Soyo rebate lawsuit: I win.

2005-10-01 00:37

On August 1st, 2004, I bought a Soyo product with a $20 mail-in rebate.

On August 3rd, 2004, I sent in the rebate form, the UPC code from the box, and a receipt. According to the rebate form, checks would be mailed within 12-14 weeks of the postmark date of the program (September 13th, 2004).

On December 1st, 2004, I used Soyo’s web page to send the following query:

I bought a Soyo product (a 3.5” drive bay flash card reader) with a $20 mail-in rebate on August 3rd. I haven’t seen my rebate yet. What’s up?

On December 6th, 2004, I got the following response:

We would like to apologize for the delay. Your rebate has not been processed. Please keep checking www.verifyrebate.com to check on your status. Thank you for your patience.

Since then, I have sent emails to Soyo, I have called them, I have filled out forms, and I have had no communications from them other than automatic form letters. They have not called back, and no human has responded to me.

On August 16th, 2005, I filed a lawsuit against Soyo in Minnesota Conciliation Court, our version of Small Claims. My statement of claim was as follows:

On August 3rd, 2004, I submitted a rebate request for $20. Defendant has not paid, and has not responded to requests that they honor the rebate.

I paid a $60 filing fee, and a $50 service fee to have the Secretary of State provide out-of-state service through the California Secretary of State. These costs are part of my claim, in addition to the $20 originally owed. My court date was set for September 30th, 2005, at 9AM.

On August 25th 2005, I received confirmation that the Secretary of State had duly served Soyo with a copy of the court summons.

On September 30th, 2005, I appeared before Minnesota Conciliation Court. I was asked to affirm that my testimony would be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. The referee (Conciliation Court has a referee, not a judge) asked me one question: Has anything changed since I filed the original paperwork? My answer was “No.”

The referee thanked me, and gave me a blue slip of paper. Here’s a scan of the text of that paper:

Conciliation court default judgment

Soyo Group now owes me $130. If I am required to spend money to reclaim that money, they owe me any costs I incur in the course of claiming it. The clock is ticking on their time to appeal. To appeal, they would have to come to District Court for the State of Minnesota and appear before a judge. (They would also need a lawyer licensed to practice in Minnesota to represent them.)

So. There you have it, folks. If you got ripped off by Soyo, as so many people report, then you can probably sue them. The same laziness that keeps them from even bothering to answer emails or return calls applies to their defense in court.

Peter Seebach

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Comments

  1. Soyo owes you money. They owed you money before. Now the court agrees that they owe you money. Does this mean you will actually get paid?

    PlaidMan · 2005-10-04 13:55 · #

  2. Soyo is going to get a class action very soon. I'm working on it. Har Har Har. I want them to be squished as badly as possible because clearly, they have bad and dishonest intentions. Sorry, fellas this is America. You cant get away with crap.

    — Sue Soyo · 2005-10-17 13:59 · #

  3. They still owe me $185. >.They still owe me $185. >.< I want rebate check no other things!!!

    — Toshi · 2005-10-25 15:41 · #

  4. SOYO owes me $50 for a mainboard rebate that was submitted, consiberable before the cut off time, approved. I have copies. Still SOYO will not pay.

    — Tom · 2005-11-04 07:49 · #

  5. So sue 'em. We now have reason to believe they will not bother to defend in small claims court. In fact, AFTER I won, they sent my $20. They still owe me $110 in court costs. And they will owe me whatever it costs me to collect that. This is the fun part!

    seebs · 2005-11-04 09:57 · #

  6. They still owe me from a rebate back in October 2004.

    I have emailed them, phoned, them and faxed them the information. What really pissed me of was the rude woman on the phone that said "We never offered a $30 rebate and you can't prove it!" I Faxed the form to them AGAIN and still have heard nothing.

    — David Drown · 2006-01-08 20:35 · #

  7. I feel like I have been vindicated just looking at the notes posted by all of you. SOYO owes me $35 for the past 2 yrs...and I could never even get a phone number to call their reps. I have sent numerous emails...all to no avail..
    If anybody has their toll-free number, PLEASE GIVE ME THEIR CONTACT INFORMATION!!!

    — Kevin · 2006-06-16 11:32 · #

  8. Soyo owes me $160 from a motherboard bought on zipzoomfly.com in august of 2004. I'm ready to sue !!Thanks

    — Steve Striedinger · 2006-09-15 23:15 · #

  9. I bought a SOYO LCD monitor in July,2006, from e-cost.com. It had a $50.00 rebate.I did everything correctly and my rebate was posted on checkingrebate.com. After not recieving the rebate,I contacted e-cost.They deny any responsiblity and refused to assist me..It was stated that I could go to status@checkingrebate.com if I hadn't recieved the rebate within 12 weeks.The website doesn't exist.I will try to contact the Attorney General Of the state of California.Its apparent to ALL OF US that SOYO IS A CRIMINAL BUSINESS!

    — Daniel W Sass · 2006-11-21 21:19 · #

  10. I have exactly the same experience as Daniel Sass, about the LCD monitor that I bought in July, 2006. E-mails don't go to the status@checkingrebate.com. Its evidently a hoax. Why don't we write a combined letter to concerned authorities in CA and to eCost.com

    — P S Ray · 2006-12-22 07:33 · #

  11. I bought a LCD tv on Oct,2006. Had a $75 rebate, still waiting.....has been 4 months already....cant get through to anyone, and they never call back. Am about ready to contact legal advice as well....what a rip-off Soyo is!!!

    — Danette · 2007-01-22 14:42 · #

  12. I bought headset from Fry's and sent original UPC code and receipt to soyo Group, Inc. 4 months ago But today I check my status from checkingrebate.com, it said it not approved due to original UPc code not included. I am 100% sure I sent Original UPC code to them ( I still have copy of UPC ).
    They just do not want to pay my money, that thing I can do?
    Thanks

    — norman · 2007-01-23 17:43 · #

  13. I dont know if I will get my money owed from SOYO, but let me tell you, I contacted the Attorney General, State of California Department of Justice and they are on top of things. I just got another letter from them, and I think if we ALL write to them about SOYO, maybe something will get done. I will keep you all posted on this matter.

    — Danette · 2007-02-07 10:01 · #

  14. We bought a Soyo monitor and it had a $40.00 mail in rebate. I bought it from Fry's in Dallas, Texas on 11-25-2006. As of today 2-11-2007, I have not received anything from them and when I check the website about checking rebate info, they are now saying as of today they have so many rebates coming in that it will be up to 16 weeks for it to come back to you. I was in fear of them saying that my upc was not on there as as previous person said on here, so that is what I am waiting to hear from them. I have a number to call, I will do that in the am since this is Sunday. 909-292-2528, maybe that will help one of you in getting your money. Good luck and let us all know if you any of you get anywhere. And I want to know if there has been judgements against them, then why have they not paid up.

    — Dana Witt · 2007-02-11 15:41 · #

  15. I will writing to the Attorney General, State of California Department of Justice on the same Soyo matter many of us seem to be having. I purchased an LCD TV from them with a $90 rebate and as many of you have posted the checking rebate.com site is a hoax. I have all of my paperwork and plan on getting my rebate one way or another.

    — Mark Evanchuk · 2007-02-26 13:28 · #

  16. I am yet another victim of SOYO. I purchased a BT headset from Fry's in Dallas. It had $15.00 MIR. I am 100% sure I sent all required documents. Now, checkingrebate.com says, original receipt was not included. This is "untrue". Please, let me know if law suit is the only way to get it..

    — P. Shinde · 2007-03-14 10:54 · #

  17. Here I sit another victim of this apparent fraudulent SOYO rebate situation. I ordered a monitor with $70 rebate through eCOST.com. on January 29, 2007. While my rebate is not as overdue as many of you,I followed their advice to a "T" even registering on-line for the rebate and receiving a confirming ID Reference Number. ALl to no avail because when I try to find the status of my rebate I receive a message from CheckingRebate.com advising me they received it and that it was registered on-line. Other then this everything else is a damn hoax in my opinion!!
    What a rip off. I even notified eCOST.co and a few of their agents responded with "check the fine print in your rebate form for the site to check your rebate status. This, too.....is B.S. !
    One would think eCOST.com would be furious with this SOYO rebate fiasco!!

    — Ken Anderson · 2007-03-17 15:25 · #

  18. I don't know what to say yet. It has been about 2 months since I sent in my complete rebate forms and UPCs as well as registering on line. I only show what the last poster said, my online reference info. I wrote to the email address for status and no reply. I do believe that about a year ago I did process a rebate with them and got it back, amazing. However I now have 3 outstanding rebates with them and intend to follow up as much as possible. I will write the CA attorney general as well as Soyo and file my complaints. If they are screwing folks they should be held responsible.

    — Robert Koenn · 2007-03-19 09:46 · #

  19. I am another victim of SOYO. I purchased a 19" LCD Monitor at Fry's in OC, on Thanks Giving 2006. It had $50.00 MIR. I am 100% sure that I have already sent all required documents. Now, checkingrebate.com says that "record not found" Even though I send several email to ask them about my status I do not receive any email replying from SOYO.

    — Hein · 2007-03-20 01:13 · #

  20. WELL,,I FILLED OUT A COMPLAINT FORM FROM THE FAIR TRADE COM. AND AN ATTORNEY CALLED FROM THEIR OFFICE.SHE GAVE ME A PHONE NUMBER FOR AN "ERIC STRASSER",E-MAIL ADDRESS: erics@soyogroup.com ..I CALLED ERIC AND HE SAID TO E-MAIL HIM THE REBATE INFORMATION AND HE WOULD GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PROBLEM WITH MY REBATE..I DID AS HE SAID AND HE DID AND HE DID NOTHING!HE DIDN'T EVEN REPLY TO MY E-MAIL!WHAT A JERK!
    THE ATTORNEY AT THE FAIR TRADE COM. IS LINDA BADGER..SHE WORKS OUT OF THE SAN FRANCISCO OFFICE..HER PHONE NUMBER IS:1-415-848-5151.SHE'S A REAL NICE PERSON.GIVE HER A CALL.SHE MIGHT HELP US ALL,IF SHE HEARS MORE COMPAINTS ABOUT SOYO GROUP INC.
    LETS ALL GET OUR WELL DESERVED REBATES!

    — Daniel W Sass · 2007-03-24 08:37 · #

  21. Sorry for the mis information..Its the Federal Trade Commission..

    — Daniel W Sass · 2007-03-25 00:17 · #

  22. I BOUGHT HD 40 G FROM OFFICE DEPO ON 12/1/06,I SENT ALL THE REQUIRED ITEMS AND ALSO FAX A COPY OF THE ITEMS,I TRY CONTACT THEM SEVERAL TIMES BUT I WAS IGNORED,THE SOYO CO.IS VERY DISHONEST .

    — jose gomez · 2007-03-27 14:11 · #

  23. I bought a 32" SOYO HDTV in May of 2006 - was due a $100 rebate - still nothing!

    — Janet Schwartz · 2007-04-09 12:52 · #

  24. I bought SOYO blue tooth from fryz no mail in rebate..received yet i still have upc copy..

    Product Name: BTWLHS01
    Offer Duration: 11/24/2006 - 11/28/2006
    Postmark Date: 12/28/2006

    — SOYO no rebate money :( · 2007-04-10 12:59 · #

  25. SOYO and eCost ripped me off, also. Got a monitor for Christmas, filed $60 rebate within 2 days, did everything right. Checkrebate.com shows proper registration. Cheaters.

    — T Fox · 2007-04-22 07:20 · #

  26. SOYO and eCost ripped me off, also. Got a monitor for Christmas, filed $60 rebate within 2 days, did everything right. Checkrebate shows proper registration. Cheaters.

    — T Fox · 2007-04-22 07:20 · #

  27. I wish I read these complaints about SOYO before I purchased a 42" LCD TV from ShopNBC.THE rebate offer was for $100.00.I've tried to register online.When I type in the info and try to register I keep getting put back on the previous page.And i just noticed that the offer is only valid from 4-6-07-4-20-07.I purchased the tv on 4-7-07 I did'nt receive the paperwork from them until 4-21-07.Something does smell and I think its SOYO!

    — B Muller · 2007-04-25 14:22 · #

  28. I"M IN THE SAME BOAT, 42" LCTV SOYO THRU ECOST.COM $100 REBATE. RING AROUND THE ROSY. THEY WANT A REFERENCE NUMBER TO CHECK THE REBATE AT CHECKING REBATE.COM. THEY NEVER SENT ME A REFERENCE NUMBER. tHERE SHOULD BE "PUNITIVE DAMNAGES" HERE. GOOD SPOT FOR AN AGGRESSIVE LAWYER. DEEP POCKETS. I RESEARCHED BY REVERSE DIRECTORY, AND I THINK REBATE.COM IS A PO BOX IN UPLAND CA. A UPS POSTAL DROP IS LISTED AT THAT ADDRESS. jm

    — John McCallum · 2007-04-26 17:29 · #

  29. FTC has wrapped up their case and hand down charges against SOYO, Read the details here:
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2007/04/ftc_rebates.html

    — Alan · 2007-04-30 14:04 · #

  30. I wish I had read about this earlier. I bought the DYLM1996 SOYO monitor from eCost.com on 01/31/07 and submitted the rebate through checkingrebate.com. It's only been 8 weeks since the postmark date, but the website doesn't say anything other than it being Registered Online. I called eCost's rebate center to get more info but all they said was that they didn't handle those rebates. What should I do now? Just wait a few more weeks and keep my fingers crossed that I'll get the rebate check?

    — Steven · 2007-04-30 16:35 · #

  31. I bought a Soyo computer monitor on 01/16/2007, Product #DYLM1998, from ecost. I was supposed to receive a rebate of $60.00 in 10 to 12 weeks. It's now pushing 17 wks. I.ve left 5 emails with "CheckingRebate.com" in the past month. Did not get even one response. I've talked to ecost several times, they replied it's out of their hands and to get in touch with Soyo. I've also left several messages with Soyo. Again no response. How can a company like this get away with this kind of rip-off. I know I'm not the only one out their being scammed by Soyo. Someome with more clout than me should check into this long over due problem. Next, is the "Better Business Bureau". After that, court. Sincerely, Danny L Peters

    — Danny L Peters · 2007-05-02 16:14 · #

  32. I mailed my $15 rebate on11/27/06. I checked on line , it said not including UPS proof. This was untrue because I taped UPS with my receipt. They received receipt so they have to see UPS proof. I will never buy anything which has "soyo" print on it.

    — D Trinh · 2007-05-03 01:41 · #

  33. Per my post above dated March 17,2007 griping about not receiving my SOYO rebate for a purchase I made from eCOST.com - I spent many hours reviewing this WEB site and all the complaints therein. I got some good tips doing this from some of you. Using those tips and going through the processess involved I finally got the results I wanted....MY REBATE!
    I purchased my monitor on January 30, 2007. It had a $70 SOYO rebate. Going through the process I used my rebate waiting period was
    less then SOYO's 12 to 14 weeks waiting period. So any of you who still have the rebate problem here is what I did.
    For starters file a complaint with the Los Angeles Better Business Bureau at www.labbb.org. Click on the "consumer" button and go from there. This is important - Please be professional in your written documentation of the complaint. You will get a complaint number from them...save it for reference so you can look up the status every now and then.
    FYI...located in the rating area fpor this company (SOYO) you will find a specific police dept. notice about SOYO and name of the SOYO CEO whp promises to resolve each and every complaint. His name is Eric Strasser and is at erics@soyogroup.com.
    I wrote him - you write him as well and be professional!
    Anger will get you no where.
    Secondly, I files a complaint with the California Attorney General's office located in San Diego (not San Fransisco as some of you have done)
    Attorney General's Office, Attention: Wendi Lira, SOYO Rebates, P.O Box 85266, San Diego, California 92186.
    Contact her for the proper forms to fill out and return.
    I do not know if labbb or the attorney general's office or both had direct impact for the rather speedy resolution on my rebate. I have since wrote both agencies thanking them for any assistance they may have brought forth. Professionalism and kindness (not anger) in these instances is extremely beneficial.
    For the record, much of my displeasure in my case is directed at eCOST.com - where I made my purchase - as my appeals to them for assistance or direction for resolving my rebate problem was for naught. In fact their agents I spoke with and emailed back and forth with were in my opinion were downright curt if not rude to me. They knew darn well the problems SOYO Rebates was causing consumers. I wrote their company president and he didn't even have the courtesy to answer. As far as I am concerned I will blackball eCOST.com now and in the future.
    SOYO.....I hear tell SOYO has been ordered by the FTC to proceed with all rebates post haste!
    Good Luck to all

    — Ken Anderson · 2007-05-07 10:33 · #

  34. As an occasional customer to the eCost site, I've become accustomed to seeing the vast majority of products listed, offered at low prices only after a mail in rebate. I'm never thrilled about loaning my hard earned dollars out for free but once in a while I can't resist the attraction of a low price deal. Most recently, I went for such a deal on a Soyo flat panel display. The display, a gift for a nephew, was purchased last December with the promise of a $60.00 rebate. I've never had a problem before with getting a promised rebate and expected a similiar experience this time. I dutifully filled in all the requisite forms, registered on a website as instructed, made copies for myself, and mailed everything ,including all the proofs of sale, to the Soyo address as specified. I filed away my copies and went about life. My first indication that there might be a problem came after about 16 weeks. My rebate had not come so I began reviewing the fine print on the application. The rebate wait period seemed longer than most at 14-16 weeks. But the wording in the "bacteria sized print" really got me. The wait period was to begin after expiration of the promotion which was an additional 2 weeks after the purchase. I started searching forums to see what was out there regarding Soyo and rebates. What I found was very disturbing. Soyo it seems, is a chronic abuser of the rebate/trust system. So much so, the Federal Trade Commission office in San Francisco filed suit against them. They recently settled and ordered Soyo to pay all outstanding rebates without exception. I also visited the online bureaus of the BBB and found possibly the most dismal rating I've ever seen for a company. An F rating with over 800 complaints almost exclusively pertaining to rebate issues.
    I made a personal call to the attorney for the FTC for additional information regarding the case. She informed me that the suit had indeed been settled and Soyo ordered to pay all outstanding rebates. She gave me her fax number so I could send her all my supporting materials. She promised to pass them along to Soyo to "help" them comply with the courts ruling. Via an email, Soyo instucted me to fax the same materials to them they failed, however, to include a contact name or even a fax number. I faxed the materials to their corporate fax number in California listed on their website. I replied to their original email with the information but was instructed to re-fax the information this time to a different fax number. This seemed a little disjoint given that I had fulfilled everything that was required of me, in good faith originally. Soyo, it seems, is continuing to play the "breakage" on the system despite a court order to pay up. During my discourse with Soyo and the FTC, I made a couple of email communications to eCost regarding the situation. Surprisingly, I received a phone call within an hour, from an eCost representative. We spoke for a few minutes about the FTC case against Soyo and eCost's relationship with their vendors and customers. Nothing much more was discussed and I dismissed the call thinking "that was useless". Quite literally, 4 days later I receive in the mail a check from eCost for $60.00. I've heard nothing else from Soyo who incidentally, where continuing to require customers to jump through additional hoops to receive their rebates.
    The happy ending to all this was the fact that eCost, with little or no fuss, once made aware of the awful treatment proffered by one of their vendors, made things right. I had all but given up any hope of seeing a corporate entity, respond to a customer need quickly. This is the kind of responsiveness that makes for customer loyalty. I will repay that responsiveness by making a $60.00 purchase from their site and passing along this communication on all the forums I frequent.

    Good Job eCost

    — aceware · 2007-05-07 12:57 · #

  35. the rebate issue is clearly FRAUD on the part of SOYO. this may be reportable to the FEDERAL "FAIR TRADE COMMISION" or SOME OTHER FEDERAL AGENCY.
    Clearly the practice of baiting customers with rebates and never paying off is illegal. There must be a law governing this. The internet is a prime platform for advertising FRAUD.\I hope that SOYO reads the blogs

    — bill · 2007-05-10 14:38 · #

  36. I got caught on the same rebate deal as
    ken Anderson and have not been able to contact anyone other than ecost who told me they were not involved in the said rebate from soyo. I to registered on line and have a rebate number but no check. This will make me leary about rebate programs from everyone I personally don't know why they aren't deducted at time of purchase.

    — Olen Seidler · 2007-05-15 13:25 · #

  37. WUNDERFUL..!I GOT MY REBATE CHECK..FINALLY..AND IT CLEARED MY BANK..!ERIK STRASSER'S TELEPHONE NUMBER IS:909-292-2518..HE'S THE CEO OF SOYO..YOU SHOULD FILE A COMPLAINT WITH THE FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION..GO TO: ftc.gov ......

    — Daniel W Sass · 2007-06-24 12:19 · #

  38. I also bought the Soyo monitor from www.e-cost.com expecting to get the $70 rebate and nothing has happened. I found this by searching Soyo and rebate. I just sent a letter of my experience and dissapointment to www.e-cost.com and will be filling a complaint with the FTC. I am also going to put a page up on my site (and recommend everyone else do the same) describing how Soyo is committing fraud. The more pages like this the more likely they will come in higher in Google searches and get attention (squeaky wheel gets the oil kind of thing) and prevent others from getting screwed.

    — Michael Hartman · 2007-07-04 12:27 · #

  39. I filled a complaint with the FTC. Sent emails to eCost and Soyo. I got replies from all of them. Soyo wanted me to send copies of the paperwork I submitted. I did and they replied the same day stating I would get my check in a week. If you still have not gotten your rebate send an email to rebate@soyogroup.com
    Even if I get the rebate next week I will never buy anything from eCost or Soyo. Too much of a PITA to get what was offered.

    — Michael Hartman · 2007-07-14 14:28 · #

  40. Just got my check. Only took 6 months! If you are still waiting email rebate@soyogroup.com with copies of your forms. I will never make another purchase from eCost or Soyo. There are too many GOOD companies to put up with crappy service and fraud.

    — Michael Hartman · 2007-07-22 09:03 · #

  41. I bought a TV from SOYO which broke the third time I turned it on. I returned it as requested (in the original packaging) well within the required warranty period. Conveniently, they claim that the TV had a busted up screen and that they couldn't fix it and had to return it to me as is. They suggested I ask DHL to pay for damages during shipping. Does anyone else think this is fishy? I don't know what to do or who to contact. I paid $800 for that piece of junk. Please email me at lillysmith404@gmail.com if you have any suggestions! HELP!!

    — CC · 2007-08-15 12:57 · #

  42. I to am still waiting for my rebate check. I bought my tv's from shopnbc because it seemed like a good deal. The tv's are working great but the rebate still hasn't shown up. I filled it as soon as I got my tv in march filled out the proper information sent in everything I was supposed to and still nothing. Has anyone contacted shopnbc ? I'm suer the won't want the bad publicity. I have bought a number of things from shopnbc and have had no problems with any other purchase. If anyone else who has bought their tv's from shopnbc has contacted them I would be interested in what they said,

    — tom yurkovich · 2007-08-21 18:11 · #

  43. As a result of the Robert Lewis Jr. v. Soyo Group, Inc., etal lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court, [Case No. EDCV 06-600 VAP (JWJx)], my rebate for item purchased in August 2004 was finally received in early January 2008. Satisfaction in a free society still prevails. Thank you Mr. Lewis.

    — Ted Mrozinski · 2008-02-08 23:26 · #

 
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