What are Rebates?
Rebates include any type of promotion offered by a retailer or manufacturer that involves a partial refund or discount in the form of cash or a cheque.
- Some promotions that claim to offer rebates are in fact gift cards or credits to be used for future purchases.
- Some rebates will be given to you at the time of purchase, while others, such as mail-in rebates, will be sent to you at a later date IF you apply for them.
What to Consider?
Before deciding if this is the best deal for you:
- remember that, although the majority of consumers believe they will apply for a rebate after leaving the store, many don’t, and end up paying the regular price;
- ask the vendor whether the taxes will be calculated on the full amount or the after-rebate price.
Do I Qualify?
Before you buy, read the terms and conditions. In particular, check whether:
- there is a deadline to apply;
- you are required to buy another product;
- you are required to send anything other than a claim form with your contact information and a proof of purchase, such as a UPC code;
- there are restrictions as to the eligibility of certain mailing addresses, such as rural addresses;
- there is a limit on the number of rebates per household;
- the rebate is only valid if the purchase is made at certain retailers; or
- there are any other limitations or conditions that might affect whether you qualify or will likely apply for the rebate.
How do I Obtain my Rebate?
At the time of purchase, ensure that you have all required documents to apply for the rebate. Since original sales receipts must often be sent in, ask the vendor if you can receive a duplicate of the original.
When applying for the rebate, remember to:
- follow the instructions on the rebate form and include all required documentation; and
- make a copy of everything that you provided in case the rebate is delayed or not paid.
If the rebate is not paid on time, or if there are any other issues, contact the vendor.
If you are having trouble with the rebate process, consult the complaints section of this Handbook for help with drafting a complaint and for advice on how to approach the company.
Contact the Competition Bureau if you believe that you have been misled or if you come across questionable rebate promotions.
Provincial and Territorial Consumer Affairs Offices
Service Alberta, Consumer Contact Centre
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4L4
Consumer Protection BC
Victoria, British Columbia V8W 9J2
Consumer Protection Office, Manitoba Justice
Winnipeg, Manitoba R3C 0B6
Financial and Consumer Services Commission
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 1E1
Newfoundland and Labrador
St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador A1B 4J6
Consumer Affairs, Department of Municipal and Community Affairs
Yellowknife, Northwest Territories X1A 2L9
Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations, Public Enquiries
1505 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 3K5
Consumer Affairs, Department of Community and Government Services
Baker Lake, Nunavut X0C 0A0
Consumer Protection Ontario, Ministry of Government and Consumer Services
Toronto, Ontario M3M 1J8
Prince Edward Island
Consumer Services, Department of Justice and Public Safety
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island C1A 7N8
Office de la protection du consommateur
Québec, Quebec G1K 8W4
Consumer Services, Department of Community Services
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2N1
Competition Bureau Canada
Gatineau, Quebec K1A 0C9
Federal Consumer Affairs Office
Office of Consumer Affairs
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5