Clear-Cast ad claims TV invention pulls in ‘953 crystal clear’ shows

By Robb Hicken/ chief storyteller

An ad in last week’s Idaho Statesman touts the newest free TV invention with no monthly bills and the slick little invention pulls in “953 crystal clear shows.”

Boise area residents, in the listed zip code area, who saw the ad, called BBB to check out the claim. In the advertisement, that looks like a printed article, consumers are told to call Clear-Cast’s Free TV Hotlines.

Residents that call are told the device, which looks like an indoor digital HDTV antenna, is razor thin and delivers picture-perfect reception without cable, internet, or satellite dish.

A large photo in the ad appears to have FedEx employees loading FedEx trucks  with boxes of Clear-Cast products.

The words “Free TV” are linked closely with every description of the Clear-Cast product. The term free is used 36 times in the advertisement.

It took five minutes to find the part where it states the Clear-Cast antenna will cost $47 plus shipping. In phone conversation, consumers who purchase the product will also have to buy a “HDTV digital conversion box” separately, however, that is not disclosed in the advertisement.

This is a deceptive placement wording. The word “free” may be used in advertising whenever the advertiser is offering an unconditional gift, not dependent on buying free merchandise or services.

In addition, the free offer must be temporary, otherwise it becomes a continuous combination offer, no part of which is free.

In this case, the television airwaves are public and are “free” unconditionally. In the Treasure Valley there are more than 20 free television broadcasts transmitted daily.

The wording of 953 crystal clear shows is deceptive because consumers may  assume they will be receiving that number of channels. A disclaimer states:

“The number of channels received will vary by zip code. Residents living in large metropolitan areas may get up to 53 crystal clear channels, while people in outlying areas will get less. That means even in rural areas that pull in just NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX and PBS broadcasts, there are up to 953 shows each year to watch for free.”

BBB advises residents to read the fine print in this advertisement.



Filed under Code of Advertising

39 responses to “Clear-Cast ad claims TV invention pulls in ‘953 crystal clear’ shows

  1. Sent: Thursday, April 12, 2012 8:44pm
    Subject: Antenna Deal

    Hello I would like to ask did I get taken for a ride on this deal I
    called that number on the Clear-Cast antenna in the paper last week and
    it costed me 197.95 before it was all said and done.

    thanks for your time Ron F

    • Duh. “Costed you.” Moron

    • Brian

      You can make one of these bow tie antennas with coat hangers and a pair of pliers to bend it into shape , make each side 14 inches bent into a >< connect that to a piece of wood and get a 300 ohm to 75 ohm balun and a piece of 75 ohm cable wire with f connectors , hook that between the balun and tv ,aim for best reception, you can search google for diy bowtie antenna instructions, if this isn't easy enough.

      • Brian

        You can make one of these bow tie antennas with coat hangers and a pair of pliers to bend it into shape , make each side 14 inches bent into a >< connect that to a piece of wood and get a 300 ohm to 75 ohm balun and a piece of 75 ohm cable wire with f connectors , hook that between the balun and tv ,aim for best reception, you can search google for diy bowtie antenna instructions, if this isn't easy enough.

  2. Steve

    I did the same thing and bought three with the extended warranty. I hooked it up and all I get us the home shopping network. $200 to get one channel.

  3. Kimber

    Thank you all for saving me the headache- almost bought one for my camper.

  4. lisa

    I live in the country , i am glad that i didnt buy this. Sorry for the ones that did try it. I hope you sent it back and got your money back.

  5. sheila

    hello,from florida, has anyone tried the antenna? I have and i only got 15 channels, i bought one from wal mart and got the same channels,

  6. Mario M Floriani

    Read about this in USA why isn’t Big Brother protecting the little guy ?

  7. Wil H.

    I bought this Clear-Cast X1 Digital Antenna and hoped that I would get more TV stations than I got. The ad claims that I could get reception of up to 953 TV stations, it didn’t even get close to that amount. I was only able to pickup SIX stations, and a couple the quality were unwatchable.
    Do should do some research before you decide to pay over $50 for this item, because you can probably get a cheaper digital antenna from EBAY. It was a pricey lesson for me to do more research in the future.
    But on a positive note I am able to pick two of my favorite stations.

  8. Pingback: Clear-Cast review shows mediocre reception; overstatements | snakeriverBBB

  9. Bobby

    Anyone who fell for this “SCAM” deserves to be taken for a ride!! it just took me 2 mins on the internet through GOOGLE to read about about this scam in other parts of the country. You can go to RADIO SHACK and buy a digital antenna for $19.99 and get the same FREE shows that this ” NEW INVENTION” claims to do! WAKE UP AMERICA!!

  10. SMD

    Like my parents always said…
    “If its sounds too good to be true…”
    CAVEAT EMPTOR – Buyer Beware!!!

  11. TexasDude

    I’m keeping the AD because it SCREAMS “SCAM”.
    The ones we are getting in Texas has USPS trucks (which seem to be stretched) with a gang of unhappy slave labor packing in bright boxes of “Clear Cast” while being watched by 3 armed security over their shoulders.

    Because people want to steal defective cheap HDTV Antennas that failed QC that this scam company most likely paid $1 per unit. They will disappear soon when they make their millions.

  12. Pingback: Warnings continue from BBB about Clear-Cast antenna advertising | snakeriverBBB

  13. Brooklyn Girl

    SCAM!!!! – Do NOT, NOT, NOT purchase this – whatever it is!!! I did, for $61.95 (yup, fell for the false advertisement), and it was worse than my $10 antenna (I cancelled cable some time ago), returned it, wasted $15 (their shipping cost – $10 + $5 to ship it back)… I am sure I am not the only deceived by this hoax, and it’s upsetting there’s nothing done about it… No one (including myself) is going to bother for $15, but they sure made some money… well, lesson learned…

  14. Bon-Mich.

    Thank-You so much for all the input, figured when it sounds to good to be true it usally is.

  15. Frank

    Thanks to all for your inputs.So sorry for the people that got SCREWED!!

  16. Rich gettemy

    Seems like a waste of time i knew in the first few seconds i would not be getting the kind of roi im used to. Thats return on investiment. If i aint makin 20% not worth it. Later rich

  17. Is this the same antenna as clear cast? is it possible they changed their name to re-sell? this time its buy one get one free with seprate shipping and handling on the 2nd antenna….. ended up costing about 40.00. and supposed to get a 50.00 gift card. #didigetscammed

  18. rose

    I’ve been off cable for several years as they started cancelling stations I liked. i went to antenna and converter box and am quite happy. Wish i had a roof antenna and lines built into the house for every room like they do with cable. Antennas in every room is a pain.. New TVs don’t require converter boxes, be nice if new TVS would have a built in antenna. Buy an antenna locally that can be returned easily so you can get the right one for your home. If something is good it doesn’t take long for stores to carry it.

  19. T.R. Collins

    “Hey does this means I won’t beable to watch “G.H” in HD, on my TV in the pm, if I had boughten one of themz?

  20. William Algeri

    If an ad or product seems too good to be true, it usually is. Always check on a product before purchasing it.

  21. SMH

    IF you have done your research it says in certain areas.

  22. Raymond Vasquez

    Could someone give me a number to contact, they took my money but never received any equipment

  23. teaserpleaser

    ..gosh folks..who is this so-called NASA ‘rocket scientist’ that supposedly invented this hi-tech beauty..must have found him on skid row..this ‘antenna’ is nothing but a re-claim of 1950s technology..and STILL affected by all the variables of VHF-UHF operations,i.e., is it sinking in yet??? If allowed..history WILL repeat itself…BUYER BEWARE!!!..I have a bridge in Brooklyn that you can buy..but do it before it sells..send me your life savings..your retirement plan..the title to your car..and anything else that you would like to throw away..oh!..don’t forget shipping costs!!…this was fun!!!..;)

  24. Bill

    I read that this antenna is a joke if you want a good hd antenna go to youtube search how to build your own hd tv antenna, all you need is a
    4ft tub4 some coat hangers some will show what elsa you need
    i built my self one i recive 29 channels cost less than 5$ it is good antenna

  25. Tambra Carter

    Im glad that I read the reviews in this site before giving them MY money. I am disabled with limited income and am grateful that I didnt waste any dollars. I think I’ll try to build one myself after reading from this site.

  26. Pingback: Clear Cast antenna gets an ‘F’; Send info on National TV Processing Center | snakeriverBBB


    I’m impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and let
    me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I came across this during my hunt for something relating to this.

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