Complaint regarding billing practice

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by pdimarzio, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. pdimarzio

    pdimarzio New Member

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    I was looking for a place on tivo.com to register a complaint. If it exists, I couldn't find it, so thought that perhaps I'd vent here in case Tivo is paying attention ...

    I have been a multiple Tivo customer for many, many years - so many in fact that I was enjoying a $6.95/mo rate on the two boxes that I have on a monthly plan. This month I noticed that one of those boxes started charging at $12.95 so I called customer service to figure out why.

    I used to have a 3rd box, with lifetime service, hooked up but when my daughter left the house I disconnected it. I had always assumed that the $6.95 multiple box discount was for more than one box (meaning two boxes qualified me), but the rep told me that it was for three - and because the 3rd box was disconnected for 6 months I lost the discount. Apparently forever, because now my only option is to plug that box back in and get a $9.95 rate. My grandfathered rate would never be reapplied. He told me, rather bluntly, to go read the Tivo Ts&Cs.

    I have had several cases in the past where Tivo customer service has given me exemplary help on problems, such as broken boxes and the like. They have always gone out of their way to satisfy me. I rather expected that as a long-time and very loyal customer I might have been given a heads-up that I was in danger of losing my grandfathered rate. All I had to do was connect the 3rd box just once and I would have been set for another 6 months.

    Was Tivo required to notify me? No. Were their actions in the right? Yes. BUT I have come to expect more from this company and they really let me down. Tivo has been the one thing keeping me from switching over to AT&T U-Verse but this situation has so annoyed me that I may just make that move. I already had one foot out the door when Comcast went all-digital and my Series 2 became a single-tuner box and I had to install IR repeaters. But I hung on because, let's face it, Tivo is a unique experience. I did have U-Verse service briefly in the past and the picture quality that they provide is stunning but I dropped them because it was just too hard to get the Tivo's working with U-Verse boxes. Now I'm willing to lose Tivo in favor of the better picture quality.

    Tivo, if you're listening and if you care, you've lost me.
     
  2. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    First you were not a loyal customer, you were a satisfied customer who did not understand the TiVo pricing system, you must have one qualifying TiVo to get the discount rate on the next 4 TiVos, if you get rid of the qualifying box than one of the discounted TiVo rate goes up to make it the qualifying TiVo. I know its complicated and most likely should not be so complicated, but it is. That why Lifetime is so much of a better deal as one never has to be concerned about price. Even at $6.95/month you would have been even at 3.5 years and your TiVos would have some good resale value.
     
  3. sakura panda

    sakura panda Well-Known Member

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    If you purchase your Lifetime at a discounted rate, that doesn't count as a qualifying TiVo either. (Having gone through something similar a few months ago when I disconnected my original lifetime Tivo. The other two lifetime Tivos did not count because they were discounted and I went from $6.95 to $12.95 on one of my two month-to-month Tivos.)
     
  4. Johnwashere

    Johnwashere Member

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    Same thing happened to me :( I had my original tivo for over 10 years with lifetime. My 2nd tivo was at 6.99 and third was 99 a year. Now that I unplugged my 1st tivo im getting charged 12.99 for my 2nd. Sucks it has to be plugged in, thats just not fair
     
  5. rayik

    rayik New Member

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    While other posters will tell you that it's your fault you lost the discount and TIVO is in their rights under the TOS to bump up you monthly rate, I agree with you completely.

    If it was me, I'd remove the service on the now $9.95 TIVO. It would be in TIVO's better interest to recieve $6.95 / month rather than nothing.
     
  6. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Going to U-verse is not much of a choice since the picture quality is even worse than what Comcast offers. Plus you are limited in how many prgrams can be watched/recorded concurrently in the entire household.
     
  7. smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

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    That is pretty lame. I knew about a disconnected box having an impact on MSD, but didn't know that they'd remove your grandfathered rate.

    I remember back to a time when I disconnected my original Phillips S1 after about 7 or 8 years of continuous service, then reconnected it two months later because my father wanted to use it. Got stuck with a price increase and a year commitment to avoid an even higher price increase. Granted, I accept full responsibility for not looking up the terms ahead of the time, but Tivo also lost the majority of my customer loyalty over that price increase.
     
  8. Resist

    Resist Well-Known Member

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    I thought it was common knowledge that you had to connect the box that allowed the lower MSD, at least once every month to the Tivo servers. Next time read the fine print or read over the forums here.
     
  9. smbaker

    smbaker Well-Known Member

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    It may be common knowledge for those of us on the forums, but I don't see how a casual user would know. People don't read the fine print (perhaps they should, but they don't), and the policy is counter-intuitive.

    An appropriate thing for Tivo to do would be to send an email when a rate increase occurs due to dropped MSD.
     
  10. TheWGP

    TheWGP Hmmm...

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    100% agreed. This isn't a policy problem so much as it is a communication problem. The reason people feel gypped and we regularly - REGULARLY - see posts such as this one is because Tivo doesn't communicate in an end-user-readable form with customers when a change like this happens. Note that the T&C's are specifically *not* very end-user-readable, even if customers DID take more time to read the fine print as they probably should.

    If Tivo was REALLY interested in customer service / keeping long-time customers, they would send out an end-user-readable warning email if your rate is about to increase because a lifetime box was disconnected too long. Simple to implement, no human intervention required - easy to automate.

    Evidently, Tivo has no interest in doing anything like that - but based on the information available, I think that's penny wise and pound foolish. As a prior poster said, keeping a 6.95 rate or 9.95 rate subscribed is better than getting NOTHING for that box anymore. Multiply the reports (and associated cancellations) we see on the forums by however many thousand for those who never found/posted on the forums, and you have to figure there's some serious cash at stake, to say nothing of difficult-to-foster goodwill lost - so I'm really surprised Tivo doesn't try to handle situations like this better.
     
  11. lessd

    lessd Well-Known Member

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    Or at least on your TiVo web sight inform people which TiVos, if any, are qualifying TiVos on your account, as someone posted a discounted Lifetime on a TiVo would not be a qualifying TiVo so even if you purchased an E-Bay Lifetime TiVo you would not know if it was qualifying or not without calling TiVo itself. I keep an old lifetime Series 2 so I know that I will have a qualifying TiVo on my account, works great with my old cable box and the RS232 connection, and anybody in my family can make a DVD with ease, no computer needed.
     
  12. pdhenry

    pdhenry Recumbent

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    I think the TiVo terms make it easy to determine which TiVo is the qualifying subscription.

    If you are in a service contract it pays to have actually read the contract.
     
  13. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    I think simply hooking up the qualifying box again and then calling back to politely yet firmly get the 6.95 rate back could well work, especially since the OP is truly ready to drop the subs otherwise.

    There are times I say it is the TOS and to expect more is simply an entitled position. In this case though the OP has a clear line where his value is and it is not about loyalty or special consideration but getting that value.
     
  14. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    If the Tivos in question are Series 2, then it doesn't make sense to pay a monthly subscription on them, even at $6.95/month. You could easily find a used S2 with lifetime service for ~$150. If you look hard enough you can find them cheaper.
     
  15. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    The lesson for me was to just buy lifetime. My only qualifing sub is my orginial Series 2, which I have no use for except to keep a $6.95/mo rate on my Series 3.

    It continues to be woulda, coulda, shoulda thing for me.
     
  16. pdhenry

    pdhenry Recumbent

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    Are you paying monthly on the S2? Why would that be cheaper than paying full monthly on the S3?
     
  17. amatheu

    amatheu Member

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    :mad:Hi, I notice before I had the options to get or the year for 99.00 the monthly for 12.95 or 9.95 depending the tivo , and the lifetime for 299.99
    Today I went to my account thinking to put two of my tivos annualy for 99.99
    and I find out was removed, my only options are or monthly or lifetime for 399.99, before I smatch the Tivos in the parking lot, second, I have a Premiere from the begining before the Tivo Idea to charge the people 19.99 a month, now I saw in my tivo premiere the only option to change is to or 19.99 a month or 399 lifetime, WHAT IS TIVO THINKING WITH THIS ECONOMY IN THE FLOOR AND THE GASS IN THE SKY AND PEOPLE GETTING LAYOF FROM WORK?? COME IN TIVO AND GIVE A BRAKE TO THE PEOEPLE!!!!!!!
    I'm considering in discontinue all my tivos and move to my cable, I have the cable pay for my condo and Optional one HD box or HD DVR, and I can pay for the other two. and Good by Tivo, any way Netflix is suck in the Tivo Premiere is continuosly retrieving and retrieving, I install a blueray next to the tivo and I streaming netflix without any problems!! you call tivo and they blame netflix, or the cable co, I have 12 mbps download!! plenty enough, but this premiere is junk and Tivo say is the others!:thumbsdown: :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown: :thumbsdown:
     
  18. amatheu

    amatheu Member

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    I think Tivo want to lost the costumers.
     
  19. atmuscarella

    atmuscarella Well-Known Member

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    The S2 is a lifetime unit and my qualifying unit (for MSD)

    I got the MSD $6.95 rate on my second S2 thought it made more sense than getting lifetime on the unit - I was wrong should have paid for lifetime. I then subbed in my S3 into the grandfathered $6.95 rate and again it is turning out to have been a mistake should have just paid the $299 at the time and gotten lifetime.

    My TiVo HD and Premiere both have lifetime but they are not qualifying subs as I used MSD when I bought the lifetime service for both of them.
     
  20. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Ove rthe long term a cable comapny DVR typically costs much more than a TiVo with Lifetime service. There is a breakeven point somewhere while with the cable company DVR you continue to pay, and pay, for a DVR that is not as reliable as TiVo.
     

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