FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December CONTACT Michelle Gatchell Deputy Director of by wooha

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									FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                              CONTACT: Michelle Gatchell
December 26, 2008                                             Deputy Director of Communications
                                                                                   614-466-3840
                                                                        mgatchell@ag.state.oh.us


                  Don’t Wait To Use Gift Cards And Mail In Rebate Forms

The Ohio Attorney General’s Office is recommending consumers follow through on mail-in rebates as
soon as possible. Shoppers are also advised to ask questions and be aware that gift cards and rebates can
become worthless if a business goes bankrupt.

“In this economic environment, as businesses continue to fail, gift cards and rebates that aren’t honored
are going to become more of an issue,” said Dave Dembinski, Assistant Chief in the Consumer Protection
Section of the Attorney General’s office.

Here are some tips for consumers for using gift cards and claiming rebates:

Gift Cards:

•   Check to see if there are any restrictions or an expiration date.
•   If a gift card has no expiration date, it is valid until redeemed or replaced with a new card. Exceptions
    include gift cards that can be used at different retailers; for example, a mall gift card, or a gift card
    received through a reward, loyalty, or a promotional program.
•   Note: If a business files for bankruptcy, consumers will need to file claims with the bankruptcy court
    for the value of the gift card.

Rebates:

•   When filling out the coupon or rebate form - be sure to follow the instructions. Rebating companies
    often reject a rebate application if the instructions are not followed exactly.
•   Most companies require the consumer to attach the sales receipt from the store where the product was
    purchased. Copies often do not qualify. Consumers should make sure they keep a copy of the receipt
    for their own records in case any questions arise.
•   Save the packaging! Most rebate forms require the consumer to locate the "Uniform Product Code" or
    a “Proof of Purchase label” from the packaging - and attach it to the rebate form.
•   Almost all rebates expire if they are not mailed within a certain period of time after purchase. Make
    sure you are aware of those terms.
•   A rebate should arrive within eight weeks. If a consumer does not receive the rebate and is unable to
    resolve the issue with the company, they can file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. To
    file a complaint call 1-877-244-6446 or file online at www.ag4ohio.gov.
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