The retailer's service will allow consumers to redeem the government-issued coupons and purchase digital TV converter boxes over the phone. The call center will also offer information on purchasing digital TVs.
The retailer has carried Zenith-branded converter boxes, which it sells for $59.99, since February. Taxes do apply on a state-by-state basis (in New York, the total cost is $62.39). Consumers can receive up to two coupons worth $40 each, effectively dropping the price.
TV stations will halt broadcasting in analog and switch to full digital in February, potentially causing millions who don't subscribe to cable or other services to lose reception. (Circuit City said its phone service will provide information on how to sign up for cable or satellite.)
Brian Bradley, senior vice president, multichannel at Circuit City, said the call center "will be a valuable public information resource ... (and) an important new sales channel for people who live in rural areas and for customers who find it inconvenient to visit traditional retail locations." Circuit City, which has 710 U.S. locations in the U.S., has also created a Web site devoted to DTV issues.