I wrote this e-mail on Saturday 24th January, to the editor of the Which? website. Which? is the UK’s consumer champion.
Dear Sir / Madam,
I would like to raise an issue with the article on your website entitled “In Store Sales of DAB Radio Could Be Misleading“.
I fear that you have been the victim of a scare campaign, orchestrated by one or two people.
It is true that some stores have had boosters installed to provide a good quality signal to DAB radios on display, but that should be framed within a context that virtually all electrical goods stores provide specific “repeated” signals for Televisions (and in Car Audio shops, for FM Radios too). In particular, you will find that all Digital TVs and Set Top Boxes are connected to cables and boosters from an external antenna. Therefore it seems unreasonable to say that sales of DAB could be misleading; the same is equally true of Digital TV, and I’m sure you will remember that there were issues with this a few years ago.
Electrical retailers tend to be based in metal-skinned buildings, creating what’s known as a Faraday Cage effect – which cuts off all radio and tv signals. It is therefore a necessity to bring signals in through repeaters for any radio or TV device to work at all.
The Radio Industry provides a very reliable “postcode checker” for coverage, at www.getdigitalradio.com – which you have failed to mention, presumably because the person or people who “tipped you off” about this story didn’t see fit to tell you the whole story. In addition, I am not aware of any retailer or manufacturer who has refused to take a return (of a properly boxed device) if the consumer subsequently finds they have inadequate reception.
I am disappointed that you don’t seem to have checked these facts with anyone from the industry representative bodies, and may I suggest that you contact (-) at the DRDB on (-) to get a more balanced view. I look forward to seeing an amendment to the article imminently.
I’ll leave you to find the offending blog article for yourselves, as they aren’t worthy of linking to.
Update – 26th January
The Which? website has been updated today to include a response from the DRDB, which does now include reference to the postcode checker, and explains why it is that some retailers need to have repeaters to get signals into the building. Well done Which? for updating so promptly.
Photo: Query (CC) Amortize @ flickr