Hooray customer service (ok not really)

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Disconnect, May 18, 2007.

  1. Disconnect

    Disconnect NO CARRIER

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    Sep 19, 2002
    Bowie, MD

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    I just want to vent a bit, and see if I'm missing something obvious here. Got a brand-new unmodified (phew!) S3 with a dying drive. (2 of the 4 Tivo's I've purchased over the years have arrived with dying drives, and a third died within 90 days.. nice quality control.) I bought it here (so yah store guys, thats my note :) ..) and I'm still within the return period.

    As far as I can tell, my options are:
    1 - Give Tivo another $800 (deposit) to swap it out, cross-shipping. (Its $600 new.. sigh. And I remember a time when companies didn't automatically assume their paying customers were thieves. But I digress.) Suffice it to say that if I had $1400 for a Tivo, I'd have gotten a bigger one. Or two of them.
    2 - Go with the non-crossship exchange, which they say will take "up to 5 weeks". They'll credit the Tivo fees (well isn't that nice) but given that the cablecard-Tivo is the only thing in the house that can get protected content, well.. gee. Leaves me out quite a bit in cable (well, verizon fios) fees. ($78 including the cablecard lease. More if they won't reauth the cablecards with the new box over the phone - they might insist on a tech visit.)
    3 - Call it a bad deal, return the thing and go with the Verizon DVR (or go back to my mythtv box and just live with watching premium content live.) Saves the most money, but .. Maybe buy another new S3 some day when I can afford to pay for 2 of them.

    Anyone see anything I'm missing? Or am I just screwed? (I'm asking here because I'm not positive I've figured out all my options. I just spent all week getting Verizon to bring working cablecards out. Took over 20 hours on the phone, 3 tech visits - one that peaked with 3 supervisors and a tech sitting in my living room - and so forth. But thats a tale for another day.)
     
  2. wallace

    wallace Is it in you?

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    Jun 19, 2002
    Melbourne, FL
    What about option 4?

    Why don't you simply return the unit as bad to the store you bought it from since you are still within the return period and then buy another S3 from them (or a different store). No extra cost, no waiting, and you already have the cablecards.
     
  3. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    2,657
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    Sep 21, 2005
    KFME
    5 - order a larger replacement drive from someone like Weakness that comes preloaded with the tivo OS on it. Yes, it'll cost more money, but you'll have a much larger hard drive in the process.

    Stop doing whatever it is that makes you so unlucky! Bad drives that young are rare and you have WELL more than your fair share already!!! :D

    Edit: That other post wasn't there when I started typing!
     
  4. Disconnect

    Disconnect NO CARRIER

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    Sep 19, 2002
    Bowie, MD
    Thats basically option 3, since I'll have to pay a restocking fee and shipping all over the place. (I'm expecting to hear that warranty returns are via Tivo, hence the restocking fee.)

    But yeah, its a thought. Still adds a week or 2 waiting for shipping, return credit, etc.

    And I've considered just replacing the drive, too. I don't want to go with the expansion since I have plans to do the esata hack on it one day (plus the prohibitive cost) but it still leaves me wondering why I'm spending hundreds of dollars on new drives, etc for a warranty repair. (Even more so since I really doubt Tivo will let me send them a bare hdd for replacement..)
     
  5. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    Jan 2, 2004

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    they don't want the actual money though, just a credit card they can hold a charge on until they get the original unit back and then a credit is issued when they get the box.
    I have had 6 different TiVos over time and no failed hard drives so I understand your frustration with so many dead drives but really you have two decent choices.

    1. let them charge the credit card for a crossship and get the bad TiVo out to them.
    2. return the bad TiVo and start over on your quest for a great DVR
     
  6. CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,653
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    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    What's the monthly timing on your credit card? If you're not up against the limit, your credit card will probably get the credit in the same billing cycle as the debit, if you cross-ship.

    I've cross-shipped an S3 twice, getting my credit within 4 days of my shipping the S3 back each time. TiVo seems to be good about that.

    The "up to 5 weeks" gives them lots of leeway. If you go that route, I would expect the TiVo back in less than 2 weeks, possibly even 10 days.
     
  7. TiVo Troll

    TiVo Troll Registered Troll

    1,164
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    Mar 22, 2006
    Think about this:

    Tell Verizon you're having problems with TiVo and ask what kind of a deal they'll give you if you return the CC's and try Verizon's hi-def DVR on a no obligation month-to-month rental. If you can live with what they tell you, exchange the S3 without crosshipping. During the time it takes to get another S3, evaluate Verizon's DVR.

    Once you get another S3, the decision will be apparent to you whether to return Verizon's DVR and get CC's for the S3, or return or sell the S3 at a loss.
     
  8. Disconnect

    Disconnect NO CARRIER

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    Sep 19, 2002
    Bowie, MD
    There simply isn't room on the card, its full of Tivo..
     
  9. samo

    samo New Member

    1,793
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    Oct 7, 1999
    Littleton,...
    If I was in your shoes, I would return S3 and cut my loses short. I wouldn't want to pay for shipping, have my CC charged $800 and take chances with refurb TiVo sends me (not to mention potential problems with CC install).
    I would consider loses with return a lesson learned and next time would buy from Costco. I also like a previous poster suggestion to try FIOS DVR.
    It may not be that bad and will save you some money.
    If you are completely unhappy about FIOS DVR, you can alway go back to S3 (buy it from Costco) and try your luck again.
     
  10. wallace

    wallace Is it in you?

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    Jun 19, 2002
    Melbourne, FL
    When you said you "I bought it here", I guess I mistakenly assumed that meant you bought it in person at a store instead of on the internet. My bad...
     
  11. Johncv

    Johncv Well-Known Member

    1,931
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    Jun 11, 2002
    Chula Vista, CA
    If you can still return it, do it NOW. Then go to Best Buy or Cosco and buy it from them and get an extended warranty.
     
  12. Disconnect

    Disconnect NO CARRIER

    30
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    Sep 19, 2002
    Bowie, MD
    I got the extended warranty from the TC store, but its a one-time replacement. So .. :(

    I'm not discounting these ideas, and after the cablecard fiasco I think I could swing the verizon dvr "test period" but I have great fears for what would happen when I go to switch back.

    Mostly I just can't believe that Tivo is going "we know who you are, and where you live, and you have a 2 year contract, but we're still gonna need you to front $800 before we send you a $600 (retail) unit"...

    Anyone at Tivo want to swap HDD's? I'll be happy to put down "earnest money" (generally a fraction of the full cost, as an indication of intent) but the full "screw you, thief" deposit is really not doable. And frankly, after being treated like that by Tivo, I'm not sure I'd bother switching back from the Verizon dvr. Its just as locked down but it comes at significantly lower cost (monthly rental fee is about the same as tivo's monthly fee..) and can handle things like VOD and PPV. (Plus, if it breaks, they'll fix it without asking for a thousand dollar deposit.)

    Edit: Oh, and by 'I bought it here' i meant store.tivocommunity.com.
     
  13. Shawn95GT

    Shawn95GT Tivo, in HD!

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    Oct 7, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Here was my experience, FWIW.

    I bought my #2 S3 from the TCF store. It was DOA. It would barely complete guided setup before locking up solid.

    TCF store was great to deal with and promised to cross-ship while I sent the defective one back. I got the replacement box about a week later and it seemed fine for a couple weeks. After this couple weeks passed, tuner2 died. I was now out of my exchange window for TCF store.

    I called up Tivo and took them up on the no cost exchange option. They e-mailed me a pre-paid UPS label and they had me mail back just the defective S3 itself, no cables / remote / etc.

    About a week and a half later I got a box from Tivo. It was a brand new S3 in full retail packaging.

    Needless to say, I was quite happy. This Tivo has been fine ever since. I even got an extra GLO remote in the deal :cool: .

    I don't think they have a stockpile of referb S3s yet.
     
  14. Disconnect

    Disconnect NO CARRIER

    30
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    Sep 19, 2002
    Bowie, MD
    Just got the update - out of stock, no idea when they'll get more (and no info on how long it'll take to ship the replacement if they're still out of stock when they receive mine.)

    So it looks like I'm totally up the creek, at least as far as getting any sort of replacement this month. (Its kinda funny, when all is said and done it looks like this thing will cost closer to $800 than $600 anyway. Maybe if I'd gone straight to Tivo and just spent the extra $200 up front my luck would have been better :) ..)

    I appreciate everyone's advice and support :) I'll keep trying to find something, and in the meantime it sorta works (it only fails under stress.. like booting.. or watching most hidef shows.. or watching many std def shows.. or searching for shows.. but all that aside, it does kinda work.) Worst case is I do the cross-ship thing when paychecks roll in. (If it wasn't for the 2+ weeks of turnaround just to ship the replacement, I'd have already started the non-cross-ship repair with Tivo directly.)

    If it dies completely in the mean time, I'll just return it and get a refund. Its definitely a lesson learned tho, and one I'm going to pass on when I recommend Tivo to friends - don't buy one unless you can afford to pay for it twice over.
     
  15. Shawn95GT

    Shawn95GT Tivo, in HD!

    887
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    Oct 7, 2005
    Phoenix, AZ
    Why not just do the free swap directly with Tivo then? It's seems the best course to not pay for it again and get you a up and running S3 ASAP.

    A messed up S3 isn't much better than a S3 in the mail. The only risk you run is being able to return the unit and walk away.

    I know the S3 has been a PITA so far, but once you get it up and running you'll quickly put all this behind you.

    It was easier for me because I already had one up and running perfect.
     
  16. Disconnect

    Disconnect NO CARRIER

    30
    0
    Sep 19, 2002
    Bowie, MD
    http://www.fatwallet.com/t/18/732733/ ... whee. Now I'm -really- torn. (But just fyi, it looks like the TCF store doesn't actually do any upgrades or stock many of the products - thats not a bad thing, but its something to be aware of. When nothing goes wrong, dropship from a distributor works fine...)
     
  17. CraigHB

    CraigHB __________

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    Dec 24, 2003
    Reno, NV
    That's wierd the OP had a defective drive. TiVo uses Western Digital drives and they're (IMHO) the best drives out there. Personally, I"ve been using WD drives exclusively and never had one fail on me. I'm amazed at how long they last. Maybe I've just been lucky? Those drives can take quite a bit of shock, but sometimes, packages get really hammered in shipment. I think they're pretty hard on them.
     
  18. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

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    Jan 16, 2007
    Madisonville...
     
  19. Disconnect

    Disconnect NO CARRIER

    30
    0
    Sep 19, 2002
    Bowie, MD
    The wif has spoken - if it becomes completely unusable, it gets returned in favor of the verizon dvr. Otherwise we wait for a paycheck and cross-ship. (Next week.)
     
  20. Disconnect

    Disconnect NO CARRIER

    30
    0
    Sep 19, 2002
    Bowie, MD
    Random update, they sent a refurb (after an $800 hold, i'm still kinda wtf about that) but at least it was fine until 3 weeks ago. Now its doing this.

    The official tivo answer is "hardware problem" but if you look in that thread, even replacement units have had the problem recur. Looks like the S3 may have some real issues. :( And I've already paid $600 plus a temporary $800 to get a refurb S3. I think this is going to be my last tivo :( I've been recommending tivo to everyone since I got my first S1 dtivo way back when, but I'm done now. (And yes, I can point to at least 10 other Tivos - including 3 S3s - that were purchased as a result.)
     

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