An ‘Authorized Dish Network Retailer’ is preying on the confusion surrounding the DTV transition to sell its satellite television services, suggested in lieu of cable companies because of “Complaints” and “Lack of HD Channels”. Full copy of the letter inside.
Congress may soon help the 1.76 million consumers anxiously waiting for their $40 digital TV converter coupons. According to Congress Daily, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) is drafting legislation to push back the February 17 digital television transition deadline as requested last week by both Consumers Union and the incoming Obama Administration.
Well, it seems like there are a lot of people with analog tvs that watch programming using an antenna— because the DTV coupon program says it’s nearing the program’s $1.34 billion funding limit.
Judging by our inbox, there are still a lot of people who don’t understand the Digital Broadcast Television Switch. Here are some myths that you can help debunk at your next family gathering.
There has been some demand among readers for a flowchart that explains how you will be affected by the digital TV switch that will happen this February. Your wish is our command.
…the five FCC Commissioners and other Commission staff will fan out to [selected] markets to raise awareness and educate consumers.
We know you’re too smart to fall for this ridiculously fraudulent digital TV converter offer, but maybe you know someone who’s not wise to the facts of the upcoming switch to digital TV—specifically that converter boxes cost less than $100, and that you can get a government coupon to offset $40 of that cost. Universal TechTronics—the same scam outfit behind those “Amish” Heat Surge miracle fireplaces—is now conning the less knowledegable with their “free” converter box offer: pay nothing but a warranty and shipping, bringing the total cost to anywhere between $68 and $97. The Los Angeles Times says this is “the first large-scale [converter box] scam the Better Business Bureau has seen.”
Circuit City wouldn’t let Larry redeem his $40 digital transition converter box coupon unless he signed a credit slip agreeing to pay $40. Larry refused, and asked to cancel the transaction. Circuit City’s manager responded by calling the police before following Larry into the parking lot to write down his license plate number.
Cablevision responded to our post chastising their attempt to force customer to upgrade to digital service by pointing to an unrelated FCC mandate. Cablevision admits that there is no connection between their unilateral business decision to cut channels and the FCC-mandated transition to digital television, but their statement leaves several questions unanswered. Read Cablevision’s statement and our response, after the jump.
Update: Cablevision responds.
The government is giving out $40 coupons for digital TV converters (background: Federal law mandates that all broadcasters switch to digital signals in 2009, meaning that you will need to get a little doohicky box if your set only takes analog signals) but you shouldn’t get it quite yet. Crave tells us why:
Howdy there partner, are you one of them DTV Deputies? No? The FCC thinks it’s high time you take the transition to digital television into your own hands. Because why pay for test trials in select communities when you can use early-90′s sound effects and cutting edge graphics to bait consumers into studying for a 13-question quiz?
The federal government continues to bungle the transition to digital television, this time by making it difficult for consumers to redeem subsidy coupons for DTV converter boxes.