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Old 05-08-2013, 10:28 PM   #1
sushikitten
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All TiVo reps are NOT created equal.

We have a TiVo stuck on a startup loop. Been there done that six months ago, got the replacement.

Now, I'm sure they get a lot of inept people calling, but seriously, you can see we've been customers since 2001 so maybe we might have an effing clue about what we're doing?

But this jerk (hi Bob!) was trying to blame it on:

1. Being plugged into a UPS (saying those are really just to give you time to back up your 100 page thesis if the power goes out). So, we should "let TiVo take the brunt of the restart" and forget trying to save an $800 investment if there's a lightning strike...

2. Bad wiring in our house (asking us when the house was built and claiming "who knows what those contractors do"). At one point he said "I have a $100,000 sound system but I plugged a $1000 receiver in and it blew up. So you just never know."

3. Using an external expander (asking us if we read the hard drive manual and/or contacted them regarding hooking it up because they can be wonky). Um, no, we plugged it in and followed the Tivo's on-screen instructions.

4. Not plugging in the expander in the right order.

5. Having anything else plugged into the UPS along with the TiVo (we don't but it shouldn't matter).

6. Having the TV and TiVo plugged into the same outlet (he was talking to us about things like grounding and circuits and ...SERIOUSLY?

7. Claiming we never did a guided startup (then how the hell were we recording programs?).

Basically, it was something we're obviously doing since this is the second one that's died. Then he tells us that after a third replacement they won't replace it again. Huh?! We said we bought the warranty. Nope, three and you're done.

The whole conversation was just completely ludicrous. The things I've mentioned are the BASICS of what he touched on, and everything just sounded utterly condescending. I SO wish we had been recording it because we were just so gobsmacked. My husband and I just kept looking at each other and mouthing "Is he serious?"

Needless to say we asked for a manager and he didn't seem very with it, either--he was just kinda like "Hey, soooo, where are we at? Let me look at your info..." instead of jumping in feet first and taking control). But to his credit he processed the exchange as if we were still within the first 90 days so there's zero cost to us AND we still have the rest of our original warranty left. He said he had no idea what the other guy was talking about limiting exchanges to three.

So, if you happen to get Bob who sounds quite a bit dooshy and questions the build construction of your house while diagnosing a dead TiVo, hang up and try again. Or record it for all to enjoy.
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Old 05-09-2013, 02:47 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sushikitten View Post
At one point he said "I have a $100,000 sound system
Sounds like he is selling meth out of his garage if he has a $100k sound system on a call center salary. And maybe he use to have a couple of other occupations ( electronic technician maybe) that taught him just enough about grounding and such to make him dangerous.

I have real good luck with TiVo reps. They don't know everything and make mistakes, but I do too. After reading on this forum I have learned that if I don't like what they are telling me than I hang up and talk to another one. Or ask for a supervisor. At least you really can talk to a supervisor, not like T-mobile that they just hang up on you. And they speak English, and employ Americans too! What's not to love about that?!!
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Old 05-09-2013, 05:48 AM   #3
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Oh, I've had my share of good reps, too (though honestly, we've maybe only had a handful of support issues requiring a phone call in the last 12 years) but this guy was definitely NOT the norm and it was (at least) interesting to see what he'd spout next.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:10 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by sushikitten View Post
We have a TiVo stuck on a startup loop. Been there done that six months ago, got the replacement.

Now, I'm sure they get a lot of inept people calling, but seriously, you can see we've been customers since 2001 so maybe we might have an effing clue about what we're doing?

But this jerk (hi Bob!) was trying to blame it on:

1. Being plugged into a UPS (saying those are really just to give you time to back up your 100 page thesis if the power goes out). So, we should "let TiVo take the brunt of the restart" and forget trying to save an $800 investment if there's a lightning strike...

2. Bad wiring in our house (asking us when the house was built and claiming "who knows what those contractors do"). At one point he said "I have a $100,000 sound system but I plugged a $1000 receiver in and it blew up. So you just never know."

3. Using an external expander (asking us if we read the hard drive manual and/or contacted them regarding hooking it up because they can be wonky). Um, no, we plugged it in and followed the Tivo's on-screen instructions.

4. Not plugging in the expander in the right order.

5. Having anything else plugged into the UPS along with the TiVo (we don't but it shouldn't matter).

6. Having the TV and TiVo plugged into the same outlet (he was talking to us about things like grounding and circuits and ...SERIOUSLY?

7. Claiming we never did a guided startup (then how the hell were we recording programs?).

Basically, it was something we're obviously doing since this is the second one that's died. Then he tells us that after a third replacement they won't replace it again. Huh?! We said we bought the warranty. Nope, three and you're done.

The whole conversation was just completely ludicrous. The things I've mentioned are the BASICS of what he touched on, and everything just sounded utterly condescending. I SO wish we had been recording it because we were just so gobsmacked. My husband and I just kept looking at each other and mouthing "Is he serious?"

Needless to say we asked for a manager and he didn't seem very with it, either--he was just kinda like "Hey, soooo, where are we at? Let me look at your info..." instead of jumping in feet first and taking control). But to his credit he processed the exchange as if we were still within the first 90 days so there's zero cost to us AND we still have the rest of our original warranty left. He said he had no idea what the other guy was talking about limiting exchanges to three.

So, if you happen to get Bob who sounds quite a bit dooshy and questions the build construction of your house while diagnosing a dead TiVo, hang up and try again. Or record it for all to enjoy.
Sadly, I have also had similar conversations with a few TiVo reps, however in my situation it was a woman who felt she needed to speak to me like a child constantly cutting me off and being extremely condescending towards me. It saddens me that when I call tech support more times than not, I find myself having to lead them through discovery of their own products and how they actually work.
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Old 05-09-2013, 09:13 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sushikitten View Post
We have a TiVo stuck on a startup loop. Been there done that six months ago, got the replacement.

Now, I'm sure they get a lot of inept people calling, but seriously, you can see we've been customers since 2001 so maybe we might have an effing clue about what we're doing?

But this jerk (hi Bob!) was trying to blame it on:
Have you noticed that Dilbert is found in the "Non-Fiction" section of the Library


Quote:
Originally Posted by sushikitten View Post
1. Being plugged into a UPS (saying those are really just to give you time to back up your 100 page thesis if the power goes out). So, we should "let TiVo take the brunt of the restart" and forget trying to save an $800 investment if there's a lightning strike...
I have seen many UPS's that are square wave noise generators and have destroyed PC power supplies in just a couple of weeks. Never use a surge suppressor outlet strip on the output side unless the UPS output is a true Sine Wave version in which case one is not needed. I am not saying yours is bad worth looking into IAC. I have a 1KW APC SMART UPS that has destroyed several 100W incandescent light bulbs that I use as a load for testing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushikitten View Post
2. Bad wiring in our house (asking us when the house was built and claiming "who knows what those contractors do"). At one point he said "I have a $100,000 sound system but I plugged a $1000 receiver in and it blew up. So you just never know."
Definitely worth checking the house wiring get a AC Circuit Tester check the grounding and polarity of your outlets. Codes very by location and when the house was built I know in the 50's when my house was built 2 prong outlets were the norm and there was no established standard for which side was hot for the 3 prong grounded outlet half of the house was wired reversed to today's standard. And most of the grounds were broken or loose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushikitten View Post
3. Using an external expander (asking us if we read the hard drive manual and/or contacted them regarding hooking it up because they can be wonky). Um, no, we plugged it in and followed the Tivo's on-screen instructions.

4. Not plugging in the expander in the right order.
A bad or loose eSATA cable has caused many weird problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sushikitten View Post
5. Having anything else plugged into the UPS along with the TiVo (we don't but it shouldn't matter).

6. Having the TV and TiVo plugged into the same outlet (he was talking to us about things like grounding and circuits and ...SERIOUSLY?
Overloading or Under-loading a UPS degrades the quality of output. I like to have all related equipment plugged into the same UPS except for Laser Printers and Coffee makers both generate electrical noise. I try to match the load to be from 40 to 70 percent of the rated output (My own rule).
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Old 05-09-2013, 12:32 PM   #6
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1. It's not a strip, it's like an APC 500 or something.

2. Our house is less than 10 years old and we've had two prior TiVos plugged into that location for YEARS to no ill effect.

I know strange things happen, but he seemed to be grasping at straws.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:09 PM   #7
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Those are not common events, but they certainly do happen. Newer houses are not immune, and perhaps is even more likely to have a loose screw develop over time.
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Old 05-09-2013, 01:47 PM   #8
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I must agree here with talking to a first line person who answers the phone. They should try to determine if a person sounds like they know what they are talking about or are asking where to put a new TAPE into their Tivo.

The one thing they do NOT want to do is send you to a Supervisor. They will tell you that the Super can do no more than they can. I believe that they are graded somehow on how many calls that they can not handle on their own.

My last example dealt with getting in in a Premiere 4 deal. We were shown that we could save $200, but being able to take advantage of the MSD we only saved $100. The rep said that his price was correct. We said that the offer we got ONLY went to people who could get MSD anyway and that saying $200 off was not correct. My wife asked to speak to a supervisor and we were told that his Super could not do any more, but I believe that if you request a Supervisor he has to get one for you.

Well, I will not go over pricing but the Supervisor saw that we were a good Customer with 3 THD's (anyone want to buy one it is here in the for sale section 2TB Lifetime) and we now have a Premiere 4, a Premiere XL4 and 2 extra Glow Remotes!
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Old 05-10-2013, 07:31 AM   #9
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1. It's not a strip, it's like an APC 500 or something.

2. Our house is less than 10 years old and we've had two prior TiVos plugged into that location for YEARS to no ill effect.

I know strange things happen, but he seemed to be grasping at straws.
Sounds more like he was snorting something through that straw.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:52 AM   #10
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Have you noticed that Dilbert is found in the "Non-Fiction" section of the Library


I have seen many UPS's that are square wave noise generators and have destroyed PC power supplies in just a couple of weeks. Never use a surge suppressor outlet strip on the output side unless the UPS output is a true Sine Wave version in which case one is not needed. I am not saying yours is bad worth looking into IAC. I have a 1KW APC SMART UPS that has destroyed several 100W incandescent light bulbs that I use as a load for testing.

Definitely worth checking the house wiring get a AC Circuit Tester check the grounding and polarity of your outlets. Codes very by location and when the house was built I know in the 50's when my house was built 2 prong outlets were the norm and there was no established standard for which side was hot for the 3 prong grounded outlet half of the house was wired reversed to today's standard. And most of the grounds were broken or loose.

A bad or loose eSATA cable has caused many weird problems.


Overloading or Under-loading a UPS degrades the quality of output. I like to have all related equipment plugged into the same UPS except for Laser Printers and Coffee makers both generate electrical noise. I try to match the load to be from 40 to 70 percent of the rated output (My own rule).
Nice try Bob.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:11 AM   #11
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Nice try Bob.
Heh. I ALMOST posted exactly that.
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:15 AM   #12
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Heh. I ALMOST posted exactly that.
I was wondering what the 'b' in bshrock stood for
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Old 05-10-2013, 01:00 PM   #13
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I was wondering what the 'b' in bshrock stood for
Busted

Actually I have worked in Tech Support in one form or another starting in 1974 where I worked in service then support of Cameras, Video Player / Recorders and 3/4" VCRs. After dealing with John Q. Public I have sympathy for the support tech. This one would benefit from some "Dale Carney" training IAC.
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Old 05-10-2013, 02:26 PM   #14
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I don't agree with your UPS comments, but they were obviously meant in the spirit of helping someone understand why CS asked those questions.

I have 7 at home and countless more at work. Every one of them generates a perfect 60Hz sine wave from the cheapest 300VA "no-name" unit, to dozens of APC 500s, to the Tripp-Lite 1500VA model that's driving the PC that I'm typing on right now.

When lightning blew up everything else in my house and burned part of it down, the only survivors were my two TiVos and their associated satellite tuners, because they were on a 20 year old Sola UPS.

Square-wave UPS units that only switched over to battery after a power failure haven't been built since about 1970 AFAIK. Replacing the batteries every 3-5 years is a pain, but the alternative is worse.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:39 PM   #15
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Busted

Actually I have worked in Tech Support in one form or another starting in 1974 where I worked in service then support of Cameras, Video Player / Recorders and 3/4" VCRs. After dealing with John Q. Public I have sympathy for the support tech. This one would benefit from some "Dale Carney" training IAC.
They may also want to look at Dale Carnegie.
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Old 05-10-2013, 04:52 PM   #16
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Very hard to find good help these days, especially over the phone!
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:20 PM   #17
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Replacing the batteries every 3-5 years is a pain, but the alternative is worse.
Actually, depending on the size, make, and current pricing, it is sometimes easier and cheaper to just buy a whole new UPS. Some places are pretty proud of their batteries.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:28 PM   #18
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Sounds like he is selling meth out of his garage if he has a $100k sound system on a call center salary.
You surely got that right. My B.S. alarm went to maximum volume when I saw that. To be sure, there are $100K sound systems out there in consumer's homes, but they are very rare, and the names on the deeds to the homes tend to be familiar ones, not some noodnick on a phone support line. I don't think I am being arrogant when I say my salary is far above that of any front line CSR, yet there is no way I could afford a $100,000 sound system. The one in my theater is pretty nice, if you ask me, but it doesn't even top the $10K mark, let alone $100K.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:35 PM   #19
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5. Having anything else plugged into the UPS along with the TiVo (we don't but it shouldn't matter).
Not unless the units exceed the load capacity or possibly the startup current surge capacity of the UPS.

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6. Having the TV and TiVo plugged into the same outlet (he was talking to us about things like grounding and circuits and ...SERIOUSLY?
He sounds quite clueless, but rarely this could actually cause a problem, especially if your TV has a high startup current. Plasma and LCD / LED TVs should not present a problem, but the startup current on my DLP is pretty high and sometimes it does cause problems.
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Old 05-11-2013, 05:59 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by sushikitten View Post
1. It's not a strip, it's like an APC 500 or something.

2. Our house is less than 10 years old and we've had two prior TiVos plugged into that location for YEARS to no ill effect.

I know strange things happen, but he seemed to be grasping at straws.
2. Could be that its socket will only take a certian TiVo's pins.
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:07 PM   #21
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Bump to say out third Premier died. This one after less than two months. SERIOUSLY?!

At least this time I didn't get a jack hole rep and the two I talked to were nice.

That said, they couldn't do the full return/refund as I requested...so we're doing yet ANOTHER exchange with a NEW unit but they're throwing in a glow remote. Big whoop.

This is getting insane.
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:31 PM   #22
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Bump to say out third Premier died. This one after less than two months. SERIOUSLY?!

...

This is getting insane.
And surely is starting to sound like something local unless Tivo QC has really dived to an all time low ??!
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Old 07-03-2013, 02:51 PM   #23
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I'm not sure how it can be something local, as our other two Tivos are surviving just fine (an S3 going on about five years old and an XL going on seven months old). That said, we will be trying a different UPS just in case.

We've been lucky with Tivos since we started back in 2001 - we've probably had eight different ones over the years (new and used) and this is the first one that's had major issues. The only other issue is an old S2 DVD that just died...but it was after like 6 or 7 years.
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Old 07-03-2013, 03:46 PM   #24
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I'm not sure how it can be something local, as our other two Tivos are surviving just fine (an S3 going on about five years old and an XL going on seven months old). That said, we will be trying a different UPS just in case.
We use UPS extensively and I concur with the view that the output from some can be as problematic as the things it's trying to prevent. That said, perhaps the newer Tivo's are more susceptible to 'poor quality' power ? Either way good luck! And hopefully Tivo are paying attention to the CSR comments - they used to have excellent CSR's, then they made it very hard to reach them - and now, sadly, there seem to be a good number who are just not up to the standard they need to be to cause people to keep up the 'premium' cost of having Tivo DVR's.
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