Does Tivo accept Paypal or Gift card/Prepaid Visa in 2011?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by cowboys2011, May 3, 2011.

  1. May 3, 2011 #1 of 36
    cowboys2011

    cowboys2011 New Member

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    I saw in the Tivo FAQ that they accept prepaid Visa/Mastercard's that have the billing address attached.. but most gift cards no longer let you register your full address. (For example, Netflix does not accept Vanilla Visa anymore because Vanilla Visa only lets you register your zip code, NOT address. Same with Hulu Plus.. many popular prepaid Visa or Mastercards are no longer accepted.).

    Does Tivo currently accept prepaid gift cards with the Visa or Mastercard logo? If so, which brands will they accept? (See above: Vanilla Visa, and others, no longer work for many online purchases because they don't let you register your billing zip code.)

    Does Tivo accept Paypal?

    I do NOT have a debit or credit card, and would not get one just for Tivo.

    I use Paypal or checks or cash or prepaid gift cards.

    Am I out of luck in purchasing a Tivo subscription?
     
  2. May 3, 2011 #2 of 36
    Chris Gerhard

    Chris Gerhard Well-Known Member

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    I don't know the answer to the question but would suggest you consider a PayPal debit card, it is a great way to solve the problem and get funds from PayPal to services or businesses that don't accept PayPal. It also pays 1% of monthly purchases. There is no need to have your PayPal account associated with your main bank account either.
     
  3. May 3, 2011 #3 of 36
    socrplyr

    socrplyr Active Member

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    I have no idea if this would work, but you might be able to call them up and pay via check... (I wouldn't want to pay monthly this way, so you would need to buy a non-subsidized box directly from Tivo presumably.) Another option is to just purchase a box with lifetime off of ebay... (not that I like that option myself)
    Good luck.
     
  4. May 3, 2011 #4 of 36
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Apparently you already have a checking account. I don't know about your bank, but my credit union issued me a VISA branded debit card that doesn't cost me anything extra. (VISA and probably the credit union get a cut out of what I pay the merchant, which means his/her cash customers help subsidize it, but then they help subsidize people who write checks and the extra expense that costs the merchant, and of course they cause the merchant the expense of handling cash) The debit card takes money out of my checking account only, and since it's not a credit card it doesn't let me spend money I don't have, and in addition to using that to give Tivo a number that lets them get the monthly from me automatically, I can use it for online purchases, and around town I can carry less cash and use it instead of having to write a check and show ID.

    Your bank may even offer something which is a combination of a debit card and a bank-issued ID card, which might come in handy down the road, if for no other reason than to show to someone to whom you're writing a check.:)

    By the way, if you're in a position to dump your bank and open a credit union account instead, you should seriously look into it. It's nice to have your money on deposit somewhere that isn't trying to nickel and dime you out of all of it before you get to spend it on yourself.
     
  5. May 4, 2011 #5 of 36
    cowboys2011

    cowboys2011 New Member

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    Thanks.

    I went ahead and tried a prepaid/gift card on Tivo. No go. They deny it, even though it was money available. Kind of disappointing.

    My bank offers debit cards, but I just don't want one. It's way too easy to overdraft, and way to easy to worry about who all has the number for automatic payments. I only use my checking account for living expenses with companies I trust, and everything else I pay cash.

    I'll have to look into a Paypal debit card. Does Tivo actually accept it?
    It really gets old having companies not accept prepaid cards, but I refuse to cave and get credit or debit, so I guess I'll have to stick with companies that accept Paypal or cash or check, unless the Paypal debit card works with them.
     
  6. May 4, 2011 #6 of 36
    unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    If you can avoid writing rubber checks, you can avoid overdrafting a debit card.
     
  7. May 4, 2011 #7 of 36
    cowboys2011

    cowboys2011 New Member

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    True, but I still don't like debit cards.

    With checks or cash or Paypal (I deposit cash into it), I authorize transactions as they happen. I don't like automatic payments, or the security concerns with debit cards.

    Guess Tivo isn't for me. Shame they don't accept Paypal.
     
  8. May 4, 2011 #8 of 36
    bschuler2007

    bschuler2007 Frustrated owner

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    I think your fear of "automatic payments" is directly opposite of Tivo's fear of "getting ripped off"... thus the impass. You could always buy a lifetime unit.

    And as you figured out.. yeah.. if you don't like monthly payments, Tivo generally is not for you.
     
  9. May 4, 2011 #9 of 36
    cowboys2011

    cowboys2011 New Member

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    Maybe I should have gotten a lifetime unit.

    If Tivo bills monthly, they would know instantly if a prepaid Visa/Mastercard was good and could instantly stop service if it wasn't. I don't see why they won't accept them.

    I don't mind paying the monthly fee, but won't give an entertainment company access to my checking account with a debit card (that I don't have). If Tivo accepted Paypal, I'd do it. Maybe I'll just Freevo or MythTV.
     
  10. bschuler2007

    bschuler2007 Frustrated owner

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    You should be able to add lifetime to any existing unit.

    As for cancelling it if you didn't have the funds, etc.. Yeah.. and they could also hand write you a letter and visit your house if you have any questions.. but it comes down to the amount of resources required. Few companies want to spend the resources on keeping track of customers who use easily faked/cancelled/walk-awayable means of funding. Tivo isn't the only one who won't accept checks, prepaid cards, etc.. Most, if not all, subscription services have the same requirements.
     
  11. JimboG

    JimboG New Member

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    TiVo doesn't want to stop the service instantly at month three. TiVo sells their hardware at a loss and needs you to complete your contractually obligated number of monthly service payments if they are to turn a profit.

    As bschuler2007 mentioned, TiVo doesn't want to get ripped off.

    As to the other issue, how can one handle a checking account but not be able to handle a debit card?:confused:
     
  12. cowboys2011

    cowboys2011 New Member

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    I paid full price for a (used) Tivo unit. No subsidies here.

    Guess I answered my own question here: No, Tivo does not accept gift cards, Paypal, prepaid cards, or checking accounts. Done.

    For anyone else seeking companies that do accept Paypal or gift cards, Netflix accepts Paypal, and Blockbuster accepts gift cards (with a certain amount of value). So does Hulu (with verifiable billing address).
     
  13. JimboG

    JimboG New Member

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    Netflix, Blockbuster, and Hulu don't sell subsidized hardware.

    TiVo sells their Premiere DVR at a loss even at the $299 price, much less with the $99 or zero dollar down, $19.99 per month plans.
     
  14. Worf

    Worf Well-Known Member

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    The easiest way is to go to eBay, and pick up a used TiVo with Lifetime. Get the TSN from the seller and call TiVo to see if it really has lifetime.

    Then you'll have a TiVo with *no* monthly charges, and probably side-stepping this whole issue.
     
  15. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

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    I am going to say, when I has a paid subscription TiVo, I used a pre-paid Mastercard. mind you it had my address tied to it. It loaded the same as Pay-Pal; send a payment from my bank account.
     
  16. cowboys2011

    cowboys2011 New Member

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    May 3, 2011
    My box wasn't subsidized.

    For subsidized boxes... And if Tivo needs to protect themselves from contract-breakers, debit and credit cards can be cancelled (or naturally expire) very easily. Do they send off those contract breakers to collections? Why not have Tivo ask for bank account numbers that rarely change?
     
  17. cowboys2011

    cowboys2011 New Member

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    May 3, 2011
    Thanks, that's helpful.

    Can I ask which brand of Mastercard it was?
     
  18. cowboys2011

    cowboys2011 New Member

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    May 3, 2011

    I've been looking at lifetime units..

    But other forums have lead me to believe that even a lifetime subscription requires a credit card. I don't want to risk being out more money on unsubsidized boxes. Have you, or do you know, anyone who has a lifetime subscription without having to activate/add a credit card to the account?
     
  19. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    If you buy a used unit with lifetime already on it, you can transfer it to your name without giving them any financial info.
     
  20. P42

    P42 Active Member

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    Me. TiVo know my email, phone number, mailing address, and name, but no CC or bank info.
     

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