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Zip Express Expects Antenna Installs to Surge After DTV Transition

Zip has already installed more than 1,000 antenna systems at $349 each through its national network of independent contractors.


Julie Jacobson · June 11, 2009

Zip Express loves the DTV transition. Through its national network of independent contractors, the company has sold more than 1,000 antenna systems. And that’s before analog TV sets go dark tomorrow, June 12.

Business should surge after that date, predicts CEO Chris Mauzy.

Consumers will be calling “the next time they go out to their vacation home and they can’t watch TV anymore.”

Zip Express charges a flat fee of $349 for an antenna package.

Customers provide their address, and Zip finds the optimum antenna from antennaweb.org.

As a Winegard antenna dealer, Zip provides the antenna and the installation virtually anywhere in the U.S.

Does Friday’s DTV Transition Deadline Matter to CE Pros?
Missed opportunity or the June 12 boon is overblown—you make the call. Find out what RadioShack, Best Buy, OnForce are doing.

“One of our customer promises is that we never charge trip charges,” Mauzy says.

For that reason, the company had to raise its original antenna installation fee. “We found out a lot of customers don’t live by an installer,” Mauzy says.

Of all those antenna jobs, Zip is able to sell about 10 percent of customers a Harmony universal remote, according to Mauzy.

Before Zip promoted the antenna service, the company promoted the installation of DTV converter boxes. That didn’t last long, Mauzy says, because Zip couldn’t honor the customers’ $40 coupons for the boxes.

Antenna Installs Everywhere?!

Zip will install an antenna anywhere in the U.S.? For real?

How about our cabin in the remote town of Brandon, Minn.?

Sure enough, Mauzy found an installer in the Zip database about15 miles away.

He tells me that “Michael” is “an ex-phone guy with a passion for consumer electronics. He has gone through drug testing and is CompTIA certified.”

Sign me up.

More: http://www.staticacrossamerica.com/home/



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  About the Author

Julie Jacobson is founding editor of CE Pro, the leading media brand for the home-technology channel. She has covered the smart-home industry since 1994, long before there was much of an Internet, let alone an Internet of things. Currently she studies, speaks, writes and rabble-rouses in the areas of home automation, security, networked A/V, wellness-related technology, biophilic design, and the business of home technology. Julie majored in Economics at the University of Michigan, spent a year abroad at Cambridge University, and earned an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a recipient of the annual CTA TechHome Leadership Award, and a CEDIA Fellows honoree. A washed-up Ultimate Frisbee player, Julie currently resides in San Antonio, Texas and sometimes St. Paul, Minn. Follow on Twitter: @juliejacobson Email Julie at julie.jacobson@emeraldexpo.com

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