Consumers warned about digital TV scam

Fair Trading Minister, Virginia Judge, has sent a warning out to consumers to be on the lookout for door-to-door traders claiming to represent the government and selling digital television set top boxes.

These scammers are telling residents that they will get a government rebate if they purchase one of their digital television set top boxes. Judge wanted to highlight to consumers that there are no reimbursements in place for digital TV services.

“Let me make this very clear – there are no reimbursements for digital television goods or services bought from any retailers, including door-to-door sellers,” she said.

“The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has listed this scam on its SCAMwatch website and is warning consumers to avoid these scams at all costs.”

Judge said that the scammers had even forced their way into a victim’s home to install a set top box.

“Fair Trading received one complaint regarding door-to-door sellers who pressured their way into a house in Albury to install a ‘free’ set top box,” she said.

“These individuals told the consumer the set top box was part of a government offer. They installed the box and forced the consumer to sign a document which was a contract for $60 to be debited from her account.”

Judge said that the set top box didn’t end up working and the company debited $6 from the victims account every few days.

“The consumer tried unsuccessfully to cancel the contract but did manage to get the company to retrieve the box,” she said.

“In the end, the consumer had to close the account and organise a reversal from the bank.”

According to Judge, the switchover to digital TV should be an inexpensive task and if any consumers are unsure of what to do they should call the Digital Switchover Taskforce on 1800 201 013.

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