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Old 12-21-2005, 05:18 PM   #31 (Print)
TCS-DTiVo
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Central California
Posts: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeckner
Did you pay cash or did you buy with a debit/credit card? If you didn't pay with cash, then if you do not activate them, be prepared for an additional charge, unless the actual cost of the DVR has reached the selling price, which would be a big change.


I still see no way for Best Buy to be able to do this (additional charge when checked out this way). Yes they have a credit/debit card number and a name tied to that number, but they have no link between that customer's name/credit card # and the SPECIFIC unit (when purchased by simply scanning the UPC code only. All they know is that John Smith bought a R10. Can't see how they could possibly tie that to a specific unactivated R10. Not to mention that in this case the customer has never agreed to have his card "extra charged" and that wouldn't even be legal. They would get into trouble pretty quick if they started charging people's cards without authorization. Just my opinion. But I haven't heard from anyone that can explain how this would work, so I'm beginning to doubt that it has ever happened (when unit is purchased this way).
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Old 12-22-2005, 01:27 AM   #32 (Print)
tbeckner
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Bend, OR, USA
Posts: 1,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCS-DTiVo
I still see no way for Best Buy to be able to do this (additional charge when checked out this way). Yes they have a credit/debit card number and a name tied to that number, but they have no link between that customer's name/credit card # and the SPECIFIC unit (when purchased by simply scanning the UPC code only. All they know is that John Smith bought a R10. Can't see how they could possibly tie that to a specific unactivated R10. Not to mention that in this case the customer has never agreed to have his card "extra charged" and that wouldn't even be legal. They would get into trouble pretty quick if they started charging people's cards without authorization. Just my opinion. But I haven't heard from anyone that can explain how this would work, so I'm beginning to doubt that it has ever happened (when unit is purchased this way).
But is has happened to people in the past, so I would say you can roll the dice. But did they just scan the UPC, or did the scan include the serial number, and you may not be able to tell from the charge receipt. If I remember right, the serial number also has a bar code in the same area as the UPC. And do they need to identify the device by serial number or do they need to only identify it by name?

The only way you could have safely purchased a DirecTV version of a DVR and not have the non-activation charge applied, is to have purchased the device using only cash.

By the way, if you think that Best Buy is actually going to get in trouble for the charge then you really have no idea what your rights are, do you?

Again, you can roll the dice. I would recommend that you at least contact Best Buy as a Mr John Smith and see what they say.

The legality of the charge is another matter all together. All I can tell you is that a merchant really has all the rights to charge your account and it is up to you to prove otherwise, which can take a long period of time, and during that period of time you will not have access to those funds and even worse, if you did not have the funds in your account to cover that charge, your account will be service charged and could show a negative balance until you deposit funds to cover the charge and the service charge or the issue is investigate and cleared, which could take months.

It is up to you what you want to risk. Are you a gambling man?

__________________
Orig Join Date: 5/2000
Sony SVR-2000 3.0 5/23/2000
(3) Hughes HDVR2 6.2 HMO/MRV
(2) Hughes SD-DVR80 6.2 HMO/MRV
(1) Slingbox 1.0.5.140
DirecTV 10/94
with TyTool, TServer, TiVoServer
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:06 AM   #33 (Print)
TCS-DTiVo
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Central California
Posts: 17
I really appreciate your opinion and comments. While I was hoping someone would comment that actually knew from a similar experience, you make some interesting points, some of which I'm not sure I agree with. Just for grins my comments on your points...
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbeckner
But is has happened to people in the past, so I would say you can roll the dice.
I have yet to see someone get charged using the exact scenario I posted. Unless you can point to other evidence...
Quote:
But did they just scan the UPC, or did the scan include the serial number, and you may not be able to tell from the charge receipt. If I remember right, the serial number also has a bar code in the same area as the UPC.
As I said, I watched as the scanner beam hit only the UPC and all UPC's are the same. Really.
Quote:
And do they need to identify the device by serial number or do they need to only identify it by name?
They would have to be able to identify the specific unit, it seems to me. Otherwise they would be charging people at random.
Quote:
The only way you could have safely purchased a DirecTV version of a DVR and not have the non-activation charge applied, is to have purchased the device using only cash.
I agree that would be best.
Quote:
By the way, if you think that Best Buy is actually going to get in trouble for the charge then you really have no idea what your rights are, do you?
It isn't about them getting in trouble. It's about a customers rights in a charge dispute with the credit card company. In my stated scenario, I would win because they were not authorized to make the charge and because no mutual agreement was in place.
Quote:
Again, you can roll the dice. I would recommend that you at least contact Best Buy as a Mr John Smith and see what they say.
I'm sure this is good advice.
Quote:
The legality of the charge is another matter all together. All I can tell you is that a merchant really has all the rights to charge your account
I don't believe so, at least not in this case. The ability, but not the rights.
Quote:
and it is up to you to prove otherwise, which can take a long period of time, and during that period of time you will not have access to those funds and even worse, if you did not have the funds in your account to cover that charge, your account will be service charged and could show a negative balance until you deposit funds to cover the charge and the service charge or the issue is investigate and cleared, which could take months.
Sounds like this happened to you before.
Quote:
It is up to you what you want to risk. Are you a gambling man?
Doesn't seem like much of a gamble to me and I am not a gambling man. I could be wrong though.
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Old 12-22-2005, 04:50 AM   #34 (Print)
tbeckner
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Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Bend, OR, USA
Posts: 1,074
Quote:
Originally Posted by TCS-DTiVo
I have yet to see someone get charged using the exact scenario I posted. Unless you can point to other evidence.
Previous users have posted just that type of feedback on this forum in just the last week, but just not in this thread. And previous posts have been made over the years. All of the users are upset and feel like they where not informed. And just to add additional fuel to the fire, DirecTV was just sued and fined by the FTC over items very much like this and they have done over the last decade, but I doubt if this situation was included.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCS-DTiVo
..As I said, I watched as the scanner beam hit only the UPC and all UPC's are the same.
But did they write anything down? But all this might not matter, I would ask one of the DirecTV resellers on the forum what they have to do and what DirecTV needs. But there is a very good chance that your credit/debit card information and billing address from the bank is all they need. And something else you might not know, based upon other posts on other forums, if you cancel your card but keep the account open that was linked to the original card, that does not stop a payment from being charged to it. The bank will forward a charge like this and auto charges to the bank account using the old card number.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCS-DTiVo
They would have to be able to identify the specific unit, it seems to me. Otherwise they would be charging people at random.
Actually, not true, based upon previous feedback, they have identified accounts based upon credit/debit card name and billing address, and the fact that you bought the unit is all they need to charge you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCS-DTiVo
It's about a customers rights in a charge dispute with the credit card company. In my stated scenario, I would win because they were not authorized to make the charge and because no mutual agreement was in place.
But if you look at the enclosed documentation that came with the unit, you will find the wording that allows them to charge you, just like a software EULA. In other words, instead of opening the package for software, you will find wording based upon the actual purchase of the device, and it is up to you to prove you activated the unit, not the company. This whole situation gets fuzzy, but legality aside, the affect on you or your bank account is what you should be concerned about. Legality means nothing when the act of another has a detrimental affect on you. And most people would not want to spend their time fighting a major corporation with deep pockets for such a small amount. Question, what is your time worth?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCS-DTiVo
Sounds like this happened to you before.
Yes, with charges made to my account from the richest company in the world, Microsoft. And it was a battle to get everything corrected and I believe I was very lucky to get my account straight in just a little over a week after I noticed that they screwed up. But that was because Microsoft jumped right on the credit. Although just getting a valid credit issued and applied and getting the bank to reverse out any invalid fees was painful and time consuming. But in your case, with a charge that a company will say is valid, it could take almost forever and dozens of phone calls and letters and months to clear you account.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TCS-DTiVo
Doesn't seem like much of a gamble to me and I am not a gambling man. I could be wrong though.
That is up to you. You need to ask yourself if you want the hassle. To me, playing it safe by checking with Best Buy would be the best option of all, and you might learn something that could save you a lot of heartache.

In addition, DirecTV may have changed the way they do business. Maybe they no longer charge you if you do not activate or maybe they will charge you or your account after you finally activate the DVR. But my guess is that they still do it the old fashion way, because that contains the least risk to them.

__________________
Orig Join Date: 5/2000
Sony SVR-2000 3.0 5/23/2000
(3) Hughes HDVR2 6.2 HMO/MRV
(2) Hughes SD-DVR80 6.2 HMO/MRV
(1) Slingbox 1.0.5.140
DirecTV 10/94
with TyTool, TServer, TiVoServer

Last edited by tbeckner : 12-22-2005 at 04:55 AM.
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Old 12-22-2005, 10:01 AM   #35 (Print)
dishrich
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Springfield, IL
Posts: 256
Just so everyone knows, I have recently bought brand new D-Tivo's & STILL have NOT activated them yet. Part of the reason is because I've been moving & just haven't had time to hook them up, but frankly, I plan on putting both of the SD units on the shelf as spares, since obviously there will no longer be D-Tivo's being made.

Bought a Hughes DVR80 over a year ago & an HD Tivo over 4 months ago from BB, as well as bought another brand new Hughes DVR80 from an internet site 2 months ago. NONE of these units have been activated & I have not been charged any "non-activation fees" on my credit cards that I used to purchase them, nor on my D* bills, so I have to believe maybe they are not enforcing this any more. If worse comes to the worse & they decide to send me one of their "non-activation letters", then I'll just go ahead & activate them & then deactivate them later - no big deal.

(since the last card changeout & their system being secure, maybe D* thought this was no longer necessary)
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Old 12-22-2005, 11:54 AM   #36 (Print)
herdfan
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Hurricane, WV
Posts: 1,328
We are having way too many in-laws of all kinds in this weekend, so I thought I would hook up a receiver on a never used TV. BB and CC only had R15's so I tried Wal-Mart. Sure enough they had a stack of R10's.

Now here is the kicker: They took no personal info from me whatsoever. When he gave me my total, I thought I would just try something, so I paid cash. He never made me swipe a CC or sign anything.

May be a way around activation requirements. Never hurts to have a few spares around. Who knows, these things may fetch a premium on ebay in a few months.
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:25 PM   #37 (Print)
coolbreeze
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Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by herdfan
We are having way too many in-laws of all kinds in this weekend, so I thought I would hook up a receiver on a never used TV. BB and CC only had R15's so I tried Wal-Mart. Sure enough they had a stack of R10's.

Now here is the kicker: They took no personal info from me whatsoever. When he gave me my total, I thought I would just try something, so I paid cash. He never made me swipe a CC or sign anything.

May be a way around activation requirements. Never hurts to have a few spares around. Who knows, these things may fetch a premium on ebay in a few months.

Wal-Mart carries DirecTV? I need to check them out...want an R10, all that's left in my area are R15's (CC & BB).
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