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November 2, 2015

Lime-A-Way: Money Back (Not) Guaranteed

Filed under: Food/Groceries,Internet,Retail — Edgar (aka MrConsumer) @ 5:57 am

Lime-A-WayRecently, MrConsumer needed to clean some pavers that had a cloudy white stain on them. At the supermarket, he was attracted to Lime-A-Way bottles because of a sticker promising a full price rebate just to try the product. He could not read the terms of the rebate because the sticker was really a plastic envelope and one would have to tear along the perforation lines to remove the sticker and reveal the details that were inside.

After coming home, MrConsumer broke the seal to discover the rebate had actually expired about two months earlier. Drats.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Lime-A-Way Try Me

MrConsumer then checked the Lime-A-Way website, and right there on the homepage was a money back guarantee if you were not satisfied with the product’s performance.

Since in fact it did nothing to remove the cloudy white stain from the pavers, MrConsumer enclosed the receipt and the guarantee form from their website and sent it off to the company. A few weeks later, a surprise came in the mail:

lime-a-way envelope

It said “Return to Sender. Offer Expired. Box Closed.”

In fact, according to the form that was mailed in, the money back guarantee didn’t expire until December 31, 2015.

*MOUSE PRINT:

Lime-A-Way deadline

Two refund attempts… two failures. So we wrote to the PR folks at Reckitt Benckiser to ask why they didn’t put the expiration date of the “try me” rebate on the outside of the package so shoppers could see it in the store, and how is it that their P.O. box to accept refund requests through the end of the year was closed. Their UK headquarters forwarded our request to their US office, and no further response was received from the company. However, curiously, the Lime-A-Way website has been changed, and no longer has a money back guarantee.

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9 Comments

  1. I find it strange that the post office had an “offer expired” stamp. The company obviously received the mail, stamped it, and then returned it to the post office as refused. They never even looked at it.

    Comment by Dennis — November 2, 2015 @ 10:26 am
  2. I work for the post office. This is way more common than you would think. The post office has stamps made up for this and other scenarios because so many companies open PO Boxes for rebate and other offers for a limited time and then close the box to prevent any more submissions.

    Comment by Jay Goodman — November 2, 2015 @ 11:56 am
  3. If the store where it was purchased would get more complaints, they would act quickly to defuse this situation. Surely the store guarantees its goods?

    Comment by MerryMarjie — November 2, 2015 @ 1:08 pm
  4. To quote from the musical My Fair Lady, “Words, words, words, I’m so sick of words.”

    The only way this type of scam can/will get “defused” is by taking the companies to court for fraud and/or false, misleading and deceptive advertising; or better yet, a class action.

    But the problem is that few people want to do it; they take the loss, bitch and complain and then go about their daily business, leaving the companies to continue to screw over consumers.

    Comment by David G — November 2, 2015 @ 8:26 pm
  5. Good work if you actually managed to encourage the company to change their website. I assume that providing a response to you would have been evidence of them acknowledging their mistake. The label should clearly have the expiration date on the outside of the package.

    Comment by Wayne R — November 2, 2015 @ 8:48 pm
  6. It looks like Lime-A-Way gave you the Run-A-Round, Edgar.

    Comment by Bearcat44 — November 2, 2015 @ 9:02 pm
  7. If they don’t respond privately, you might consider a post on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/discoverRB/timeline

    Comment by Alan — November 3, 2015 @ 12:05 am
  8. The way in which Lime-A-Way changed their website to remove the mention of a money back guarantee leads back to the October 2015 column about written warranties.

    A new visitor to their site would not know there had ever been a money back deal. Lime-A-Way gets away with an unfulfilled promise. There are other products that claim to do the same kind of cleaning. You may be just one customer, but patronize one of the other products. Remember that a happy customer tells 3-5 people, and an unhappy one goes on the internet and tells the world.

    You’d think that companies would have learned this by now.

    Comment by bobl — November 4, 2015 @ 9:43 am
  9. Your paver problem is probably efflorescence. Search for cleaners specifically for that condition.

    Comment by PC — November 4, 2015 @ 11:29 pm

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