Any success with written billing complaints?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by dtremit, Apr 25, 2011.

  1. dtremit

    dtremit Member

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    Mar 17, 2002
    Cambridge, MA
    Just got done with a rather unsatisfactory exchange with TiVo Customer Service. I realized recently that I've been billed at the wrong rate for my TiVo service for the past year -- $12.95 versus my previous $6.95 MSD. Called customer service to get it corrected, and was informed that I no longer am eligible for a discount.

    Although I have an active unit with a lifetime subscription, they say it isn't eligible for an MSD because I purchased the lifetime subscription for $299 instead of $399, and my original S2 Lifetime box isn't active. However, it took them over a year to change the rate after the S2 was switched off -- and as I'd noticed the $6.95 rate had continued after the 180 day cutoff, I assumed I'd met the "active subscription" requirement based on the other Lifetime box.

    I realize I should have caught this earlier, but after buying five TiVos for myself, another for my parents, and recommending the things to countless other people over the years, I honestly expected they'd be a little more understanding. The agent even admitted that he's suggested countless times that customers should be contacted when their rate changes -- but still couldn't offer more than a trivial discount for the next 12 months (with accompanying contract), with no guarantee of discounted rates after that.

    I'm thinking a last-ditch written effort to complain might be worthwhile; based on their response, I'll probably either upgrade to a Premiere or sell all my boxes on eBay and switch to MCE or something similar. Has anyone gotten a decent response, and if so, where'd you send your complaint?
     
  2. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    http://www.tivo.com/abouttivo/policies/tivomultiservicediscountagreement.html

    "Your TiVo DVR to which the Product Lifetime Subscription is attached must have called into the TiVo service or the TiVo Plus service within the last 180 days to remain eligible for the MULTI-SERVICE DISCOUNT."

    Seems like all you have to do is hook up your S2 that has lifetime service and let it call in every 180 days to be eligible for the MULTI-SERVICE DISCOUNT.
     
  3. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

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    Dallas, TX
    Yeah, but now that the OP has lost his $6.95 rate, it's going to be a PITA to get it back.
    Had he known that BEFORE he disconnected his MSD qualifying S2, he wouldn't be in this situation.

    The OP can still re-connect the S2 and see what happens, but I think it will take some effort to get the $6.95 rate reinstated.
     
  4. dtremit

    dtremit Member

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    Mar 17, 2002
    Cambridge, MA
    Right. And I got the $6.95 rate for over a year after I shut off the S2, so I assumed the HD with Lifetime was qualifying me for the discount.

    In retrospect I should have just bought Lifetime, but I expected I'd be upgrading before it became worthwhile at $6.95.
     
  5. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    Oct 11, 2005
    Rochester NY
    There are many of us in the same position. I have 4 TiVos, 3 with lifetime and one at $6.95/mo. Only my Series 2 with lifetime was purchased at full price and is the only unit that qualifies me for a MSD. I no longer use the Series 2 at all but I plug it back in every few months to keep my $6.95/mo rate and so I would qualify for a MSD in the future if I purchase another TiVo.

    Kind of a pain in the a** but it is what it is. Hopefully the Series 2 keeps running - I think the drive is going but I still have the original drive I can put back in it.

    If I didn't have to worry about my MSD I would give the Series 2 to my sister who has an older SD tube TV used for OTA only with a converter box. The Series 2 would be useful for her but I don't trust TiVo to not figure out something is up so I just let it sit there doing nothing.

    Thanks,
     
  6. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    MN, greater...
    The OP won't ever get his $6.95 rate back. The best he'll get is $9.95/mo after he reconnects the S2 and allows it to connect with the mother ship. But it's not that easy anymore. Since MSD is only for new subscriptions, he'll have to cancel his subscription so that he can resubscribe it which also entails committing to a year of service. If it were me, I'd cancel and resubscribe with an annual subscription for $99. That way the S2 only has to be connected just before I resubscribe in another year.

    Now that I think about it, I've cancelled several subscriptions so that I could resubscribe using a gift card and each time I was offered 3 months of free service at which time I canceled and resubscribed with the gift card. Three free months coupled with the prepay annual option puts the monthly price at $6.60 when spread over 15 months. If you're lucky, you could try to cancel at the end of that and get offered another 3 months of free service - I've had that opportunity too.
     
  7. dtremit

    dtremit Member

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    Mar 17, 2002
    Cambridge, MA
    To report back, as a last ditch I emailed my story to Executive Relations at the address in this Consumerist article and was able to get my $85 overpayment refunded.

    I ended up canceling service on the second box; I am leaning toward using the upgrade offer available on my S2 to get a Premiere with lifetime for about $460 all in -- though I may postpone my decision with a $99 one year contract to see if anything more interesting comes along.
     
  8. orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    Apr 19, 2004
    East Moline, IL
    I'm confused. Your qualifying unit didn't connect for 180 days, and TiVo mistakenly continued the $6.95 rate on your other units. TiVo corrected the billing error, upping the rate to non-MSD because there wasn't a qualifying unit on the account. What $85 overpayment was ever made on your behalf? Shouldn't you owe money for the time period that you got the MSD rate with no qualifying units on your account?

    Sounds like you got an $85 reward plus discounted service for not paying attention. :confused:
     
  9. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    Sad isn't it?
     
  10. TheWGP

    TheWGP Hmmm...

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    Yeah, it's sad - but it makes sense why Tivo did that, because they DO want to keep customers happy and the connect-tivo-every-180-days requirement might not SEEM necessary to one user.

    From their point of view, the saved sub is probably worth the $85. Not saying it's fair, and sure OP should have paid closer attention to the terms and complied, but to be honest I can understand - he thought the other lifetime box qualified to MSD and was mistaken. OP even admitted he should have caught it earlier. I'd say he's lucky to have Tivo help him out, but the fact that they did makes business sense on Tivo's end I think.
     
  11. scandia101

    scandia101 Just the facts ma'am

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    Oct 20, 2007
    MN, greater...
    and he's doomed to repeat it again and again.
     

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