Cambridgeshire Trading Standards launch TV Digital Switchover campaign as confusion reigns

PUBLISHED: 12:36 09 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:35 02 June 2010

CAMBRIDGESHIRE S Trading Standards team has launched an advice campaign after a survey showed that many people - including professionals - are confused about the impact of the TV digital switchover. The switchover comes to Cambridgeshire next year, but a

CAMBRIDGESHIRE'S Trading Standards team has launched an advice campaign after a survey showed that many people - including professionals - are confused about the impact of the TV digital switchover.

The switchover comes to Cambridgeshire next year, but a mystery shopping exercise on behalf of Trading Standards found that many areas of the switchover are a mystery and conflicting.

Potentially incorrect information is being provided by retailers, according to the research - particularly to older people.

The exercise was designed to check the type of information and advice being offered to older people about the switchover to digital TV in 2011.

A 75-year-old volunteer visited shops around the county armed with a selection of questions designed to check retailer's knowledge and the advice they were providing.

The questions included such enquiries such as "what is digital switchover", but even this most basic question was not answered by a number of shops.

Ten out of 11 sales staff questioned did know that the switchover would be happing in Cambridgeshire and the surrounding areas in 2011. However Trading Standards are concerned that a few retailers:

Did not explain that the UK analogue signal will be switch off and replaced with a digital signal.

Did not explain that a television can be converted with a digital box providing it has a Scart or RF input.

Some said the surveyor would definitely need a new aerial, others said they definitely would not.

Immediately ushered the surveyor over to see new TVs.

Did not explain that in most cases purchase of a digital box will be sufficient

Were not aware that a device exists to allow a digital box to be connected to a portable television without a Scart lead.

David Broughton, from Cambridgeshire Trading Standards, said: "Two of the stores visited had obviously spent a lot of time and money investing in staff training as they showed a very impressive knowledge of digital switchover, however many other store staff were very much less knowledgeable and their advice was in some cases was misleading or completely incorrect.

"Cambridgeshire Trading Standards officers are doing everything they can to ensure that local people are not misled or conned when the big digital switchover comes to the region in 12 months time."

Anyone wanting further information on the Digital Switchover should contact Consumer Direct on 08454 04 05 06.

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