When BBB conducted an advertising review of the Clear-Cast X1 Digital Antenna on April 9, The WireGuys, a professional antenna installation and digital television conversion company in Boise were consulted about the claims in the advertisement.
Anthony Berger, owner, said he had seen the full-page ad in the Statesman, and had already had Mike Dixon, lead technician and supervisor, order the antenna.
“We placed our order on the 12th,” Berger says.
The advertisement promised a 72-hour shipping time. On the eighth day, Dixon called the company and was told the order had not been shipped yet. On the 20th, another call was placed, and on April 23, the product arrived.
Dixon says he questioned what channels would be available in the specified zip code area, and was told he would receive CNBC, FOX News, and Hallmark Channels, along with the local and national broadcasters.
In addition, the operator told Dixon he was not going to use the product on a digital TV, and was sold a digital tuner/receiver for an extra $40.
Dixon ran a series of investigation on the tuner and antenna and his CLEARCASTDOC-1.
“The instructions told us to point the antenna towards ‘a’ city,” Dixon’s report reads. “In our market there are four cities. All of the area broadcasters radiate from the same place. That site is not in any of the 4 cities.”
Dixon used the indoor-antenna outdoors and reception improved moderately, but diminished once it was brought indoors.
“With exception of one channel, all available channels either tiled (dropped out) or simply said no signal,” The WireGuys report states. “Using the multiple broadcast formulas in our area this is an estimated 90% failure rate.”
BBB concludes the following:
- The BBB found that the product does offer channels without cable or satellite. However BBB inquiries show that because the headline states that you can get rid of cable or satellite bills, consumers are under the impression that they will receive the same type of channeling as they would with their current provider.
- Additionally, there seems to be some confusion about what is actually being given away for free. In the company ad it states in the headline “Free TV” and “gets rid of cable or satellite bills.” Some inquiries show that consumers are under the impression that they will be receiving a free television. Also there seems to be confusion about how many possible channels a consumer may get when using the ClearCast Digital HDTV. The company ad has indicated that consumers can receive up to 953 “Shows” and up to 53 “channels” depending on where you live.
- The company has added disclosures that outline and explain what the consumers are actually getting, however the overall impression of the ad seems to imply differently.
- The basic principles of the BBB code of advertisement states that an advertisement as a whole may be misleading although every sentence separately considered is literally true. Consumers are encouraged to read the ad in its entirety and despite deadlines and restrictions, to make sure the company and product is researched before buying.