"Defective product, terrible customer service."0.5 starson by schmeckpeper
Pros: Low price and programming guide.
Cons: No energy star compliance
No TV control via remote
Abysmal customer service
Dish has no incentive to provide support. Their only reason for selling this box is to pitch you their sattelite service as an alternative to getting a converter box.
Summary: I bought this converter for one reason, price. I used my other coupon to buy the Zenith DTT901. After several weeks of use I was very satisfied with it and my intention was to buy a second one for my camper. Then I found out the TR-40 was selling for the coupon price of $40 and I thought what the heck, I can live with an inferior converter box just for the few times I use it while camping. Besides, the programming guide would be a bonus when in an area where I am unfamiliar with the local channels.... big mistake.
I turned the unit on and I attached it to my whole house antenna to test it. At first all was good but within an hour the video froze but the sound continued to work. I tried to turn the unit off and then on but it would not respond to the remote at all. I then unplugged it, plugged it back in and it worked fine again for about 20 minutes until it locked up once again. At that point I decided this was a defective unit and I would have to return it.
The first problem was trying to find a customer service number. (The Zenith by the way comes with a sticker on the top of the unit with a number for customer service, not that I have had to use it.). Once connected I was pitched Dish Network satellite services many times. Eventually I got to someone who told me that they would send me out a new box with a prepaid return shipping label and I should have it in about 3 days. A week went by with no unit received and I called back. I was told the unit had shipped 7 days prior. Since it can take 7-10 days to receive I was told to wait a little longer. 7 days after this I still had not received the replacement so I called back again. I was told they would investigate and that it should be resolved in 3-5 business days. 5 days later, no box so I call back. After 20 minutes on the phone I am told that I am required to ship my unit to them before they will ship me a replacement. Although I was not happy it took them a month to tell me this, I was happy to see some progress. Then came the killer, when I asked for a prepaid shipping label I was told I would have to pay the inbound shipping. I asked her why I was being penalized for their defective product and she said it was their policy. They said that they do normally provide return shipping labels for their Dish Network converter boxes; however that did not apply to the DTV converter boxes. I tried to explain that if they had not sent me a defective product there would be no need for me to have to ship it back and therefore it was their responsibility. She refused to budge on this and I asked if I could talk to a supervisor or someone about making an exception to the policy based on the circumstances. She refused and said there were no exceptions to the policy.
My recommendation is to buy from a manufacturer who cares about maintaining their reputation. If you are not a Dish network customer they could care less if the TR-40 they sent you works or if you are satisfied with it. Do't waste your coupon on this box!
BTW, There is also a similar story to this in the CNET reviews for the DTVPAL posted by someone else. Don?t think paying more for the DTVPAL is going to be any better. You will just pay more for the same poor quality equipment and customer service.