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Old 09-25-2005, 05:02 PM   #61 (Print)
c3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine1
I just bought Tivo and got a lifetime contract. I think Tivo maybe pricing themselves out of business.


I don't understand your logic. You don't like the monthly fees and the new termination fee. Yet, you purchased lifetime service.

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Old 09-25-2005, 05:24 PM   #62 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c3
I don't understand your logic. You don't like the monthly fees and the new termination fee. Yet, you purchased lifetime service.


I wouldn't have bought Tivo if I couldn't have gotten the lifetime part. I can break even in a little over two years. But many people can't afford to buy the machine and get the lifetime too. For them satellite and cable would be much cheaper for them.
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Old 09-25-2005, 05:24 PM   #63 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FishTank1701
Saying that one of the $10/mo cable DVR's is TiVo-like is akin to saying that my old 1974 Dodge Dart was BMW-like.

Having briefly rented the Motorola 6412 from Comcast, I can say that while it isn't as nearly as polished or feature-packed as a Tivo and the guide data is lacking... it's certainly serviceable as a basic DVR. The dual tuners weren't integrated nearly as seemlessly as I would have liked, but it was better than a single tuner... it also handles HD, though only a few hours. I'm wondering if 'basic' DVR functionality is sufficient for a large segment of the market or potential market. I'm willing to pay a premium for premium features, but is everyone?
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Old 09-25-2005, 05:29 PM   #64 (Print)
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Most cable company DVR users can't miss what they never had. I know plenty of cable company DVR users who think their DVR is the best thing since sliced bread - not having ever experienced the wonders of TiVo or knowing what features it provides over their box.

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Old 09-25-2005, 05:34 PM   #65 (Print)
Marine1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoed4Life
Most cable company DVR users can't miss what they never had. I know plenty of cable company DVR users who think their DVR is the best thing since sliced bread - not having ever experienced the wonders of TiVo or knowing what features it provides over their box.


That's just it though. People see they can record, stop play and rewind. That is what they want. If they never had TIVO, they're not missing anything, but believing they're saving a lot of money over TIVO.
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Old 09-25-2005, 06:16 PM   #66 (Print)
jimmymac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswallow
Did you ask TiVo if they can temporarily suspend service rather than canceling and starting it again later?


The rep told me I could temp suspend the service for up to 3 months and avoid the year commitment. That's not going to work in my situation. My stuff will probably be in storage for longer than that and I'll also be without cable/satellite service for that time as well.

I'm at the point where Tivo is quickly moving to a service that I wouldn't chose to subscribe to. While, I think it does an excellent job of recording what I want, the changes they have made in the past year or so have all been negatives in my opinion.

My experience has been that companies that lock customers into a commitment and penalize them for leaving early are companies that need to focus on their customer service because if they feel they need to lock customers in with contracts there is something very wrong with the service they are providing. Tivo has gone a long way from being what I thought was a very customer focused company to one who seems to be only concerned about bowing down to what the entertainment industry wants and I think the contract is a response to increases in customer churn given what's been going on over the last year or so.
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Old 09-25-2005, 06:22 PM   #67 (Print)
Marine1
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I don't think the one year commitment is bad, many companies are doing it. But the price of their machines are way to high compared to others that lock you into the one year. Then their monthly fee is higher than others. They need to rethink what will make people buy Tivo over other companies.
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Old 09-25-2005, 07:01 PM   #68 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmymac
I've reached the point where I'm no longer doing business with companies that want to lock me into service contracts. I'm moving because I lost my job and have to relocate. I'm getting stuck by one company who doesn't provide service where I'm moving to. Doesn't matter. You signed a contract.


Wasn't sure if you were referring to getting stuck with a cell phone provider or not, but if you are check out this site which allows you to transfer contracts. http://celltradeusa.com/
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Old 09-25-2005, 08:09 PM   #69 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmymac
The rep told me I could temp suspend the service for up to 3 months and avoid the year commitment. That's not going to work in my situation. My stuff will probably be in storage for longer than that and I'll also be without cable/satellite service for that time as well.

I'm at the point where Tivo is quickly moving to a service that I wouldn't chose to subscribe to. While, I think it does an excellent job of recording what I want, the changes they have made in the past year or so have all been negatives in my opinion.

My experience has been that companies that lock customers into a commitment and penalize them for leaving early are companies that need to focus on their customer service because if they feel they need to lock customers in with contracts there is something very wrong with the service they are providing. Tivo has gone a long way from being what I thought was a very customer focused company to one who seems to be only concerned about bowing down to what the entertainment industry wants and I think the contract is a response to increases in customer churn given what's been going on over the last year or so.


They lock you into contracts, because they are giving you deep discounts on the hardware. If you want to buy that free cell phone for $200, i think you can not sign a 2 year contract.

-smak-

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Old 09-25-2005, 09:14 PM   #70 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smak
They lock you into contracts, because they are giving you deep discounts on the hardware. If you want to buy that free cell phone for $200, i think you can not sign a 2 year contract.

-smak-
100% accurate. However, it would be strange if they tried to lock you in if you sold that phone to someone else and they wanted to use it on the cell network. That phone is either off contract or has paid the penalty.

It makes absolutely no sense if that Tivo has been in service for more than a year already. Or two.

The subsidy has already been repaid. Now it's just punitive and arbitrary. Basically, second hand Tivos that were purchased with a rebate and already fulfilled the rebate requirement are now not as attractive for resale. The hardware subsidy was paid off by someone else paying for the service.

Tivo could have introduced new hardware model numbers (not changing much else) and allowed secondary registrations an exemption. That way all NEW units must abide by the new 1 year clause and any secondary units have either paid the fine or are over 1 year old (obviously 1 year from now).

That they chose to do it this way is pretty silly.

It obviously makes the lifetime service that much more attractive but I'm thinking this will backfire.

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Old 09-25-2005, 10:14 PM   #71 (Print)
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TIVO's new President, Tom Rogers, for whom I indirectly worked for a period of time at NBC is a bit of a hard-a**. I suspect some of these 'knee jerk' management decisions are coming right out of his office.

J

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Old 09-25-2005, 10:41 PM   #72 (Print)
Marine1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lajohn27
TIVO's new President, Tom Rogers, for whom I indirectly worked for a period of time at NBC is a bit of a hard-a**. I suspect some of these 'knee jerk' management decisions are coming right out of his office.

J


Well he should realize like many other companies do, the real money comes from not buying the machine, but the service.

You can buy a printer now for $50-$60, but the real money is made on the ink cartridges they sell, not the printer.

You see the same thing now with these new floor mops. They almost give the mops away, but get it all back on selling you the pads and cleaner. Again the same with these toilet bowl cleaners, etc.

If they want to make money, they need to get Tivo in as many hands as possible and make their money on the service. That means cutting the price on the machines to the bone. Try to lock in people to yearly, multi yearly, or monthly contracts, by different pricing of the machine.

They need to knock off the the rebates. Many people don't have enough money to afford the high price of the machine, pay more than most others pay for monthly service and then wait for ever to get a rebate.

If they don't, cable and satellite will do them under.
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:04 AM   #73 (Print)
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I noticed that nice little addendum when I activated my second tivo last week. I wasn't too concerned though since I've had a contract with tivo for over two years now but I can see how that could be a major turn off to prospective buyers.
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Old 09-26-2005, 07:18 AM   #74 (Print)
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"Saying that one of the $10/mo cable DVR's is TiVo-like is akin to saying that my old 1974 Dodge Dart was BMW-like."

Wait now. Don't impugn those old Dodge Darts and their equivalent, the Plymouth Valiants! :-)

I owned a 1968 Plymouth Valiant for decades... slant six engine, easy to work on, easy oil changes, easy to do the tune ups. Had some great features... a light in the trunk, a light around the ignition key slot, a usable dome light, ample glove compartment, big trunk, really quiet engine... features that modern cars still often lack.

It also end up having built-in air conditioning... rusted through floor boards... oh, what a breeze! And the electrical system failed 3 times on me bringing the car to a silent, complete stop.

Maybe not BMW like... but functional, fun, and inexpensive. In fact, the Darts/Valiants were more like TiVo Series 1...

Last edited by TiVoEvan74 : 09-26-2005 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:22 PM   #75 (Print)
Stesmo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smak
They lock you into contracts, because they are giving you deep discounts on the hardware. If you want to buy that free cell phone for $200, i think you can not sign a 2 year contract.

-smak-


Again, you are getting nothing in return. This has nothing to do with the Rebate. If I don't send in the rebate, or the rebate is denied, I still get charged $150 for not keeping my TiVo service for a year.

If you reactivate the TiVo that you've had for years (for example, you were recalled and serving overseas in the military), you'll still be locked in for a year or $150. TiVo has recouped the lowered hardware costs (if there are/were hardware costs that TiVo eats... my first TiVo is a Sony) through subscription fees and advertising revenue. Yet, you're being locked into a contract. And, when that person gets unexpectedly cycled back into overseas service 6 months later, they have to either keep their monthly bills for a service they're not using or pay out $150.

I can tell you that I will not purchase a new TiVo with this policy. I don't like contracts with my cell phone and I don't recommend phone companies that force a contract.

I was excited about opening the Canada market, as I have friends up there. However, this is yet another "But" I have to mention if I want to keep them as friends. But, you'll have to pay for the box. But, you'll have to pay a monthly fee. But, you'll only be able to record one program at a time. But, there's an annual required contract or $150 early cancellation fee. I can't even just give someone my old Sony first gen TiVo ("Hey, try this for a month or two, and if you like it get one of your own and send this TiVo on to your mom to try") without this fee.

Forced contracts say "We don't think we'll be able to provide you great customer service in the future" or "We're able to get your business, but we're not planning on being agile or responsive enough to keep it."
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:33 PM   #76 (Print)
ZeoTiVo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stesmo
Forced contracts say "We don't think we'll be able to provide you great customer service in the future" or "We're able to get your business, but we're not planning on being agile or responsive enough to keep it."


this is exactly what I do not like about the year requirement. TiVo should be able to stand behind the product as is and not resort to such contracts without the user getting something in return like a free TiVo with NO mail in rebates
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Old 09-26-2005, 01:57 PM   #77 (Print)
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What I don't get is that if you have TiVo service for say 10 months and are then sent out of the country for the next year by the arm service or your employer ETC. you should be able to call TIVO and tell them to charge out the next two months (about $26 at most) and cancel the service. Do they expect for you to call them from say Iraq to cancel in two months so you don't pay the $150. TIVO may be leaving themselves open to some legal problems with this new program. I expect some TIVOs will now be sold on E-Bay with free service for X months, which then gives out your Media Access Key as it will be on this TIVO until the service owner is changed.

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Old 09-26-2005, 04:08 PM   #78 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Marine1
Well he should realize like many other companies do, the real money comes from not buying the machine, but the service.


Oh I couldn't agree more.. BUT... I just got off the phone with TIVO customer service to confirm all this and here's what I found out...

A used box for example that was previously activated (regardless of how long) and then is re-activated by the original or a different subscriber.. is now subject to the 1 year contract. In that theoretical situation, the new subscriber got no hardware rebate whatsoever.. but TIVO will still penalize you if cancel the service within 12 months.

Already have a TIVO account, and activate a new box - same thing... EVEN if that new box is actually used from EBay and three years old!

Have the monkey's started running the zoo over at TIVO? Have the lunatics taken over the asylum? It just seems like one massive PR blunder after another over there..

And it really hurts me to say that.. cause until all this.. I was a big fan.

I guarantee you can chalk these changes up to the new President, Tom Rogers. [As I posted elsewhere in this thread, I used to work for him indirectly at NBC and I have to say he wasn't too bright there either. ]

Dumb move Tom, yet again.

J

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Old 09-26-2005, 05:09 PM   #79 (Print)
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Anyone know the breakdown of Lifetime vs Monthly subscribers? Maybe they are trying to push the lifetimes.

Contracts like this are lame no matter how you slice it. On cell phones too. Cell phone providers now pretty much force the consumer to take a $39.99 plan. I get 500 minutes and barely use 100.
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Old 09-26-2005, 06:18 PM   #80 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unix_Beard
Cell phone providers now pretty much force the consumer to take a $39.99 plan. I get 500 minutes and barely use 100.

That's why they invented Virgin Mobile.
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Old 09-26-2005, 06:28 PM   #81 (Print)
c3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unix_Beard
Cell phone providers now pretty much force the consumer to take a $39.99 plan. I get 500 minutes and barely use 100.


I've been using prepaid for many years. Great for low usage people.

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Old 09-26-2005, 06:35 PM   #82 (Print)
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I have a Tracfone myself ($30 phone plus $7/month) but the Virgin Mobile plans look good too (down to $5/month.)
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Old 09-26-2005, 07:02 PM   #83 (Print)
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A total act of desperation I think and it will backfire and be the nail in their coffin.

I love my tivo and wanted another, but these business practices are unacceptable. I can build my own DVR for less than the cost of the $150 fee. It will use a PC I already own and will have no monthly fees.

I'm both disappointed and disgusted.

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Old 09-26-2005, 10:28 PM   #84 (Print)
Crrink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lajohn27
Oh I couldn't agree more.. BUT... I just got off the phone with TIVO customer service to confirm all this and here's what I found out...

A used box for example that was previously activated (regardless of how long) and then is re-activated by the original or a different subscriber.. is now subject to the 1 year contract. In that theoretical situation, the new subscriber got no hardware rebate whatsoever.. but TIVO will still penalize you if cancel the service within 12 months.

Already have a TIVO account, and activate a new box - same thing... EVEN if that new box is actually used from EBay and three years old!

Have the monkey's started running the zoo over at TIVO? Have the lunatics taken over the asylum? It just seems like one massive PR blunder after another over there..

And it really hurts me to say that.. cause until all this.. I was a big fan.

I guarantee you can chalk these changes up to the new President, Tom Rogers. [As I posted elsewhere in this thread, I used to work for him indirectly at NBC and I have to say he wasn't too bright there either. ]

Dumb move Tom, yet again.

J


Wow, that really, really sucks.
Thanks to all who have done some ground work on this issue - it will definitely make an impact when I talk about TiVo with people I know who don't own one, but would benefit from owning one.
What complete and utter BS.
Dumb move, TiVo. You will pay for this, I have no doubt. Not having ReplayTV around anymore to keep you honest will only push people to Cable Co. DVR solutions. No commitment, no buy in price, almost always lower fees, and now ALWAYS greater flexibility.
You're better than the competiton, TiVo, but not THAT much better.
I only wish I had more hands....so I could give this policy FOUR THUMBS DOWN!
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Old 09-26-2005, 10:54 PM   #85 (Print)
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I am so disgusted by this you have no idea. I was going to give away several TiVo's during the holidays but not this year. THREE THUMBS WAY DOWN.
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Old 09-27-2005, 07:34 AM   #86 (Print)
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I posted it in another thread as an aside but it belongs here...

The real fun is going to be when Tivo makes another change to the TOS *after* someone has already signed up for a new registration.

A materially adverse change in in the TOS, and Tivo subscribers will have an out to cancel without a penalty. It has to be "materially adverse" so it's little wonder the Macrovision change was done prior to this TOS change.

This whole 1 year thing for ALL new units is still a damn silly policy change. Tivo might get more lifetime units but it still is a tough sell to consumers. Has it started to hit the Ebay sales? I'd guess most of the auctions don't mention it yet.

_ITV
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Old 09-27-2005, 08:22 AM   #87 (Print)
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Nothing new to say except you can add 1 more person that hates the policy, do NOT feel comfortable promoting Tivo to my friends anymore, and sees this as the nail in Tivo's coffin if it's not changed.

Tivo positives:
- Better guide/useability
- Most users don't know/care if they've never tried Tivo
- It's only software - cable/sat DVRs WILL eventually be just as useable
- Better networking functionality
- Most users don't know/care

Tivo negatives:
- Contract (not required with cable/sat - other than normal sat contracts)
- Price (cable/sat $10/mo, no hardware fee, etc.)
- HD (no HD except an expensive DTV box that's about to be technically irrelevant)
- Dual Tuners (not available for cable/dish customers)

These negatives now FAR outweigh the positives for anyone who's not committed emotionally to Tivo or needs advanced functionality that cable/sat dvrs don't have (yet).
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Old 09-27-2005, 09:00 AM   #88 (Print)
Stormspace
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Quote:
Originally Posted by popechild
Nothing new to say except you can add 1 more person that hates the policy, do NOT feel comfortable promoting Tivo to my friends anymore, and sees this as the nail in Tivo's coffin if it's not changed.

Tivo positives:
- Better guide/useability
- Most users don't know/care if they've never tried Tivo
- It's only software - cable/sat DVRs WILL eventually be just as useable
- Better networking functionality
- Most users don't know/care

Tivo negatives:
- Contract (not required with cable/sat - other than normal sat contracts)
- Price (cable/sat $10/mo, no hardware fee, etc.)
- HD (no HD except an expensive DTV box that's about to be technically irrelevant)
- Dual Tuners (not available for cable/dish customers)

These negatives now FAR outweigh the positives for anyone who's not committed emotionally to Tivo or needs advanced functionality that cable/sat dvrs don't have (yet).


The biggest thing I see is the guy who buys a used box and three months into his new contract the box goes belly up. Sure it's repairable, but if he decides to not repair it he's still stuck with the 150.00.

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Old 09-27-2005, 09:03 AM   #89 (Print)
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I wonder how much more income this will generate... some will decide to get lifetime (so that should improve TiVo's short-term case flow), but others won't get it all (once they tumble to the upfront cost) (which means loss of income and even hardware sales). Leaving it as is, they probably would have done just as well... people paying monthly for several years! More than just one year rathernot at all.

Again, I'll repeat my observation... wasn't the current financial model working? I thought they were moving into the black and projections were good. Why mess with that?
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Old 09-27-2005, 10:02 AM   #90 (Print)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoEvan74
I wonder how much more income this will generate... some will decide to get lifetime (so that should improve TiVo's short-term case flow), but others won't get it all (once they tumble to the upfront cost) (which means loss of income and even hardware sales). Leaving it as is, they probably would have done just as well... people paying monthly for several years! More than just one year rathernot at all.

Again, I'll repeat my observation... wasn't the current financial model working? I thought they were moving into the black and projections were good. Why mess with that?


If they make money, it'll be because of the people who stay committed for a year vs. cancelling during the first year, not because of the lifetime converts. I think the people who will buy lifetime are the same people who would've gotten lifetime before, because they know the Tivo service already or have used it enough to feel comfortable with it.

I think this will seriously deter new customers who aren't already Tivo fans. For them, lifetime doesn't sound good because it means their new box is $450 (minus rebates, etc.) instead of $150. That's a ton of money for someone who isn't sure if they need it in the first place.

And what REALLY shocks me (and p***es me off, to be quite honest) is that this policy applies to used boxes as well. I've had over a dozen tivos over the years, and the ones that haven't had lifetime have had service on and off multiple times depending on when I needed them the most. I have absolutely no desire to ever buy a tivo again unless I'm positive that I'll get lifetime service on it. If my friends or family who aren't totally familiar already with Tivo ask my opinion, I would tell them not to bother anymore.
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