Thursday, January 19, 2006

Dude, where's my inventory?

I've documented many times the glee which the Dutch media seems to take in beating up on UPC. It has always amazed me that, as far as I can tell, none of this seems to find its way back to investors in the States. Well, the next published balance sheet may raise some eyebrows, based on this report out of the Netherlands. Professor Jan Kabel (whose surname amusingly means "cable"), an expert in Consumer Law in Amsterdam, says that under Dutch law there is nothing to stop UPC subscribers from simply sending back or throwing away the digital decoders the company is distributing, unsolicited, in an effort to migrate 2m customers over to digital. Another report details a visit made to a post office in Rotterdam, where the reporters claim to have seen vast numbers of UPC digital decoders either uncollected or returned by subscribers. This adds a new dimension to the term "stranded boxes."

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