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Old 04-04-2006, 07:04 PM   #1
MusicMama
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Arrow Circuit city quit selling TiVos?? for good??

When I bought my first TiVo, not quite 2 years ago, I purchased the Circuit city protection plan. (I'm compulsive about this - always buy extended warranties on big ticket items). So, called them today to ask about bringing in my TiVo for service or exchange before the hard drive dies completely.

Lo and behold - they dumped Tivo! A couple of days ago, apparently. So, all they can do is give me some money back - but I don't know how much (yet) and since it was almost 2 years ago, I don't remember what it cost although I'm sure that's in the computer.

If anybody on this board works at CC and knows what's going on, would you mind giving me a clue. Should I go take it back now or wait a couple weeks - are they maybe just waiting for the new ones to come out?

Thanks much.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:19 PM   #2
Stanley Rohner
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I haven't been to Circuit City for a few years.

I'm compulsive about not buying extended warranties for electronics.

I think you have to wait till the hard drive dies completely. They'll take it in the back room, hook it up and test it before they give you any money back. If it still works they'll hand it back to you and point you towards the exit.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:21 PM   #3
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It's possible they're clearing out the S2s in preparation for the new dual tuner boxes.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:22 PM   #4
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TiVo changed their sales model from a purchase and subscription to what amounts to a leasing plan where you get the box for free and pay a slightly higher sub. Therefore ALL retailers will stop "selling" TiVo.

As far as the protection plan is concerned, it's not worth the price. Chances are all you need is a replacement hard drive which you can buy from a retailer like Weaknees far cheaper than the plan cost. So in future, NEVER buy the protection plan, which amounts to just pure profit for the retailer - especially on electronics. It's far cheaper to replace or repair after two or three years than the premium you pay for the plan. Plus you get the added benefit of being able to upgrade when new technology becomes available rather than being tied to what could, by then, be an older piece of junk.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guindalf
TiVo changed their sales model from a purchase and subscription to what amounts to a leasing plan where you get the box for free and pay a slightly higher sub. Therefore ALL retailers will stop "selling" TiVo.
First, the unquoted definition of selling used by the OP simply referred to CC not having it at all, under any terms. Second, the stores will either carry Tivo or they won't. To them it's all "selling" as they don't rent/lease equipiment. If Tivo were to only offer boxes with bundled service, CC would "sell" them at the bundled service price. Whatever service terms Tivo imposes will be handled by Tivo.

Third, did I miss where Tivo said boxes would either disappear from retail or would only be sold with bundled service? Last I read (and I gave up following that thread a while ago) retail stores would still sell boxes in the usual way. The bundled service boxes are only sold directly by Tivo.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:41 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrStrange
Third, did I miss where Tivo said boxes would either disappear from retail or would only be sold with bundled service? Last I read (and I gave up following that thread a while ago) retail stores would still sell boxes in the usual way. The bundled service boxes are only sold directly by Tivo.
TiVo's plan is to offer the bundled pricing through retailers later this year. This has been stated by the CEO and VP Finance. The reason for the later debut is, reportedly, that the retailers need time to adapt their POS systems to the new pricing structure. But we have seen that at least one retailer (Fry's) in at least one city, is already offering the bundled pricing.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:49 PM   #7
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Ok, so I did miss that. Can you point me to where it was said? I'm now confused about exactly what they're planning to do that requires changes at the POS.
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Old 04-04-2006, 07:57 PM   #8
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At purchase the user most likely will have to pick between
0, 1, 2 or 3 year plans.

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Old 04-04-2006, 08:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckyBox
TiVo's plan is to offer the bundled pricing through retailers later this year. This has been stated by the CEO and VP Finance. The reason for the later debut is, reportedly, that the retailers need time to adapt their POS systems to the new pricing structure. But we have seen that at least one retailer (Fry's) in at least one city, is already offering the bundled pricing.
But will bundled pricing be the only sales model out there? I was under the impression both models (hardware + service OR bundled) would continue... though picking one method is probably better in the long run - too many options would be confusing to TiVo newbies.
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:16 PM   #10
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I was just at Circuit City yesterday. They had tons of them in my store.
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Old 04-04-2006, 09:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChuckyBox
TiVo's plan is to offer the bundled pricing through retailers later this year. This has been stated by the CEO and VP Finance. The reason for the later debut is, reportedly, that the retailers need time to adapt their POS systems to the new pricing structure. But we have seen that at least one retailer (Fry's) in at least one city, is already offering the bundled pricing.
True, but that doesn't mean that you won't be able to buy just a box with no service. I'd be very surprised if Tivo ONLY sells bundled boxes though retailers.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:00 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrStrange
Ok, so I did miss that. Can you point me to where it was said? I'm now confused about exactly what they're planning to do that requires changes at the POS.
Here is a link to TiVo's Q4 conference call. Search on the word "retail" and you'll find about three spots where they talk about this direction. (You can also still listen to this call through a link on TiVo's IR web pages.)

The other source was Stuart West talking at a Citibank investors' conference. If I recall correctly, and I probably don't, he more or less said the same thing as Rogers, but was a little stronger in his commitment to the new pricing. He basically said that they would be doing it at retail right now if they could, but allowed that they might learn some lessons with the online offers that would help them with the retail rollout. Someone else who listened may recall it differently. Unfortunately, the link to that talk is no longer on TiVo's web site. If you really want to hear it, you could try the Smith Barney Citibank web site.

I assume the IT issues are things like having to offer six payment options (three monthly, three prepay), getting a credit card tied to the TSN (for payments and early cancellation fee), etc.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davezatz
But will bundled pricing be the only sales model out there? I was under the impression both models (hardware + service OR bundled) would continue... though picking one method is probably better in the long run - too many options would be confusing to TiVo newbies.
Don't know. I don't believe anyone at TiVo has commented on that directly, and the truth is that they probably won't know until they see what happens with the new pricing at retail.

You are right that it could become confusing to have too many options, but I have to believe that it will be possible to find a box you can buy outright. On the other hand, if the new pricing is as successful as they are hoping, it may no longer be necessary to sell the hardware separately. And once we old timers* get used to the idea, the new pricing is a pretty easy way to buy TiVo: no cash upfront, just grab a box at the store, pay twenty bucks a month for a year, then $12.95/month after that.

*By "old timers" I mean anyone who remembers the good old days when you could buy lifetime service.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhillyGuy
I was just at Circuit City yesterday. They had tons of them in my store.
Which store? Exton is officially out of stock, and when I checked online tonight, so were Valley Forge (where I did see a couple on Sunday), Wilmington, Springfield, Lancaster, and everywhere else. Even the Lehigh Valley is listed as out of stock.

If the store you're talking about has some, I'll be there. The hard drive is doing the "click click" thing and that's why I called. It's losing recordings left and right. Their policy is to 'switchout' the unit for whatever is currently available. That's what attracted me to purchase the warranty (and it wasn't very expensive, I recall that much).

I'm not generally afraid of anything tech-related (just ask my family, I have more repair business with them than I can handle) but the thought of a TiVo hard-drive switchout gives me the willies.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicMama
If the store you're talking about has some, I'll be there. The hard drive is doing the "click click" thing and that's why I called. It's losing recordings left and right. Their policy is to 'switchout' the unit for whatever is currently available. That's what attracted me to purchase the warranty (and it wasn't very expensive, I recall that much).
My advice? Wait. If they're out of 540 boxes, that means the 649s will be all they will have. You bring in your old broken box and walk out with a shiny new dual-tuner, built-in ethernet, etc., etc., 649. Pretty sweet upgrade. You just have to wait (anywhere from a couple of days to a month and a half).
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Old 04-04-2006, 10:32 PM   #16
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicMama
I'm not generally afraid of anything tech-related (just ask my family, I have more repair business with them than I can handle) but the thought of a TiVo hard-drive switchout gives me the willies.
Hey, it's really a piece of cake to swap one out. I just did one yesterday. Send me a note for details, if you're interested and I can walk you through it. Took me about 4 hours total and that included copying all the recordings on the existing 40gb drive. I used Weaknees instructions and the PTV free CD.
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:22 AM   #17
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4 hours? And you know what you're doing! Glad my instincts and recognition that I'm NOT a DIY--and the WARNING about dangerous electrical shock--kept me away from ever trying this.

While I've never gotten one of those extended Best Buy or CC warranties, lots of people I see on different boards for different products have-- and the ability to return a broken down unit and get the latest version (PDA, TiVo, PC, etc.) is certainly advantageous. And, depending on the plan, the cost can be less for the buyer than the cost of 1 simple repair. And that makes it economically viable.

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Old 04-05-2006, 08:29 AM   #18
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I thought Circuit City's plan required you called an 800 number and mess with some third party? Isn't it Best Buy that lets you go in person?
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:33 AM   #19
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And that makes it economically viable.
Consumer advocates ALWAYS and without exception say that these warranties are scams. Clark Howard, for example, always says that you should never, ever ever buy an "extended warranty" with electronics. They're strictly for suckers. This is where Best Buy makes nearly ALL their profit. That alone should tell you something.
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:37 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by TiVoEvan74
4 hours? And you know what you're doing! Glad my instincts and recognition that I'm NOT a DIY--and the WARNING about lethal electrical shock--kept me away from ever trying this.
It only took that long becasue he backed up and restored all his recordings. I replaced the drives on my TiVo's using the Weakness instructions and it took no more tha 10 minutes each. I did not backup and restore my existing recordings. If you are to do this the extra time is just spent waiting for the computer to do it's thing, not extra stuff you have to do.
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Old 04-05-2006, 08:40 AM   #21
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their website has them for sale still
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:12 AM   #22
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i know my CC had in a good amount when i looked yesterday. It will be intersting to see how the bundle pricing works out in retail stores. As far as the protection plan thing goes, this debate makes me laugh. When my wife bought me my 1st Tivo she ended up getting the protection plan from CC. Im glad she did because I have swapped it out twice. Both times there was no major breakdown with the unit, very very occaional stuttering( like twice a month). Anyway I called the number took it in and told them they would repair it. Both times I walked out with a new box. Actually upgraded from 40 to 80 hour the last time. I had the experience of working at Best Buy for 5 years and I know how the system works. YES the plans are profit for the company but they can also be peace of mind for the customer.Here is what I learned about the the "average" big box electronics customer(most people that take time to post on boards are not average customers and therefore dont fall into his category)
ok heres what i learned from my time in teh blue shirt--btw i primarily sold camcorders and digital cameras

1-Most customers have no idea what they truly need, they would buy what they liked often times spending too much money on their product and not getting full usage out of it

2-I would reccomend the proection plan to people who would look to be clueless about electronics. WHY? not b/c I was forced to but because to most people in there it was peace of mind. Have you seen how much it costs to have a camera repaired...most diagnostic fees sart at 50 bux.

3- If a customer was truly trying to get the best bang for their buck- they would listen and buy the product that best suited them and walk out with a protection plan for less than the origunal product they wanted.

All this rambling to say ----if you dont like the idea of protection plan then dont buy them. I hate it when people knock a company for doing what companies do--make money. Thats called capitalism. Its all around us.

On another note-I sure hope this new strategy for Tivo can help them solidify their standing and increase some revenue
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Old 04-05-2006, 09:12 AM   #23
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Anyone know if Radio Shack has started selling TiVoes yet?
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:22 AM   #24
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Let me clarify my original message ...

Just so this doesn't become another pro-con extended warranty thread... I do believe in them for items that aren't cheap enough to consider "consumable and replaceable" - which to me is anything over $ 150.00. I have had plenty of exchanges and repairs, and I have pretty much broken even.

1. I called the 800# four times with no live body ever available, left 4 voice mail messages in 5 days and got no return call.
2. I e-mailed them and got no return e-mail.
3. So, I called my local (Exton, PA) CC - where they know me a little too well because one of the guys in CS used to live in the same development and because I spend $$$ there, but I digress - to ask what to do.
4. He checked with his manager, who said that CC was no longer selling TiVos and that I should return the unit and get my money back because they had none in stock and weren't getting any more and no other store around had them either (according to their computer system).

So, I posted on this board in the hopes that someone might know if it was true about Circuit City. Nobody seems to know and as of this morning, none of the 2 TiVo types listed on the CC website are available for shipping or in stock anywhere around me. Maybe it's because the new ones are supposed to be available soon, and they're just getting ready. Or maybe not.

I appreciate the offer to provide advice on swapping the drive, but I'm more likely to just get my money back and drive on over to Best Buy. If anybody in suburban Philly knows of a specific CC store WITH STOCK, please let me know.
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:42 AM   #25
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Is your Tivo lifetime or Monthly? Makes a big difference, if Monthly get the refund and buy a new unit for $50 after rebate. If lifetime I can unserstand why you want CC to do the repair.
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Old 04-05-2006, 10:48 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTiVo
Anyone know if Radio Shack has started selling TiVoes yet?
Someone on another board emailed RS and got a response that they expected TiVos to be on sale in June. I take that with a grain of salt.
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Old 04-05-2006, 12:06 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MusicMama

I'm not generally afraid of anything tech-related (just ask my family, I have more repair business with them than I can handle) but the thought of a TiVo hard-drive switchout gives me the willies.

Thanks in advance.

I would like to say I purchased two pre-formatted Hard Drives from Weakness,so all I had to do is put them in and go.

I have never done anything like that before, I found that so easy. Now I'm going to get "Instant Cake " which is a program ($20) that will allow me to formate a Hard Drive, without having to take a chance of missing up any of the formatting process. This way I can make my TiVos 300hrs for less then $100 each. Multi Room Viewing would be more feasible also.
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Old 04-05-2006, 01:42 PM   #28
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I can confirm that the title of this thread is incorrect. TiVo DVR's are available from Circuit City, and I'm not aware of anything that would change that.

The OP was given bad information.

Sorry you've had trouble, but Circuit City should be honoring their extended warranty on your system.

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Old 04-05-2006, 02:16 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoPony
I can confirm that the title of this thread is incorrect. TiVo DVR's are available from Circuit City, and I'm not aware of anything that would change that.

The OP was given bad information.

Sorry you've had trouble, but Circuit City should be honoring their extended warranty on your system.

Cheers,
Pony

Not to be defensive (well, maybe just a little) - please note the question marks that accompanied my title. I was looking for confirmation or denial about what I experienced both locally and through the Circuit City website.

Thank you for confirming that the company is still a recognized vendor.
Mods - please feel free to lock this thread. Thanks.
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Old 04-05-2006, 04:59 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TiVoPony
I can confirm that the title of this thread is incorrect. TiVo DVR's are available from Circuit City, and I'm not aware of anything that would change that.
So how long would she have to wait if she wanted to get a 649 as a replacement instead of a 540?
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