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Explain Why Lifetime Service isn't a hugely bad idea

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by bengalfreak, Mar 8, 2014.

  1. chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Active Member

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    Chicago, IL
    I paid $100 and I am quite happy with both my basic Roamio and what I paid for it.
    If you can pay less than $100 for a basic Roamio, let me know; I'll buy one as a backup.

    I would normally agree, but $30 for 4 years is not expensive:
     
  2. chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Active Member

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    May 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    I can afford lifetime and have never used it. My first TiVo was an S2 as a gift with a $100 gift card. I pre-paid for one year, liked it and then pre-paid for a second year.

    Then my cable company went all digital. I wound up with one external tuner that usually would tune to the correct channel. I did not check to see what an S2 with or without lifetime was worth; I just donated it to charity.

    I was an early adopter with the Premiere. I could not tell if the problems with the Premiere were hardware, software or a combination. Regardless, I had no interest in lifetime preferring to wait out a new model. I turned to the SDUI to solve 95% of the issues with the Premiere and kept renewing. Using armchair quarterbacking I would have been better off getting lifetime by about $100. My Premiere was fried during a power outage and I'm probably just going to toss it.

    I now have a basic Roamio which with PM and a $50 gift card from BB cost me $100. I migrated my 1-year pre-paid and just renewed my 1-year pre-paid.

    What is going to make this decision a bad one? Gigabit Internet, my cable company offering everything VOD going back for a year, who knows. Not willing to bet that lifetime is a good deal now.
     
  3. squiddohio

    squiddohio New Member

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    Ohio
    The fact that an individual does not have the ready cash to purchase the Lifetime has no bearing on whether or not Lifetime is the wiser purchase from an economic standpoint. Not everybody has the capital to purchase the more expensive item that will, in the long run, cost less. The numbers are objectively determinable, but subjectively cannot always be implemented due to one's present situation.
     
  4. NYHeel

    NYHeel Active Member

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    Actually $30 for a warranty on a product you paid $100 for is really expensive. A warranty on a Tivo is pointless unless you have lifetime. $30 for a $100 product is crazy but $30 for a $500 product ($100 for the box plus the $400 for lifetime) is a little more reasonable.
     
  5. chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Active Member

    2,284
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    May 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    The Roamio is $199 list. $30 for 4 years is cheap. $30 for 4 years for a $100 product is cheap because overnight shipping for a refurbed Roamio on warranty could easily be more than that. I guess I find value here and you find an excuse to criticize. $30 too much? Really? You expect $0? $10? Not going to happen.

    My quote was for someone else. I am waiting to pick up another Roamio for $100 as my "warranty." The $125 I can get from TiVo does not qualify since I have to sign up for service.
     
  6. chicagobrownblue

    chicagobrownblue Active Member

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    May 29, 2008
    Chicago, IL
    You probably read a prospectus and ignore the "past results are no guarantee of future performance" i.e. what worked in the past may not work going forward. What you did in the past is not available now; you are just crowing about past good decisions that are not available now. Not useful advice.
     
  7. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    The math isn't hard to do, especially if you are purchasing a 4 year warranty. What does 4 years of your yearly service cost? is it more or less than $399? There is your answer and you don't even have to consider what the difference in value maybe with or without lifetime at the end of the 4 years.
     
  8. jrtroo

    jrtroo User

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    Feb 4, 2008
    There is only one reason for the warranty being offered- profit to the seller. If you instead NEVER buy a product warranty and instead pool all of those funds into an investment you are much better off, even is something needs to be replaced. But, some folks prefer to pay the premium, feel free to do so.
     
  9. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    Raleigh, NC
    This is essentially true for all insurance policies. You are always better off self-insuring than you are buying the insurance, unless you have better information than the insurer does about the risk of loss under the policy. Barring that, the only reason to buy any insurance policy is if you could not bear the loss financially if it does occur. So yes, if you would be unable to absorb the $500-$900 loss in the event your lifetimed Roamio dies or the $200-$250 loss if your Mini dies, then by all means buy the extended warranty. I would hate to see a $200 loss cause anyone here to go bankrupt. On the other hand, if you can absorb the financial loss but it would just ruin your day, then you are essentially a sucker for buying the extended warranty.
     
  10. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    You can always sell it. Comcast supports VOD through TiVo. Even with another provider, you could have an HD box (non DVR) for VOD and a TiVo. Or just TiVo stuff, and not need VOD, since most VOD sucks anyways.

    Gigabit internet has nothing to do with anything.

    The only reason you'd want to get rid of TiVo is if you want to move to satellite. FIOS and cable both support TiVo...
     
  11. moonscape

    moonscape Member

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    Jul 3, 2004
    SF Bay Area
    Yep - I have had better info on how much I use my notebook computers and they =always= have issues during the warranty period. My first was an Osborne Executive lugable - no insurance on that! But then I had two Toshibas, two Microns, two Dells and am on my 2nd HP. After the Microns I learned to get on-site warranty (time factor, not being able to talk to person directly repairing, etc) and my Dells and one HP both needed power supplies, mother boards, keyboards, screens, and compurter repair was here the next business day. I insure them for 4 and 5 years respectively.

    I can afford a new computer, but those warranties have been worth gold. I'm either hard on my notebooks or a lemon magnet.

    Other than notebooks, I agree! The only other insurance I get is for my home, car, and health. That said, $30 for several years on my lifetimed Roamio Pro w/ lifetime might've made sense ...
     
  12. HarperVision

    HarperVision TiVo's Italian Cuz!

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    Paradise...
    That post sums it ALL up right there, and is the best answer given that I recall in this drawn out, horse beaten thread.
     
  13. JSY

    JSY Member

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    There always seems to be some battle between people who like lifetime and those who don't and each side seems to want to have to justify their decision. Everyone has their own situation and reasons.

    I am surprised that I almost never hear anyone bring up time value of money. That is the main catalyst why TiVo even offers lifetime in the first place. They have this expectation of how long they think their hardware will last - and then assign a lump sum value to it. For people whose TiVos last less than their calculated time, it works out better for them - and for those whose TiVos last longer, it works against them. But the main thing is it is to TiVo's advantage to take as much money as they can from you now, rather than have you pay over a period of time. Your $500 today is worth more to them than your $500 spread over the next 3 years. They can take that money you give today and invest it to accrue more than what $500 would be after 3 years. So, when I hear that TiVo loses out on the lifetimes - I think for the most part that is simply not true overall. If they are consistently losing out, they would not have a lifetime program. They're not that stupid.

    So, in the same token, if you calculate that a $500 lifetime cost comes out to about 36 monthly payments and you take the lifetime - and your hardware dies permanently at the end of 36 months, then you will come out at a loss. You could have taken the $500 lifetime and invested that to accrue more than $500 over that period. If your hardware lasts longer than that - then you will start to come out ahead.

    But no one knows when the hardware will die. So, some take the gamble, and some don't. We really don't need to be criticizing those who don't choose lifetime and those who do.

    (My personal situation is that I do pay monthly and won't go lifetime for any existing TiVo because I do not want to lose the $12.95/$6.95 rate when I change my hardware. I tried to lifetime my extra 3rd TiVoHD recently but they wanted I think $499 or $599 so I just retired it.)
     
  14. tarheelblue32

    tarheelblue32 Active Member

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    The main reason that time value of money isn't brought up very often is because with the relatively small amounts we are talking about and the relatively short time scales we are working with, it's almost a non-factor in the decision. If you were to take the time to calculate TVM into the equation, it might make the break even point for lifetime a month further into the future. That's almost a rounding error.
     
  15. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    I would love to have a reason to bring it up, but given the amount of interest my bank is paying me it really is pennies. Heck the last charge card I got gave me free interest on purchases for a year so it is hard to even figure much cost if you borrow the money.

    So like tarheelblue32 said all it does at most is change the break even point by a month or so and like I said before you can not know which way is better ahead of time but it is easy to know in hindsight.
     
  16. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Rochester NY
    I agree but lets be clear it is a gamble if you buy lifetime and if you don't buy lifetime, only one way will be cheaper in the long run and we can not know that until the break even point is reached.

    I think what most people are really disagreeing on is what the risk factors are and which way has more risk of costing you more money. I personally believe that paying monthly has a higher risk of costing more than buying lifetime.
     
  17. mpnret

    mpnret Member

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    Dec 4, 2012
    Looks like the odds are really with those who choose lifetime. Hardware dying is fairly remote and even if it does: "WeaKnees Flat Fee Repairs - NOTE: If you have lifetime TiVo service, we PRESERVE it during these repairs!"
     
  18. Bigg

    Bigg Active Member

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    Yeah, it's a really good bet, and even if you lose one over time, chances are you will still come out way ahead. The only thing that can fail to take out Lifetime service is the motherboard. The PSU and hard drive are replaceable, keeping Lifetime.
     
  19. JSY

    JSY Member

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    Nov 5, 2002
    I do agree that hardware does last a while - my TiVos have lasted quite some time, but remember - when you repair/replace the HD, you're basically increasing the cost you paid for the lifetime.

    As far as TVM and how little interest you'd gain today - that is a good point. However a 3yr CD rate is higher than a typical savings account. LOL all 1% of it.

    I guess I mean whatever floats your boat should be your choice - but to make fun of people who choose differently from you - that's just silly. No one knows the situation of the other person and what's best for them.
     
  20. jasonfox

    jasonfox New Member

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    Oct 24, 2007
    Is there still a market for series 1 Tivo's? My Sony series 1 with lifetime has been gathering dust for a while. If it's worth something maybe it's time to put it up on eBay and see about adding Lifetime to my Roamio. :)
     

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