ROCKY POINT, NC (WWAY) -- How would you like "Free TV with no bills?" That's what a newspaper ad boasts, but it's leaving some consumers feeling misled and tricked.
"I can't afford it right now, so when I saw this article, 'Consumers dump cable and satellite for invention that pulls in free TV with no bills,' I said, 'well, maybe this is my opportunity to get cable or satellite for free," Gale Maynard of Rocky Point said.
Maynard says the ad she saw in Sunday's StarNews is too good to be true. It looks like a newspaper story, but it's actually a full-page ad for a product called Clear-Cast.
The ad's headline claims people are getting rid of cable and satellite and getting this "slick little $47 invention." It turns out to be just an over-the-air TV antenna, but it never says you get cable and satellite with Clear-Cast.
The ad and the salespeople are careful to say 953 shows, but Maynard says we are programmed to think differently.
"To me, that meant channels, like cable or satellite," Maynard said. "So I'm thinking other people think the same thing. They aren't thinking shows, like reruns or something like that, because yeah, that is a show, but I'm thinking channels."
We spoke with a sales rep for Brilliant Built Technologies, the company that makes the product. While he did not want to speak on camera, he told me he does not think the ad is misleading at all, but he does see how people could get confused.
"It's very misleading, and a lot of people will look at this like I did and say wow, this is a great deal," Maynard said.
While the ad makes Clear-Cast sound like something special, it works like any other antenna. Partnered with a digital receiver, it receives free over-the-air channels like ABC, PBS and Fox.