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July 5, 2008

Universal TechTronics And The Art Of Digital TV Converter Box Scamming

Snake Oil Salesman.jpgIt's no surprise that DTV2009 is bringing scammers out of the woodwork. You know, those that take advantage of the lack of consumer awareness surrounding the digital transition in order to make a few bucks. The latest crooked company, Ohio-based Universal TechTronics, has recently been running a campaign offering a "free" digital TV converter box.

The United States Deptartment of Commerce is preparing everyone for the switch to digital television by authorizing payment coupons for certified brands of these special TV boxes.

But the government process has us all tied up.

That's why Universal TechTronics is providing these Miracle ClearView TV boxes immediately to the general public for free for everyone who gets the 5yr. warranty.

The premise behind the offer is that the US government if having trouble pulling through its end of the $40 converter box coupon program and Universal is providing a public service by offering its free Miracle ClearView boxes. The only problem with this is that the box is free with the purchase of a $88 5-year warranty and a nearly $10 shipping charge. The company also claims the Miracle ClearView converter box is certified by the NTIA, but not so. This same company has used questionable sales tactics in the past and has been deemed "unsatisfactory" by the Better Business Bureau. Word to the wise: sometimes it's just better to wait on your $40 coupon.

Via New York Times

Read More in: Digital TV Transition 2009

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Posted by Justin Davey at July 5, 2008 5:52 AM

Recent Comments

In response to questions regarding Universal Techtronics and its digital converter box, we do not simply offer the “same thing” as many big-box retailers. Universal offers not only a better converter box option than most, it stands behind its product with the best warranty available. The facts are:

1. It is very important that consumers know that Universal’s converter box features Analog pass through, an item present on approximately 15% of available converter boxes. Without this feature many consumers will lose access to local television channels which will have yet to convert to digital by February 2009.

2. Most retail purchased converter boxes come with a 1 year warranty for the $50 price. Customers purchasing these boxes are doing so to avoid the cost of replacing their television and/or having to pay for cable or satellite to obtain local channels. If these converter boxes fail, Universal Techtronics offers several warranty programs up to 5 years. With our warranty offer, many consumers purchasing from big-box retailers who find problems with their box will be back where they began hoping to find a box assuming they will still readily available through retail a year from now.

3. Obtaining the $40 government coupon is not the timely, seamless process that one would hope. Furthermore, they do expire. Combining this fact with the reality that retailers have reported to have been out of stock can lead to a frustrating experience for the consumer. Purchasing a Universal Techtronics converter box eliminates the need to acquire a government coupon while still offering a government certified converter box.

4. Universal offers the convenience of knowledgeable salespeople, customer technical support through our customer service department, and delivery to the customer’s door.

We believe it is important that consumers have purchase options. For our converter box to be an alternative that consumers will consider, Universal needs to offer a better value.

To answer inquiries cited by the Better Business Bureau from a completely different product line, we’ve taken significant steps to further upgrade our customer service. These solutions have included increased customer service, extended hours and improved product handling methods. These have resulted in all of the complaints being resolved to the satisfaction of the consumer.


Chris Pugh
Communications Specialist
Universal Techtronics

Posted by: Chris Pugh at August 1, 2008 2:27 PM
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