Victoria woman complains about free TV antenna giveaway

Jennifer Lee Preyss By Jennifer Lee Preyss

Nov. 1, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Updated Nov. 2, 2012 at 6:02 a.m.

Hoping to nab one of Victoria Television Group's 200 free antennas Thursday morning, Jan Petree woke up early and drove to the TV station about 3:30 a.m.

People were lining up about 9 p.m. Wednesday, however, and Petree said she was about the 50th car in the line when she arrived before 4 a.m.

Crowds continued to build on Lawndale Avenue and North Navarro Street Thursday morning, and Petree said the antennas were given out before she had a chance to drive to the front.

"I waited two hours in the dark," Petree, 66, said. "Nobody came out to the car and let us know they were out of antennas, or we're getting more. They ignored us like we were nobody."

Petree said she was frustrated that Victoria Television Group didn't do a better job of informing the crowds the antennas were gone, which were given out in entirety by 7:15 a.m.

Jeff Pryor, Victoria Television Group's general manager, said the giveaway was a promotion through Antennas Direct to promote

Victoria Television's nine free high definition stations that broadcast locally to Crossroads viewers, including KAVU-ABC, KVCT-FOX, KXTS-CBS, KMOL-NBC, Univision, Telemundo and This TV, among others.

Antennas Direct donated 200 antennas to the first 200 people in line, and a 20 percent off discount coupon to remaining customers.

"If there are people who didn't get an antenna, we apologize. We hope they'll make arrangements to pick up an antenna at the store of their choice and enjoy our free over-the-air television," Pryor said.

The 20 percent discount coupon to purchase an antenna through Antennas Direct is available on the website, which links to the Antennas Direct website. But he mentioned there are antennas available at full price at area retailers where electronics are sold, he said.

Pryor also said if there are questions about the giveaway or if anyone needs help accessing the coupon, he is available by phone at the Victoria Television Group.

"There were some people who were unhappy because of the way it had to be done. I just don't know how we could have made it any more fair," Pryor said.



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