The Better Business Bureau of Acadiana has recently received numerous calls from local consumers concerning the Clear-Cast HDTV Antenna. The product is manufactured by Brilliant Built Technologies, a subsidiary of Universal Media Syndicate, Inc., located in Canton, Ohio.
The company recently ran large advertorial ads that appeared in a local newspaper offering to eliminate cable and satellite costs completely using the Clear-Cast HDTV Antenna.
The ads claim the Clear-Cast HDTV Antenna “pulls in free over-the-air broadcast signals” that cable and satellite companies receive and then re-transmit to you for a hefty charge every month… According to Clear-Cast, there is never a monthly bill and consumers will not have to pay for hundreds of channels they never really watch.
Consumers have informed the BBB of Acadiana they were under the impression that they would receive 953 channels as opposed to 953 shows, as the ad claims. Consumers should be aware they could receive up to 53 channels depending on the area they live, and that 953 is the maximum possible number of shows available in larger markets.
In November, 2011, the BBB of Canton, OH, the home location of the business, contacted the company regarding their advertising and conducted a challenge of several claims that appear in the ad. The BBB Ad Review Committee conducted a secondary advertising challenge on Clear-Cast HDTV Digital Antenna and determined that all matters of compliance were not resolved.
The BBB feels these types of misleading advertising are- purposeful and does not feel the company is in compliance with BBB Code of Advertising. Furthermore, the company’s advertising is serious enough in nature for the company to receive an ”F” rating with the BBB, the lowest rating possible.
The BBB found that the product does provide some channels without cable or satellite connections.
However, after testing the product, the BBB found it did not perform as it is claimed in the ad. Additionally, BBB inquiries indicate that because the headline claims that consumers can eliminate cable or satellite bills, consumers are under the impression they will receive the same type of channeling as with their current provider, which the BBB found is not the case.
Consumers continue to contact the BBB and state they are also confused as to what they are actually getting. The BBB’s research found that 90 percent of callers, surveyed are under the impression that they will receive 953 "channels", when in fact the statement says "953 free shows each year"
When considering using TV antenna’s versus cable or satellite TV the BBB recommends the following:
o Location is everything. If you live in a valley or rural area, you will have fewer channels available to you than others who live within a 40 mile radius of a TV station.
o You will not receive all the same channels and programming as your cable or satellite TV packages.
o Different types of antennae’s provide different results; you can view all your options through the FCC’s website at http://www.fcc.gov/guides/antennas-and-digital-television.
o Make sure you are aware of return and exchange policies before making a purchase.
o Do not fall victim to sense of urgency claims. Make sure you research any product before buying.
o Contact the BBB to check out any business before purchasing a product or service at http://www.bbb.org.
The BBB of Acadiana works for a trustworthy marketplace by maintaining standards for truthful advertising, investigating and exposing fraud against consumers and businesses. Please contact the BBB at www.acadiana.bbb.org or (337) 981-3497 24 hours a day for information on businesses throughout North America.
The BBB of Acadiana services the parishes of Acadia, Evangeline, Iberia, Lafayette, St. Martin, St. Landry and Vermilion.
Acadiana residents can now have BBB information in the palm of their hand with the official BBB Search app, a convenient, mobile BBB solution available for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The app can be found at: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/bbb-search-find-local-businesses/id440014505?mt=8.