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TiVo XL Not Operational NO Help from TiVo Customer Service

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by rick43065, Sep 13, 2013.

  1. rick43065

    rick43065 New Member

    Oct 7, 2009
    My TiVo Premier completely stopped working after two years. I think this was due to a near lightning strike in my area. Yes I did have this on a working surge suppressor and Battery backup unit.

    To my amazement, but not surprise, not only do in need to replace my unit, but also the lifetime subscription. TiVo suggested I contact Weeknees, but alas this is not economical to repair and is merely avoiding the issue.

    I am a very long time TiVo customer, having purchased three TiVOs (including one of the original Series 1's all with life time subscriptions. I am also a member of the TiVo advisory panel, however I will be terminating that relationship effective immediately.

    I am upset that in cases were I am OFFERING to RETURN the defective unit and pay full price for a FACTORY refurbished unit, TiVo is unwilling to provide any assistance with the lifetime subscription, transfer fee, etc.

    My needs are very simple as I use TiVO to record OTA content only. I use my Samsung Home Theater System, for internet provided services including Amazon Prime;), Hulu, etc.

    I am not about to pay TiVo for a new unit AND Lifetime subscription for programming of the 5 OTA channels I receive.

    Too bad I can't figure out a way to have my Series 1 unit record/playback HD. As this 13 year old unit just keeps working! BTW this subscription is the good one with TRUE lifetime (not product lifetime subscription) that was changed around 2006 timeframe.

  2. tatergator1

    tatergator1 Active Member

    Mar 27, 2008
    Columbus, Ohio
    If the Series 1 lifetime was purchased on or before January 20, 2000, you can request that the lifetime be transferred to a brand new box at no cost.
  3. rick43065

    rick43065 New Member

    Oct 7, 2009
    I missed that date, as I purchased my first unit 5/20/2001. At that time it was still a (real) Lifetime subscription

    When I purchased my 2nd unit in 2010 the would not transfer subscription.

    Then in 2011 I purchased a 3rd unit and (needed two HD capable) TiVo's. and again the Series 1 unit subscription was not transferable. Yet they discounted the lifetime subscription by $100. to $399.

    Same offer yesterday, $399 subscription + 199 TiVo= $600.00

    No thanks.
  4. Teeps

    Teeps Active Member

    Aug 16, 2001
    Not sure why you are mad at TiVo; they didn't cause the lightening strike.
    And, the terms of service clearly state it is for the life of the device...

    Did you contact the manufacturer of the battery backup/surge protector?
  5. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

    Jan 29, 2011
    SE Ohio
    I'm no expert, and in any case TiVo's policies can be a moving target, but: I thought they would generally replace any failed TiVo unit with a refurbished unit of the same model for a flat fee of $150 including transfer of the lifetime subscription. Maybe you should call again to see if a different TiVo rep can manage to do that. And maybe you shouldn't speculate that the failure was caused by a nearby lightning strike.

    But first, what are the symptoms? Unless the unit's motherboard is blown, you might be able to repair it by replacing the power supply and/or the hard drive.
  6. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    Are they asking for a full cost lifetime subscription? I've seen instances where that has been discounted for a replacement box. Not sure if you are expecting something for nothing as the box is BROKEN, not DEFECTIVE. Big difference there.

    What is wrong with the box, you may be able to easily REPAIR it, especially if it turns out to be the hard drive or power supply.
  7. unitron

    unitron Active Member

    Apr 28, 2006
    semi-coastal NC
    January 20, 2000, TiVo "clarified" their definition of lifetime to indicate that it is for the lifetime of the unit, and grandfathered lifetime purchased prior to that date.

    (note that this was for U.S. units and subs--the situation in the UK turned out to be an entirely different kettle of fish)

    What was this 2006 change of which you speak?
  8. DonaldBurns65144

    DonaldBurns65144 Member

    Jan 10, 2011
    Are you sure that you can't repair your Premiere? It could be nothing more than the power supply is damaged. If so, then a new internal power supply could get you up and running again.
  9. rick43065

    rick43065 New Member

    Oct 7, 2009
    All, thanks for your offers of assistance.

    My unit was damaged by a near lightning strike, as I lost other electronics including my cable modem. The damage was not caused by a surge on the power line (so my surge/ups) warranty is not applicable. As for the TiVo Premier, both the hard drive and power supply are working. (I plugged the drive into a computer, and tested the power supply to specifications, under load). It is the motherboard, for which both weeknees and PVRUpgrade determined there is no repair possible.

    In regards to TiVo, I offered to PURCHASE a NEW replacement (refurbished) unit and pay a service transfer fee, AND return the defective unit (lest they think I am trying to upgrade to a new Romeo) Their response was there was nothing they could do. My CSR was very polite and helpful and even spoke to a supervisor, but no assistance. The best they could do for a 10 year + long customer was pay FULL retail, less the $100.00 lifetime service that anyone with a previous TiVo subscription would receive.

    I do hope that anyone with a "lifetime" subscription realizes these issues. Broken units cannot be repaired or replaced (unless it is a power supply issue) . It is a disposable item, including the lifetime contract.

    I did recontact Tivo in regards to the user post, " I'm no expert, and in any case TiVo's policies can be a moving target, but: I thought they would generally replace any failed TiVo unit with a refurbished unit of the same model for a flat fee of $150 including transfer of the lifetime subscription." Nothing doing, that is incorrect information.
  10. jrtroo

    jrtroo Chill- its just TV

    Feb 4, 2008
    That was the normal going rate for quite some time, so it's possible their policy has changed.

    However, I would continue playing CSR roulette, "don't cost nothin'". It has worked for me in the past for a similar issue.
  11. billbillw

    billbillw Member

    Aug 15, 2005
    Try calling again. Make sure to go through tech support, not sales. Just tell them that your Tivo unit isn't working (don't say anything about lightning), ask what service/repair is possible and mention the lifetime sub. You should be able to get a $150 replacement that includes transfer of the lifetime. I just did this a month ago when my Tivo HD (S3) tuner started acting up. I received a Premiere 500GB unit with lifetime, total cost $150+tax.

    Even if they are not able to give you an XL sized equivalent replacement for that price, I would take it and upgrade the drive yourself.
  12. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    If the damage was caused by a lightning strike, insurance should cover the replacement of those items. Of course less any deductible.
  13. Soapm

    Soapm Active Member

    May 9, 2007
    So close,...
    Did you look inside for a fuse or fusable link? If it was a power surge, that's what the fuse is for. Also, if you have a volt meter and basic knowledge of how to use it then I've seen the voltages posted here. Maybe we can find them and you can see if the PS is providing good voltages or not. This would be a easy and economical fix.

    How much did weaknees want? When you consider the cost of lifetime service it may be worth a thought? Then again, this unit has been down for two years so you may be more concerned about principles and not fixing the unit.

    Lifetime of the unit is a gamble both ways, it could die the next day which means you lose or it could last 10 years which mean you win. If it were transferable then it would be a no lose situation, buy one lifetime and transfer it until you die.

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