Thursday, April 07, 2005

Continental Promotion Group Isn't On This Continent


I just had a rebate postcard sent back to me in the mail telling me my rebate for $40 could not be honored due to the fact I did not submit the proper UPC code.

The card reads like this:

Viking 512MB SD $40 MIR

Dear Consumer,

Thank you for participating in this promotion. Unfortunately, we could not honor your request because of the following reason:

The UPC symbol or proof-of-purchase tab you submitted is not valid for this promotion.

To resubmit for this offer, please return this card or letter, with the items mentioned above, to the address shown. Deadline to resubmit is: May 13, 2005.

For status please visit


Let's analyze this and the customer service procedure I followed for educational purposes, shall we?

First of all, this rebate was NOT for a (SD)secure digital card; it was for a (CF) compact flash card, so of course it was the wrong UPC (if this is how they incorrectly processed it)

I noticed right away that there was no phone number on the postcard.

I had never dealt with or Continental Promotion Group before.

Typically, the best way to get a rebate issue resolved is to call the rebate company. If that doesn't work you call the company that sold you the product.

9 times out of 10 calling the rebate processsing company gets the issue resolved.

Of course it helps to have a cell phone plan if it's long distance or if the company has a toll free number.

Because I saw no telephone number on the postcard I received, I went to to try to find one.

If you want to be interactive with this story, just go to the website and see if YOU can find a phone number easily!

After digging through an unrelated privacy policy page ... I finally found a phone number.

I called it and unlike many other rebate processors I have called a customer service agent answered on the 1st ring.

I couldn't understand his 1st question and so I asked him to repeat it.

He was basically making me deliver all the details associated with the card. (I had to figure that out because I never understood a single word he was saying)

After he got all of my information he proceeded to tell me that I had submitted the wrong UPC. At least, I think that's what he said.

I interupted and told him that I submitted a rebate form for a compact flash card with the UPC from a compact flash card.

He continued to repeat about the secure digital card.

I interupted again and said, I don't have a camera that takes SD cards, mine takes compact flash cards. I wouldn't have even bought an SD card, NOR have I EVER bought an SD card, at least within the last 6 months.

After repeated requests for him to speak more clearly and to assist me. He clearly stated in his best Indianized English voice:

You need to reubmit the right UPC for this SD card and fax us the receipt

I angrily said, I am not resubmitting anything, and I don't have the time and am unwilling to spend the money for a fax or additional postage.

He continued in unintelligible Indlish ...

I hung up.

I called again. This time I got a female (with an East Accent, but much clearer voice). She greeted me with, "Hello, may I have your name and phone number", Before I replied with the requested information, I asked her where she was located. She said headquarters. I said, where is that She said Scotsdale Arizona. I said, "They have all Indian customer service reps in Arizona?"

Her reply, "How can I help you?"

You can tell me where you are physically located please.

She said, "I am in the Continental promotion Group building"

I said, "What is the next city over from Scottsdale?"

silence and confusing murmurs ensue

"I am in India. I do not know. How can I help you?"

I said a thank you, gave my information, told her my situation and she said they will correct the rebate immediately.

The problem with this process is that Viking apparently has a rebate processing center in Scottsdale Arizona, yet the customer service is handled in India.

Take this into account before doing a Viking rebate or a rebate that requires you to process though Continental Promotion Group.

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