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Extended warranty -- TiVo vs Best Buy

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by aristoBrat, Aug 7, 2013.

  1. Aug 7, 2013 #1 of 36
    aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    Va Beach, VA
    I have a question about Best Buy's extended warrantee on devices like minis.

    One of my two minis (both over 90 days old, both under TiVo's extended warranty) stopped outputting video. Working with TiVo, they're calling it dead, and are trying to send out an RMA. Apparently their RMA system has been borked for the last two days, so mine's in limbo at the moment.

    This one warranty incident "consumes" the entire TiVo extended warranty for this mini. The replacement they're sending will have its own 90 day warranty, and I'm free to purchase another $40 TiVo extended warranty if I want to extend coverage on it for three years.

    That surprised me. Shame on me for not reading the details of their extended warrantee before buying it, but I can't recall any other electronic manufacturer's extended warranty that is only good for one use. :confused:

    My question is this. From reading the forums, I see that Best Buy offers a $20 4-year warranty on minis. Does that warranty work the same -- i.e. it's only good for one replacement, and then it's considered "consumed", where it offers no more value.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Aug 7, 2013 #2 of 36
    berg0449

    berg0449 Member

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    Nov 5, 2011
    Good question.

    I have a question to add if there is difference: If you have Lifetime service will it be moved to the new unit? I am under the impression if you do it thru Tivo the Lifetime service would be moved. I would not expect the same to happen if you did it thru Best Buy.
     
  3. Aug 7, 2013 #3 of 36
    aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    Va Beach, VA
    Thinking that TiVo wouldn't transfer Lifetime Service if I got a replacement through Best Buy was one of the reasons I went with the TiVo extended warranty.

    According to TiVo's webpage below (emphasis mine), they would transfer Lifetime if Best Buy replaces it.

    http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/20
     
  4. Aug 7, 2013 #4 of 36
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Nevada
    I believe that in both cases they will only transfer lifetime once. So even if you get the BestBuy warranty that will replace the unit an unlimited number of times I think TiVo will only allow you to transfer the service once. So I'm not sure the BB warranty provides much more value in that department.
     
  5. Aug 8, 2013 #5 of 36
    sbiller

    sbiller Active Member

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    Tampa, FL
    I recently executed a Best Buy warranty on an XL4. Its a one-time use item. They do offer to sell you a new warranty (~$59 - 4 yrs) on the replacement box).
     
  6. Aug 8, 2013 #6 of 36
    aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    Dec 30, 2002
    Va Beach, VA
    Thanks for the update.

    Another thing that surprised was that since my mini was 90+ days old, the rep told me that I didn't have the extended warranty, it would have cost $49 to get my mini replaced under the included one-year hardware warranty. That covered the shipping and "labor".

    Wow. 50% of the MSRP to replace under the one-year hardware warranty? :eek:
     
  7. Aug 8, 2013 #7 of 36
    lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    BUT if you have Lifetime on your Mini TiVo will also xfer that, if you don't have lifetime I would just purchase a new Mini ($89 at Amazon) and you will not have to pay shipping back to TiVo and you will be getting a new Mini.
     
  8. Aug 8, 2013 #8 of 36
    atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Active Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    I think if you are monthly you have to get it replaced and not buy another or you will have to continue making monthly payments on the dead unit, until you get past the 1 year commitment period.
     
  9. Aug 8, 2013 #9 of 36
    aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    Va Beach, VA
    I guess my expectation (from having dealt with other consumer electronic manufactures) is that if their device fails during the included hardware warranty period, the replacement cost would be minimal -- like return shipping.

    I understand that they have to move Lifetime to the replacement box, but when a box fails within its one-year warranty, that seems to me like it's the least that TiVo could to. Adding that as some sort of 'value add' feature and bundling it up in a $49 "warranty replacement fee" just rubs me the wrong way.

    If my mini was outside of the included one-year warranty, this $49 fee wouldn't irritate me as much. Can't wait to see what they charge for out-of-warranty fees.
     
  10. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Nevada
    Probably the full $99 with the only bonus being the ability to transfer lifetime. After 3 years they wont even do that. At least on the current Premiere boxes if it's past 3 years you have to pay full MSRP for the box plus a $299 lifetime transfer fee, so it's only a slight discount over buying one brand new.
     
  11. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    I am curious, does Best Buy send regular TiVo units out for repair (like if the power supply or hard drive is acting up) or do they simply swap it out or apply credit towards a newer model?
     
  12. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    NO they just replace the unit after that I don't know what happens to the old TiVo.
     
  13. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Ah, thanks. They probably just send it to the warranty company to deal with, it might wind up being a refurb after repair.... or, they just write it off and destroy it.
     
  14. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    BB does not replace the unit an unlimited number of times. First they try to fix it. If the unit can't be fixed and is replaced then the warranty is gone. You have to get a new warranty on the new unit.

    This is their policy now on electronics. Now whether they actually try to fix it or not I guess it depends. I've had them fix a couple of electronic devices I had under warranty(which took a few weeks). They did not replace them. But they were not TiVos. But if the unit is replaced, the old warranty is used up.

    The reason I try to get the BestBuy warranties is because of the length. They offer a 4 year extended warranty while the longest TiVo offers is 3 years. And I don't expect to actually be using the extended warranty since I've never had a serious problem with 24+ TiVos. But having the extended warranty helps with the resale of the TiVo since the new owner will have peace of mind knowing that if there is an issue they will be covered for a period of time for any issues that could crop up.
     
  15. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    You have actually had BB attempt a repair on a TiVo? My understanding is that BB does repair on some items and simple replacement on other. Usually more specialized electronics such as iPads, etc, cannot be repaired by them and must be replaced.
     
  16. waynomo

    waynomo My One Time TCF Club

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    Seven...
    Best advice is really not to buy an extended warranty at all.

    I feel like the computer in War Games.

    It's insurance. Think of insurance companies as casinos except with a much bigger house edge.
     
  17. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    I've not used the BestBuy extended warranty on a TiVo. But I did with a combo HD DVD/BD player and a BD player since the policy change.

    I only know they had changed their policy. In the old days you always got a new item for replacement, or the original value on a gift card if they didn't sell the item or like item any more. But once they changed the policy, getting a new item or a gift card was not always going to happen.

    BestBuy has changed alot of things over the last couple of years that have not been better for the customers.
     
  18. aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    To each their own, but my experience with first-generation consumer electronics (like the mini) has been that the extended warranties tend to not favor the house nearly as much. :eek:
     
  19. waynomo

    waynomo My One Time TCF Club

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    Seven...
    I am not going to disagree with your statement. But there is still a huge house edge.

    The Mini costs $100. It's one thing to take out insurance on big ticket items that you can't afford to replace (house and car come to mind) but on a $100 item that is just absurd IMO.

    TiVo is offering their 3 year extended warranty for $40. What percentage of mini's do you think will break in 3 years? Forget the break even point of 40%. Do you even think it is close to 20%? I would bet it is closer to 5%.

    Best Buy has a 4 year warranty for $20. Even if the failure rate is as high as 10% this is still a big edge for the warranty company and Best Buy. (They all get a piece.) Why do you think Best Buy and other companies try so hard to sell extended warranties? It's because there is a huge profit margin on them.

    Now if you want the security and piece of mind that is fine. Great, it is all about sleeping better at night, right? Just understand that financially it is not a smart play even for a new consumer electronic device. (Especially one with no moving parts.)

    Suggestion:

    Setup a poll here. Ask TiVo Mini owners if their Mini has broken and needed to be replaced/repaired and see what the breakdown is. My only fear is that if not worded right you might be more likely to get people to respond who have had a problem. But still, might be interesting to see what happens.
     
  20. nooneuknow

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

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    Cox Cable...
    I've always thought of extended warranties as a form of gambling, and in cases of other insurance (not extended warranties), where it is required, a form of something that would be illegal, if it wasn't gov't sanctioned.

    It seems like bad luck to say it, but I've never had an extended warranty pay for itself, and never wished I had bought it when I didn't.

    In order for it to work, it has to favor the house. As long as it remains available, and the terms remain the same, I consider that proof-positive that the house is winning.

    YMMMV, and I'm certain there are plenty who have bought it and it did pay for itself, and then some. However, like gambling, you winnings has to come from somebody else's losses, who chose to play (get the warranty), and never used it.

    It's when you see major changes in the policies, that's when you can be certain the house was losing, or just not happy with their winnings (profits).
     

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