A right old ding-dong has kicked off in the consumer electronics channel, with retailer Kogan this week accusing larger outlets of letting customers think that a more expensive cable might support better HD TV.
Ruslan Kogan, founder and chief executive of electronics retailer Kogan, sent an open letter to the press this week arguing that "some retailers" were selling "overpriced" cables to consumers that would make little or no difference to their HD TV experience.
"What they conveniently forget to tell you is there's no difference in picture quality between Kogan's £4 HDMI cable and one more than 20 times its price. It's a digital cable. You either get a picture or you don't. It will make no difference," Kogan wrote.
He said that when consumers buy a TV from John Lewis, Currys, and many other high street stores, they are being offered "hideously expensive" accessories such as HDMI cables that were simply not needed.
"These cables are sold with absolutely ridiculous markups," Kogan said.
A John Lewis representative told CRN that it is about providing customers with a wide range of options when choosing accessories for their TVs.
"We offer a number of different HDMI cables, which start at £20 and go up to £99.95. Each of our HDMI cables offers excellent quality and value for money," she said.
"And by providing our customers with a range of different cables which offer different specifications, we are able to help them find one to suit their specific needs, with features such as different cable lengths, ultra slim and high speed."
Currys' parent DSGi Retail has also replied to the accusation, pointing out in PC-Pro this week that they are not upselling but helping customers to buy the right cable.
"We sell a large range of HDMI cables with different specifications and prices tailored to our customers' needs," DSGi was reported as saying.
"It's not just about the quality of signal and image that HDMI cables can provide, particularly in higher-end televisions, it is also about the protection from interference and the long-time durability of the cables."
Kogan has today issued a challenge to both Currys and John Lewis, to set up two of their premium 3D TVs -- one with a £100 HDMI cable, the other with a £4 HDMI cable.
"Put them side by side and let their own spokespeople try and pick which one uses which cable," said Kogan.
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