When we first started Donnerwood in March of 2005, I bought our first set of wireless phones from Wirefly.com, the consumer site for Inphonic (INPC). Seemed to me that the web was an efficient way to sell phones, and that their prices were better than almost anywhere else, even after understanding the low prices were due to rebates that could only be sent in during a certain 30-day window six months into your service. We bought 4 phones from them, but then gave up buying more after they wanted me to confirm some information before activating the last phone, but put me on hold for 65 minutes first - an amazing exercise in customer service. But I dutifully saved the earlier receipts and marked the dates in Outlook so that we could get the rebates from the first phones.
August rolls around, and we send in the rebates, with all of the necessary supporting documents - and we wait...and wait...and wait...5 months later, all we have received are some emails indicating that our rebates are in process and have even been approved, but we still don't have the money. Now how is this not an Eliot Spitzer-style issue? How long can it take to fill a rebate in the age of the Internet, especially when all of the supporting information is there and when we actually bought the phones directly from them, as opposed to another retailer? 1 month, 2? But 5 months and counting??
If I go to Costco or to Best Buy, they have gone out of their way to make rebates easier to file, but not at InPhonic. Oh yes, I forgot - Inphonic actually profits when consumers forget to send in rebates, don't have the proper docs, etc, so it's actually in their best interest, external pressure notwithstanding, not to go out of their way to make the rebate process more efficient.
So, like all examples of horrible customer service, do not buy product from them. It's simply not worth the pain, either trying to contact customer service, or in trying to get the rebates.