I filed a complaint with the FTC. See below for their response. While they do not act on one complaint and do not resolve individual issues, they will act if they get MANY complaints. So, if everyone will file a complaint they will see a pattern and may then investigate!
January 24, 2006
606-A Timm Valley Road
Atlanta, GA 30305
Re: FTC Ref. No. 7516349
Dear Benjamin Kelly:
Thank you for your correspondence to the Federal Trade Commission regarding rebates offered by companies. Rebate offers and coupons are, among other things, a form of price competition. While some manufacturers or sellers may conclude that simple price discounts will attract customers, others may believe that a rebate or coupon program will be a more effective means of advertising substantial savings to consumers. In general, no statute enforced by the Commission addresses the decision to adopt a rebate or coupon program. Thus, promoters of rebate or coupon plans use their independent business judgment in offering such plans to distributors or to the public. However, if a company decides to offer a rebate or coupon plan, it must fully disclose the material terms and conditions of the offer and must provide the promised rebate. If a company systematically fails to do so, it may be engaging in deceptive or unfair practices in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
Finally, you may wish to raise your concerns with the manufacturers or companies who offer rebates or coupons, since many companies appreciate comments from the public about their products and how they are marketed. You should also note that many companies hire independent companies to administer their rebate or coupon programs and are eager to hear about their performance.
The Federal Trade Commission acts in the public interest to stop business practices that violate the laws it enforces. Letters from consumers and businesses are very important to the work of the Commission. They are often the first indication of a problem in the marketplace and may provide the initial evidence to begin an investigation. The Commission does not resolve individual complaints. The Commission does, however, act when it sees a pattern of possible violations developing. The decision to open up an investigative action depends on how widespread the practice is, how many consumers are hurt, how much harm is done, and how much evidence we have. We must also determine how much staff time and effort we can put into each case, and we must concentrate on the most urgent.
We appreciate your taking the time to write. We hope the above information has been useful to your situation.
Consumer Response Center
We are investigating Inphonic's failure to honor rebates submitted. If you believe you have been harmed by this practice please contact me at www.dmlaws.com and fill out a complaint form.