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I didn't see this previously posted:

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...desc=topstoryl


Gutierrez: Don't Extend Converter-Coupon Expiration Date

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez has a breakfast metaphor for the DTV-to-analog converter: a box of cereal.

By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/27/2008 12:14:00 PM


Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Mark Fowler once famously referred to TV as a toaster. Now Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez has a breakfast metaphor for the digital-TV-to-analog converter: a box of cereal.

NTIA DTV-to-analog converter box coupon


Gutierrez said the expiration date on the $40 DTV-to-analog converter box coupons Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration is handing out should not be extended beyond 90 days, as some in Congress have asked for, likening it to the coupon on, say, a box of Frosted Flakes.


"I had experience in couponing given my previous background in the cereal business [Kellogg]: 90 days is pretty much the expiration you have on most coupons," he told C-SPAN in an interview for its The Communicators series. "It's long enough to give consumers a chance to think about when they are going to buy and what they are going to buy, but it's short enough to force a decision.


Gutierrez added that the longer the expiration date, the less redemptions there are and eventually the consumers forget they have them. "A lot of what we are doing here is similar to what you do in a packaged-goods industry.[The redemption] should not be any longer," he said.


But some high-profile members of Congress have pushed for extending that date, not wanting those who do forget and then can't obtain the subsidy to show up with pitchforks and torches come election time.


Acting NTIA chief Meredith Attwell Baker has said that the NTIA has the authority to permit reapplication.


Gutierrez also said he didn't think the NTIA needs to ask for any more money now on top of the $1.5 billion allocated for the coupon program, adding, "What we need to do is execute."


The NTIA is the Commerce agency overseeing the coupon program, although it has subcontracted the mechanics of that program to IBM.
 

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Gutierrez was right with his statement "What we need to do is execute." Yeah, the bureaucrats in charge of this program!


For us early submitters, we sign up and submit and THEN find that a 90 day expiration applies. And there are no boxes available. Then boxes slowly appear and none of them have a pass through feature to pick up low powered TV stations that aren't going digital and that the government forgot about. Then some boxes appear that have a left channel sound problem. Then the government shows approved on-line vendors then pulls the plug on them in short order. Then my coupons expire.


"Execute" is right. ASAP. Along with the FEMA people that handled the New Orleans fiasco. And my senators that have ...
 

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It seems to be more apt to liken the CECB Program to "a box of chocolates."
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rec630 /forum/post/14185601

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...desc=topstoryl

......Gutierrez said the expiration date on the $40 DTV-to-analog converter box coupons Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration is handing out should not be extended beyond 90 days, as some in Congress have asked for, likening it to the coupon on, say, a box of Frosted Flakes.


"I had experience in couponing given my previous background in the cereal business [Kellogg]: 90 days is pretty much the expiration you have on most coupons," he told C-SPAN in an interview for its The Communicators series. "It's long enough to give consumers a chance to think about when they are going to buy and what they are going to buy, but it's short enough to force a decision.”


Gutierrez added that the longer the expiration date, the less redemptions there are and eventually the consumers forget they have them. "A lot of what we are doing here is similar to what you do in a packaged-goods industry.”[The redemption] should not be any longer," he said.

Seems like Mr. Gutierrez lacks awareness of the actual experiences of many Americans with the CECB program. There were significant delays getting useful products into stores, there have been shortcomings with first-generation CECB designs, there's been a lot of misinformation disseminated about OTA DTV and the CECB program.


Mr. Gutierrez' remarks might have been taken out of context. Mr. Gutierrez should use the expression "no comment" when dealing with an issue he is unfamiliar with.


Someone should send Mr. Gutierrez' office some links to this AVS Forum discussion of the CECB program, so he can better understand WHY an extended coupon-redemption period may be useful to the American people.


P.S. Slightly off-topic: While C-SPAN generally is a remarkably neutral and unbiased source of political information, they have on occasion done some legislative footwork on behalf of their owners (the pay-TV cable and satellite industry).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rec630 /forum/post/14185601


I didn't see this previously posted:

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/art...desc=topstoryl


Gutierrez: Don't Extend Converter-Coupon Expiration Date

Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez has a breakfast metaphor for the DTV-to-analog converter: a box of cereal.

By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/27/2008 12:14:00 PM


Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Mark Fowler once famously referred to TV as a toaster. Now Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez has a breakfast metaphor for the digital-TV-to-analog converter: a box of cereal.

NTIA DTV-to-analog converter box coupon


Gutierrez said the expiration date on the $40 DTV-to-analog converter box coupons Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration is handing out should not be extended beyond 90 days, as some in Congress have asked for, likening it to the coupon on, say, a box of Frosted Flakes.


"I had experience in couponing given my previous background in the cereal business [Kellogg]: 90 days is pretty much the expiration you have on most coupons," he told C-SPAN in an interview for its The Communicators series. "It's long enough to give consumers a chance to think about when they are going to buy and what they are going to buy, but it's short enough to force a decision.


Gutierrez added that the longer the expiration date, the less redemptions there are and eventually the consumers forget they have them. "A lot of what we are doing here is similar to what you do in a packaged-goods industry.[The redemption] should not be any longer," he said.


But some high-profile members of Congress have pushed for extending that date, not wanting those who do forget and then can't obtain the subsidy to show up with pitchforks and torches come election time.


Acting NTIA chief Meredith Attwell Baker has said that the NTIA has the authority to permit reapplication.


Gutierrez also said he didn't think the NTIA needs to ask for any more money now on top of the $1.5 billion allocated for the coupon program, adding, "What we need to do is execute."


The NTIA is the Commerce agency overseeing the coupon program, although it has subcontracted the mechanics of that program to IBM.


Analogy is nice.. But what if you only have two generic brands of corn flakes

that are out of date or the package is crushed?



John
 

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ummm...yeah...this is lunacy.


a cereal coupon would be for a specific cereal...not just $0.50 off ANY box of cereal...there wouldnt be such a large variety of cereal to choose from. And if it were for ANY box of cereal...the coupons wouldnt be released and set to expire 90 days after you get it when most of the cereals are either out of stock or havent even come out. Additionally, people would be just as hacked off if the cereal makers announced that some cereal was gonna cost $0.49...essentially free with the coupon and then four months later raised the MSRP to $0.79 (or $0.99 if you buy it at SolidCereal)...or if we found out that the cereal only costs the stores selling it $0.48 but they're selling it for 10 or even 30 cents more, taking advantage of the cereal-dependent community.


by the way...has anyone here never gotten a coupon in their paper or a magazine that had an expiration date of several years later? I could go to our coupon drawer and pull out at least 5 without even looking hard?


what they need to be discussing is why TV viewers are being "forced" to do this conversion and then having to shell money out of their own pocket to deal with it(maybe these "cereal" coupons need to be for $60 instead of $40...since no one is selling $39.99 "cereal" as promised). it would be like the government wanting to build a highway through your neighborhood, and they force you to move out of your house, give you $120,000 for your home and land, but then they tell you that you have 24 hours to spend the check or it will expire, and all the houses you have to choose from cost $170,000 or higher, with some being under power lines, some being next to a landfill, some sitting on a fault line, etc.


this guy is just trying to save money...if they dont go over their budget...i bet he gets a kickback of some sort. what a toolbag.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by nwiser /forum/post/14188252


ummm...yeah...this is lunacy.


a cereal coupon would be for a specific cereal...not just $0.50 off ANY box of cereal...there wouldnt be such a large variety of cereal to choose from. And if it were for ANY box of cereal...the coupons wouldnt be released and set to expire 90 days after you get it when most of the cereals are either out of stock or havent even come out. Additionally, people would be just as hacked off if the cereal makers announced that some cereal was gonna cost $0.49...essentially free with the coupon and then four months later raised the MSRP to $0.79 (or $0.99 if you buy it at SolidCereal)...or if we found out that the cereal only costs the stores selling it $0.48 but they're selling it for 10 or even 30 cents more, taking advantage of the cereal-dependent community


To those who do grocery shopping, I bet many of them would conclude that that you scenario is not too far from reality.
 

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I like the analogy to a cereal coupon.



Yea, it would be like handing out coupons good for any type, any brand, of breakfast cereal, and people complain on cerealforum.com that none of the supermarkets in their area have any cereal at all, in stock.


Of course, the coupon holder is really holding out for the no-sugar diet Frosted Flakes, which is rumored that it might happen to become available, possibly, sometime, in the future. And their coupon expires while they wait.


Its the coupon issuer fault, not the holder, for not giving the coupon a far enough ahead expiration date, to allow for the fabled no-sugar diet Frosted Flakes.
 

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if you know that cereal isn't coming out for a year you make the coupon expire in a year not 90 days and then make the cereal late because your changing the formula right at release time. All this crap could have been avoided if they just said here is your 40 dollars, knock yourself out and buy any decoder box with any features you want like it should have been and you got until next year.
 

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In the end this another case of the Bush admnistrations worry about the

"appearance" of spending more money... Boy they have done a darn good

job of management so far. :p



John
 

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I don't have a problem with the 90 day expiration. What ticked me off was that there was no hint on the website that there was a 90 day exiration until after I had clicked through the point of no return. Had I known, I would have waited to apply.
 

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My suspicion is that the govt coupon program itself has more or less set the prices. If the coupon were for $60, we'd see mostly $80-100 boxes. If it were for $20, we'd see mostly $40 boxes.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by rec630 /forum/post/14185601


Gutierrez also said he didn't think the NTIA needs to ask for any more money now on top of the $1.5 billion allocated for the coupon program, adding, "What we need to do is execute."

Who does he want to execute? NTIA management? IBM contractors?


As far as I can tell, they are shipping coupons and processing them pretty well now. If, by "we" he means the manufacturers, transhippers, and retailers, it's pretty odd that he says "we". Maybe he thinks that NTIA certification is holding things up?



I say, fine. Don't extend the 90-day expiration. Just give each household the opportunity to reapply once for each of their expired coupons. That way, the money stays in the coupon pool. If folks can't currently find a suitable CECB, they can wait a few months and reapply (one time) - if there is still money available at that point.


Not a perfect solution, perhaps, but better than the current rules.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by seatacboy /forum/post/14186388


Someone should send Mr. Gutierrez' office some links to this AVS Forum discussion of the CECB program, so he can better understand WHY an extended coupon-redemption period may be useful to the American people.

Actually, sending a link to this forum wouldn't do much good. They wouldn't take the time to read the threads. What needs to happen is indivdual messages from many people are sent. They still might not read them, but since they have to go to no more effort than open a message, there is a better chance of getting a point across.


Clear, concise, non-emotional, non-ranting, civil comments from hundreds, or thousands might at least let them know the problem is one of no supply, not the 90 day expiration.


Also, do *NOT* say you're part of any organized group as you make a comment. Members of a group are considered as one complaint/comment no matter how many of you there are. Trust me on this. 100 signatures on a petition have much less impact than 100 individual "letters".


Now, does anyone know where to send comments to Mr. Gutierrez?


And while you're at it, send a message to your senators and representatives in the U.S. Congress. I did that weeks ago. I've not heard from the senators but did get a letter from my representative in the House. It's full of political double-talk, but at least I know my comment about lack of supply was read by someone.
 

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The CECB-cereal association is funny. As I understood the conventional wisdom, cereal is always supposed to be purchased with a coupon. It's built into the pricing. Only chumps (aka bachelors) would pay the shelf price. A former cereal exec would probably know this.


I agree that the $40 subsidy influenced CECB prices. Basically added $40 to the "what the market will bear". Maybe the coupons could have been $60 for OTA-only people and $20 for everyone else.
 

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For what its worth, my email to Carlos. (I know its a complete waste of time, but hey, I waste time all the time.)


Mr. Gutierrez,


I would like to complain about the 90 day expiration date because it prohibits me from purchasing the converter box of my choice.


This is because:


1. Mega Retailers like Best Buy in my area will not have boxes on their shelves for a "long time" due to backorders.

2. Mail Order Retailers are Price Gouging up to $90, for instance, the $60 Consumer Reports top rated Tivax converter.

3. Currently, there are NO MODELS which have excellent performance and a full feature set. (The DTVPal has the best features and the Channel Master has best performance performance.)

4. Only TWO models have S-video. (Channel Master and Apex)

5. Only ONE model has a recording timer (DTVPal)

6. Approximately 1/2 the models are simply junk.

7. New, better featured, higher performance models are being released and will continue to be released through this year and next year.

8. Again, Early Adopters have been slapped in the face. The first people to get their coupons had virtually nothing to choose from.

9. Conversely, the last people to get their cards will have the best selection of converters available.

10. The 90 day expiry is actually responsible for items 1) and 2), shortages and price gouging respectively.


The expiration date forces me to purchase ill-conceived, rushed to market, junk because anything that has merit is either unavailable or price gouged.


As a bare minimum, consumers should be allowed to reapply if they surrender their expired coupon.


Regards,

 

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If their new brand of cereal doesn't make it to market, my digestive system doesn't stop working six months after their coupon expired.
 
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