Drive upgrade, warranty refusal?

Discussion in 'TiVo Bolt DVR/Streamer' started by Time_Lord, Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Time_Lord

    Time_Lord Member

    Jun 4, 2012
    I know there are plenty of threads regarding upgrading the drive in our TiVO's, I've also seen many people saying something along the lines of "If you swap your drive, your warranty is no longer valid, so proceed at your own risk"

    The FTC recently sent a letter to several manufacturers reminding them about the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act of 1975. (FTC Staff Warns Companies that it is Illegal to Condition Warranty Coverage on the Use of Specified Parts or Services)

    A;thougth IANAL it basically says that a manufacturer cannot invalidate your warranty because you used "after market parts" unless the manufacturer can show that the after market part CAUSED the failure. If the manufacturer insists on specific parts to maintain the warranty then the manufacturer must supply those parts at no charge.

    The Magnuson-Moss act is more commonly known in the automotive world, but it applies to electronics too, anything with an initial cost of $15 or more (no idea why or where that amount came from).

    Mikeguy likes this.
  2. PSU_Sudzi

    PSU_Sudzi Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2015
    Philly suburbs
    This is a good point but if you have a power supply failure TiVo could argue that using a larger hard drive caused it, however dubious that may be.
  3. Time_Lord

    Time_Lord Member

    Jun 4, 2012
    That could be a fair argument, then they could simply invalidate the warranty on the power supply saying that your modification caused that failure, which is fair.

    Think about it this way, you replace/modify your unit by replacing the hard drive, now lets say your new harddrive fails and shorts out and causes a failure on the system due to the short circuit. Is TiVO on the hook for the Warranty? Nope, the drive you used failed and caused the failure. Now say for example you replaced the hard drive and a month later the video output fails, TiVO is on the hook for that Warranty failure because your replacement drive did not cause the issue.

    PSU_Sudzi likes this.
  4. anthem11

    anthem11 New Member

    May 15, 2012
    Why wouldn't you just hold on to the OEM drive and swap it back in if you have to send it out for service?
    PSU_Sudzi, dianebrat and jrtroo like this.
  5. V7Goose

    V7Goose OTA ONLY and Loving It!

    May 28, 2005
    New Mexico...
    In my opinion, this thread is a NON ISSUE.

    Although I am totally familiar with the Magnuson-Moss act, and I do not disagree with any of the facts in the OP, it just has not been an issue with TiVo. There have rarely been any reports of TiVo actually trying to refuse warranty claims for any reason, and although their system information automatically reports the HDD size, they neither seem to ever look at that information nor ever ask if you have changed the drive.

    Furthermore, TiVo does not provide warranty "repair" for their equipment; to the best of our knowledge, all warranty claims are resolved by complete replacement of the bad box with another (usually a returned or "refurbished" box). I personally do not think that they ever even open a returned box to find out if it has been modified in any way But even if they did, I think a person would have to be a fool to send back a problem box with a new larger hard drive in it - if you have to send it back, you put the original drive back in just to remove any possible questions (AND to keep you new bigger drive).

    Bottom line for me is that it is pointless to try and make an issue about this - nobody seems to care if the drive has been changed. If you put in a new drive on your own and it fails, it is YOUR problem, not TiVo's. If you break the box in any way by working on it, it is YOUR problem, not TiVo's. If the box develops different problems unrelated to your new drive, just put the old drive back in and send it back. Subject closed.
  6. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

    Jul 28, 2005
    Thanks for this shout-out--good to recall and know :), should push ever come to shove.
    I understand your gist and agree with it. Having said that, when I've mentioned this general train-of-thought in the past (after I actually had researched the issue in posts here) to TiVo box owners who understandably had expressed a warranty concern, various people have come forward to say that they indeed had been refused warranty service after a hard-drive swap. It sometimes sounded to me like there also were more extenuating circumstances in at least some of those cases (e.g. the hard-drive swap explicitly having been called to TiVo's attention; a "difficult" (personality-wise) customer service encounter), but, still.

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