell number was on it, and sent it in way before the 30 day limit. Now it’s the last day of November and when I went to cellphonerebates.com and entered my Claim ID number, I’m told that no such number exists.

    It’s clear that Wirefly rebates are a scam and judging from the number of complaints about Wirefly, the company is deaf and has no interest in their reputation.

    Reply
  27. Never use Wirefly! Never got my rebate – twice I mailed it and was told I had the wrong order number on form! They are the worst company and I am going to report them!

    Reply
  28. In Conclusion: Don’t purchase phones from Wirefly!

    I also purchased 2 cellphones from Wirefly. It came with two steps rebates, one for $30 each, another for $50 (or $75 I don’t remember!) each.

    Today I received a letter saying “The combined value of all of your rebate claim submissions exceed what you are eligible for based on your order. All valid rebate amounts on your order have been paid.â€￾.

    They have NOT paid me a penny.

    I called them 1866-607-9877, and they say they will “Researchâ€￾ this case, and will have a result in TWO to THREE weeks.

    This business model is just against honest policy that we are all proud of. They trick you in the first place, and want to fool you as much as possible, and eventually they may say the mail is lost and they are not responsible for it.

    I am tired of it.

    Reply
  29. my husband bought a 2 motorolla razr v3 at wirefly & it came with a $100 rebate.We submitted the said rebate & they are claiming that still for reviewing.Its almost a year now since we got the phone.
    What a scam?

    Reply
  30. We finally got our rebate after going to our credit card fraud department to assist with a fraud claim. Once they got involved, the check magically appeared in my mail box in 2 weeks.

    If you paid by credit card for your initial purchase, considering filing a fraud report with them.

    Worked for us!

    Reply
  31. We purchased two razr phones through Wirefly in December of 2005. The promise was a $100 Loyalty Rebate and $100 Appreciation Rebate per phone. This would mean we would get the phones free. I have always been told, “If it’s too good to be true, it isn’t.” I should have listened. I had to wait 6 months to send in the forms. I had to have a copy of my bill dated beween 150-210 days after activation, UPC bar code, and sales receipt. Each (4) had to be sent in a seperate envelope. I made 4 copies of everything and filled out 4 envelopes. I had four stacks of everything. I double checked it. I triple checked it as I put each in an envelope. I kept a copy of everything, even the boxes. A few months later I received the two Appreciation Rebates but not the Loyalty Rebates. Later I received in the mail a letter stating I did not send the UPC bar code off the box. I copied the barcodes again (two copies)and noticed a barcode under the stick on barcode. I made extra copies of the first and then removed the sticker to get to the second barcode. I then made copies of that and mailed the additional information along with a letter stating my being displeased with their service. If the Appreciation Rebate was correct, why wasn’t the Loyalty Rebate? January of 2007 I still had not received the additional two rebates. I called and spoke to a representative. I was told they did not have the barcodes but she would send the checks. Here it is February and we received one check for $100 last week. I called again. Now I am told I did not send in the bill with one of the rebates and it was too late. I would not get that rebate. After about a 30 minute conversation with two different people, I hung up. Now I am writing this letter. I will call the Better Business Bureau tomorrow.

    Reply
  32. I have been told that InPhonics executives will be open for prison sentences along with WireFly executives. Executives from both corporations (since one is a wholly owned subsidiary of the other) will be held equally liable. Shame on them. I hope they are convicted and the key is thrown away! This is great news!

    Reply
  33. Signed up for T-mobile family plan in Aug. 2005, got 2 phones for $250 each (with rebates for $100 and $150 for each phone). Submitted 4 rebates in November 2005, three were approved, one denied (?!).
    I appealed the denial. Got checks for three rebates in April 2006,
    and a note of approval for the last rebate in June 2006. Now is March 2007, still waiting for the check. I called and e-mailed many times, I’m very annoyed with all the process.

    Reply
  34. Inphonic is really a scam. Prices are too high and u will never see the rebate. its like after 3 months one has to send reabtes forms which most people dont remember and thats how this guyz makes money.
    I was planning to buy 4 phones from wirefly glad i didnt.
    so many complains. Amazon is the best option for me.

    Reply
  35. Hey folks,
    I refuse to waste any more energy explaining to anyone what deceitful and illegal practices I’ve experienced with Wirefly/Inphonic. I’ve repeatedly spoken to one person after the other for months in an “oversees” location. Time after time I have been lied to and am out a considerable amount of money. After filing a complaint with The BBB, I feel a bit better, but no closer to receiving money promised. I’m in the legal profession and trust me, I’m going to do everything legally possible to get this company and it’s subsidiaries blasted all over television. We all watch “consumer alert” formats on Dateline, 48 Hrs., MSNBC Investigates, etc. and this company is certainly a candidate for one of these programs.

    Reply
  36. Well I guess I’m on the list. After ordering from wirefly and having my service with Sprint, I received a call from a collection agency today stating that I owed them $260.00 for the phone because I canceled my service with Sprint. This never happened. I have just faxed them a copy of all my bills from Sprint and isn’t it funny that it happened a week after I sent in my rebate? Let me guess what I’m not getting. I will never use wirefly again. Awful practices.

    Reply
  37. Too good to be true!

    We did our research and found (what we thought) was the best deal on a new Motorola RAZR V3 cell phone (for Verizon).

    This people at Wirefly are not only incompetent but complete scammers! Wirefly will do everything under the sky to void and not deliver on their rebate offers. We have heard everything, we meticulously followed their instructions on what to send, when to send it, bla, bla, bla. After being directed, and redirected via phone and mail the offer has now expired and they no longer are able to fufill the original offer of the rebate. THEY ARE SCAMMING PEOPLE left and right and laughing all the way to the bank. The customer service SUCKS. Calls are directed to their customer service headquarters somewhere in India. So, not only is it frustrating that they fall short on customer service, but you can’t even understand what they are saying (I understand going global, but definitely more training is required). NEVER, NEVER, NEVER AGAIN will I buy from Wirefly (or buy something attached to a rebate offer)! I also can not believe that Verizon conducts business with a company like this.

    Reply
  38. My business purchased two phones from Wirefly in January 2007, and followed all the rebate submission rules. We never received a rebate. With all the long gaps required by WireFly’s rules between purchase, rebate submission and rebate reciept, we only started to follow up with WireFly (actually InPhonic) in August. We were put off and delayed until.. surprise!… they went into bankruptcy. I have sent InPhonic a bill for the rebates and late charges and interest, as any business would. Their accounting department, which now answers to the new company name, Simplexity (how appropriate!) said they would investigate and has not replied. Then, yesterday I got an email from Simplexity which acknowledged that we’d been done wrong and disclaimed “the past cannot be changed” and offered a $100 rebate on further purchases from WireFly. This was hilarious: they think that after screwing you on rebates, that you’d be stupid enough to go for it again??? I’ve given then a few more days to reply and then I’ll turn the bill over to collections, since it’s gone above the minimum for a collections agency. My lesson learned is to do research on any vendor where my purchases (or rebates) could possibly cause me to try to recover an unpaid bill. Searching the web is good, but getting a D&B credit report is useful too, since it shows outstanding unpaid bills.
    -Eric

    Reply
  39. InPhonic, the company that operated Wirefly.com, is now called Simplexity. Run by the same people, for the same purposes. Stay clear.

    Reply
  40. First of all “Kudos to Rohit’ for starting this blog about these scamsters (Wirefly / Inphonic / Simplexity).

    I could not imagine that there would be morons actually criticizing Rohit’s post and taking up the cause of defending these rouges. I would not be surpirsed if those comments / posts were made by people from that company.

    In my case, it has been more that 8 months since I received email confirmations regarding the receipt and processing of my rebate forms, but I have not received the check yet despite following up several times.

    I need to now figure out what else I can do to get back the rebate money. But for now, I am never going back to do business with these people and would request others who read this blog to spread the word around.

    Reply

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About Rohit

A keynote speaker on trends, innovation, marketing, storytelling and diversity.

Rohit Bhargava is on a mission to inspire more non-obvious thinking in the world. He is the #1 Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of eight books and is widely considered one of the most entertaining and original speakers on disruption, trends and marketing in the world.

Rohit has been invited to keynote events in 32 countries … and over the past year, given more than 100 virtual talks from his home studio. He previously spent 15 years as a marketing strategist at Ogilvy and Leo Burnett and also teaches marketing and storytelling as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

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