Dish DTVPal / Echostar TR40 digital to analog converter - Page 22 - AVS Forum
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post #631 of 6754 Old 06-10-2008, 07:53 PM
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The key phrase is "to the extent possible". Those weasel words translate to "we're not going to do anything but are ashamed to admit it".
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post #632 of 6754 Old 06-10-2008, 08:01 PM
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Swift action, yes, ensuring a remedy, no way. The NTIA was looking out for #1. They ensured retailers remedied adverse affects to the NTIA, not to the customer. They got the coupon money back in the treasury, but are now saying via staus report that they don't have enough admin money (they get 10% of the budget for admin costs) to redistribute the expired coupons. That's where they lose more credibility. They point out that the 42% coupon waste rate is actually lower than they expected. As we know, the program calls for redistributing wasted coupons back into the pool. So although they have fewer coupons to redistribute than expected, they now say they don't have the admin funds to redistribute the coupons. Whose bad planning was that?
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post #633 of 6754 Old 06-10-2008, 08:40 PM
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Several points regarding this Provantage mess....

1) The NTIA is not a private business. They cannot bend the rules of the program as defined just because of consumer goodwill or "customer service." This is a government program. The only way to create a provision for the reissue of expired/forfeited coupons is to pass legislation enacting such a provision. That is why consumers will run into a brick wall trying to get help from the NTIA. Part of the model of the coupon program is dependent on consumers not redeeming their coupons or forfeiting them, allowing those funds to replenish the general account for future coupon applicants.

2) Perhaps one reason why Provantage is no longer in the NTIA program is they blatantly violated the terms of the program. It's stated quite plainly that you are to make a good faith effort in having supply on hand to deliver to customers. They did not, and now that the price has gone up, they're not willing to eat the additional cost as part of customer goodwill, and instead have thrown their customers under the bus, not once but twice. The NTIA will toss retailers out of the program who are caught violating the rules, because it hurts consumers.

3) The direct implication of this is that it hurt everyone who did business with Provantage, which has absolutely abdicated their own responsibility in this matter in a frankly shoddy, low class, and shameful way. Even if your coupon has not expired, the very fact that Provantage got authorization to process the coupon invalidated it from that moment on. Once the coupon number is validated, the coupon is deactivated. It cannot be reissued or refunded under any circumstances.

Provantage knows this, as does anyone who reads the terms and conditions of the program, but has chosen to try and protect themselves from the blowback by passing the buck onto the NTIA for their own irresponsibility. Provantage may not have personally profited from the coupon proceeds, but they have harmed their customers who now have no path to getting those coupons replaced. In short, you are out of luck if you did the Provantage deal. It cost you your $40 coupon.

It also caused Provantage my business going forward. I would never deal with a company that left their customers at the bottom of the pool like this, especially while making excuses and not accepting their own culpability in this mess. There is only one entity at fault for the loss of the $40 coupon - Provantage.

I have forwarded this matter to the Office of the Inspector General, Enforcement Division of the NTIA for further investigation. Although retailers are not punished for incidental/low numbers of technical violations of the converter box coupon program, this one affects many thousands of customers and rivals the case of Mosquito Productions, which accepted orders for boxes never delivered to consumers. Merely getting out of the program does not free a retailer from the potential liability of civil penalties and fines. Considering Provantage's excuses, I wouldn't mind seeing them have to break out the checkbook and make space for plenty of zeroes.
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post #634 of 6754 Old 06-10-2008, 09:37 PM
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RETAILER UPDATE:

Today didn't end up providing too much new information. I should have a clearer picture within the next couple of days and we will have an announcement of some sort for those who placed preorders on Friday. I do feel that I need to applaud the folks at Sling as they are handling this very professionally, and they have all the best intentions on a personal level. Sometimes the decisions are just out of their control, and I understand that.

My real struggle here boils down to ethics. I personally have been the victim of some bait and switch tactics with Dish Network in the past as one of their customers, and this latest news appears to be giving the consumer a big "screw you." Assuming that I would still have access to product, regardless of price, do I continue to offer it? Or do I take the higher ground and not offer it? I'm not sure where I fall yet.
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post #635 of 6754 Old 06-10-2008, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquito View Post

RETAILER UPDATE:

Today didn't end up providing too much new information. I should have a clearer picture within the next couple of days and we will have an announcement of some sort for those who placed preorders on Friday. I do feel that I need to applaud the folks at Sling as they are handling this very professionally, and they have all the best intentions on a personal level. Sometimes the decisions are just out of their control, and I understand that.

My real struggle here boils down to ethics. I personally have been the victim of some bait and switch tactics with Dish Network in the past as one of their customers, and this latest news appears to be giving the consumer a big "screw you." Assuming that I would still have access to product, regardless of price, do I continue to offer it? Or do I take the higher ground and not offer it? I'm not sure where I fall yet.

If there is a demand and you can make money they I say carry it. Of course they deserve the same price as RCA and Zenith ect. BUT a raise in price should carry with it a raise in box features and quality. imo
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post #636 of 6754 Old 06-10-2008, 10:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Symbios View Post

Provantage.com says my order is still in progress. Perhaps it's because I ordered after the name was changed.

Fingers crossed...

i haven't gotten the cancellation but I'm expecting it...

according to this thread provantage is not certified anymore?
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1036540

they don't sell any converter boxes if you search their main website now...
It looks like I've wasted $80 worth of coupons...
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post #637 of 6754 Old 06-10-2008, 11:39 PM
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So far, it looks like the cancellation email is only being sent to those who ordered the TR-40. Makes me wonder if they screwed something up when changing those orders. Maybe their system still thinks they ordered the TR-40, so it's firing off all these emails.
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post #638 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 12:05 AM
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Mosquito, do what makes business sense. I do think they will sell, because it has unique features. It may be the best I can do before my coupons expire, and if so, they won't lose the box sale. They may however, have lost the Dish sale over this. I will remember DishNetwork doesn't keep public commitments and treats their partners poorly -- and I have 4 pay tv choices.
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post #639 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 12:06 AM
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Thanks for the news. TalkingRat
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/congress/200...use_080610.pdf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernadette McGuire-Rivera View Post

"To date no egregious instances of waste, fraud and abuse have been discovered."

It does sound like they were talking As of June 3, 2008.
However, I guess they are not been discovering what we have.

They also must not have discovered they are the leading contributing factor to these instances of waste, fraud and abuse because of the coupons expiration and worst of all a very deceiving approved list of converter boxes that make the public think there are really that many in the market especially those with a PassThru feature.

Quote:


NTIA is continuing to certify boxes and is expediting review of those that have
the capability to pass-through the analog signals
that will continue to be transmitted by
many low-power and television translator stations after February 17, 2009.

How was Zenith expedited but Insignia and MicroProse weren't?

Quote:


Challenges
As with any new program as large, complex and time bound as the Coupon
Program, challenges continually arise. NTIA currently faces several such challenges and
is working diligently to address them quickly and in a manner that serves the best
interests of the American people.

They think it is "Eligibility of Nursing Home Residents and Persons Utilizing a P.O. Box"

I would think box approval and market availability would be the biggest challenge and that would avoid the coupons expiration problem.

I actually think they should hold off on giving more coupon approvals until they first fix box approvals and market availability but this won't happen.

Secretary Gutierrez said: “I encourage all Americans who have ordered a coupon to purchase your
eligible converter box within the 90-day required timeframe.”

They don't care what converter box you are FORCED to purchase.


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post #640 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 12:10 AM
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I see you found a number of her platitudes. The "encouragement" to order before the 90 days was up, wasn't that a nice touch? *gags*
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post #641 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 05:32 AM
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The number to call is 866-296-1107. This is the retail arm of this dumb program. I spoke to Dwayne this morning and he has actually heard of this problem with Provantage. This has to go to their supervisors, however. They will take the numbers of your coupons and hopefully reinstate the coupons or reissue them. I thought mine had been thrown out but luckily they weren't.
So, are we ordering these suckers, or not? And what is a second choice?
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post #642 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 06:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquito View Post

RETAILER UPDATE:

Today didn't end up providing too much new information. I should have a clearer picture within the next couple of days and we will have an announcement of some sort for those who placed preorders on Friday. I do feel that I need to applaud the folks at Sling as they are handling this very professionally, and they have all the best intentions on a personal level. Sometimes the decisions are just out of their control, and I understand that.

My real struggle here boils down to ethics. I personally have been the victim of some bait and switch tactics with Dish Network in the past as one of their customers, and this latest news appears to be giving the consumer a big "screw you." Assuming that I would still have access to product, regardless of price, do I continue to offer it? Or do I take the higher ground and not offer it? I'm not sure where I fall yet.

I think having as wide a selection of boxes as possible is important to consumers. The number of models widely available and tested in the field by consumers to generate reviews is small.

I would favor you carry the box at what price makes business sense for you. I also think that it would be best if you would let people who have preordered preserve their orders by being given the option to pay the new price.
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post #643 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 06:03 AM
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Yeah, so they encourage you to order before the 90 days is up. No kidding! But what about those of us who did, had Provantage cancel our orders, but in the interim our coupon has expired. What is the NTIA going to do for us consumers? We did what we were supposed to and none of this is our fault. I really hope we can get a prompt clarification from them about this situation. They clearly have the authority to take care of this and reissue a new coupon if they so choose. The question is whether or not they acknowledge they are supposed to be there to serve the American public and have the integrity to actually do so.
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post #644 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 06:21 AM
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I talked to a Provantage Customer Service rep yesterday (Kathy Zwick) and was told that they had been decertified by NTIA over the preorder actions. She also said that they had it in writing from the NTIA that they will reissue the coupons to us. I think they just were doing what they thought was within the rules and NTIA did not agree. Lets hope that NTIA keeps their word.
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post #645 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leschitester View Post

She also said that they had it in writing from the NTIA that they will reissue the coupons to us.

Okay, but how is it being handled? Is it being handled automatically between them and the NTIA (i.e. they're sending a list of all coupons to them) or must we contact the NTIA ourselves? And if so, exactly what phone # do we call?
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post #646 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daiquiri View Post

The number to call is 866-296-1107. This is the retail arm of this dumb program. I spoke to Dwayne this morning and he has actually heard of this problem with Provantage. This has to go to their supervisors, however. They will take the numbers of your coupons and hopefully reinstate the coupons or reissue them. I thought mine had been thrown out but luckily they weren't.
So, are we ordering these suckers, or not? And what is a second choice?

Thanks for the number - that is for the Retailer Support desk and the guy who answered (Rick) was no help whatsoever. He immediately transferred me to the Consumer Support number which, of course, has no one currently available to answer calls Maybe I will keep calling until I get Dwayne.
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post #647 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 06:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

wonder if they can do this after then been approved by NTIA? When Approved the Price Was $40 not $60?

Yes, Dish can set their own price. NTIA only certifies the features qualifying a box for the $40 Coupon program. NTIA doesn't set the Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) Further, retailers are not legally bound to sell for the MSRP, they can generally set whatever price the market will bear.

Dish realizes there's a pent-up demand for CECBs and sees less need to sell these as a "loss leader".

The real kicker, though, is that we don't know whether the actual RF performance, PQ and audio of the DTVPal is as good as other CECBs on the market. Actual real-life performance as an ATSC tuner could be inferior to the LG/Zenith/Insignia. We just don't know.
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post #648 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 07:01 AM
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I guess if it does come out for $60, that bringing along the Dish Network flyer showing all the features it was supposed to have for $40 won't do any good. Did their site http://www.dtvpal.com/
ever say it was $40 (before coupon)?

Neil
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post #649 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 07:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nottenst View Post

I guess if it does come out for $60, that bringing along the Dish Network flyer showing all the features it was supposed to have for $40 won't do any good. Did their site http://www.dtvpal.com/
ever say it was $40 (before coupon)?

Neil

Most definitely. And any "we can't control what our retailers charge" "complaint" is Dish-ingenuous. If they want retailers to sell it as a loss leader for $39.99, there are ways to make the retailer whole on other products they offer. It happens all the time. And if it really was totally out of their control, they could always offer the retailer or consumer a separate rebate for any payment over the $40. So don't fall for any Dish attempt to lay the blame elsewhere.

http://sats.client.shareholder.com/r...leaseID=284881

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post #650 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 08:10 AM
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And they even bragged about the $39.99 at retail price point. Basically telling the world that they were the only bold soul out there willing to give the consumer a break . . . . . We'll see how much integrity the company has once the product actually starts showing up at retailers in another couple of weeks..
-----------------------------

EchoStar chairman Charlie Ergen agreed that the TR-40's price point is a dramatic announcement, considering LG Electronics' price point of $59.95, and conceded that EchoStar would lose money on the product. But he said that if the product is successful, it will free up broadcast spectrum, which is of benefit to everyone, and perhaps buy EchoStar a little goodwill when a free-over-the-TV viewer decides to step up to a pay TV service.

No company has really stepped up to make this transition happen, he added. We're saying that we will make a product available for $39.99, and there's no reason the digital transition can't take place.

The TR-40 -- which will be sold under both the EchoStar and Sling brands -- will be sold at online, at EchoStar retailers and at the 5,000 brick-and-mortar retailers that currently sell Slingboxes, Sling chairman, founder and CEO Blake Krikorian said.


http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6517714.html

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post #651 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 08:21 AM
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From the talk on SatelliteGuys, it sounds like Dish themselves will sell for $60.

From a profit standpoint, seatacboy made some great points. Dish would be leaving money on the table not to take advantage of the pent up APT demand, and funny as it sounds, they are among the first. The pricing makes profit sense, it just grates terribly against the backdrop of their loudly proclaimed altruistic intent in January. The week before release, leaking the $60 price to Dish customers without telling online retailers where they stand on price commitment, that's not a good business decision.

The MicroTune tuner was something I thought about -- although with this "two boxes" news Dish just dropped on us, who knows what we are getting. Assuming it's MicroTune tuner, Sansonic and Lasonic used MicroTune and I don't recall the same strong reviews that LG/Sanyo tuners got. For my current location, it won't matter, but I am anticipating a potential move.
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post #652 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 10:17 AM
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A bit of DTVPal news. Scott Greczkowski at Satellite Guys got a DTVPal in the mail today. Someone commented "This thing had better convert digital TVGOS to analog TVGOS or it's of no use to me." and Scott replied "It does." I asked about it being PSIP, and Scott said "The guide data is PSIP, however the DTVPal can be controlled by TVGUIDE ONSCREEN." I know some people here were hoping that's how it would work.
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post #653 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 10:22 AM
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Finally! We can get some hard information and stop all the speculation...

http://www.satelliteguys.us/dish-net...tv-pal-10.html
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post #654 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MythSpell View Post

Okay, but how is it being handled? Is it being handled automatically between them and the NTIA (i.e. they're sending a list of all coupons to them) or must we contact the NTIA ourselves? And if so, exactly what phone # do we call?

She said that the NTIA would be handling it automatically. I'm not sure that I believe it but that was what she said. I don't think it would hurt for us to keep calling the NTIA.
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post #655 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 10:27 AM
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This is what I said 2 weeks ago. I tried to get to the bottom of this pre-order process and pretty much got scolded by people here that I shouldn't be mad at them.

I just said I'm mad at the system and trying to learn the pre-order process. In the end after I got the facts I said this process that PROVANTAGE is using doesn't sound legitimate.

I was right.

Now what about this FreeDTV place. What if they don't receive their shipment and those whose coupons expire close to 6/20 will be screwed?

Hey I was forced to the Zenith (use it or lose it).

I sent 3 e-mails to Francie Bauer (or whatever the name at DISH) and was led on, I sent a nasty e-mail to NTIA (3 names) and received nothing back but the 90 day rule (that I already knew).

I think DISH has lost me from ever considering them for satellite. And as far as the government is concerned, I'm through trying to convince the Repubs the errors of their ways. They can keep paying $4.50 for gas.

And by the way MSNBC is reporting 42% were redeemed (use it or lose it), 58% were expired and not redeemed. While the NTIA sits on their ass.
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post #656 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 10:47 AM
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Am I the only one who has not received the dreaded e-mail from Provantage? I know the writings on the wall, but still, what's taking them so long? Or is there still hope for those like me who ordered a DTV-Pal, not a TR-40?

Enjoying crystal clear TV for free.


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post #657 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 10:49 AM
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You're not alone, I haven't received it either. And Provantage still says my order is in progress.
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post #658 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MythSpell View Post

Yeah, so they encourage you to order before the 90 days is up. No kidding! But what about those of us who did, had Provantage cancel our orders, but in the interim our coupon has expired. What is the NTIA going to do for us consumers? We did what we were supposed to and none of this is our fault. I really hope we can get a prompt clarification from them about this situation. They clearly have the authority to take care of this and reissue a new coupon if they so choose. The question is whether or not they acknowledge they are supposed to be there to serve the American public and have the integrity to actually do so.

What the NTIA is doing for the consumers that have expired coupons is making the "Eligibility of Nursing Home Residents and Persons Utilizing a P.O. Box" their top priority.
Once this goes through I guess the NTIA is telling those with expired coupons to get a P.O. Box or get a coupons from someone in a Nursing Home.


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post #659 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 11:08 AM
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Since Provantage is no longer an authorized coupon dealer you will be getting the dreaded email or you fell through the cracks.
Do call NTIA 866-296-1107 and tell them you are calling to give them the numbers of the coupons that you used with Provantage. That it was already approved (it was with me). That should get them busy (I hope). I told Provantage that this sounds like fraud to me and they didn't like that at all.
DO NOT COUNT ON ANYTHING HAPPENING AUTOMATICALLY!!! Provantage even gave out the wrong telephone number to call, so don't believe anything they say.
Meanwhile, what other converter is decent? I will need at least one other converter for my PIP Sony.
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post #660 of 6754 Old 06-11-2008, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malouff View Post

SatelliteGuys.US has now posted the audio files and there is more there.

I've visited SatelliteGuys.US but I can't find the Charlie Chat material. Can you direct me? Is the whole show archived somewhere?
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