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Old 08-25-2012, 12:57 PM   #1
lpwcomp
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Why are U-verse sales people taught to lie?

Had a visit this morning from a couple of U-verse sales people. When I saw the logo on their shirts, I told them I was not interested in U-verse TV as "I have TiVos and you don't support TiVo". They kept insisting that they did in fact support TiVos even when I told them I have 4, only 1 of which that would work with U-verse and that the other 3 used CableCARDs which they do not and cannot support. They informed me that they were told in training that U-verse does support TiVo. Is it just me, or is this not criminal fraud?
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:24 PM   #2
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What does "support TiVo" mean? Did they tell you they support cable card devices?

My guess is they only know what they have been told and have no idea what the difference is between working with Series 2 TiVos and working with Series 3 or 4 TiVos.
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Old 08-25-2012, 01:59 PM   #3
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What does "support TiVo" mean? Did they tell you they support cable card devices?

My guess is they only know what they have been told and have no idea what the difference is between working with Series 2 TiVos and working with Series 3 or 4 TiVos.
I know they only know what they are told. I want to know why they are being told that U-verse unequivocally works with TiVo.

Before starting this thread, I did a google search. One of the things that came up was this. I hope the questioner didn't actually pay the $28 this bogus answer was supposedly worth.
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Old 08-26-2012, 02:28 PM   #4
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They've told me this several times. I specifically asked about the Premiere and they said that they supported it. So, they are misinformed and the company itself is bad in this regard.
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Old 08-26-2012, 03:33 PM   #5
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The only TiVos compatible with U-verse are the Series 2, which can use an I-R blaster to control the U-verse adapter like a cable set-top box and record the standard-definition analog video output (480i) from them. Saying that U-verse is compatible with TiVo is about as close to an outright lie as they can come. I wonder why lawyers from TiVo or the cable companies haven't called them out on this?
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Old 08-26-2012, 09:02 PM   #6
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My original series 1 worked with uverse but I had to set the receiver to change channels every 4 hours to keep it 'awake'. The system would just stop working randomly & have to be reset. It also had an emergency system alarm that went off every night & there was no way to keep it from sounding if the TV was on.
I was glad to get rid of it & go back to DirecTiVos.
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Old 08-26-2012, 10:10 PM   #7
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Ask them if they area any hi def Tivos that work with Uverse and make them sign something.
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Old 08-27-2012, 04:02 AM   #8
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They informed me that they were told in training that U-verse does support TiVo. Is it just me, or is this not criminal fraud?
No, unfortunately not. At best it is just stupidity, and at worst just a lie. Unfortunately, neither lying nor stupidity are illegal. Fraud requires an actual intent to defraud, not just a failure to perform as expected or inaccurate statements made, intentional or otherwise. I am sure at the end of any contract or performance statement they may have are words to the effect:

"No guarantee of suitability to any intent or purpose is implied..."

What's more, since it is a service, not an out and out purchase, one is always free to simply cancel the service, thus vitiating any liability on the part of either party. It's not like they can take your money and run. Not only can you not have them thrown in jail, you can't even successfully sue them, since to win a suit you have to show damages to yourself or your property.
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Old 08-27-2012, 05:34 AM   #9
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They've told me this several times. I specifically asked about the Premiere and they said that they supported it. So, they are misinformed and the company itself is bad in this regard.
I donít think they were told by the company that TiVo is compatible with the service. If the company told them in training that they support TiVo, then every U-verse sales person would try to sell their service to TiVo owners, in turn created a major issue. Maybe those sales people donít know the difference between working with Series 2 TiVo and with Series 3 or 4 TiVo. I donít think the sales people tried to lie. Maybe in the training they were told it support Series 2 TiVo and these sales people doesnít comprehend correctly. I think a good training session for those sales people will make it clear.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:13 AM   #10
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I donít think they were told by the company that TiVo is compatible with the service. If the company told them in training that they support TiVo, then every U-verse sales person would try to sell their service to TiVo owners, in turn created a major issue. Maybe those sales people donít know the difference between working with Series 2 TiVo and with Series 3 or 4 TiVo. I donít think the sales people tried to lie. Maybe in the training they were told it support Series 2 TiVo and these sales people doesnít comprehend correctly. I think a good training session for those sales people will make it clear.
I also have always thought this was the case, there's not a malicious intent, they just are clueless that there's more than one configuration of Tivo so they parrot what they were taught and don't understand.
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Old 08-27-2012, 06:58 AM   #11
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Why are U-verse sales people taught to lie?
Why don't you ask at&t? How would we know?

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I also have always thought this was the case, there's not a malicious intent, they just are clueless that there's more than one configuration of Tivo so they parrot what they were taught and don't understand.
Without knowing anything this would be my guess. It's not like uninformed or misinformed sales reps (regardless of the product/company) are anything new.
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Old 08-27-2012, 10:52 AM   #12
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Why don't you ask at&t? How would we know?
I guess you also don't know what a rhetorical question is.
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Old 08-27-2012, 11:09 AM   #13
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I donít think they were told by the company that TiVo is compatible with the service. If the company told them in training that they support TiVo, then every U-verse sales person would try to sell their service to TiVo owners
One never knows. You would not believe the load of ridiculous nonsense that was recently sent to our company training manager by an engineer who should have known better concerning an effect known as Thermal Runaway in sealed lead acid batteries. It was an astounding bunch of voodoo garbage, especially once the trainer had turned it into a training session. Unfortunately, I did not catch it until after all the technicians had already been trained.
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Old 08-27-2012, 12:43 PM   #14
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The customer base for cable TV is shrinking. The sales people are under enormous pressure to acquire new customers. Tivo only has 2.3 million subcriptions and there are over 100 million people with cable TV.

So hardly anyone asks about Tivo and it's not cost effective to train the sales people to turn away customers. They will still get a month or two of payments out of you before you cancel or maybe you will give up on Tivo and they can rent you a DVR.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:09 PM   #15
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The customer base for cable TV is shrinking. The sales people are under enormous pressure to acquire new customers. Tivo only has 2.3 million subcriptions and there are over 100 million people with cable TV.

So hardly anyone asks about Tivo and it's not cost effective to train the sales people to turn away customers. They will still get a month or two of payments out of you before you cancel or maybe you will give up on Tivo and they can rent you a DVR.
If the sales personnel are being deliberately misinformed in order to get them to misrepresent the product to get TiVo users to sign up, this would amount to criminal fraud. Even if all they do is tell them that "TiVo will work with u-verse" w/o informing them that it is limited to older models, they would be lying by omission.
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Old 08-27-2012, 02:28 PM   #16
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If the sales personnel are being deliberately misinformed in order to get them to misrepresent the product to get TiVo users to sign up, this would amount to criminal fraud. Even if all they do is tell them that "TiVo will work with u-verse" w/o informing them that it is limited to older models, they would be lying by omission.
I just had two U-Verse sales people (at my door) tell me that TiVo was compatible, I asked them if the HD TiVo was, and they did not know that a HD TiVo existed, they were going back to AT&T and ask about the HD TiVo, I think it was just training and they don't run into TiVo users often, as they can replace the MSO DVR with their own, when I told them that of the 4 programs their DVR could record at the same time, only 2 could be in HD, they seem to know that but did not want to talk about that limitation.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:07 PM   #17
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Had a visit this morning from a couple of U-verse sales people. When I saw the logo on their shirts, I told them I was not interested in U-verse TV as "I have TiVos and you don't support TiVo". They kept insisting that they did in fact support TiVos even when I told them I have 4, only 1 of which that would work with U-verse and that the other 3 used CableCARDs which they do not and cannot support. They informed me that they were told in training that U-verse does support TiVo. Is it just me, or is this not criminal fraud?
Sales people are a unique breed all their own. Kind of like politicians in that a little truth can stretch a mighty long way. I've found that most of the time they really are just spouting stuff they heard and really don't know what they are talking about. I remember a Subaru salesman telling me in no uncertain terms that their boxer engine design was the only way that anyone could get 165hp out of a 2 liter engine. I dearly wanted to point him to my little Chevy Tracker and tell him it was a 2 liter V6 with 165hp. Bought the Subaru anyway for my wife because we wanted the all-wheel drive for the Iowa winters.
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Old 08-27-2012, 07:36 PM   #18
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I once worked in sales very briefly. I had no idea what the product was. I didn't care to learn anything about it on my own. I knew what the company told me about the product and I knew what the company told me about the competition. It was just a job to me and for the most part I knew more than the people I was speaking to about it. Once in a while, someone would come up to me just to ask me questions he knew I couldn't answer. I brushed it off.
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Old 08-27-2012, 08:43 PM   #19
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It's one thing to blindly repeat something you "heard". It's quite another to continue to insist that something works when it won't and when queried, say they were told that in training. I suspect at best that the training is limited, possibly deliberately so. I further suspect that the sales people are paid at least partially on commission and will do a lot of things in an attempt to make the sale. While AT&T may not actively encourage this, once they are informed, if they do not take steps to prevent it, they are liable for the activities of their agents.
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Old 08-27-2012, 09:28 PM   #20
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A contradicting anecdote.. I called up AT&T to cancel my local phone service (whose sole purpose for many years was for my Tivos to call in.. and stupidly I kept paying for it for a few months even after I switched my Tivos to use a WiFi bridge..) So she went into her advertising spiel about U-verse. I simply said that it didn't work with TiVo so I wasn't interested. I don't remember exactly what she said, but something like she had some friends with TiVos and they liked them. So they're not all uninformed.

Though I have gotten at least one paper bill for $0.. I hope that was only the last one for a partial month or something. (I was on auto bill pay, so I hope it was a semi-fluke.. if not, I'll have to call them again.)
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