Feel robbed by Tivo

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by Sideboxtv, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. Aug 16, 2018 #61 of 154
    Lurker1

    Lurker1 Well-Known Member

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    Your best recourse is probably through Amazon. I think that is how the OP got his problem resolved, although he never did say. We are still waiting on his promised "report back" from 2 months ago. TiVo_Ted may have helped in some way, but that is also unclear.
     
  2. Aug 16, 2018 #62 of 154
    jth tv

    jth tv Well-Known Member

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    Right. So until he or TiVo does, I think it is fair to say, DO NOT BUY TIVO's from AMAZON.
     
  3. Aug 16, 2018 #63 of 154
    Arthur55555

    Arthur55555 New Member

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    Frankly, it unfortunately makes me think "don't buy Tivo in general"... What's to stop this from happening at Best Buy, or anywhere really (not only via co-mingled products, but even via swapping & returning)?

    For that matter, what if Best Buy was late in paying Tivo for the product -- or what if they became insolvent & filed bankruptcy? Would Tivo then begin de-activating every box that Best Buy had in stock leading up to that point, but that they hadn't yet been paid for yet, despite the fact that customers would have forked their cash over? It may seem far-fetched but it isn't that outrageous of a scenario, and it's certainly plausible if nothing else.

    In a scenario like this, what should happen is that Tivo should take the matter up with the retailer -- they shouldn't be screwing their to-be new/existing customers, who just plunked down hundreds of dollars for hardware with the intent to purchase service ($14.99/mo) -- to do that is absurd. If Best Buy, or Amazon, or any authorized retailer is selling hardware that Tivo doesn't want sold (for whatever reason), then their grievance rests solely with the vendor and they should do whatever they need to do -- contact them, invoice them, collect from them, enforce their contract, sue them if need be, etc -- but that should be solely between Tivo and the authorized retailer.

    It goes beyond "poor customer experience" to be told, months after the purchase, that Tivo will only activate my box if I re-pay the full retail price to them -- and that my only alternative is to return the product. Are you kidding me?! I'm obviously well past the return period, and while I suspect that Amazon will be cooperative and get it figured out if I have to go that route, it really boggles my mind that they're telling me that I have to try to figure this out; how about the paid workers or executives over at Tivo do their job & pick up the phone to Amazon and figure out how to get paid.

    I am NOT a collection agency, Tivo isn't paying me to collect debts for them, and I have no interest in spending my time figuring out Tivo's vendor/distributor/retailer problems. What I am is a potential new customer that voluntarily plunked down almost $1k on equip. knowing full-well that it's locking me in to Tivo -- someone that wanted a better DVR experience, loved my Tivo 15 years ago, and that wanted to re-live those glory days and save time catching up on TV shows. So, to be treated like I need to wear a collection agency hat and feel like I'm being asked to do pro-bono collection work for Tivo -- a publicly traded company!! -- instead of simply being transparently welcomed as a new customer while Tivo goes and figures out their problems (or does whatever they want/need to do frankly), is just absolutely abhorrent.

    I'm 8+ hours into this now, down more than $800, have 3 useless boxes, am well past the stated return period, and I'm being told by Tivo, "figure it out, not our problem". It's absolutely mind boggling, and I've never had an experience like this despite dealing with numerous ISPs and cable providers, co-location providers, and web/technology services (I'm a software development manager by trade). Even my poor experiences with ISPs and cable companies, when things have gone wrong or had problems, have been vastly better than this experience; when it comes to trying to become a new customer with a company, I've unequivocally never had an experience even coming close to the repugnance here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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  4. Aug 16, 2018 #64 of 154
    Lurker1

    Lurker1 Well-Known Member

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    You are absolutely right. TiVo support can't/won't do anything that isn't in their scripts. That is why I suggested you might get better customer service from Amazon. Maybe they will allow you to return the unit for a refund, and you can forget about doing any more business with such a repugnant company.

    Sideboxtv had promised to report back how he resolved this situation to help others in the future, but unfortunately he has not done that yet.
     
  5. Aug 16, 2018 #65 of 154
    ManeJon

    ManeJon Active Member

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    Why not buy from TIVO? I think Amazon has gotten so big that the controls they need to buy properly for resale just aren't in place yet.
     
  6. Aug 16, 2018 #66 of 154
    just4tivo

    just4tivo Active Member

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    @ Arthur55555,

    Your retail contract is with Amazon not TiVo. TiVo has no responsibility since it was not party to the retail sale regardless of how pi$$ed you are with them it is not their responsibility. Amazon is not a subsidiary of TiVo.

    Amazon (knowingly or unknowingly) committed fraud.

    They are who has to make this right either by replacing the unit with a NEW one that is NEW or by refunding your money.

    At this point your options are to deal with Amazon, file a complaint in small claims court, file a complaint with your State's Attorney General, and/or contact your credit card company. You may have exceeded the window for help from your CC company because you waited from date of sale 2.18 till now 8/18 to activate the TiVo..

    If Amazon doesn't satisfy you understand that in many jurisdictions a corporation must be represented by council in small claims court and that costs money. You may get summary judgement.

    Seems to me that your best bet is to get Amazon to stand behind the fraudulent purchase. You may have to go up the ladder.

    I hope this is resolved in your favor but you are learning an important lesson. You should have activated your TiVo upon receipt to make sure it worked and this problem would have surfaced RIGHT THEN AND THERE. A swift resolution with Amazon would have happened and if not your CC company would have charged back the amount of purchase. By waiting you can not avail yourself of the most powerful protections you had at your disposal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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  7. Aug 16, 2018 #67 of 154
    Arthur55555

    Arthur55555 New Member

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    I respectfully but wholeheartedly disagree with your conclusion; when I purchase something I am under no obligation to utilize it right away. Sure, if it's damaged or broken that's on me -- but that is NOT the case here. Indeed, even if I had activated it immediately upon arrival then I'd still be in the exact same position that I am now -- in fact, that's precisely what happened to the OP who did activate it prior to Tivo then later disabling the product which, like mine, was rightfully purchased and owned by the OP.

    The company that was defrauded here is Tivo -- and the individual that committed said fraud then used Amazon to 'fence' the goods that they [allegedly] have obtained fraudulently, and then I'm left holding the bag. The only entity that is actually "out" money right now is Tivo -- and, due solely to Tivo's subsequent actions, they have then caused me to be out my money as well.

    What should instead be happening is that Tivo needs to pursue the person or entity that defrauded them; presumably they have the shipping address and sufficient proof that they were defrauded (and, if they don't, then they shouldn't be doing any of this). They should take that documentation/proof/evidence to the appropriate authorities, or to a civil court in the appropriate jurisdiction.

    What they should NOT do is: penalize a potential customer; require customers to obtain a written "tivo box history report" before purchasing any Tivo product [used OR new!]; levy balances or fines against Tivo boxes regardless of owner; unilaterally become the judge and jury in cases of fraud / criminal acts.

    If Tivo has been defrauded, then they should report it to the appropriate authorities and/or take up a cause of action in the appropriate civil court jurisdiction(s). If needed, they should work with their authorized retailers to achieve whatever it is that they seek to achieve.

    But what they should absolutely not do? What they've done in this situation: wash their hands of it, telling me that my options are: A) pay full price, again, for the boxes that I have proof I purchased & which they have no interest in seeing said proof; B) return the boxes, which they full & well know that I'm well beyond the return period [almost certainly they didn't 'know'/think that the box had any problems until well after the return period was over].

    Indeed, that means that I received a fully functioning box from Amazon, and in record time at that -- it wasn't until Tivo decided, based on information I'm unaware of and at Tivo's sole discretion with no disclosure or input from me, that my paid-for product should be disabled entirely.

    I'm consulting with an attorney this afternoon and will proceed from there...
     
  8. Aug 16, 2018 #68 of 154
    just4tivo

    just4tivo Active Member

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    With respect.my advice was more along the lines of SELF DEFENSE than any obligation real, inferred, or imagined.

    If you had activated it upon delivery them you could have returned it to Amazon. If they balked then you would have had the CC company standing along side you. You would not be in the same position that you are now.

    Good luck.
     
  9. Aug 16, 2018 #69 of 154
    timckelley

    timckelley run of the mill TCFer

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    Brushy...
    unless it activated successfully, but later got disabled by tivo corp after the return period has expired...
     
  10. Aug 16, 2018 #70 of 154
    Arthur55555

    Arthur55555 New Member

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    I understand. Frankly I'm a super principled person, and what upsets me the most about this is the though of "what if this happened to my 80 year old mother", or really anyone less business-minded / technically inclined. She'd be beside herself, and she'd almost certainly just be out the money; that really irks me.

    Especially when there really isn't any way to protect yourself from this, aside from (and per the limited info we have from Tivo, of which we don't even know the veracity) either ordering directly via Tivo.com OR avoiding Tivo altogether. I know which I'll recommend going forward, unfortunately... :(

    It's just absurd because, based on what little we know, neither Amazon nor Tivo knew or had any possible way of knowing that my specific box was "a problem" until something like 4 months(!!) after I had purchased it. Basically, because Tivo doesn't want to do anything outside their script nor are they presumably interested in actually pursuing legal and/or criminal remedies available to them, they just decide to be the judge+jury and disable the box. That's because they supposedly weren't paid for it -- but I don't know that, I couldn't have known that, no one knew that (including Tivo), and I really still don't have any way to verify the veracity of their claim -- for all I know someone mis-clicked something, and their script says "in case of mis-click, tell customer to fend for themselves".

    FWIW, when I originally called in they asked me (multiple times) for the amount of $140 to "pay off the boxes account balance" -- 45 minutes further into the call, when I told them I was going to begin recording the call on my end as well, the supervisor came on and price of activation had mysteriously gone up from the original $140, to the full price of the box, $590+.

    I'm probably principled to a fault, and I know that; but for my own sanity, and for those out there who aren't able or willing to stand up to anti-consumer companies like this one, who are taking advantage of their customers instead of fighting their own battles (if you get defrauded, go after the fraudster, not your legitimate customer).

    I get it, they don't care, but it's sickening especially for a public company like Tivo who has a market cap at this moment of $1.6B -- for them to not have any care in the world about how they treat their customers is just disgusting. The common courtesy, in many companies the "customer-centric approach", would simply be to be an advocate for your customer -- reach out to Amazon, figure out whats going on, put a stop to it or revoke Amazon's ability to sell your product, and just generally pretend like you even care about your product experience & the customers themselves.
     
  11. Aug 16, 2018 #71 of 154
    just4tivo

    just4tivo Active Member

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    @ Arthur55555

    I never said you're wrong. I was trying to help you escape the groundhog day you're living.

    When you think all is lost trying to get TiVo to do something...

    You need to escalate above the 1st and 2nd tier CSRs and supervisors the thing to do is email disputenotice@tivo.com and file a notice of dispute.

    Recently that has resulted in the email bouncing but also triggering a phone call from the Executive Relations Team.

    That still works. Even though the email gets rejected the legal department redirects the email to the Executive Relations Department and a phone call follows shortly after. Remember, the Executive Relations Department is only open business hours Pacific Time weekdays.
     
  12. Aug 16, 2018 #72 of 154
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    As has been pointed out before, in a reply to the OP's issue, @TiVo_Ted did mention Amazon's 30-day return window not being relevant since the sale involved stolen goods. Have you spoken with Amazon and used such words with them... that they sold you stolen goods in February? Because TiVo certainly seems to be saying to you that you are trying to activate stolen goods. And I certainly can see why TiVo wouldn't activate no matter what you say or show at that point.
     
  13. Aug 16, 2018 #73 of 154
    Nortnarg

    Nortnarg New Member

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    Amazon and Tivo both should be protecting you, the customer. Neither seem to be doing that. I have good experiences with both companies, but this story makes me cautious about doing business with either of them.
    They are treating you as though you are the thief that stole the box and did wrong. Laying the fault or responsibilities with you the customer is simply lazy and ignorant of both companies. When the customer base leaves or fades away they lose in the end.
    Hopefully you can elevate this to someone high enough in the company that still cares.
    Wishing you much luck.
    I know at this point, even if you are made whole, you will still be left feeling abused an unappreciated.
     
  14. Aug 16, 2018 #74 of 154
    ej42137

    ej42137 Well-Known Member

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    You are not TiVo's customer; in relation to TiVo, you are the recipient of stolen goods. TiVo is never going to activate this machine unless someone pays for it. You need to focus on Amazon to resolve this problem.
     
  15. Aug 16, 2018 #75 of 154
    Arthur55555

    Arthur55555 New Member

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    It's certainly possible, but I really have no idea the veracity of Tivo's allegations down this path. The point is that I purchased at full MSRP from a retailer than Tivo has explicitly authorized, and thereby implicitly endorsed, to sell their products. If Tivo's distributor is selling products without paying the manufacturer (Tivo) for them -- realistically, if the distributor is doing anything that the manufacturer doesn't like -- that's between Tivo and the distributor.

    I absolutely did pay for it; Tivo should reach out to Amazon and ask them for my $800+. It's not my responsibility to hold their distributors accountable and collect funds on behalf of the manufacturer; quite the contrary, that's specifically a duty of the manufacturer. The duties required of me should have ended the moment that I chose an authorized retailer & paid them in full.

    Indeed, if I had activated my Tivo immediately (as the OP did) I'd have been none the wiser; Tivo apparently didn't discover the "issue" until June or July, so I'd be sitting in basically the exact same spot.

    Bottom line -- if Tivo feels they were defrauded, either by an individual (whose address they'd surely have), or by their distributor (who they'd surely have a contractually-bound relationship with), then they should pursue any & all remedies available to them against said parties. Whether that's via the criminal or civil courts, or addressing the matter via a phone call to enforce existing contractual obligations, or how ever; frankly I don't & shouldn't have to care, it's a business issue on their end that they should figure out. I'm not their hired gun, I'm definitely not a debt collector, and I absolutely did not defraud them nor should I need to play detective to try to figure out who did; that's for them or their partners/distributors to handle.

    Re: Not a customer of Tivo's -- You're right in some ways & wrong in others; by purchasing and being an owner of their hardware, service or not, that does indeed convey some specific consumer/customer-like benefits and rights.

    Let me ask you this -- How long after purchasing a Tivo should you be able to "rest easy" and feel fairly sure that Tivo won't be de-activating your device for "<insert reason Tivo feels wronged here>"? Is it OK after 3 months? What about 6 months, or 9 months? Are there any other reasons it's OK, in your mind, for Tivo to decide to turn your rightfully purchased & owned box 'off'? It's a very slippery slope, and that's especially true if you're unable to see that Tivo has responsibilities both prior to and (very) far beyond simply clicking the "fraud suspected - deactivate!" button and hoping that it brings absolution...
     
  16. Aug 16, 2018 #76 of 154
    Arthur55555

    Arthur55555 New Member

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    Thank you; after speaking with an attorney today I plan to exhaust all options via Tivo and then proceed from there.

    Although I did already speak with a Tivo "Executive Support Team" member, who graciously informed me I could either pay $590+ or return the equip (and obviously already knew that I was far beyond the return period -- and that Tivo didn't even know the box was problematic until after the return period had ended) -- both solutions are non-starters in my book.

    As far as why I tend towards preferring to not deal with Amazon on this matter: I'm a very active Amazon user and customer. As you may know, Amazon is generally pretty 'lenient' when it comes to their return policies but they're also known to 'clamp down' on customers that they think may be abusing or misusing them; I don't want to get classified as that type of user. I greatly enjoy & value my customer relationship with Amazon, partially based on their outstanding customer support and partially based on their service as a whole.

    If Tivo doesn't make the situation right then I'll most likely pursue them in Small Claims here locally where it sounds likely that I'll get a default judgement and then just have to collect, which shouldn't be too difficult. I'll probably also become, if I haven't already (hah), an anti-Tivo advocate because no one deserves to be treated like this; and I'm not pre-disposed, I assure you, as some 15-years ago I was incredibly pro-Tivo and absolutely raved about the lifetime product I owned at the time.
     
  17. Aug 16, 2018 #77 of 154
    UCLABB

    UCLABB Well-Known Member

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    Have you even tried to deal with this with Amazon? This is clearly Amazons fault- selling you a box that was essentially hot. If your Walmart sold you a lawnmower that had been stolen, would you complain to the manufacturer of the lawnmower or Walmart? I don’t know why you think TiVo should eat the loss when Amazon was clearly the culprit.

    For Gods sake get on the horn to Amazon and make copies of the communications you’ve had with TiVo to document the situation.
     
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  18. Aug 16, 2018 #78 of 154
    just4tivo

    just4tivo Active Member

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    I'm not a lawyer... don't play one on TV... and didn't stay at a Holiday inn last night but I know this...

    Your position that TiVo is responsible for the fraud committed by an authorized reseller is untenable.

    You had a retail contract with AMAZON not TiVo. Amazon "fenced" the hot TiVo not TiVo.
    TiVo was not a party to your purchase from Amazon in any way.
    Your recourse and legal remedies are against AMAZON not TiVo.

    This is not a matter of principal. It is a matter of law.

    If the lawyer you consulted don't explain that to you then find another lawyer and get on the phone with Amazon and notify your state Attorney General that Amazon sold you a stolen TiVo ACROSS A STATE LINE and provide them whatever documentation TiVo gave you to sustain that the TiVo Amazon sold you is stolen. An inquiry from the Attorney General's office to Amazon may be all you need. Then there's always the US Attorney since this is an interstate transaction.

    That said, if you drop your fixation that this is TiVo's responsibility and get on the phone with Amazon you might be surprised that they will take responsibility and make this right.

    Stop beating the dead horse and jump on the live horse that might get you your money back.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
  19. Aug 16, 2018 #79 of 154
    Arthur55555

    Arthur55555 New Member

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    I'm sure Amazon will make it right; I'm also positive that Tivo's handling of the situation is abysmal. Tivo didn't think the box had any issues until June 2018 or later, months after I had purchased it.

    If Tivo's authorized reseller is a sketchy place to purchase a Tivo device, then there's something wrong with Tivo. =\

    You should not need to be wary that a device you purchase *brand new* from an authorized retailer might some day be de-activated because the manufacturer decides, months later & unilaterally (incorrectly, correctly, or perhaps based on mood; who knows?), that they want to de-activate the product. It's *not* my issue, it's an issue for Tivo to sort out with their distributors/retailers, because at the end of the day Amazon did their part and for all anyone knew until June or July everyone was happy -- until Tivo unilaterally decided they weren't, without any notification (I did not receive an email like the OP did; presumably the retailer did not either), and without leaving me any recourse.

    That's my issue, and that's why this is Tivo's problem; if this was a giant TV I had purchased at $retailerX and the police knocked on my door and said it was stolen, I'd happily turn it over to them and pursue the retailer/seller. It's a different story however if the manufacturer of the TV unilaterally decides "we <reason>, remotely disabling TV now!" -- there's no due process there. I have no reason to believe my product is <reason>, beyond the manufacturer saying it is so, and it's an opaque process (at best) which provides nearly zero recourse, short of the courts. In fact, I have every reason to believe that my proverbial TV would continue to be fully & solely mine, including proof that I purchased it at an authorized retailer. When the police come knocking, I'd be happy to pursue the retailer for selling me stolen goods; when the manufacturer decides, for whatever reasons including an arbitrary reason & at any point in time, that the product I purchased should no longer be allowed to operate -- that is when I have a very big problem, and it has nothing to do with the retailer.

    Again, I ask -- at what point do you consider that Tivo probably won't shut off your box because of suspected fraud, or any other arbitrary reason they deem fit? Is 6-months post-purchase from an authorized retailer long enough? Perhaps 3 or 12 months?
     
  20. Aug 16, 2018 #80 of 154
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    You gave the lawyer the same facts you presented here?

    Find another lawyer. He/She's an idiot. Well, unless by "exhaust all options" you mean the lawyer told you TiVO has zero to do with this situation and you need to talk to the retailer you purchased this from: Amazon.

    You need to get a grip on whatever stick you have in your body over this and call Amazon and tell them what has happened. They are, rightly, the ones who can handle this for you, should handle this for you, and are in the middle of whatever fraud TiVo claims has occurred with that particular unit.

    If you continue ranting to third parties you'll get nowhere until the ambulance has to be called to take you to the hospital because you collapsed with a brain aneurysm.

    I actually went through a very similar situation myself, but with a software version upgrade license rather than hardware. I had purchased a version upgrade for Corel Draw from an authorized reseller. Maybe a year later I suddenly get warnings about having an invalid license, and called Corel over it and told them this was a legitimate purchased through Amazon. I was pissed; right in the middle of working on something it stopped. And I gave it to Corel about the way they handled it, over like 3 phone calls and half a dozen emails. They pissed me off totally. I've had that software for over 20 years, buying most every version upgrade. Then that happened. Anyway, emailed the details Amazon eventually and practically minutes later they issued a refund and asked me to return the packaging and disk. I purchased the upgrade again, and what I received was definitely indicative of what I got before being illegitimate. Anyway, that's what happened to me. Very similar. Just stop crying to TiVo; they can't help here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
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