When What You Hear ISN'T What You Get...

27 January 2009

Shoppers on the hunt for a new DAB radio should be aware that what they hear in the store may not be what they hear once they get the contraption home. That’s the warning sent out by the Consumers Association in the light of Ofcom’s decision to allow retailers to boost the signal on their instore radios.

Retailers have lobbied Ofcom to allow the installation of DAB repeaters to counteract the fact that stores are usually located inside giant steel hangars and often struggle to pick up a half-decent DAB signal.

The downside to this is that instore radios could soon be getting a far greater range of stations than you’ll get yourself once you’ve bought the thing. That demonstration model you hear could be picking up the Jacques Chirac Jazz Hour direct from France, but when you get home you might be lucky to get a traffic report about your nearest motorway pile-up.

Writing on Which?, the Consumers Association’s Liz Payne urges shoppers to hang on to their receipts and more importantly, for retailers to be open and upfront about their signal-boosting technology. But wait, aren't ALL retailers open and upfront by the very nature?

[The Register]


  • Netizen
    Err what? Since when were people not aware that radio reception varies from town to town? I know the coverage areas are much bigger with DAB, but I don't think anyone returned an FM radio because the local radio station received in store can't be received 5 miles away at home. Same principle, surely? And what's the more 'honest' solution, take customers into the car park for a demo?
  • highguyuk
    It's common knowledge (I think!) that our local Vodaphone shop has a little transmitter in it's shop, because the signal in our local area is pathetic.
  • andy y.
    Great way to sell a DAB repeater as well
  • Decron
    Mobile phone shops have been doing this for years. A lot of shopping centres are like faraday cages and if they didn't have some sort of signal would probably sell very little
  • Curved S.
    Pfffft, I wonder what next eh? Using high definition images to show off LCD's, the very thought!

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