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Old 09-11-2013, 10:05 PM   #1
ShoutingMan
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TiVo extended warranty (on lifetime hardware)?

I generally don't buy extended warranties, as they're a waste of money. But with $1000 in my Roamio and Mini, and a hope of using them for the next 4+ years, should I get the TiVo warranty? I've got another week or two before the month is up. But I haven't had time to read its details and understand what it offers and if there's fine print that makes it a particularly good or bad value.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:07 PM   #2
Goober96
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$40 to insure $1000. Yes, most definitely.
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:22 PM   #3
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I am going to assume Roamio Plus + Lifetime and a Mini + Lifetime for $1050.
Good:
It is cheap. Especially on the Roamio Plus + Lifetime, it is covering $800 for 5% of cost. Typically Tivo's warranties aren't really much of a hassle since it is the manufacturer. Personally, I question the value for the Mini + Lifetime at 16% of cost.

Bad:
It is one time use. Tivo will just replace your box right out of the gate and that ends the warranty.
Some store warranties will cover repairs, but end at replacement. So depending if they can repair it, you might get more mileage out of at store's warranty.
For an item like the Tivo Mini, I would consider a store's warranty. They typically base their warranty price on the sales price. For them and the Mini, that is $99. However, the warranty effectively covers the service as well (an additional $149). This puts the cost for a store one typically much lower than Tivo no the Mini. For example, Best Buy charges $20 and covers 4 years instead of 3 for an effective cost of 8%.
Some stores offer warranties of longer than 3 years, but they typically cost a lot more than Tivo's offer on the Roamio Plus.

I don't do many warranties myself either. However, I do see a definite possible value on the Roamio Plus warranty from Tivo. Not so much on the Mini (if you really want one, I would purchase and get it from a store there).
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Old 09-11-2013, 10:24 PM   #4
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I agree. I was in the same boat: a roamio pro with lifetime. I rarely buy extended warranties, but $39 seemed to be a great offer. Now the thing that I did not do was buy it for my 2 minis. I don't know how they can charge the same price for the extended warranty on that device as for a roamio.
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Old 09-12-2013, 05:25 AM   #5
ShoutingMan
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Thanks for the info. Yes, it's Roamio Plus and a Mini. Both retail with lifetime (MSD $399 on Roamio)

A one-time replacement for $40 that preserves the lifetime on the box is not a bad deal. I think I'll buy that. I'll see what they charge on the mini and may do it too, for simplicity.
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Old 09-12-2013, 06:19 AM   #6
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Extended warranty cost is same as Roamio, $29 for 2 year and $39 for 3 year. I took the extended on my Roamio but took pass on my Mini's.

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Old 09-12-2013, 07:38 AM   #7
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You are not insuring the lifetime sub. If the TiVo fails outside of the 90 day warranty TiVo will charge you for the repair. Its actually done as a cross ship of a refurb unit to you and you return your dead TiVo. The subscription is transferred to the 'repaired' unit. Cost of the repair has been $149. You are spending $39 to insure against a $149 possible expenditure in the future. Not a good price at all.

I'd pass on the Tivo extended warranty. Or, go ahead and help keep Tivo profitable, we need them around.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:22 AM   #8
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Electronics are extremely reliable. That is why these are offered as overall, they are a great value to the seller. While we will hear of someone using them from time to time, most often they expire and move from a liability account to an asset account for the insurance company.
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Old 09-12-2013, 08:29 AM   #9
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Thumbs up

My very first TiVo Series 1 suffered a modem failure within 30 days of purchasing it. It was exchanged and the replacement worked flawlessly until I replaced it with a Philips DSR6000 DirecTiVo. The DirecTiVo required one fan replacement due to failure in the 10 years that it was in service. I cut the cord and replaced the DirecTiVo with a TiVo Premiere XL. I replaced the fan in the Premier XL due to excessive noise after 1 year. 2 years later I have replaced the Premiere XL with a Roamio Basic and a TiVo Mini. All of my TiVos had / have a lifetime service.

The modem failure is the only serious failure I have experienced so far. I consider fans and hard drives consumable items since they will all fail if given enough time. For me $10 fans that are simple to replace haven't justified the cost of an extended warranty.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:06 AM   #10
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I just sent an Elite in under the extended warranty, didn't pay for anything, including shipping, and was told that the warranty would transfer to the "new" box that I receive. Seems to be well worth $39 to me.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by jcthorne View Post
You are not insuring the lifetime sub. If the TiVo fails outside of the 90 day warranty TiVo will charge you for the repair. Its actually done as a cross ship of a refurb unit to you and you return your dead TiVo. The subscription is transferred to the 'repaired' unit.
When I had a two-year old Series 3 fail, there was a fee to transfer Lifetime to the 'repaired' unit.

TiVo charge me $156 for the replacement unit, $199 to move Lifetime over to that replacement unit, and I had to pay about $25 to ship the failed unit back.

Is that policy different now?

Quote:
Dear Jason,

This is confirmation of your TiVo Return Merchandise Authorization (RMA).

RMA Number: TV-4028***
RMA Date: 8/24/2009
RMA Fee: $156.45
Advance Ship Deposit: $524.99
Service Transfer Fee: $199.00
If applicable, prices shown are inclusive of sales/use tax

Items To Be Returned:

Item Description
TiVo Series3 HD Digital Media Recorder

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Old 09-12-2013, 09:32 AM   #12
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When I had a two-year old Series 3 fail, there was a fee to transfer Lifetime to the 'repaired' unit.

TiVo charge me $156 for the replacement unit, $199 to move Lifetime over to that replacement unit, and I had to pay about $25 to ship the failed unit back.

Is that policy different now?
If you had no extended warranty then they actually did you a solid by charging you $199 for the transfer instead of a full new lifetime service.

Under an extended warranty you should get a one time transfer of lifetime from bad box to good box with no charge.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:47 AM   #13
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And on another board I read one poster who got their unit replaced (w/ lifetime transferred) for only $49 w/ free shipping, well over a year after first purchased.

So if you're comfortable playing CSR roulette after your standard warranty expires you might get as lucky as the above.
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Old 09-12-2013, 09:59 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by ShoutingMan View Post
I generally don't buy extended warranties, as they're a waste of money. But with $1000 in my Roamio and Mini, and a hope of using them for the next 4+ years, should I get the TiVo warranty? I've got another week or two before the month is up. But I haven't had time to read its details and understand what it offers and if there's fine print that makes it a particularly good or bad value.
+1
This is one of the times that it seem like a good investment, I bought the pro and have it in a cabinet, plus if you sell it within the 1sr 3 years, your selling a pro with lifetime and warranty.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:24 AM   #15
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Extended warranties on consumer electronics are generally not worth the money, and this one is no different. About the only thing that will fail is the drive, and on these that's a dirt-simple replacement now. Of course you always have a chance to get a rare failure on something else after the standard warranty expires, but it's not likely.
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Old 09-12-2013, 11:53 AM   #16
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Extended warranties on consumer electronics are generally not worth the money, and this one is no different. About the only thing that will fail is the drive, and on these that's a dirt-simple replacement now. Of course you always have a chance to get a rare failure on something else after the standard warranty expires, but it's not likely.
what is "different" is that most consumer electronics don't have service that is tied to a particular unit.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:08 PM   #17
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Extended warranties on consumer electronics are generally not worth the money, and this one is no different. About the only thing that will fail is the drive, and on these that's a dirt-simple replacement now. Of course you always have a chance to get a rare failure on something else after the standard warranty expires, but it's not likely.
It may not be likely, but I still say $40 for insurance against that on a $1000 purchase is definitely worth it.
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Old 09-12-2013, 12:38 PM   #18
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It may not be likely, but I still say $40 for insurance against that on a $1000 purchase is definitely worth it.
Agreed.
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Old 09-12-2013, 01:38 PM   #19
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It's a brand-new design.

Hopefully the only long-term points of failure will be the hard drive or power supply, but if there is something serious enough to say need a motherboard revision $40 or so for a version 2 replacement is cheap insurance.

Didn't some Series 3 units have an issue with failure of the HDMI output?
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Old 09-12-2013, 02:15 PM   #20
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It's a brand-new design.

Didn't some Series 3 units have an issue with failure of the HDMI output?
Yes I bought a refurbed Series 3 ended up having to return 3 units to get a fully functional one, 2 of the bad units had bad HDMI ports.
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Old 09-13-2013, 07:06 AM   #21
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what is "different" is that most consumer electronics don't have service that is tied to a particular unit.
Doesn't make it different, just increases the potential cost in case of failure.
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:21 AM   #22
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And for a Roamio, the most likely cost of failure is significantly less than prior boxes. The mostly likely problem is solved with just the cost of a hard drive, and with minimal effort to boot!
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Old 09-13-2013, 08:22 AM   #23
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Doesn't make it different, just increases the potential cost in case of failure.
Right with lifetime you have to consider the total cost not just the hardware costs. 5 years ago I paid $2,200 for a new TV with only a 1 year warranty and did not buy insurance not sure why I would buy insurance on a $600 (what my Roamio cost) DVR. I also just bought a $900+ AV receiver (which I am sure is going to fail soon ) and didn't buy any insurance for that either.

But my take is everyone needs to go to their own comfort level, if buying insurance on electronic devices makes you feel better than by all means do it. Just reducing someones stress level might be worth the cost of it.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:50 AM   #24
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I also just bought a $900+ AV receiver (which I am sure is going to fail soon ) and didn't buy any insurance for that either.
This should be covered by the warranty. Or by a credit card extended warranty. Register the product just in case there is a special, unannounced extended warranty.
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:57 AM   #25
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This should be covered by the warranty. Or by a credit card extended warranty. Register the product just in case there is a special, unannounced extended warranty.
Yes it is a Denon that has a 3 year warranty, the unit is only 40 days old and started having problems right after the time period I could return it to the vendor I bought it from. Denon has not been willing to replace it yet because the problems are intermittent (unit blows it's internal breaker often but sometimes will run for several hours before it happens). The problem is getting worse so I assume at some point the unit will fail and then I will have to deal with them repairing it instead of replacing it .
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Old 09-13-2013, 10:59 AM   #26
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Thanks for the info. Yes, it's Roamio Plus and a Mini. Both retail with lifetime (MSD $399 on Roamio)

A one-time replacement for $40 that preserves the lifetime on the box is not a bad deal. I think I'll buy that. I'll see what they charge on the mini and may do it too, for simplicity.
I think this is a good idea too. It is almost like you are pre-paying shipping for a defective unit. I normally don't buy extended warranties either, but I would probably buy this one.

Regardless, put the Roamie on a good surge suppressor, I think my TiVo Premiere was fried out by some residual lighting in the cable system I am on. It was dead and TiVo had no suggestions. I unplugged it for a day and then it came back from the dead. It is now on a surge suppressor but I still have not routed the coax from the wall through the surge suppressor to the TiVo. My bad.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:15 AM   #27
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Cost of the repair has been $149. You are spending $39 to insure against a $149 possible expenditure in the future. Not a good price at all.
$39/$149 = 0.2617

So, if the probability of the OP's Roamio having a failure covered by the extended warranty is greater than 26.17%, it is a good deal. If the probability is less than 26.17% then it is not a good deal. I don't think 26.17% of all Roamios will fail, but that is a population statistic and may not apply to the specific model that the OP receives.

TiVo is a business that is focused on making money. I don't think the $39 is as unreasonable a price as you think it is.

Based on other Roamio comments, I'll probably switch to paying my TiVo subscription month-by-month so that in case my Premiere fails, I can just buy a Roamio.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:51 AM   #28
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I think this is a good idea too. It is almost like you are pre-paying shipping for a defective unit. I normally don't buy extended warranties either, but I would probably buy this one.

Regardless, put the Roamie on a good surge suppressor, I think my TiVo Premiere was fried out by some residual lighting in the cable system I am on. It was dead and TiVo had no suggestions. I unplugged it for a day and then it came back from the dead. It is now on a surge suppressor but I still have not routed the coax from the wall through the surge suppressor to the TiVo. My bad.
What you want is an inline coax suppressor with a ceramic fuse. Put it inline at the coax ingress point of your residence and everything is covered in one place. They are about $20 shipped and highly worth it as coax is a common entry point for electrical surges.
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Old 09-13-2013, 11:52 AM   #29
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That is a percentage, not a probability.

Anyhow, how much do folks get charged for other insurance policies? At $40/$1000, a $200,000 house would be $8000 a year. Or, considering this is a 36 month service (right?), that would be $2666 a year. Still a crazy high rate.
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Old 09-13-2013, 12:41 PM   #30
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That is a percentage, not a probability.
It is the break even probability for the risk neutral point:

You compare the probability to get the expected result. If there is a 26.17% chance of failure the expected cost is 0.2617 * $149 = $39. Do I have to do all the stoichastic math for you ?

Then the OP evaluates whether or not the probability that his Roamio will break is greater than 26.17% or not.

This is like in Vegas where the house has odds better than the gambler. In this case TiVo is the house and is assuming that the Roamios as a population will have a much lower failure rate than 26.17%, so TiVo should make money on the deal.

The OP, however, does not have a population of Roamios, just one or a few. His probability could be much different due to bad parts in a batch, bad assembly technique, bad QA/QC, ...

Quote:
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Anyhow, how much do folks get charged for other insurance policies? At $40/$1000, a $200,000 house would be $8000 a year. Or, considering this is a 36 month service (right?), that would be $2666 a year. Still a crazy high rate.
We disagree.

Call up the company that insures your house and ask how much they will charge to insure your Roamio? Silly comparison.
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