My mom asked me to look online and figure out the process for reordering the two coupons we had received earlier this summer. Like many people she had logged into dtv2009.gov and requested coupons for a digital converter box. I am sure you’ve seen the ads, heard the messages and even enjoyed the amazing amount of news space fill KALB has dedicated to it in recent months.
These coupons were ordered around March and arrived about 3 months later. The only problem was that by the time the coupons arrived, there were no converter boxes to be had! As neither of my parents are very electronic gadget oriented, I took it upon myself to go pick up their converters and hook everything up.
I spent far too much time this past summer going to Wal-Mart, the other Wal-Mart, having that Wal-Mart call the third Wal-Mart. Going to Radio Shack, having that Radio Shack call all the other Radio Shacks, etc. Basically nobody had any, and nobody could say when they would be getting any. No one was taking holds or calling when they got them in.
Long story short, finally now, stores seem to have them in stock. Granted, even the cheapest are more expensive than the $40 coupons, but still they have them. Only problem…the coupons are expired!
These coupons were only valid for 90 days from the date they were mailed. According to the DTV2009.gov site, it was expected to take 10 days for delivery, so under the best circumstances, that means consumers have 80 days to purchase their converters.
Now, is it just me or would a total lack of converters not seem like a good reason to change a little bit of computer software somewhere and leave these cards active? Last week there was some local coverage of the coupons and especially of the fact that the coupon program had run out of money. Well, I doubt they’ve really run out. Because, if most people couldn’t find a box to buy, then their coupons are also expired. Thus that money, although allocated has never been spent!
The purpose of this rant I suppose is to draw some attention to the fact that according to the DTV website, once coupons are expired, consumers are simply out of luck. You can’t reactivate them. You can’t replace them. And you can’t order any more because once you have your two, you’re done! This reminds me of the Army, where a paperwork error on their part was a problem for you to deal with on your part.
I’d love to know who else out there has had this same issue? Please comment if you have.
I would say we should write or call our Representatives or Senators, but in 15 years of being a registered voter, I have yet to once receive a response to an email or letter sent to any of their offices.