In a little more than a year all analog TVs will be rendered useless with out the use of a digital converter box. One recent study shows how some retailers are using this to take advantage of customers.
The government mandated transition of all full-powered television stations from analog to digital will happen on February 17th, 2009. Analog TV’s will work but a digital converter box will need to be purchased, it will cost anywhere from $50-$70.
CoPIRG, or Colorado Public Interest Research Group, says some retailers are using this to make money from its customers. The group conducted “secret shopper” surveys at 132 locations in 10 states, including the Denver metro area.
In Colorado they found that; 94% of sales staff provided inaccurate information about converter boxes, 81% gave inaccurate information about the coupon program, and 19% gave incorrect information about the actual transition date.
11 News went into local electronics stores, including Circuit City, REX, US Tech and Radio Shack, posing as a customer and no sales associate tried to sell anything that is not necessary for the conversion. Many local stores do not even carry the digital converter boxes yet.
For any additional information on the transition or the coupon program go to www.dtv.gov.