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Old 07-15-2014, 08:15 PM   #1
buscuitboy
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Question TiVO HD Still with service from previous owner

So, I recently purchased a fully working TiVo Series 3 HD (TCD652160) from Craigslist for $15. It came with two remotes (regular and a Charter version). Its fully working and I really got it more for the Charter remote since it has an "OnDemand" button that turns out to fully work with my Comcast Xfinity OnDemand (On my Premieres and Mini). At only $15, I figure the TiVO unit itself was a bonus.

Anyway, the TiVo itself works fine and I came to find out it still has monthly service on it. I online chatted with a TiVO rep and they said it was being charged on an ongoing monthly basis. No commitment or 1yr service. Strictly monthly. I think they also said its a unit that is grandfathered in at $6.95/month. I'm not complaining and I stuck this TiVo in a workshop area to a 27" TV so its not a huge risk to me either way. Its been "In Good Standing" now for about 3 months so it makes me think the person forgot to cancel service and since the charge is about $7 per month, they are not really noticing.

Since I am not technically the current owner paying for service and couldn't verify any of the current account info, the TiVO rep really couldn't tell me more than that it had ongoing service on it. They couldn't tell me how much longer it might have either. Just that it was monthly.

I am trying to find the person's text number in case I decide I want to put service on it myself & with my account, but if I can never contact the current owner again, is there anything else that I can do to get this TiVO on my account? The only reason I see to do so is if I want to use the MRV feature with my other TiVOs (since the current Media Access key is different).

The only other thing I can think of is that I have to wait until the current credit card on file expires and the charges are rejected. Then the account is cancelled and/or closed due to non-payment. Unless of course the charges are also maybe being deducted from a checking account directly. In which case, it could be a while. Any other thoughts?

Last edited by buscuitboy : 07-15-2014 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:28 PM   #2
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If you really want to keep it going you could just see if TiVo will give you the $99 lifetime deal on it.
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Old 07-15-2014, 08:38 PM   #3
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See if you can get the $99 lifetime upgrade. When I did it, it was automatically billed to same credit card being charged for monthly service
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Old 07-15-2014, 09:48 PM   #4
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I don't know the person's last name & we basically made the exchange in a QT parking lot off the interstate. Therefore, I can't verify ANY of the current account information (name, address, phone number) so I doubt I would be able to get the $99 lifetime offer.
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Old 07-15-2014, 10:29 PM   #5
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But you can find the owner via craigslist, right?

If it was lifetime, I would think it was ok.. but if they're being charged monthly, I think this is a yes to a "is this stealing?" question, even tough they should have turned off service.

You can try to transfer it to your account, and I think Tivo will try to contact the old owner.
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Old 07-15-2014, 11:20 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by buscuitboy View Post
I don't know the person's last name & we basically made the exchange in a QT parking lot off the interstate. Therefore, I can't verify ANY of the current account information (name, address, phone number) so I doubt I would be able to get the $99 lifetime offer.
Just contact the person back and tell him that you need all that info to transfer the TiVo to your account and hopefully he'll give you the info you need.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:23 AM   #7
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See if you can get the $99 lifetime upgrade. When I did it, it was automatically billed to same credit card being charged for monthly service
But at this point I think if a credit card is being charged for monthly service it's the card of the previous owner.

They should contact the previous owner and get them to put $99 lifetime on it, reimburse them the hundred bucks, and get them to get TiVo to give them a reference number for a new owner to use to transfer ownership.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:39 PM   #8
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If you can get hold of the prior owner, they can call TiVo and arrange a service transfer which will allow you to add it to your account at the lower rate, once the service expires from the prior user, the rate will go up to the standard higher rate. If you can get in contact with the ptor owner, ask them whrn they call TiVo to arrange a service transfer, if they don't ask TiVo won't do it as you have to ask for it.

One thing I would be concerned about is if the TiVo is not stolen, typically a seller would be sure service was cancelled, in the manner described such appears slightly shady. Not saying is stolen, but it wouldn't be the first time some one used Craig's list to dump hot goods.

As I understand, if the service is valid and the prior owner keeps paying, you can't just transfer it to your account, service will have to expire first. I'm surprised TiVo gave you as much info as they did, usually they won't tell you anything about a particular TiVo unless it has no service or us on your account.
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Old 07-16-2014, 12:58 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by buscuitboy View Post
I don't know the person's last name & we basically made the exchange in a QT parking lot off the interstate. Therefore, I can't verify ANY of the current account information (name, address, phone number) so I doubt I would be able to get the $99 lifetime offer.
To temporarily go off on a tangent...

It is amazing that the seller would even bother messing with getting $15 for a TiVo. That is such a measly amount of money to bother listing it on Craigslist and such. I am fairly poor, but generally I won't list anything on Craigslist except if I am making $30 to $50 dollars. It is just not worth the time and trouble. I do sell for prices like that a my garage sales. Then so much time isn't involved.

But I can understand you wanting to buy it primarily for the remote control.

ANYWAY....

I bought a TiVo with a similar situation. When the original owner quit paying the bill, I bought heavily discounted lifetime on it without knowing any of the original owners info. It is in my account now. I never got a reference number or anything else from the original owner. I bought the TiVo from a thrift store.

And I have bought a lot of used lifetime TiVos and never had to have any kind of reference code or to know the original owners name or info to put it on my account. AND I have sold a lot of lifetime TiVos and never had to give the new owner my info.
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:21 PM   #10
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To temporarily go off on a tangent...

It is amazing that the seller would even bother messing with getting $15 for a TiVo. That is such a measly amount of money to bother listing it on Craigslist and such. I am fairly poor, but generally I won't list anything on Craigslist except if I am making $30 to $50 dollars. It is just not worth the time and trouble. I do sell for prices like that a my garage sales. Then so much time isn't involved.

But I can understand you wanting to buy it primarily for the remote control.

ANYWAY....

I bought a TiVo with a similar situation. When the original owner quit paying the bill, I bought heavily discounted lifetime on it without knowing any of the original owners info. It is in my account now. I never got a reference number or anything else from the original owner. I bought the TiVo from a thrift store.

And I have bought a lot of used lifetime TiVos and never had to have any kind of reference code or to know the original owners name or info to put it on my account. AND I have sold a lot of lifetime TiVos and never had to give the new owner my info.
Having a case number just allows a buyer to receive the grandfathered lower rate. Once the service expires and the prior owner stops paying then as you describe, a buyer can have it assigned to their account including purchasing lifetime service. The key point is if there is active service or not, if service is active on another person's name, it can not be changed to someone else unless that owner establishes a service transfer.
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:11 PM   #11
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i must me missing something - wouldn't transferring the service to your own account stop the billing to the previous owner? wouldn't tivo still make a lifetime offer if you called to disconnect?
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Old 07-16-2014, 02:17 PM   #12
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i must me missing something - wouldn't transferring the service to your own account stop the billing to the previous owner? wouldn't tivo still make a lifetime offer if you called to disconnect?
To my knowledge, TiVo will not allow you to make changes on a TiVo account unless you are the verfied owner of that account. This is part in why they insist on verifying your email, phone number etc before they even start discussing your TiVo account over the phone.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:24 PM   #13
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To my knowledge, TiVo will not allow you to make changes on a TiVo account unless you are the verfied owner of that account. This is part in why they insist on verifying your email, phone number etc before they even start discussing your TiVo account over the phone.
I am in a similar situation, in that I purchased my TiVo from a seller on eBay and there is a monthly account on it right now. It's a Roamio Plus, however, not the model mentioned in the original post.

So, the recommendation is to have the seller contact TiVo to get a $99 lifetime on it, then arrange for a transfer to me? (is there a transfer fee involved?)

ETA: That's assuming, of course, I can resolve the issues I mentioned in my other post.

Forgive my ignorance, I am a total TiVo newbie

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Old 07-16-2014, 04:50 PM   #14
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I am in a similar situation, in that I purchased my TiVo from a seller on eBay and there is a monthly account on it right now. It's a Roamio Plus, however, not the model mentioned in the original post.

So, the recommendation is to have the seller contact TiVo to get a $99 lifetime on it, then arrange for a transfer to me? (is there a transfer fee involved?)

ETA: That's assuming, of course, I can resolve the issues I mentioned in my other post.

Forgive my ignorance, I am a total TiVo newbie
If you want service under the prior owners plan (such as a lower monthly rate) then the prior owner has to call TiVo to cancel service and request the service transfer. TiVo will give them a case number that they give to you, you call TiVo and they activate it under your account. As far as the $99 lifetime deal, it has to typically have service under your name and basically you call to cancel service were usually TiVo has offered the deal but sometimes you may have to request it.

Service transfer doesn't cost anything other than the prior owner calling TiVo and making that arrangements,, if they won't then you will just have either enjoy a free TiVo service if they continue to pay or wait until service ends as you can't call TiVo to cancel someone else's TiVo service despite the fact you have their TiVo.
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Old 07-16-2014, 04:56 PM   #15
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To my knowledge, TiVo will not allow you to make changes on a TiVo account unless you are the verfied owner of that account.
even when disconnecting equipment in order to place the same equipment on another customer account? isn't possession 9/10?

it's always possible someone would call to fraudulently disconnect equipment (like an angry ex-spouse), but it's highly unlikely, especially when the same equipment can be traced to the new account. any fraud could be immediately identified, and even if it was stolen, it could be disconnected permanently, not left active.
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:50 PM   #16
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even when disconnecting equipment in order to place the same equipment on another customer account? isn't possession 9/10?

it's always possible someone would call to fraudulently disconnect equipment (like an angry ex-spouse), but it's highly unlikely, especially when the same equipment can be traced to the new account. any fraud could be immediately identified, and even if it was stolen, it could be disconnected permanently, not left active.
That's what I have been told, I sold a Tivo to someone and they made a mistake in the service transfer and didn't apply the terms to the new owner. Out of courtesy I called Tivo to correct it and they wouldn't talk to me about any changes on an account that wasn't mine.

As they keep credit card info tied to each account when you are monthly, that's a good idea in many aspects let's say I bought a tivo from you that had monthly service, I could call and add lifetime service to box that had service active if I had just bought it from you and have it charged to the credit card listed under you. I have called Tivo to buy lifetime service on a monthly box and they simply ask, "Shall we use the card number on file?", I say yes and within 10 minutes, the card is charged and lifetime service is active. I don't have a criminal mind but I suspect there are all sorts of other criminal things one could do if they wanted such as using the above procdeure to add lifetime to box and then sell it to yet another third party with the idea that by the time the party that got charged for it figured out it out, the third buyer would already have the Tivo with lifetime service, if done correctly such as 2nd seller meeting in a parking lot to sell it to the 3rd party, that 2nd party could be miles away before it was all sorted out.

Many people I know and have dealt with, will cancel service on Tivo and sell it, no big deal but selling a Tivo and not telling Tivo to cancel service or that it's sold could create many issues for the original owners. Sure the majority of the time it's no big deal but it's that small group that causes problems from the majority.

The service transfer is not a advertised service that Tivo offers, it's usually tied to Tivos that have a low monthly rate grandfathered to them from prior upgrades from older units.

For example, in my signature I show I have a Roamio for sale. It's a Roamio that was upgraded from a older HD Tivo that I bought back in 2008, it has $9.95 monthly fee associated with it. If I sell it, I will call Tivo to cancel service and ask for a case number for the new buyer and all the buyer will have to do is call Tivo to activate it and they will receive that lower rate including the having no service commitment. If I just sell it and don't do anything other than ship it to the buyer, the new buyer will subject to the current terms of service when they activate it, just as if they had bought a new Roamio with regular monthly and at least a 1 year service commitment.
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Old 07-16-2014, 05:50 PM   #17
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But at this point I think if a credit card is being charged for monthly service it's the card of the previous owner.
Hence the smiley face

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I bought a TiVo with a similar situation. When the original owner quit paying the bill, I bought heavily discounted lifetime on it without knowing any of the original owners info. It is in my account now. I never got a reference number or anything else from the original owner. I bought the TiVo from a thrift store.

And I have bought a lot of used lifetime TiVos and never had to have any kind of reference code or to know the original owners name or info to put it on my account. AND I have sold a lot of lifetime TiVos and never had to give the new owner my info.
I've also transferred a few lifetime Tivos to my account without being able to contact the original owner.

According to the CSR I chatted with, all you need to transfer a lifetime unit to your account is for it to call in from your zipcode. Authorization from the previous owner isn't necessary unless it's on monthly or annual service.

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So, the recommendation is to have the seller contact TiVo to get a $99 lifetime on it, then arrange for a transfer to me? (is there a transfer fee involved?)
The $99 lifetime has only been offered for older models.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:29 PM   #18
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Hence the smiley face



I've also transferred a few lifetime Tivos to my account without being able to contact the original owner.

According to the CSR I chatted with, all you need to transfer a lifetime unit to your account is for it to call in from your zipcode. Authorization from the previous owner isn't necessary unless it's on monthly or annual service.



The $99 lifetime has only been offered for older models.
TP 4 tuner, is that an older model you are referring to ?? People have gotten the $99 Lifetime on that unit.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:33 PM   #19
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TP 4 tuner, is that an older model you are referring to ?? People have gotten the $99 Lifetime on that unit.
I believe KelleyLK was inquiring about a Roamio Plus. It's going to be awhile before Tivo offers $99 lifetime on those.
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Old 07-21-2014, 01:40 AM   #20
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So, I recently purchased a fully working TiVo Series 3 HD (TCD652160) from Craigslist for $15. It came with two remotes (regular and a Charter version). Its fully working and I really got it more for the Charter remote since it has an "OnDemand" button that turns out to fully work with my Comcast Xfinity OnDemand (On my Premieres and Mini). At only $15, I figure the TiVO unit itself was a bonus.

Anyway, the TiVo itself works fine and I came to find out it still has monthly service on it. I online chatted with a TiVO rep and they said it was being charged on an ongoing monthly basis. No commitment or 1yr service. Strictly monthly. I think they also said its a unit that is grandfathered in at $6.95/month. I'm not complaining and I stuck this TiVo in a workshop area to a 27" TV so its not a huge risk to me either way. Its been "In Good Standing" now for about 3 months so it makes me think the person forgot to cancel service and since the charge is about $7 per month, they are not really noticing.

Since I am not technically the current owner paying for service and couldn't verify any of the current account info, the TiVO rep really couldn't tell me more than that it had ongoing service on it. They couldn't tell me how much longer it might have either. Just that it was monthly.

I am trying to find the person's text number in case I decide I want to put service on it myself & with my account, but if I can never contact the current owner again, is there anything else that I can do to get this TiVO on my account? The only reason I see to do so is if I want to use the MRV feature with my other TiVOs (since the current Media Access key is different).

The only other thing I can think of is that I have to wait until the current credit card on file expires and the charges are rejected. Then the account is cancelled and/or closed due to non-payment. Unless of course the charges are also maybe being deducted from a checking account directly. In which case, it could be a while. Any other thoughts?
I got a Tivo HD off CL for $150.00 did not try it out until seller left, she looked honest and she had all transfer info ready for me including Tivo Reference number, When I hooked up it had service on it but not the "Lifetime" service in the ad. I called Tivo and was told it had no "Lifetime" service and I could not put it on my account because it had service still on it. I emailed the woman who sold me the Tivo and to come to find she did have lifetime service on this Tivo it did not start till her service ran out on June 27. She even sent a copy of her payment Tivo. Maybe your Tivo has a service agreement that hasn't run out???
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Old 09-22-2014, 12:47 PM   #21
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....Maybe your Tivo has a service agreement that hasn't run out???

Well, its been almost 3 months since I got this TiVo HD and it STILL apparently has monthly service being paid on it. It keeps indicating its "in good standing" so somebody is paying the bill (probably $6.95/month) on this unit.

I can't locate/contact the Craigslist person I got it from ($15). I tend to wonder if it was a unit from their spouse or a family member & they didn't care. Still can't use Netflix and/or transfer recordings to/from my other TiVos, but its in a work shop area so not used a lot & no biggie right now.

I even paired up a Comcast cable card to the unit & receiving all my channels flawlessly. HD/SD channels, broadcast networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX), cable (TNT, TBS, A&E, etc.) and premium (HBO, NFL, etc.). At this point, I just wonder how much longer it will be "in good standing"

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Old 09-22-2014, 01:56 PM   #22
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Well, its been almost 3 months since I got this TiVo HD and it STILL apparently has monthly service being paid on it. It keeps indicating its "in good standing" so somebody is paying the bill (probably $6.95/month) on this unit.

I can't locate/contact the Craigslist person I got it from ($15). I tend to wonder if it was a unit from their spouse or a family member & they didn't care. Still can't use Netflix and/or transfer recordings to/from my other TiVos, but its in a work shop area so not used a lot & no biggie right now.

I even paired up a Comcast cable card to the unit & receiving all my channels flawlessly. HD/SD channels, broadcast networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX), cable (TNT, TBS, A&E, etc.) and premium (HBO, NFL, etc.). At this point, I just wonder how much longer it will be "in good standing"
till the credit card expires, perhaps
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Old 09-22-2014, 06:40 PM   #23
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Yea, I was thinking the same thing. Unless of course they have multiple tivos on their account and update it for those. Will maybe see at some point here.
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:30 AM   #24
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A few years ago I bought a series 2 at a yard sale for 5 dollars. The lady I bought it from told me it was a gift from her boss and the service for it was 6.95 a month being paid for by her boss. She no longer worked for the guy and no longer needed the TiVo. I too originally wanted it for the remote. I have called TiVo once each year for the last few years. I told them the deal, where I bought it and when and whats up. The last I called it was still being billed and since the cards not mine, unless I add it to my account it will continue to be billed until the guy who owns the card cancels service.
I have not added it to my account, I also do not use it, except for the remote, German Shepherd puppies you know. So there lays/lies(?) the dilemma. I have done what I feel the honest thing to do and call TiVo, several times. I wont be calling again and wont be using the S2 unless someone builds me and addition on my house. I think the right thing to do in the op's case might be to ask local police if that box was reported stolen, but be cautioned, if it is, you are now in possession of stolen goods. Is a dilemma indeed!
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:35 PM   #25
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So with my $6.95 a month Roamio, a new owner will be able to get that rate? If so that sounds like a good deal.
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Old 09-23-2014, 07:43 PM   #26
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You can also find a new cheap sound bar for well under $100. Even those should have an old legacy toslink input.

EDIT: BestBuy has one on sale right now for $50(normally $80). It has a coax input, and optical input, and analog audio input.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/philips-...5007&cp=1&lp=1

http://www.usa.philips.com/c-p/HTL21...undbar-speaker
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