Here is my cancellation and it should be noted that the purchase took place a month ago and the sale was closed. It is waiting delivery. The price cannot be changed after the fact. There was an offer at a price and acceptance at that price and payment in full made with receipt.
June 14, 2008
To Our Dear DTVPal Customers:
It is with deep regret that I am writing to inform you that Mosquito Productions and FreeDTVShop.com will no longer be offering the Echostar/Sling Media DTVPal converter box. This is a decision that is out of our control. Up until Monday, June 9th, we had solid committments from Sling Media (a wholly owned subsidiary of Echostar) and our distributor that we would receive stock of the DTVPal during the week of June 16th. We worked extremely hard to establish this distribution channel for the DTVPal over the first 6 months of the year.
On the evening of June 9th, Charlie Ergen, CEO of Echostar Corporation, announced on his Charlie Chat television program on the Dish Network that the DTVPal would be selling for an increased MSRP of $59.99 instead of the original $39.99 MSRP that had been consistently stated by Echostar since January, 2008. This announcement was a surprise to us, as well as our distributor and representatives at Sling Media, especially given that the product was due to be released in approximately one week.
It was a disappointment as well. Ever since January, there have been claims through press releases and other Charlie Chat programs that Echostar was looking to be a leader in the DTV Coupon Program by keeping their MSRP at $39.99. This was a real beakon of hope for a lot of customers that had been disappointed to see that other converter boxes were $10 to $40 more than the $40 coupon value. At FreeDTVShop.com, we had no choice but to set our price at $42.50, which was the lowest price point we could meet without losing money on the unit. We certainly don't expect any company to willingly lose money on a product, which may have been the case with Echostar at the $39.99 price. However, given all the attention that has been focused on the DTVPal up until this point, we would have expected an announcement of a change in price and availability to be made more than one week in advance of the product's release. We would also expect all established distribution channels to be honored. This simply is not the case.
Given the level of scrutiny that has been placed on retailers like us to help ensure consumer protections in the TV coupon program, we hope that the NTIA reviews these latest developments with the DTVPal. If you have any questions or comments that you would like to voice about these changes, you can contact the NTIA's Coupon Program 24-hour hotline at 1-888-DTV-2009 or email them by going to https://www.dtv2009.gov/EmailUs.aspx
We understand that this change is leaving some customers with rapidly approaching coupon expiration dates in a bad situation. For those of you that pre-ordered that DTVPal, we apologize, but have no choice but to cancel your order with us. You are free to use your coupons at any NTIA approved retailer. This cancellation process may take a few days to complete, but you can use your coupons immediately.
We do not have any further information about the availability of the DTVPal, so please allow other customers a chance to get through our phone lines to inquire about other products. We will continue to offer the widest selection of coupon eligible converters on the market today, and our selection will continue to increase over the coming weeks and months.
I apologize to all of our customers for this change, but again, it is a decision that is out of our control. One unfortunate outcome of this cancellation of orders is that the Freedom Calls Foundation (www.freedomcalls.org
) will now be receiving thousands of dollars less from us. We have committed to donate 10% of our profits from converter box sales to this foundation that provides telephone and video conference facilities for our troops overseas free of charge. The Freedom Calls Foundation is completely supported by public donations and receives no funding from the military. We do see the irony in a satellite TV company forcing us to cancel orders resulting in a loss of thousands of dollars worth of donations to a foundation that is centered around satellite communications for our troops. If you have it in your heart, please take a few minutes to check out what they do and send a few dollars their way.
John Buchmann, Owner