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Open Letter to Tom Rogers, Tivo CEO and Tivo Management

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by nyctwc, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. Dec 4, 2013 #1 of 113
    nyctwc

    nyctwc New Member

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    Apr 6, 2010
    I have been a Tivo customer for over ten years. My original Series 2 Tivo was a great product at the time, but since then every unit I've owned (Series 3 HD, Premiere XL, Premiere XL4, Stream, Mini and now Roamio Pro) has had so many bugs, including the service outage by Tivo’s servers all night yesterday.

    You can browse the support forums here at Tivo Community and on Tivo’s own website and see numerous problems users have been experiencing due to poor engineering and software bugs. When is Tivo management going to get its act together and get the engineers and support staff to resolve all of these problems everyone is having in a timely manner? Does the management board even know about these problems? Do you use Tivos the way most users do on a daily basis to know how many problems there are, or is this just another case of a company being run by a board of executives with business degrees and no depth of understanding of the product that they’re selling?

    Among the long list of problems I've been experiencing: Padding time to Season Pass recordings creating a 2nd manual recording, numerous problems connecting to Wifi, frequent problems connecting to the Tivo outside my home network, Tivo Desktop for Mac not having been updated in several years, Roxio's Tivo Transfer not working at all with the Roamio Pro, the iOS Tivo App showing the wrong disk percentage, the inability to transfer some older recordings from another Tivo. The list goes on and on. When Tivo’s servers went down last night, there was no way for Tivo owners to know that the errors they were getting were a result of the servers being down. This information should have been made available on Tivo’s website. This shows an incredible lack of communication between Tivo and their customers.

    These are issues that have been ongoing for months, and in some cases, years. The Level 1 phone support staff doesn't know how to solve these known issues. Incredibly, many aren’t even aware that these problems are known issues. They make you go through their canned troubleshooting guide over the phone, which is an incredible waste of everyone’s time. The Level 2 support staff seems to know about some of the problems, but the Level 1 staff makes it really difficult for Tivo owners to get through to them. It seems that the only decent support for Tivo owners is on their website forum and here at Tivo Community, but we only have the ability to make each other aware of known problems, not fix them.

    This is completely unacceptable for an $1,100 product (Roamio Pro with Lifetime Service). I wish there was a better alternative for a standalone DVR besides the cable companies’ DVRs, which have far fewer features. Currently, I’m only a Tivo customer out of a lack of better options.

    Tivo management, please take the necessary steps to recognize the numerous problems Tivo users are having and find a way to get the engineering and support staff to fix them and communicate with customers in a timely and efficient way.
     
  2. Dec 5, 2013 #2 of 113
    aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    Dec 30, 2002
    Va Beach, VA
    Do you follow TiVoMargrets posts on here? It'd be interesting to do a count of the number of problems she's been active with, both in querying users for more data (for the engineers), as well as communicating the contents of all of the Roamio updates that have gone out over the last few months (i.e. is the bug fixed in this particular update).

    Regarding "Among the long list of problems I've been experiencing: Padding time to Season Pass recordings creating a 2nd manual recording":

    I agree that there shouldn't have been as many bugs though.
     
  3. Dec 5, 2013 #3 of 113
    geekmedic

    geekmedic TiVo Fanatic TCF Club

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    Apr 4, 2003
    Atlanta, GA USA
    Early adopters always experience bugs. If you want a more solid product, always wait until they've been out for a while.
     
  4. Dec 5, 2013 #4 of 113
    chrispitude

    chrispitude New Member

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    Apr 23, 2005
    Sure, just ask those Premiere owners.
     
  5. Dec 5, 2013 #5 of 113
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Near...
    LOL ... hope that rant made you feel better (which is about all it could accomplish). Your comments quoted above provide the reality that undermines any logic in your position.

    Tivo provides the best value you can find ---- for ten years!

    This reminds me of the WalMart employees whining about what lousy low paying jobs they have. Meanwhile every time a new WalMart opens, offering 300 jobs, more than 10,000 people apply for them.

    Nobody forces you to use Tivo (or to work at WalMart). If you can do better somewhere else --- do it!

    You presume to know better ways to run Tivo. Whether the changes you request would actually result in a better Tivo (from the viewpoints of tivo employees, stockholders and consumers) is highly questionable. They might just result in overpriced products, falling sales and extinction. You don't get to decide this, and aren't in a position to know the answer.
     
  6. Dec 5, 2013 #6 of 113
    slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    3,501
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    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    LOL, you haven't owned the same Tivos I have. Everyone is an early adopter/beta tester no matter how long you own the box. They are famous for breaking as much stuff as they fix with every software update.
     
  7. Dec 5, 2013 #7 of 113
    HenryFarpolo

    HenryFarpolo New Member

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    Dec 1, 2008
    Andover Ma
    I have to agree with the prior poster. My experience with TIVO over the years has been positive. Like others, I experiences the loss of some functionality the other night, but it was not the end of the world and certainly not enough to justify a full barreled rant against TIVO.

    My guess is that the TIVO team will address the cause of the partial outage and will respond to some of the suggestions from posters who may have been affected, as they have in the past with other issues.
     
  8. Dec 5, 2013 #8 of 113
    BiloxiGeek

    BiloxiGeek Reality Challenged

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    Nov 18, 2001
    Gulfport,...
    Been a TiVo user since 2001, I can't recall an outage like the recent one. So in 12 years they have one outage at the mothership and it creates mass-hysteria around here? Seems like a gross overreaction to me.
     
  9. Dec 5, 2013 #9 of 113
    aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    Va Beach, VA
    Regarding management being aware of these problems, TiVo's Vice President of Design & Engineering / Chief Design Officer (TiVoMargret) has been participating on this forum (which isn't affiliated with TiVo, Inc) for over three years now, and has been very active here since the Roamio launch.

    From what I've seen, she's been involved with most of the major Roamio bugs reported here, in terms of being the liaison between forum users here and the engineers there, as well as communicating when the updates are slated to come out, and what's in them.

    I can't think of another electronics product that I own where a VP of the company interacts "amongst the commoners" (esp. on a fan forum that isn't owned/moderated by their company), to the point of posting her direct email address and asking people with issues to contact her.

    I'm not saying that there's no room for improvement with TiVo communication (or debugging of products before launch), and don't even get me started about how disconnected TiVo customer support is from the issues that she's involved with on the forum here, but on the same note, I don't think one can make the case that TiVo management is unaware of Roamio issues or not attempting to communicate about them.

    I use this link to follow her posts here:
    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/search.php?do=finduser&u=198507
     
  10. Dec 5, 2013 #10 of 113
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Link doesn't work.
     
  11. Dec 5, 2013 #11 of 113
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...
    What happened the other night? I did notice that the DIscovery bar was out. But it had zero effect on me watching my recorded content. I watched my shows like normal. Now if that gets affected I would have an issue, but some of the other features are secondary since I have many other devices that can accomplish the same task. It's just more convenient to have one device do most that. But an occassional glitch is not the end of the world. Since there is no device out there that doesn't have an issue at one time or another.
     
  12. Dec 5, 2013 #12 of 113
    BiloxiGeek

    BiloxiGeek Reality Challenged

    502
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    Gulfport,...
    The mothership wasn't online for some reason. So that Discovery bar was out, the IOS app wasn't functioning, I couldn't get Netflix so the wife was a little unhappy since we couldn't continue our binge watching of Sons of Anarchy. But like you said, recorded content was fine, live TV was also fine and scheduled recordings were happening as expected.

    It was a little frustrating that the IOS app needs the TiVo and the mothership to be online and available, but I have a remote so it wasn't like I don't have a perfectly reasonable work-around.
     
  13. Dec 5, 2013 #13 of 113
    aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    Dec 30, 2002
    Va Beach, VA
  14. Dec 5, 2013 #14 of 113
    nyctwc

    nyctwc New Member

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    Apr 6, 2010
    dlfl, with over 5,400 posts almost every day on this forum for the past three years, I'm suspecting that you have some association with Tivo. Are you a current or former employee?
     
  15. Dec 5, 2013 #15 of 113
    aristoBrat

    aristoBrat Active Member

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    Dec 30, 2002
    Va Beach, VA
    This is a TiVo fan-site. I think you're going to find a ton of users here with way more posts than dlfl that have absolutely zero association with TiVo, other than being (or having been) a product owner.
     
  16. Dec 5, 2013 #16 of 113
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    North...
    The best you can do in response is make a completely baseless, false accusation?

    If you have been reading some of those 5400 posts, you would realize how ridiculous such a question is. I remember when Dlfl came to the forums - he was not happy at all with TiVo and his situation!
     
  17. Dec 5, 2013 #17 of 113
    palover

    palover New Member

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    Jan 16, 2013
    NC
    Server problems, apparently, but not affecting recording, playback, etc., just streaming and app functions. I was happy to know the problem was on their end and wasn't affecting basic operations.

    I would agree. Tivo ownership isn't exactly exploding these days, so they know that people aren't going to put up with a lot of problems and an unresponsive company. I think they're doing everything they can to fix issues but they don't have unlimited resources.
     
  18. Dec 5, 2013 #18 of 113
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Er .... yeah. That's the ticket!

    Just for the record I have absolutely no affiliation with TiVo and do not own any Tivo stock.

    How's that old aphorism go? Something like .. If you can't win an argument on facts, resort to emotion. If that doesn't work attack the person.

    I have had and still have complaints about Tivo. I just don't think giving them sanctimonious lectures to straighten up and fly right is of much value. The original post would more appropriately be delivered directly to Rogers or TivoMargret. I suspect it was yet another attempt to rouse the rabble on this forum and lead a torchlight procession to the Tivo castle to kill the monster.
     
  19. Dec 5, 2013 #19 of 113
    BiloxiGeek

    BiloxiGeek Reality Challenged

    502
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    Nov 18, 2001
    Gulfport,...
    Couldn't help but get a mental image of Elmer Fudd...

    Kill the wabbit, Kill the wabbit!
     
  20. Dec 5, 2013 #20 of 113
    Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    37,443
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    Nevada
    It exposed some weird restrictions. For example I tried to cancel a recording from my To Do List and it wouldn't let me because the server was down. WHy does it need to contact the server to cancel a recording? There was also no way to search so the only way to setup new recordings was to use the guide. It also blocked access to Netflix and Hulu.

    Basically it demonstrated to a lot of people, including myself, how much the HDUI depends on that internet connection and we were caught off guard.
     

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