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Aussie retailer accuses UK shops of HDMI 'scam'

Four quid job just as good as a £100 one

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Want a free HDMI cable? Buy a telly from either John Lewis or Currys and you'll get one - not from those retailers but from upstart Aussie e-tailer Kogan.

The online store claimed "some retailers have decided that it’s appropriate to trick unsuspecting UK shoppers into thinking a £100 HDMI cable is better than a £4 one", so it's giving away its cables, gratis.

Kogan singled out John Lewis and Currys, telling those retailers' customers that they can have free cables so they don't fall victim to what it alleged is an "overpriced cable con".

Perhaps, it should have chosen its words more carefully. Only last week, Virgin Media had its knuckles rapped by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for claiming other ISPs were "conning" the public over broadband speeds.

You're not allowed to denigrate rivals, the ASA said, especially not without explicit proof.

Kogan said: "When you buy a TV from John Lewis, Currys, or countless other high street stores, you will be offered hideously expensive accessories such as HDMI cables.

"These cables are sold with absolutely ridiculous markups, many multiples of the actual cost of the items.

"It's a digital cable. You either get a picture or you don't. Don't get conned into buying a 'fancy' HDMI cable, because it will make no difference!"

In principle yes, but we'd note that if the cable is particularly crap, it could degrade the signal to the the point that error correction can't recover it. If that were not the case, digital phone calls would be either non-existent or perfect, and digital TV signals likewise.

Still, we've yet to come across an HDMI cable that bad, and it's hard to recommend a £100 HDMI cable over one that costs a tenner.

From 1 July, puntrers can claim a freebiew Kogan cable by simply emailing proof of their purchase to Kogan. As usual, Ts&Cs apply.

We're awaiting responses from John Lewis and Currys. ®

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