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Old 05-09-2011, 08:19 AM   #1
rwtomkins
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You CAN submit a claim against TiVo (UK) Ltd for loss of service

Good news for lifetime subscribers who would like to try claiming against TiVo (UK) Ltd for loss of service: TiVo (UK) Ltd is still a fully functioning legal entity in the UK and therefore, for a very small sum of money and with very little effort, you CAN make a claim against the company if you feel this is justified.

I wanted to get this news out while there are still some UK users following this forum. If anyone interested in making a claim would like to say so here or PM me, perhaps we can stay in touch and compare notes even after June 1.

I would like to thank steveroe for posting Tivo UK's address on a previous thread. The address is:

TIVO (UK) LIMITED
5 NEW STREET SQUARE
LONDON
EC4A 3TW

I've established that this is still the company's legal, corporate address. Its communications are actually handled by a firm of lawyers at the same address but I have spoken to them and they confirm that TiVo UK is still fully functioning and that all communications with the company should be sent to that address.

You can easily make a claim against TiVo (UK) Ltd by going to the Money Claim Online website, part of Her Majesty's Courts Service, and filling in an online form. The website is here:

https://www.moneyclaim.gov.uk/web/mcol/welcome

It costs £25 to make the claim and you automatically get your money back from the defendant if your claim succeeds.

I haven't yet claimed against TiVo (UK) because like most people I had assumed this company was defunct. Instead I wrote a letter to TiVo Inc in the US which was completely ignored and after that I decided to try claiming against BSkyB as a first step.

The hearing hasn't yet taken place but in the meantime BSkyB has entered a defence in which it states that basically my contractual relationship was with TiVo, not BSkyB, and that BSkyB therefore can't be held liable. It says it is "highly unlikely" that it ever had a telephone conversation with me in which it took a card payment of £199 for a lifetime subscription "since a subscription of the type described by the Claimant could not be purchased directly from the Defendant in relation to non-Sky products."

Can anyone say whether this is true or not? Does anyone have any recollection of whether their lifetime subscription was paid to BSkyB or to TiVo?

Now that I know TiVo (UK) Ltd is actually still operating I'm inclined to drop my claim against BSkyB and make a new claim against TiVo (UK) Ltd which would obviously have a far greater chance of success but I want to make sure BSkyB has got its facts right before making the switch.
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:24 AM   #2
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well, good luck. I don't rate your chances, but good luck anyway.
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Old 05-09-2011, 09:56 AM   #3
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if you'd asked me pre April 5th last year I would probably have been able to locate my credit card statement as I hadn't had a paperwork clearout since moving into this house - that weekend cost me a shredder.

while I'm too lazy to do much about it myself I too wish you luck.

if you do get as far as a courtroom I wonder if they'll even bother defending. if they don't show there's a fairly decent chance that the magistrate will rule in your favour - they don't like the defendants not showing up. remember that you can add a bit on for your troubles, last time I did this the magistrate added the max £50.

if granted though, collecting might be a little interesting.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:01 AM   #4
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Squirrels are useful !

I paid for my lifetime subs by credit card ( in November 2000 ) and being a squirrel I still have the statement.
Payment was made to TiVo.
I also have a letter from TiVo thanking me for taking out the lifetime subscription.
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Old 05-09-2011, 11:14 AM   #5
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Remind me what exactly you are trying to claim again?
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:16 PM   #6
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I am all for joining you but think I can only lay my hands on the letter confirming the Lifetime Sub payment but not on a credit card statement from December 2002. Sadly NatWest's online records only go back six years.

Let me know when you file your new action against Tivo and if there is a way for me to be joined as a party to it under the Small Claims procedure. Courts usually take legal actions involving a large number of joint applicants more seriously.

Oh and this is the County Court by the way so it will be a district judge and not a magistrate although confusingly they do also now have those in the magistrates court and bring them in instead of a magistrates bench if they think you have any chance of winning your case.

EDIT:- I have just realised I can probably get a copy of the requisite card statement from NatWest if I agree to pay them a fiver, assuming that their offline records still go back this far.

Regarding who you dealt with on the phone it was clearly a Sky customer service centre employee working on behalf of Tivo but without the card statement I can't be sure if the card payment was to Sky or Tivo. However I would think Sky would successfully manage to argue that any residual contractual liability for the Lifetime service lies with Tivo and not with BSkyB.
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Old 05-09-2011, 12:59 PM   #7
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I'm with TCM2007 in not being entirely sure what you can claim for here, but if it's financial compensation for the remainder of this undefined 'lifetime' have you thought about a 'section 75' claim under the Consumer Credit Act against the card issuer?

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.u...itcards-31.htm
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Old 05-09-2011, 01:07 PM   #8
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have you thought about a 'section 75' claim under the Consumer Credit Act against the card issuer?

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.u...itcards-31.htm
I agree that might be the easier one to win as a card issuer will only be concerned about the cost of the legal action vs the potential refund cost of the transaction so might give in on that basis. Although I'm sure some trading standards legal principles about goods only being expected to be "fit for the purpose" for six years and so on might make for problems at this stage.

Also as I think rwtomkins really seeks to make a political point (with a small p) about Tivo's withdrawal of service he is probably more interested in trying to force Tivo itself to attend court. However as Tivo will probably not be very keen to do so compared to the card company he might be more likely to win his case.

One interesting point to consider is whether Tivo's UK subsidiary also has a current ongoing contractual relationship with Virgin Media or if that arrangement is direct with the US Tivo legal entity given that much of Virgin Media seems to be US based.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:29 PM   #9
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well, good luck. I don't rate your chances, but good luck anyway.
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while I'm too lazy to do much about it myself I too wish you luck.

if you do get as far as a courtroom I wonder if they'll even bother defending. if they don't show there's a fairly decent chance that the magistrate will rule in your favour - they don't like the defendants not showing up. remember that you can add a bit on for your troubles, last time I did this the magistrate added the max £50.
Obviously I'm a bit more optimistic than you, Larry, but thanks very much for the friendly good wishes, both of you! Much appreciated. And thanks for the tip, sjp.

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I paid for my lifetime subs by credit card ( in November 2000 ) and being a squirrel I still have the statement.
Payment was made to TiVo.
I also have a letter from TiVo thanking me for taking out the lifetime subscription.
That's enormously helpful. Thank you very much indeed.

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Remind me what exactly you are trying to claim again?
Not if you're just going to rubbish the whole idea!

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Let me know when you file your new action against Tivo and if there is a way for me to be joined as a party to it under the Small Claims procedure. Courts usually take legal actions involving a large number of joint applicants more seriously.
I will explore this idea and thanks for the suggestion. The alternative is just to use me as a stalking horse and see if I win though if as you say the courts take more notice of claims with multiple signatories, there may very well be merit in it.

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I'm with TCM2007 in not being entirely sure what you can claim for here, but if it's financial compensation for the remainder of this undefined 'lifetime' have you thought about a 'section 75' claim under the Consumer Credit Act against the card issuer?

http://www.financial-ombudsman.org.u...itcards-31.htm
Yes, it's mainly about the money paid for the lifetime subscription and thanks very much for the suggestion. It's a very good idea but as Pete rightly guesses, it's not really about the money. I know it sounds corny but it's the principle of the thing. I think TiVo knows it's breaking its agreement with lifetime subscribers but is just trying it on and seeing if it can get away with it. Well, it has, almost, but I don't want to go down without a fight, even if it's only a small one. For TiVo, the stakes are potentially high: if I win, they will be liable to all 12,000 lifetime subscribers who were on the roll last September. So I think they might have to take this quite seriously.
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Old 05-09-2011, 03:41 PM   #10
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I can see the headline now.

Class action lawsuit by disgruntled uk tivo users has multinational company on the ropes.




If you can take an action on behalf of many, rather than individually, I will chip in a few quid just for the hell of it.

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Old 05-09-2011, 03:43 PM   #11
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as Pete rightly guesses, it's not really about the money. I know it sounds corny but it's the principle of the thing. I think TiVo knows it's breaking its agreement with lifetime subscribers but is just trying it on and seeing if it can get away with it. Well, it has, almost, but I don't want to go down without a fight, even if it's only a small one. For TiVo, the stakes are potentially high: if I win, they will be liable to all 12,000 lifetime subscribers who were on the roll last September. So I think they might have to take this quite seriously.
Good man rwtomkins. I feel precisely the same way as you do although I personally feel that the real villain heres are senior Virgin Media marketing people who have demanded that the old S1 Tivo service is cut off on June 30th so that they can get as many sales as possible of the new Virgin Tivo and also so that Tivo is now seen to be a Virgin only product that is not available at all on any other tv platform. Its the same kind of nasty mentality that was involved in only being able to apply for tickets for the Olympic games using a Visa card.

I feel this is shoddy and appalling behaviour as Tivo clearly were an ethical company up until they had their arm twisted by the commercial muscle of Virgin and rightly felt that they should go on supplying a service originally sold to customers as Lifetime. But Virgin clearly told Tivo they they didn't care about this and only cared about their UK exclusive and anyhow if anyone tried to take them on over the issue their experience was that legal spend on their side would always overpower the small private individual.

There is no need for all these perfectly good Virgin S1 boxes to be denied service while they are still working perfectly well and for it to be done just so that Virgin can say "yah boo you can only have Tivo through Virgin" seems stupid in the extreme. Cutting off the S1 boxes in Virgin Media land is I would suggest even more ethically questionable unless Virgin are prepared to supply a new Virgin Media Tivo box free of charge on the customer's existing tv package with no monthly Tivo fee required for existing S1 Lifetime customers.
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Old 05-09-2011, 04:06 PM   #12
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This thread over on a US discussion forum makes for quite interesting reading in terms of how US Tivo owners might feel if their S1 machines suddenly had Lifetime service cut off:-

http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2011-02/...s-10-years-uk/

One thing that does strike me though is that Tivo have never yet provided a formal corporate response to the many UK customer complaints sent to it on this issue. This suggests to me that they could still be considering the whole position in conjunction with Virgin and might decide to continue Lifetime service to the S1 units after all if things look like they will get too hot for them if the service is discontinued as originally threatened.

I would suggest that anyone wanting to pursue the issue at the very least sends an email to richard.branson@virginmanagement.com and neil.berkett@virginmedia.com as well as Joshua Danovitz and all the other senior Tivo executives who have their email addresses listed at http://free.salesfuel.com/CoIntell/C...panyID=1998913
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:05 PM   #13
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Not if you're just going to rubbish the whole idea!
Just curious as you have to put a number to your claim, and wondered what it was.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:11 PM   #14
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This suggests to me that they could still be considering the whole position in conjunction with Virgin and might decide to continue Lifetime service to the S1 units after all if things look like they will get too hot for them if the service is discontinued as originally threatened.
Too hot? Things never got beyond slightly tepid and have cooled off since.

In three week's time the service will be turned off. As far as I can see you are the only person left who hasn't accepted tgat.
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Old 05-09-2011, 05:24 PM   #15
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As far as I can see you are the only person left who hasn't accepted tgat.
So you think rwtomkins is really interested in getting compensation rather than in keeping official service for the S1 UK Tivos going? I suppose at least you can be commended for the consistency of your defeatist approach.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:55 AM   #16
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I think he's interested in causing a little bit of grief to TiVo to make a point, which I can understand. There are various outcomes of his action, which range from getting £0 to getting the amount of cash he asks for. The S1 service continuing is not one of the possible outcomes.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:16 AM   #17
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I think he's interested in causing a little bit of grief to TiVo to make a point, which I can understand. There are various outcomes of his action, which range from getting £0 to getting the amount of cash he asks for. The S1 service continuing is not one of the possible outcomes.
If the S1 service is not discontinued on June 1st then legally his case will collapse. Hence it is a possible option by Tivo for dealing with his legal action.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:13 AM   #18
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I personally feel that the real villain heres are senior Virgin Media marketing people who have demanded that the old S1 Tivo service is cut off on June 30th.
You keep repeating this but haven't produced any evidence to support these potentially libellous statements.
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Old 05-10-2011, 08:50 AM   #19
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You keep repeating this but haven't produced any evidence to support these potentially libellous statements.
You think they are going to publicly admit to doing such a thing then. Of course they won't because its not good PR for either them or Tivo.

If we followed your line of reasoning then nobody could ever suggest that Messrs Mugabe, Hussein Quadafi etc had killed loads of their own people unless somebody could produce all the bodies and find an exact DNA match on every single one.

My experience of life is that if Virgin had nothing whatsoever to do with the withdrawal of the S1 Tivo service then they would all be too keen to publicly deny such allegations. The fact that they don't tends to tell its own story.

Then you make ludicrous allegations that I am making libellous allegations. A lot of things can be called libel by internet pedants but the real test of that is whether your allegation is actually serious or damaging enough for somebody to bother starting a libel action against you in which they hope to win a serious amount of damages. As libel actions are expensive and hard to win people don't start them unless you have done serious damage to their reputation.
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Old 05-10-2011, 10:09 AM   #20
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You think they are going to publicly admit to doing such a thing then.
No, I hoped you could publicly produce some facts to support your allegations. But you clearly can't.

Quote:
My experience of life is that if Virgin had nothing whatsoever to do with the withdrawal of the S1 Tivo service then they would all be too keen to publicly deny such allegations.
Have you asked them to? No one is doubting that the VM deal is a significant factor in the decision to drop S1 support but you are putting the blame on Virgin whereas most other people posting here appear to see it as a decision of TiVo, Inc.

Quote:
A lot of things can be called libel by internet pedants but the real test of that is whether your allegation is actually serious or damaging enough for somebody to bother starting a libel action against you in which they hope to win a serious amount of damages.
Oh, that's ok then. I stand corrected.
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Old 05-10-2011, 11:21 AM   #21
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If the S1 service is not discontinued on June 1st then legally his case will collapse. Hence it is a possible option by Tivo for dealing with his legal action.
They could also declare themselves bankrupt, or take a out a contract on rwtomkins with a hit man. Both about as likely.
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Old 05-10-2011, 02:43 PM   #22
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I personally feel that the real villain heres are senior Virgin Media marketing people who have demanded that the old S1 Tivo service is cut off on June 30th...
Quote:
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My experience of life is that if Virgin had nothing whatsoever to do with the withdrawal of the S1 Tivo service then they would all be too keen to publicly deny such allegations. The fact that they don't tends to tell its own story...A lot of things can be called libel by internet pedants but the real test of that is whether your allegation is actually serious or damaging enough for somebody to bother starting a libel action against you in which they hope to win a serious amount of damages. As libel actions are expensive and hard to win people don't start them unless you have done serious damage to their reputation.
Maybe Virgin Media are not aware of your allegations, Pete.

One way to be sure would be for you to, anonymously, report yourself to VM as being a potential libeller.

If they did nothing, your allegations would be on stronger foundations.
If they took you to court, your theory, as expounded in the first quote above, would have to be proven by you, would it not?

Either way, you might get closer to the truth.
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Old 05-10-2011, 03:56 PM   #23
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Pete is far from alone in believing Virgin are behind the termination of the S1 service. Otherwise why on earth did they sign an agreement with the word EXCLUSIVE in it?

What isn't certain is whether Virgin knew that TiVo couldn't legally do this but they certainly know now and yet all we hear is Branson crowing about how good a deal it is.

Sue me for libel Virgin, I've got at least 2p I'd pay into court to well cover any damages you'd get.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:17 PM   #24
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Oh and good move Rwtomkins

Now where did I put those old credit card statements. I paid up for lifetime sub on Dec 20th 2000.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:39 PM   #25
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I can see the headline now.

Class action lawsuit by disgruntled uk tivo users has multinational company on the ropes.

If you can take an action on behalf of many, rather than individually, I will chip in a few quid just for the hell of it.

Alek


Thanks, Alek. I won't be asking for any contributions but if you want to put your name to it, I'll keep that in mind.

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I think he's interested in causing a little bit of grief to TiVo to make a point, which I can understand. There are various outcomes of his action, which range from getting £0 to getting the amount of cash he asks for. The S1 service continuing is not one of the possible outcomes.
Yes, that's a very fair summing up. I'm sorry if I was a bit unforthcoming about what I'm claiming for, TCM2007, but I'm cautious about saying TOO much on a public forum. I'm claiming compensation mainly for the loss of the lifetime subscription but am also inclined to seek a component for the loss of the TiVo machine itself since the withdrawal of the TiVo service renders it useless and inoperable, at least beyond the hobbyist community.

The aim as you say is not to win money but to make a point. I've no idea what Virgin's role may or may not have been in this but I feel TiVo has behaved rudely and arrogantly towards its UK customers throughout this whole affair, not least by ignoring the friendly and polite representations made by forum members here.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:20 PM   #26
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Pete is far from alone in believing Virgin are behind the termination of the S1 service. Otherwise why on earth did they sign an agreement with the word EXCLUSIVE in it?
Er, so no one else could sell a TiVo system and they could market the thing as TiVo=Virgin.

A handful of users of a system that's not been sold for a decade is an irrelevance. The tone of some statements suggests that Virgin weren't keen on offering S1 users a special deal, and that was forced on them by TiVo; to me that suggests the opposite - that TiVo wanted a way of closing down the S1 service with a realatively clear conscience.
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:33 PM   #27
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By the way rwtomkins, you better hope that TiVo's solicitors can't do a search on this site, as your entitlement to lifetime service ended when your box failed in iirc 2004 and you had it repaired by a non-approved service provider. You've actually been getting far more than TiVo were obliged to give you for seven years, and still you sue them
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Old 05-10-2011, 05:36 PM   #28
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The tone of some statements suggests that Virgin weren't keen on offering S1 users a special deal, and that was forced on them by TiVo; to me that suggests the opposite - that TiVo wanted a way of closing down the S1 service with a realatively clear conscience.
If Tivo and Virgin had any kind of a conscience then all S1 Tivo customers in a Virgin area would have also been offered the £49 500GB box on any existing package level including the legacy M package and they would not have insulted anyone who already had an S1 Tivo Lifetime Sub by making them pay another £3 per month Tivo fee indefinitely when they had already paid for something called Lifetime Service.

Ditto if Tivo had a conscience then they would have absolutely insisted with Virgin that they be allowed to continue to supply the EPG service to the S1 units for all their customers not living in a Virgin cabled area until such time as Virgin can think of a way of offering their service throughout the UK without the cost of digging up the streets to lay new fibre optic cable.

As they didn't do any of those things and the so called Vice President of International at Tivo just hid behind his meaningless PR slogans about "reaching out to people" and would not answer questions about Tivo customer not living in a Virgin cabled this clearly shows they had no conscience. Other people at Tivo who have now left would have had a conscience but unfortunately Mr Joshua Danovitz's CV suggests that he is someone with a very different kind of outlook on what is and is not ethical in business.

As to people upgrading the hard drives as a get out for Lifetime Service I think this about as much likelihood of succeeding legally as suggesting someone is not entitled to replace a tyre on a car that has worn out. Computer hard drives are well established as consumables and Tivo's own customer service operation repeatedly pointed customers to established third party firms for providing replacement hard drives when they discontinued their own service and support operation in the UK.
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Last edited by Pete77 : 05-10-2011 at 05:54 PM.
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Old 05-11-2011, 06:25 AM   #29
Steve_K
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Sussex, UK
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCM2007 View Post
By the way rwtomkins, you better hope that TiVo's solicitors can't do a search on this site, as your entitlement to lifetime service ended when your box failed in iirc 2004 and you had it repaired by a non-approved service provider. You've actually been getting far more than TiVo were obliged to give you for seven years, and still you sue them
Sadly you are right. Lie to any court on this point and you would be in so so much trouble rw.

Awkwardly for TiVo UK, my machine is unmodded and unrepaired (is that a disk drive failing I can hear from afar)

Hadn't thought of claiming for the loss of the £299 machine as well but it's valid to claim for it as the machine and service were concurrently advertised.

And if there are only a few users then far from irrelevant, it means TiVo have no defence for not compensating them.
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Old 05-11-2011, 07:12 AM   #30
mikerr
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It will boil down to what is a reasonable lifetime for a consumer device like a video recorder.

It's hard to argue 8-10 years isn't on the outside of that.
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