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Tivo won't honor warranty on HD

Discussion in 'TiVo Roamio DVRs' started by mlcarson, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Worf

    Worf Active Member

    Sep 15, 2000
    That law basically says a company cannot void the warranty of unrelated parts.

    Now there are two things about the TiVo that make it different from the reason that law exists (i.e., a car).

    First, a TiVo is a box that's "no user serviceable parts inside". Which means there's no reason to go rooting around inside because the user is not expected to be able to replace parts. For any reason, and these days, liability because of stuff like the open-cage power supply, sharp edges, etc. The user is free to open their product (it's theirs), but the manufacturer is no longer obligated because the product was never designed for user servicing.

    Second, the law states they can't void the warranty of unrelated parts. So if you change your radio, the manufacturer cannot void the warranty of the engine, unless they could show a direct relation between the radio and the engine, and that modifying one can destroy the other.

    In this case, the user mucked with the bad part, and TiVo no longer warrants the hard drive because the user directly mucked with it (assuming they were meant to). Next, the hard drive is pretty critical to the entire operation and it won't be as hard for TiVo to show that mucking with the hard drive could cause potential damage to other components like say, the motherboard, the power supply, etc.

    Take a slightly different system, like say a desktop PC, and it's a lot clearer the user was meant to wander inside because the user manual states how to do stuff like add memory, add hard drives etc. In which case the case was intended to come off to allow user serviceability because it's documented right there. In TiVo's case, nothing was supposed to be replaced.
  2. telemark

    telemark New Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    That's interesting, but I'm not persuaded. In that scenario, who decides what's "No User Serviceable Parts Inside" for warranty purposes? For me, a Tivo HD is easy to replace but my car's brake pads are not. Computers companies (Apple/IBM) used to be the same way as Tivo is today. The "No User Serviceable Parts Inside" sticker is a safety sticker for when there is unsafe voltages inside the case. I've found a number of products that say that but needed a fuse (something otherwise user serviceable) replaced inside.

    Also we're not talking about "User" we're talking about a "Professional", say BestBuy GeekSquad or WK.

    In reality, a consumer doesn't break a Hard Drive by testing it or pulling it. They break it by dropping it (same as dropping the whole Tivo) or opening the Hard Drive.

    To me, the definite answer on this comes from lawyers or the FTC.

    This site allows asking questions for free (and only lawyers answer):

    I think I found the FTC's rules (administrative law)
    16 CFR 700.10 - Section 102(c).

    (b) Under a limited warranty that provides only for replacement of defective parts and no portion of labor charges, section 102(c) prohibits a condition that the consumer use only service (labor) identified by the warrantor to install the replacement parts. A warrantor or his designated representative may not provide parts under the warranty in a manner which impedes or precludes the choice by the consumer of the person or business to perform necessary labor to install such parts.

    (c) No warrantor may condition the continued validity of a warranty on the use of only authorized repair service and/or authorized replacement parts for non-warranty service and maintenance. For example, provisions such as, “This warranty is void if service is performed by anyone other than an authorized ‘ABC’ dealer and all replacement parts must be genuine ‘ABC’ parts,” and the like, are prohibited where the service or parts are not covered by the warranty. These provisions violate the Act in two ways. First, they violate the section 102 (c) ban against tying arrangements. Second, such provisions are deceptive under section 110 of the Act, because a warrantor cannot, as a matter of law, avoid liability under a written warranty where a defect is unrelated to the use by a consumer of “unauthorized” articles or service. This does not preclude a warrantor from expressly excluding liability for defects or damage caused by such “unauthorized” articles or service; nor does it preclude the warrantor from denying liability where the warrantor can demonstrate that the defect or damage was so caused.
    I take that to mean OP could have taken the broken Tivo to any repair shop of his choosing...they would be allowed to open it...and diagnosis it without voiding the warranty.
  3. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    This is a silly discussion as TiVo has never refused a warranty repair if the user has mucked around with the hard drive, TiVo could press the issue but don't unless you tell TiVo "I changed out the hard drive and the unit still does not work, can I put the original drive back in for a warranty repair" ??. In that case if TiVo refused warranty repair and you spent money and time going to court you would most likely not win.
    People have had something happen to their TiVo that had an upgraded drive, put the original back in and gotten a replacement, some have gotten a replacement by sending back the TiVo with the upgraded drive, as TiVo does not check out the return TiVo before sending you out the replacement.
  4. dianebrat

    dianebrat drastically off narrative TCF Club

    Jul 6, 2002
    Pretty much exactly what I was going to say, Tivo has long had a "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy on upgraded hard drives as long as you DON'T TELL THEM.
  5. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
    I believe aaronwt would beg to differ with you, he would have to chime in here though.
  6. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Yes. I had a launch TiVoHD in 2007 that TiVo refused to troubleshoot under warranty because I had changed out the hard drive. They said it was no longer under even if I put the original drive back in(I never told them that I had changed it out. They were the ones that told me since they could see the size change in the logs) So I put the original drive back in and exchanged it at Circuit City where I had purchased it.

    Of course the second and third TiVo HD had the same issue. It was a software issue that caused mono audio, instead of stereo audio, from Analog channels. I guess at some point they fixed it, but I switched to FiOS soon after that which was all digital so it eliminated the issue I had with the audio.
  7. ncbill

    ncbill Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Western NC
    Again, IMHO it's pointless to argue with Tivo over the phone when one can simply drop in a new drive (on any of the new Roamio models) or switch out an external power supply (base Roamio), either for a nominal price.

    My original lifetime base Roamio (direct from Tivo) failed in the first couple of weeks - so I sent it back, no out of pocket cost.

    Then waited 90 days before I dropped a 3TB upgrade in the replacement.

    I also bought an inexpensive 3 year, 3rd party warranty.

    If it fails, not due to the hard drive or external power supply (I'd just replace either of those out of pocket), I'll swap the original drive back in and send it off for replacement.
  8. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    Asking for a warranty repair replacement and asking for troubleshooting on an upgraded TiVo are two different cases because to troubleshoot TiVo the CSR must look at the logs and then can see you changed out the drive, if you have problems with your upgraded TiVo and want TiVos troubleshooting help just put back the original drive before calling.
  9. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    Putting it back in would not have mattered. They looked at the logs and saw the drive had been replaced. At that point it didn't matter. They were not going to do anything. Of course the drive had absolutely nothing to do with the issue. Heck they couldn't even understand what a stereo signal was. They thought because I was getting audio from two speakers it was stereo. But the same mono signal was being sent to both. Not discrete audio. I wasted a ton of time with them after exchanging the TiVoHD a couple of times. It still pisses me off when I think about it.

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