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Why does Mini require a Service Plan?

Discussion in 'TiVo Mini' started by d.susie798, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    Some providers charge the same amount for "service" whether they are subsidizing a phone or not, so you might as well upgrade. Especially if you can sell the old phone for roughly the same price as the upgrade. If you're going to pay the same rate then why not?

    Like I said if providers actually lowered the service fee to reflect a non-subsidized phone then people might think differently. But really it's the providers who are screwing people over by charging the same whether they're subsidizing a phone or not.

    I think the main reason TiVo's stab at the free + $20/mo plan failed was timing. At the time TiVos weren't very expensive ($250) and service was only $12.95/mo. So paying $20/mo for 2 years wasn't that great a deal. I think if they did something like that now with a Roamio Plus they'd have more takers. And if they did a whole home package with a Roamio Plus and 2 Mini's for $35/mo people would do that too.
     
  2. bayern_fan

    bayern_fan New Member

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    Just picked up a Mini yesterday and signed up for Lifetime service through the website. Is it unusual to pay sales tax on the service though? My understanding was that only hardware from TiVo was subject to sales tax.
     
  3. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    It depends on which state you live in. In some states, due to TiVo having a business presence there, etc, they need to charge sales tax on the service fee.
     
  4. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    Well, it's exactly what they do in Europe. People only upgrade typically every 3-4 years because they are paying the actual cost of their handset device (an iPhone is typically about $800 USD)... and the service is quite a bit less expensive (unlimited minutes and text + a large amount of data for maybe $45-$65 per month in most countries).

    I would like to see the US market go to that model but it won't happen. The person earlier who commented that US consumers can't see past the tip of their nose hit it on the head. 90% of consumers are wrapped around how much the "monthly" cost is of everything in their life, from a car payment, to rent, to cable, telephone, etc. They simply can't comprehend or appreciate that for some things they can pay cash up front and save quite a bit of money over time.... it's the "paycheck to paycheck" mentality.

    I've seen people loading up on essentials like paper towels, toilet paper, garbage bags, etc, and paying $100 more at the grocery store than if they bought all that stuff at Costco or Sam's Club.... and they probably wonder where their money goes every month.

    The OP strikes me as a classic whiner. I can't afford it, so it's not fair. Waah. I drove crappy cars for years and years so that I could eventually pay cash for a really nice car. Life's tough all over, make better choices.
     
  5. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I play on a pool league with a bunch of guys/gals who are constantly complaining about how broke they are and how they can barely afford the $7/week for league. I don't relate to that mentality at all! I haven't been broke since I was a teenager. I've always lived far enough below my means that I had a good chunk of cash in the bank to draw from if something came up or I wanted to splurge on something nice. I couldn't even imagine living so close to the line that one unexpected expense could throw me into hardship. But most people live that way their entire lives and think nothing of it.
     
  6. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    You've got that right, and that describes most of my family too. They think I'm "rich" because I can splurge on nice stuff from time to time. They apparently don't recall that while I earn a decent salary, instead of spending every nickel of it I have always set aside a minimum of 10% of my wages for unforeseen emergencies. It means having a cushion and not worried that one missed paycheck will mean having my house foreclosed on! By comparison as soon as they come into a little money they blow it. If they get a bump in their hourly wage they immediately go out and "fill in" that extra income by trading in their vehicle for a better one, etc. Yikes.
     
  7. tatergator1

    tatergator1 Active Member

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    I agree that under the current systems of most cellular providers, it makes the most sense to upgrade right at the end of the 2 years to get the most value out of the inflated monthly service rate. I can dream of of discounted monthly rates for unsubsidized phone purchases, but that doesn't mean it's going to happen any time soon.

    C'est la vie!
     
  8. beobuff

    beobuff Member

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    Bingo. What's really sad is that those with that mentality are de facto locking themselves into that "paycheck to paycheck" lifestyle, from which escape is difficult if not impossible. It is the modern day equivalent of the "penny wise and pound foolish" mindset. Maybe our public school systems should consider obligatory courses in personal finance. The great majority of Americans haven't a clue how to manage their money.
     
  9. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    T-Mobile is changing that game, they are now no-contract and you can get 4 lines with unlimited talk/text + 500MB data for $100/mo. Phones are extra and can be paid for monthly or upfront. We just switched off of Sprint to get out of the forced 2-year contract & upgrade cycle because smartphones are good enough now (for us) to last longer than that.
     
  10. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    How do you share only 500MB between four phones? How do you only use 500MB on one phone?
     
  11. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I have a 2GB plan on my phone. I typically only use 100-300MB a month. The only reason I keep the 2GB plan is because the next step down is 200MB, which is $10 cheaper, but if you go over they charge you $15. And since I'm so close to 200MB most months it seems like too big of a gamble.

    I work from home and when I am out I'm rarely unable to connect to wifi so I really don't use much data.
     
  12. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    My billing cycle is only a few days old and i'm already over 1GB. I use Pandora everyday, plus Google and Verizon both back up my pictures and other content each night.
     
  13. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I don't use Pandora, but even if I did I'm almost never away from wifi so I still doubt I'd get anywhere near my 2GB limit.
     
  14. jmpage2

    jmpage2 New Member

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    It is my observation that your usage patterns, whether it is having a 50TB UNRAID setup, having at one time 1/2 a dozen TiVo units, carting TiVos to your girlfriend's house, using gobs of 4G/LTE data, or your continual defense of Microsoft's mobile business strategy are....

    atypical. :D
     
  15. slowbiscuit

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

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    It's 500MB per line, and with Wifi fairly widespread the only way our family goes over that on a line is with video streaming. Normal usage won't do it. The only issue with T-Mo is their data coverage, specifically 4G/LTE.
     
  16. bradleys

    bradleys It'll be fine....

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    It is rare that I can find a WiFi signal. My company does not provide public WiFi so nothing during that bulk of my day. And trying to play around with stream I was surprised how many restaurants no longer provide complimentary WiFi.

    It suprises me being in a very metropolitan area - but I seem to live in a public WiFi desert!
     
  17. bfollowell

    bfollowell New Member

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    The problem is, you can't, unless you find someone that still has stock somewhere. Moxi is no longer selling new units. Their technology has been folded into Arris. ReplayTV has also stopped selling new units. They are now part of the DirecTV family.

    Besides, I don't think anyone can compare to the service you get from Tivo.

    - Byron
     
  18. Dan203

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

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    I think that was the point. TiVo has no retail competition left. Their only real competition are cable company DVRs and in most cases TiVo is a better deal long term. TiVo only considers Roku and AppleTV secondary competition.
     
  19. bayern_fan

    bayern_fan New Member

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    So...about the TiVo Mini and service plans? :)
     
  20. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    Think of the service plan as a way to reduce TiVos cost of selling a Mini, assume that TiVo wanted to sell a Mini at retail for $250, if service was included, the retail outlet would take about 30% off list price to purchase from TiVo, so TiVo would net about $175 from say Best Buy, under the service plan option TiVo sells the Mini for about $70 to a retail outlet, then gets the full $150 for the so called lifetime service plan, giving TiVo a net gross sale for the Mini of about $220 or about $45 more for each Mini.

    The issue is moot if you don't think the Mini is worth $250 to you.
     

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