01.30.09

Is Microsoft Live Cashback a Scam?

Posted in Finance, Gadgets at 11:29 pm by Jim

During the holidays (November/December 2008), Microsoft made an interesting effort to gain search engine users. Essentially, if you used their Live.com search site and followed all the rules, you could get cashback on your purchases at various stores. Big deal you say…you’ve heard of sites that offer this like Fatwallet.com, right? Well, the difference here was that some sites offered up to 35% cashback..in fact, some very random purchases were eligible for much higher amounts of cashback.

Ebay was a pretty steady 25-35% number during this time. I took advantage of the offer and bought a laptop on Ebay and some handmade flannel racecar sheets for Will’s bed. I love a bargain and made sure I followed all the rules to the letter…even going so far as to NOT use the coupon Ebay sent me because the cashback was voided by any use of coupons.

My live.com cashback account immediately showed the monies, but said I had to wait 60 days before I could claim the cash. No, problem. That is pretty typical of other sites that do things like this. By making you wait, they ensure you didn’t return the item.

Well, to make a long story short, this week my 60 days are up and my Live.com cashback account is now showing that payment to my paypal account “failed”. Specifically, their error message elaborates to say:

We’ve encounterd a problem depositing your cashback reward into the PayPal account that you used for your eBay purchase. But we will keep trying.

Sounds weird right? Well, plenty of other people are getting the same message. Here is a thread on Fatwallet about the Failed issue.

So, I’m going to document my pursuit of my approximately $150 here on my blog. We’ll see how it goes. I have screenshots and emails that prove my case. So, worst case I figure I file in small claims court and get my money there.

EDIT: Found another thread on Slickdeals where people are getting the same issue.

18 Comments »

  1. Jonathan Harkness said,

    January 31, 2009 at 3:11 pm

    I have $410.50 that is owed me and I keep getting the form e-mails that do not answer my question.

    If this does not go well for us all I think a class action lawsuit is the approach that will work.

    Keep my e-mail address and the others you receive. Some law firm will take it on.

  2. Alicia Keltner said,

    January 31, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    I’m in the same boat. My $151.70 cash back was set to clear it’s 60 day hold on January 30th…yesterday. And yesterday it shows “failed”.

    Maybe too many cashbacks came due at the end of January and it’s clogged up the Microsoft CashBack system? That’s wishful thinking. If anything, they simply don’t HAVE the money to pay the cashbacks. From the things I’m seeing online in the last 48 hours…this is gonna be a BIG story soon if the problems don’t get resolved.

    Man, and I really need that $151!!!

  3. Frank said,

    February 6, 2009 at 7:15 pm

    I am having the same problem with microsoft cashback. I have sent over 10 emails with either no response or a generic form reply. I tried to dispute with my credit card company, and it is past the time limit. What really stinks is that they have no phone number or live help.

  4. Mad As Hell said,

    February 13, 2009 at 11:24 pm

    I’m down with a class action lawsuit but unfortunately the only ones that make out on that deal are the lawyers. I’d rather spread the bad news and see MSFT become a penny stock. Just our luck, the US Gov’t will bail them out with TARP $$$$ and not only will we not get our cashback rewards but our tax dollars will go to Balmer, et al….we’ll all get screwed from both ends….I wonder if we’ll get flowers in the morning?

  5. Jon said,

    February 14, 2009 at 12:25 pm

    All my cashback payments say failed. Sent several emails to cashback help but just got canned replys. Filed a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General (http://www.atg.wa.gov/fileacomplaint.aspx) because this is clearly fraud when a company refuses to fulfill a contract and refuses to communicate with it’s customers. Everyone needs to file a complaint online with the WAG office.

  6. Penny Schroeder said,

    February 16, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Ditto here…I am owed about $400. I have had multiple messages from Live Cashback. They are allegedly looking into my “specific issue.” Oddly probably hundreds or thousands are having the same “specific issue.” How can Microsoft let this happen? And why can’t we change the payment method if PayPal payment is the problem? I don’t think it is!

  7. Tim said,

    February 18, 2009 at 1:32 am

    Same issue here. They owe me over $400, and I’m getting the same form letters that others have described. It has now been 13 days since the last reply on any of my outstanding “failed” payments, so I just sent a new letter for each of the outstanding requests, asking for an update.

    I’ve done everything they’ve asked – verifed that my acct is able to receive payments, verified profile info, etc, etc. It’s starting to look like it was all a bunch of bs.

  8. Jim said,

    February 18, 2009 at 4:11 pm

    Keep trying. They paid me very quickly.

  9. Jon said,

    February 19, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    Received a reply from the Washington State Attorney General’s office on 2/18/09 (http://www.atg.wa.gov/fileacomplaint.aspx) and got a new email from Microsoft on 2/19/09 acknowledging they received my complaint from the AG and explaining that they are trying to fix their problem with Paypal. Still no cashback deposit but now I feel as if someone at Microsoft is at least awake and really reading email.
    Everyone needs to file a complaint online with the WAG office.
    (http://www.atg.wa.gov/fileacomplaint.aspx)

  10. Tim said,

    February 20, 2009 at 1:59 am

    Surprise, surprise!
    I checked my email this evening and saw that I had 7 letters in my inbasket. To my surprise, I finally got my cashback awards, and the emails were my notifications from paypal; one for each transaction. I was beginning to think I would never see the money. I have not gotten any email update from Microsoft on any of the open tickets describing the problems, and I’m not sure I will. But the most important thing is I finally got what they owed me. Better late than never….

  11. Penny Schroeder said,

    February 21, 2009 at 8:50 am

    Likewise…got my cashback about 45 days late, but got several payments at once yesterday.

  12. Jon said,

    February 21, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    Got all my cashback payments on 2/20/09. Looks like Microsoft got the message from users. It only took an extra month and several emails to Microsoft and filing a complaint with the Washington State Attorney General. Worst customer service ever from any company, large or small. Looks like a failed marketing campaign. Sad sad sad.

  13. RICK HERTZON said,

    July 1, 2009 at 7:56 am

    SOMEONE REALLY NEEDS TO FILE SUIT AGAINST EBAY, THEY ARE COMPLICIT WITH MICROSOFT INDUCING PEOPLE TO BUY STUFF WITH THE DISCOUNT AND NEVER PAYING. EBAY IS RECEIVING MONEY FROM FEES GENERATED ON REDUCED COSTS OF ITEMS AND MICROSOFT IS GETTING TO HOLD YOUR MONEY GETTING INTEREST IN THE MILLIONS. WHAT A SCAM!

  14. yaz said,

    July 2, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Still haven’t been paid. Getting MAD!

  15. Eliz Azcona said,

    October 11, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    my own experienece with these sorts of companies happens to be good, people ought to realise the hazards prior to they will agree to something

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