How to lose a long term customer in one easy lesson

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by RVH, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. Jun 13, 2011 #1 of 123
    RVH

    RVH New Member

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    I hope someone from Tivo management is paying attention...

    I have been a Tivo customer for more than ten years and have purchased four Tivo boxes all with lifetime subscriptions. I was an early adopter of Tivo and have been an advocate and probably recommended at least a dozen people to buy. I've been a loyal customer and seemingly the type of customer any company would want.

    But, no longer. Read on...

    I bought a new Tivo Premier that I put in service in December 2010 and that failed over the weekend (continuous Starting Up loop); and after a conversation with a support rep yesterday he tells me that the box is bad and they will replace it... FOR a $50 charge! It turns out that the Tivo box itself has but a 90-day warranty and my six months was way past that.

    So, of course I bit the bullet and paid for the exchange, but, am I PISSED! This unit has less than six months of service and it's bad??? And, they want me to pay for the exchange???

    In this day and age of trying to earn long term customer loyalty, Tivo really blew it. The rep was totally unsympathetic and could do nothing. Given my status as a long term, loyal customer, he should have the authority to waive the fee.

    So, instead, here I am on this forum bad-mouthing Tivo and telling the world to not trust them. Frankly, the Tivo Premier box wasn't nearly as good as I'd hoped and for a company who pioneered user interface design for DVRs has totally failed on this one.

    I'm not buying any more Tivo stuff and I urge every one else to think twice. I will go out of my way to tell everyone I know the story.

    Thanks for listening to me vent,

    Bob
     
  2. Jun 13, 2011 #2 of 123
    ncbill

    ncbill Active Member TCF Club

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    Can you add the $40 three-year extended warranty to your replacement box?

    I did that with my new Premiere, considering all the 'issues' with the Premiere I've read about on this forum.
     
  3. Jun 13, 2011 #3 of 123
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    not trust them on what? At what point did TiVo tell you something they did not do?
    it turns out I know the warranty period on something when I buy it and it is not hard to find out the 90 day period for a TiVo. So TiVo acted in accordance with the sales terms.


    Now you can not like that all you want and you can certainly post you do not like it, but there was no broken agreement on TiVo incs. part, just simply no effort to go beyond the agreement for you.
     
  4. Jun 13, 2011 #4 of 123
    PaperFriend

    PaperFriend Member

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    When you don't purchase the extended warranty then the cost falls on you. Your story gives a good reason why to purchase their extended warranty. It is inexpensive and you found out the hard way. TIVO did nothing wrong.

    I know the warranty period for every piece of electronics I buy. If I chose not to get an extended warranty then I take that risk for myself and only hold myself accountable.
     
  5. Jun 13, 2011 #5 of 123
    rainwater

    rainwater Active Member

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    So there's no warranty and they only are going to charge you $50 to exchange it? That seems like a good deal to me. Try getting that deal with other electronics manufacturers.
     
  6. Jun 13, 2011 #6 of 123
    orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    I don't think the word "loyal" is being used correctly.
     
  7. Jun 13, 2011 #7 of 123
    RVH

    RVH New Member

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    Dec 19, 2006
    Wow, just like in a number of other posts, you guys sure like to pounce, don't you!

    Trust them to do the right thing for a long term, loyal customer. That's what I meant. Yes, I understand they did everything according to the letter of their contract. So, kudos for them.

    I am in business for myself and I pride myself for having long term, loyal customers. That means sometimes I have to go above and beyond for them. Sounds like you guys are not in that camp.

    If this failed eighteen months after, I wouldn't have a problem, but after less than six months, I consider that extenuating circumstances. In that situation, then $50 would be extremely generous.

    Orangeboy - "loyal" is being used correctly. If ten years and four lifetime purchases doesn't count as loyal, then we are speaking a different language.

    I've been in high tech for twenty five years and have been buying PCs, printers, routers, etc for at least that long. The number of devices that actually fail is very small; and if they do fail they do so quite quickly. That's why I routinely don't buy extended warranties.

    90-day warranty is extremely short. Western Digital disk drives have between a 2 and 5-yr warranty - isn't a Tivo box mostly just a disk drive with some software? The disk drive is the thing most likely to die. iPad has a one year warranty.
     
  8. Jun 13, 2011 #8 of 123
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Really? Can anyone supply examples of businesses that are doing that? I'm not saying it doesn't happen but I can't think of any obvious examples just off hand.

    The kind of loyalty you envision is very unlikely for the impersonal transactions that are typical when dealing with corporations of any size. The concept might apply for a local mom-and-pop retailer you deal with on a face-to-face basis but if TiVo's were sold that way they would cost several times what they do.

    I also don't understand the concept that buying something over a ten year period constitutes loyalty on your part. Didn't you buy it because it was the best value for the money you could get? Loyalty would be if you bought it in spite of being able to get a better value elsewhere.

    I think "loyalty" is almost always just a buzz word that both sellers and buyers use when the facts aren't deemed to be sufficiently convincing! ;)
     
  9. Jun 13, 2011 #9 of 123
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    nope. The full context of my post notes that TiVo did not go beyond the terms for you, as you expected, and you can expect whatever you want.
    but when you say a company is not to be trusted, that implies they do not live up to the terms they set forth.

    How that message is pouncing on you, I do not see.
     
  10. Jun 13, 2011 #10 of 123
    RVH

    RVH New Member

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    Interesting you should ask. I just got off the phone with Staples customer service about something I bought six months ago (not warranty related) and they corrected something they didn't have to. They are an example of a company who values loyalty as I've been doing business with them for 20-yrs.

    We just have to agree to disagree. I gave you my definition of "loyalty" and you are free to disagree.
     
  11. Jun 13, 2011 #11 of 123
    aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

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    There are plenty of companies that will eat the cost of something to make customers happy. Tivo isn't one of them. Take your business elsewhere. Tivo has dug their own grave.
     
  12. Jun 13, 2011 #12 of 123
    orangeboy

    orangeboy yes, I AM orangeboy!

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    I speak English. Webster's defines loyal as "unswerving in allegiance". With statements like "I'm not buying any more Tivo stuff and I urge every one else to think twice. I will go out of my way to tell everyone I know the story.", it sounds like your allegiance to the TiVo products is hardly unswerving. You are a long time customer, but your post is contrary to any form of loyalty.

    A better example of loyalty would be Chicago Cubs fans, where despite the Cubs' epic losing streak, the fans continue to show up to support the team; not just show up if the team is in the playoffs.
     
  13. Jun 13, 2011 #13 of 123
    DeWitt

    DeWitt Member

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    Just for reference, at Verizon when you have a phone go bad out of warranty, and are not eligible for replacement due to time in contract, they will replace the phone for $49.

    Considering the cost of a new unit, offering a token $50 replacement doesn't sound unreasonable to me.

    However, at only 6 months I would have put my reasonable but firm hat on and tried calling a few times hoping for a little discretion...
     
  14. Jun 13, 2011 #14 of 123
    Joe01880

    Joe01880 I love my TiVo

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    Pounce, no but i'll call B/S when i see it

    So you have a lot of experience with TiVo, apparently all good.

    All that experience and is not until you have a box go bad you notice a 90 day warranty, B/S

    But you do know defects happen and with todays tech becoming more and more complicated and extended warranties being relatively cheap as to the cost of replacement or repair. Shame on you for not having one.

    Frankly, its you I dont trust. I read the paper work i get, know what my warranties are and TiVo hasnt lied to me about anything and i suspect they havnt lied to you either. After ten years of reliable service and having one problem your ready to bad mouth TiVo and kick them to the curb, its them who should cancel you. But they wont, they value you as a customer and will surely take all the money your foolish enough to waste.

    Had you read this forum you could have looked to the experience it offers and learned of tests to run to see if your TiVo's hard drive was bad, sounds like it. You also could have learned that you could buy an already formatted replacement online for about a hundred bucks probably better than what it came with and certainly larger and put it in yourself since your already out of warranty. Defects happen, get over it and move on or move out. To me, whole thing sounds like B/S
     
  15. Jun 13, 2011 #15 of 123
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    It sounds like $50 did go above and beyond. If all my out of warranty electronics could be replaced for only a $50 fee, I would be ecstatic.
     
  16. Jun 13, 2011 #16 of 123
    aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    It doesn't work that way with Verizon here. If you have an extended warranty, then you only pay a $50 fee for a replacement phone. With no warranty they might give you a break but the cost will still be over $200. At least that has been my experience with them as well as a couple of friends that went through the same thing..
     
  17. Jun 13, 2011 #17 of 123
    mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    Just another post by a disgruntled customer that failed to read the fine print.:rolleyes: I know it sucks that your Tivo failed after only six months, but it only came with a 90-day warranty. That should have raised a red flag before you bought it. At least they offered you an exchange for only $50. I had to get an exchange unit when mine failed after exactly 91 days! It was a DirecTV HD model so I don't think I had to pay an exchange fee. I believe it had a 1-year parts warranty and only 90 days on the labor.

    From the description of your problem, it sounds like either your hard drive failed or the software got corrupted when it took an update. Both scenarios could have easily been corrected had you simply created a backup image when you first got your Tivo. All you would have had to do was restore the image to a replacement drive and you'd have been up and running in no time without ever having to speak to a Tivo drone.

    Everyone complains about Tivo's customer service. My solution is to never get into a situation that requires me to contact them. In the past 11 years of owning Tivos, I've only had to contact (DirecTV's) customer service twice regarding a Tivo problem, and both times it was for units that were installed by DirecTV technicians (so much for expert installation :rolleyes:). I have never had to deal with Tivo's customer service at all, and I've owned numerous standalone and HD Tivo models.
     
  18. Jun 13, 2011 #18 of 123
    TroyM

    TroyM Member

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    Yeah, it sucks that the warranty is only 90 days. It would be nice if Tivo rewarded loyalty (defined as long time subscriber) with some flexibility.

    Tivo did follow the letter of the agreement though. So, it's hard to fault them there even though I agree that 90 days is subpar. You might have some luck with your credit card company though. Most CCs, assuming you paid with a CC, will double the manufacturers warranty. You might be able to have the $50 refunded to your card.

    It's worth a try. Good luck!
     
  19. Jun 13, 2011 #19 of 123
    curiousgeorge

    curiousgeorge Member

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    Actually, TiVo has lied to everyone with the Premiere, advertising it as a HD box with a HD interface, when it's only partially completed.

    They also strongly misled customers by hiding the fact that if you wanted to continue to use Parental Controls available on the prior units, you had to DISABLE all the new features in the HD interface. So you bought a new box, but are forced to use the old interface or no parental controls for you.

    TiVo has done outright lying and plenty of misleading on the Premiere.

    That said, I would have just bought a new, larger drive off ebay instead of flushing $50 down the toilet for the same size unit. Most-likely the drive just failed.
     
  20. Jun 13, 2011 #20 of 123
    DeWitt

    DeWitt Member

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    I have no extended warranty. They said it was standard policy now, but you get just the guts of the phone (Probably a refurb). No new battery, accessories etc. (One button on mine was not working)

    Have talked to three or 4 people since who where happily surprised by my experience and got the same deal.
     

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