Hughes and Bennetts Electricals boss offers advice on the digital switchover in Norfolk

The boss of a Norfolk electrical firm says his company had received thousands of calls for help from customers ahead of this area's digital switchover on November 23.

Robert Hughes, of Hughes and Bennetts Electricals, said he had spent six years preparing for the change.

His company has seen thousands of calls for help from customers and he has brought staff out of retirement to help with the push.

Mr Hughes said: 'Believe me, we did see a lot of calls.

'I expect the volume of calls on the 23rd to be the same; it will be our hardest day.

'The majority of calls are from older people.

'Some worry they will break the TV or lose channels if they try it themselves. They will even do without some channels rather than risk trying to retune. TV is very important to some of them.

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'But it is virtually impossible for Digital UK to do more; the cost would be massive. It is worth noting the pain is worth the gain, the signal reception in this region will dramatically improve.

'Some people think this is a con to get them to spend money; I want to stress to people still using analogue that you need to get a digital set top box.'

The transmitter at Tacolneston, near Norwich, switches to digital on November 23, giving more than 400,000 homes in Norfolk and North Suffolk access to Freeview and HD channels.

Call Digital UK on 08456 50 50 50 for more information. While reputable companies like Hughes and Bennetts have been providing valuable services to customers, Age UK Norfolk has issued a warning about rogue traders who will attempt to profit from the swithover.

Linda Gill, development manager for Age UK Norfolk (formerly Age Concern Norfolk), said: 'One lady paid �50 for a retune, which is excessive, and people have been tricked into buying a new aerial when they don't need to.

'Older people may be more vulnerable to this and rogue traders are taking advantage.

'We urge people to get advice from Digital UK, or call us for support.'