Chapter 11 drives Amp’d Mobile to halt mail-in rebates, costing each customer about $100. PhoneNews.com has confirmed that Amp’d Mobile’s rebate processor has stopped issuing checks (or, in the case of Amp’d, prepaid Visa cards). Amp’d’s rebate processor cited the state of Amp’d Mobile’s bankruptcy as the cause of the halted rebate’s.
Amp’d Mobile’s growth as a MVNO was in no small way due to mail-in rebates. The company posted large growth in the prepaid sector after it started offering large mail-in rebates on prepaid phones. For example, before the bankruptcy, you could purchase a Motorola E816 for $140 with $25 in airtime. A $100 rebate knocked that down to just $15 for the phone itself.
However, this process wasn’t perfect for Amp’d. Hackers managed to flash these phones to work perfectly on Verizon Wireless. Because Amp’d Mobile is a Verizon MVNO, flashing the phones with Verizon firmware resulted in them working perfectly as Verizon devices, complete with features such as V CAST Video. Worse, Amp’d could not even threaten sites detailing this workflow with legal action. The U.S. Copyright Office ruled their actions as perfectly legal.
Of course, phone rebates are not the sole reason for Amp’d bankruptcy, poor management from the company’s founder (self-proclaimed “teen marketing expert” and CEO), resulted in low ARPU, high churn, high default rates, and only releasing their first data-centric device (the Motorola Q), right before declaring bankruptcy.
We at PhoneNews.com suggest that you dispute the charge for the phone with your credit card company. The purchase of an Amp’d Mobile phone included the contractual agreement that you were entitled to a rebate. As such, no rebate means that you have not fully received and completed your purchase.
When filing your complaint with the credit card company, be sure to mail in or fax supporting documentation, including the tracking information for your rebate submission, and a copy of the rebate form itself.