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Why does TiVO make is so hard?

Discussion in 'TiVo Premiere DVRs' started by rpk113, Feb 5, 2013.

  1. lessd

    lessd Active Member

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    If lifetime cost $399 for a TiVo customer that can get a MSD, they can sell a TiVo-HD on E-Bay and net close to the $399, now maybe only $320 as the Series 3 is getting old, but for a new TiVo customer that has to pay $499 for Lifetime + the cost of the hardware, about $100, that person get a good HD TiVo for almost 1/2 price, the seller pays only $399 + $99 -$320= $179, good deal for both.
     
  2. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    They sell hardware at a loss (subsidized by the subscription), so why on earth should they want to lose money to keep you happy? They are better off with out you than if they gave you what you want.
     
  3. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    You should be able to get lifetime on your HD for $99 if you buy a full-price Premiere and put service on it. Take the HD and sell it for $300+ and use that to pay for the Premiere.
     
  4. lew2

    lew2 New Member

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    That wasn't available on the phone when I talked to them on Saturday 2/2. Of course that seems to change periodically and is regularly available. Just in case anyone tries to call right now, may need to be patient.

    As to the $99/yr rate the OP mentioned... I sure would love to still be able to buy gasoline at 75 cents a gallon, but that ship has sailed. :)
     
  5. macgyver

    macgyver Clowns are after me!

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    Perhaps. I'd definitely pay a fair sum (I already bought two lifetimes for my two boxes, so that's $800 or so right there). I'm not a fan of subsidized pricing or other models which complicate things for exactly this reason. Here's what I, as a consumer, want from TiVo (a company I went out of my way to have a direct relationship with instead of having a provider-provided DVR or 'sponsored' TiVo experience).

    1. No monthly fees. I'm (obviously) willing to pay up front to get out of that. They get more cash up front, interest benefits, etc.

    2. The ability to upgrade my hardware when I want (for whatever the hardware actually costs) without being penalized by the lifetime service.

    I'm a geek. I have a fair amount of disposable income, so I'm willing to consider upgrading two Premiere boxes just to go from 2 to 4 tuners. I'm managing fine with my two current Premieres, but their model (for Lifetime, at least) encourages you to keep your current hardware versus upgrading, which seems like poor implementation on their part.
     
  6. mattack

    mattack Active Member

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    You aren't being treated as a new customer, you get a $100 discount on lifetime.
     
  7. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Since you don't use the monthly payment option, don't think of the DVR and service as two different things.
    Ignore the service for a moment. Think of just buying a DVR that costs $550 (low end) to $800 (high end). Like other things, it doesn't matter how many you buy. It will always cost what it costs.
    How do you feel penalized by the lifetime service?
    You think Tivos should be like cars where you can "trade in" your old model for a new one?
    Although TiVo doesn't do trade ins, you CAN sell your Tivos to help recoup some of the costs of upgrading. You won't get what you paid for them, but that's the same for anything you sell used.
     
  8. P42

    P42 New Member

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    Correct, Lifetime does do this. The alternative, is a monthly subscription, which frees you to upgrade the hardware at any time (well after 12 months), as your old hardware has minimal value, and the new hardware is subsidized and typically requires a 12 month contract.

    Lifetime does not break even for a number of months, around 25 IIRC, at this point if you hand on to the unit you are saving $15 to $20 per month. If you want to upgrade, Tivo is not going to help you out, but your hardware has a high value because of the Lifetime, and you'll get most of your money back, which you can then roll over into the new hardware and Lifetime.

    The Tivo model is straightforward, it is just that you'd prefer that they roll your Lifetime over to a new unit, and Tivo has no interest in doing that as they don't make any money then.

    Phone company upgrades are easy because they have you by the short hairs, and fleece you for $100+ per month.
    [/rant]
     
  9. macgyver

    macgyver Clowns are after me!

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    Except $550 to $800 is nowhere near what that hardware costs. I understand the model TiVo is using. It is (IMHO) overly complicated, and in my case (not saying I'm a stand-in for everyone) it's preventing them from selling me new hardware as quickly as they otherwise could have. I'm not saying this is the worst thing ever - but I agree with the original poster that TiVo's model is more focused on new customers & purchases, versus the potential for additional hardware revenue from current customers.
     
  10. macgyver

    macgyver Clowns are after me!

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    My hardware has a high value only to those customers who understand this 'straightforward' model, which is not Joe Average.

    Their model is not straightforward. Subsidizing hardware is pretty much the opposite of straightforward.

    Straightforward would be selling the hardware for what the hardware costs, the service for what the service costs, and lifetime (if they offered it) for whatever the average cost of a lifetime subscription was (all with their profit markup, of course).
     
  11. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Sorry but we have no idea what it costs TiVo to develop and manufacture their DVRs. What we do know from their financial reports is they have virtually never made any profit selling Stand Alone DVRs. If it were not for the deals with pay TV providers and law suite settlements TiVo would already be gone. Saying TiVo's pricing isn't straight forward seems like you are over thinking things. They have 2 options either pay everything upfront or pay part upfront and part monthly why isn't that straight forward? Ok I guess 2 options is more complicated than only 1 option but really does having a choice really complicate it that much? Yes if someone tries to figure out how the pricing structure is derived that certainly would be complicated but why would a consumer need to worry about it? Either the price is acceptable (low enough) for them or it isn't.

    The reason TiVo has tried so many different pricing options is because they have not been able to find a price point where they can become profitable. With the Premiere they have tried pricing in just about every way possible and there still isn't enough demand to maintain subscribers.

    After all of the above the bottom line is still that you want Tivo DVRs and service to cost less. Well most of us want everything (except our own labor ;)) to cost less so I guess you are in good company.
     
  12. Arcady

    Arcady Stargate Fan

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    "Joe Average" is using eBay, because I have no problem selling TiVo HD boxes with lifetime for $350+ there, always within a day.
     
  13. mr_smits

    mr_smits New Member

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    True. It would be interesting if they offered a option to make upgrading more attractive. As it is, it requires selling to get the residual value from the box. Customers with lifetime have little incentive to upgrade since they are heavily invested with existing box.
     
  14. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    The incentive is getting a newer box. I've never had a problem selling any of my TiVos. I've sold around twenty of them over the years both lifetime and non lifetime. My fist choice is to sell here and then eBay.

    Sent from my HTC ReZound using Forum Runner
     
  15. DaveDFW

    DaveDFW Member

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    But Tivo's pricing isn't that simple. The two options you listed are available at four different prices depending on whether you qualify for MSD.

    What about specially-discounted hardware that requires higher-than-normal monthly rate for a period of time? And what about all the secret deals offered to some customers? $99 lifetime if you've paid a sufficient number of monthly payments on an existing box. Or $99 to transfer lifetime from an older generation of DVR?

    Tivo's pricing structure has been a confusing mess with inconsistent application, leading to customers playing CSR roulette in an effort to receive the same secret pricing someone else received.
     
  16. macgyver

    macgyver Clowns are after me!

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    That you can sell them quickly on eBay doesn't change the fact that you're selling to a much smaller pool of potential buyers, since they have to already know (or you have to educate them) on the benefit of the lifetime.

    I prefer to meet people face to face and so much prefer local sales via craigslist where I can shake someone's hand, so the added complication cuts down on the number of potential buyers.
     
  17. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Ok if you find that complicated, difficult to understand or whatever then you do. I don't and if anyone logs into their account the web site will tell you exactly what pricing you qualify for as will a CS Rep if you call.

    It's called marketing and capitalism. Prices of products change all the time, deals, coupons, specials, sales, rebates, ect. come and go all the time. Just watch the price of a few things on Amazon they change with demand. When I worked at an Radio shack for Christmas one year (many years ago) the manager had an additional discount he could give someone to help us close a sale if needed. My local 7-11 changes the price of Gas several times per week, coupons are everywhere. I just bought a shirt today form Penny's it had 4 price tags on it, $60, $35, $24, & $10 and the reason I stopped was because they sent me a $10 coupon so I paid $0 for the shirt, I am sure there were others who bought at all 4 price points. That is how capitalism works.

    Trying to get the best price for something is certainly a good idea but at some point you have to say enough time spent and buy what you want to buy and then enjoy it.
     
  18. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    And that's what you have to get out of your head. TiVo subsidizes the cost of the hardware with the subscription.
    Who knows what the hardware really costs?
    I guess you can find out by calling TiVo:

    [​IMG]


    But the idea is to think of it like any other piece of high end equipment.
    Think audio. Why pay more for a Marantz or Pioneer receiver when some off brand would work just as well?

    Also, think what it would cost you to build your own DVR (HTPC).

    Case + motherboard + power supply + video card + hard drive(s) + cooling fans, etc.
    All that stuff adds up and I'd be surprised if you could get all of it for under $500.
     

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  19. MeInDallas

    MeInDallas Member

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    Wait until you try to cancel a box after your year is over, then you will truly know the meaning of "Tivo making it so hard" :D
     
  20. L David Matheny

    L David Matheny Active Member

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    SE Ohio
    Are you factoring in development costs or just manufacturing costs? TiVo has to amortize over the expected life of each product all costs of designing the hardware and writing or modifying the software, plus I suppose marketing costs and other overhead. I do agree that they have sometimes used some strange and overly complicated pricing schemes.
     

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