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The price of TV satellite decoders leased through the Army and Air Force Exchange Service in Europe dropped Dec. 1 from $25 to $13 a month.

Customers who entered into rental agreements before the price drop will also be charged the new $13 rate.

AAFES was able to lower its lease price because what it pays for the decoders was reduced.

“I’m sure somebody saw the lowering of the cost of the product as an opportunity to give back to the customer,” said Ralph Byerly, chief of retail for AAFES Europe. “We’re not losing any money doing this, and it benefits the customer.”

Last year, AAFES cut the price of decoders sold through the exchange almost in half.

Byerly said price reviews are ongoing at the exchange, although he was not involved in setting the new decoder lease price. But, he added, “This is a real good time for any retailer to try to give back to the customers” because of strong retail sales during the holiday season.

A satellite decoder and a satellite dish are needed to receive American Forces Network “Direct-to-Home” television in homes off-base.

According to an AAFES news release, the former $25 lease price was based on the cost AAFES pays for the decoders and the equipment's expected life.

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