Leading Consumer Electronics Retailer Boosts Employee Training, Launches Dedicated Hotline and Offers Online Information to Further Assist Consumers
Best Buy, the nation’s largest consumer electronics retailer, will begin stocking and selling coupon-eligible DTV converter boxes on February 17, 2008 in all of the company’s more than 900 stores nationwide. At that time, consumers can redeem DTV converter box coupons from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and receive $40 toward the purchase price.
Best Buy Takes the Lead in Educating Consumers, Training Employees
Best Buy is committed to helping customers make smooth transition from analog to digital broadcasting. Beginning in early 2006, Best Buy began providing consumers with in-store and online information about the DTV broadcast transition including brochures and a dedicated page at BestBuy.com/DTV. In October 2007, Best Buy was the first CE retailer to exit the analog business, pulling all analog tuner products from store shelves.
As the transition date draws closer, Best Buy is continuing to develop new ways to educate consumers. Best Buy is launching a dedicated hotline — 877-BBY-DTV9 — where consumers can call and speak with a trained home theater specialist to ask questions about the DTV transition and to learn about their options to get ready for the switch. Bilingual specialists are also available to work with Best Buy’s Hispanic consumers. Later this spring customers will also be able to redeem their DTV coupons and order converter boxes through this hotline if they are unable to get to a Best Buy store.
In addition to the hotline, Best Buy store employees across the U.S. have received training on the DTV broadcast transition and the options available to consumers. Store employees in positions that are most likely to assist consumers with DTV broadcast transition inquiries have participated in an additional series of in-depth training sessions since June 2007. Education efforts will continue through the remainder of 2008, and all the way through the transition date of February 17, 2009.
“The DTV transition is an event that is unprecedented in this country, and it will require a coordinated effort by broadcasters, manufacturers, retailers and the government,” said Mike Vitelli, senior vice president of electronics for Best Buy. “We take our role as a trusted source of information very seriously. We are committed to do whatever we can to help customers find a solution that meets their specific needs.”
Three Options for Consumers to Comply with the DTV Transition
By February 17, 2009, consumers who receive over-the-air TV programming will have three options to receive TV broadcast signals after the DTV transition. These three options include:
- Purchase a digital-to-analog converter box that plugs in to an existing television. Coupon-eligible converter boxes will be available at Best Buy locations on February 17, 2008.
- Subscribe to a cable, satellite or telecommunications service provider if all desired local broadcast stations are carried by that service.
- Upgrade to a new DTV. A digital-ready TV lets you receive a digital signal without a set-top box. All TVs now sold at Best Buy have built-in digital tuners.
About the Insignia Converter Box
Best Buy will stock an Insignia-branded analog-to-digital converter box exclusively, retailing at $59.99. The Insignia Converter Box changes over-the-air broadcast signals to a readable analog format for TVs that rely solely on over-the-air broadcasts for content as opposed to receiving programming through a cable or satellite subscription. Measuring only 8.5-inches by 6-inches, the Insignia converter box will be a space-conscious addition to any home theater. In addition, the converter box meets all ENERGY STAR guidelines to ensure a high standard of energy efficiency. The Insignia converter box is eligible for purchase with the $40 NTIA coupon, which can be applied for online at http://www.dtv2009.gov.
About Best Buy Co., Inc.
Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) operates a global portfolio of brands with a commitment to growth and innovation. Our employees strive to provide customers around the world with superior experiences by responding to their unique needs and aspirations. We sell consumer electronics, home-office products, entertainment software, appliances and related services through nearly 1,300 retail stores across the United States, throughout Canada and in China. Our multi-channel operations include: Best Buy (BestBuy.com, BestBuy.ca and BestBuy.com.cn), Future Shop (FutureShop.ca), Geek Squad (GeekSquad.com and GeekSquad.ca), Pacific Sales Kitchen and Bath Centers (PacificSales.com), Magnolia Audio Video (Magnoliaav.com), Jiangsu Five Star Appliance Co. (Five-Star.cn) and Speakeasy (Speakeasy.net). Best Buy supports the communities in which its employees work and live through volunteerism and grants that benefit children and education.