E-bates is a company that gives you cash when you do your online shopping by clicking through their site. You name it, you can get e-bates with it. Travelocity, Entertainment Books, Amazon, Target, Telefora, Sears, Sephora, Home Depot, Macys, Dell, Expedia, QVC, Verizon, etc. etc. etc. You also get paid for making referrals.
Three prong test:
1 - Do we have proof of payment?
2 - Is there a non-internet contact for the company?
3 - Online complaints
1 - YES
2 - YES
3 - There are some, but not enough to totally avoid the company.
1) I was first paid by E-bates on May 25, 2011. I was paid for shopping with both e-bates & Teleflora - plus there's a $5 bonus for signing up! They pay you directly through PayPal - and the minimum payout is ONLY $5 - not like many programs that insist you get $25 or $50. Here's my PayPal image.
2) E-bates is pretty good with responding to e-mails. I had to hound them to get credit for one of my referrals - but their "Customer Care" link on the bottom right of the page is great. They respond to inquires in a timely fashion, and are good about getting folks credit when it's due.
Barring that you can also find them on google maps with a mailing address and a phone number. See this LINK!
3) The BBB (Better Business Bureau) shows that E-bates has 89 complaints in the last 36 months. And there are various complaints on the web where people did not receive credit.
The trick is - keep TRACK of who you click through e-bates to, what date it was, and how much the total was. It also helps to jot down the e-bates confirmation number they show when porting you through. Many of the folks who complain online seem to think that e-bates should look up all of this information for them, instead of being prepared when they contact customer service. E-bates has thousands upon thousands, if not millions of users - so giving them all of the info up front exponentially increases your chances of getting credit for your purchases in a timely fashion. If you're not particularly good at this - E-bates has even made it easier recently - providing each user with a list of their tracking tickets!