An investigation by the Manchester Evening News has revealed that several unscrupulous aerial installers in the North West plan to cash in on confusion surrounding digital switchover. MEN reporters posed as householders wanting to know if they needed a new aerial for the Granada switch in the last three months of 2009.
The weekend MEN report said nine out of 20 traders contacted in Greater Manchester wrongly advised that new "digital aerials" costing up to £100 would be needed in order to receive TV after 2009.
Mike Keegan's exclusive MEN report quoted one installer as saying: "You will definitely need a new aerial after the switchover—everybody will. You might be able to pick up bits of channels with your existing aerial and set top box but you won't be able to watch most of them."
The 11 remaining installers gave correct advice, that standard aerials should be able to pick up the Winter Hill signals perfectly.
A Digital UK spokesman told the newspaper: "We are aware that there are installers there who do not have the customer's best interests as their priority. To this end we are handing out digital 'tick marks' to reputable installers." Tim Jenks, CEO of the Confederation of Aerial Industries, added: "There are definitely profiteers out there."
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