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Update from the Moderator who posted to notice for beta testers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott Greczkowski @ satelliteguys.us /forum/post/0


All signs are saying the box will be $59 and again no one I have talked to knows anything about a $39 box.


The $39 price is probably what the retailer is paying for the boxes from Echostar. They need to profit in the deal, and I guess if they wanted to they could sell them for $39 if they wanted to.

I should have a lot more on the DTV Pal tomorrow

I also love what another user is calling this box
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pepper @ satelliteguys.us /forum/post/0


If this is true and our orders get canceled, I have a new name for the box. The DISHonest.
 

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I just received an email from NTIA. I had sent them an email about what had happened with the preorder at provantage below is their response...........they responded within an hour


Mr. XXXXX,

Thank you for informing us of this issue. We have logged the issue you experienced and reported it to the Coupon Program Retailer Support Center. Currently, there is no resolution regarding this issue. We will inform consumers in your situation if this changes in the future.

By law we are unable to reissue coupon replacements.

Sincerely,

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
Consumer Support
TV Converter Box Coupon Program
 

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Meanwhile, the NTIA has their fluff piece out, 6 months of marvelous progress. Here's what they say about the bad parts:

Quote:
To date no egregious instances of waste, fraud and abuse have been discovered. However, several retailers have been decertified from the program for a variety of violations of program rules. In these cases, NTIA has also taken swift action to the extent possible to ensure that retailers remedy any adverse effects suffered by consumers. While the number of decertified retailers is only a very small percentage of the 1,819 actively participating retailers, these instances remind us of the importance of guarding against WFA. NTIA is also working closely with the Federal Trade Commission and the FCC to develop a Tip Sheet that will provide consumers with information on how to identify and avoid possible coupon abuses.
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/congress/200...use_080610.pdf


It certainly doesn't appear from what the Memsen and Provantage customers have said, that the NTIA has done a thing to "ensure remedies of the adverse effects suffered by consumers." It also is a complete annoyance that the NTIA gets away with bragging on their 21 boxes with APT, with never a reference to their actual existence or local availability. Naturally.
 

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Oh yeah, the NTIA is dropping hints for more admin money, saying the unused coupons expired at a rate they anticipated (~42% IIRC), but they don't have the funds to give out the returned coupons again. Huh??


That bit about "by law" smintn, that's nuts. The NTIA head has already admitted she has the authority to reissue or extend the expiration. If she has the authority it isn't the law that's in the way of remedy.
 

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YEP!!


Oh well the heck with it! The coupon deal was good for those of us in the rural areas. I already have other dtv converters that work well. The coupons gave me a chance to try other vendors models for a lot less money.


I'll just go on the web and find another panasonic dvd recorder with digital tuner the one I have works great even though the tuner is slow........Will let you know if NTIA comes up with anything
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat /forum/post/14057295


Meanwhile, the NTIA has their fluff piece out, 6 months of marvelous progress. Here's what they say about the bad parts:



http://www.ntia.doc.gov/congress/200...use_080610.pdf


It certainly doesn't appear from what the Memsen and Provantage customers have said, that the NTIA has done a thing to "ensure remedies of the adverse effects suffered by consumers." It also is a complete annoyance that the NTIA gets away with bragging on their 21 boxes with APT, with never a reference to their actual existence or local availability. Naturally.

Yea I never got a remedies on memsen. The NTIA sent me a general e-mail. Waste of my time
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat /forum/post/14057325


Oh yeah, the NTIA is dropping hints for more admin money, saying the unused coupons expired at a rate they anticipated (~42% IIRC), but they don't have the funds to give out the returned coupons again. Huh??

According to the media columnist for our local paper, only 269 coupons total through the end of May expired. Where did you get that stat from?

http://www.jsonline.com/story/index.aspx?id=758128

Quote:
As of the end of May, 7.7 million U.S. households have applied for 14.6 million coupons. About 13.4 million were mailed out, but only 1.9 million have been redeemed, according to National Telecommunications and Information Administration figures.


So far, only 269 of the coupons - which are good for just 90 days - have expired without being used.
 

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Visualsensation, the stat was in the 6 month status report published yesterday (link in my post). The weekly stats also show the unused coupons, or one could simply do the math. There was likely a slow rampup in coupon distribution for those first couple weeks.


269 - week 1 expirations

183,316 - week 2 expirations

306,288 - week 3 expirations


Here's the link to weekly stats, if you haven't seen it.

https://www.dtv2009.gov/Stats.aspx


Editing to add: The "weekly" stats are actually cumulative for a lot of the numbers.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat /forum/post/14057295


Meanwhile, the NTIA has their fluff piece out, 6 months of marvelous progress. Here's what they say about the bad parts:



http://www.ntia.doc.gov/congress/200...use_080610.pdf


It certainly doesn't appear from what the Memsen and Provantage customers have said, that the NTIA has done a thing to "ensure remedies of the adverse effects suffered by consumers." It also is a complete annoyance that the NTIA gets away with bragging on their 21 boxes with APT, with never a reference to their actual existence or local availability. Naturally.

actually it says that the retailers are supposed to remedy the adverse effects and not the NTIA...but the retailers said the NTIA are supposed to help!



"In these cases, NTIA has also taken swift action to the extent possible to ensure that retailers remedy any adverse effects suffered by consumers"
 

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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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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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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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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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Quote:
Originally Posted by mosquito /forum/post/14058483


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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Quote:
Originally Posted by Symbios /forum/post/14053658


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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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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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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Thanks for the news. TalkingRat
http://www.ntia.doc.gov/congress/200...use_080610.pdf
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernadette McGuire-Rivera /forum/post/0


"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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