Is there any way to complain to tivo customer service?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by gonzoron, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. gonzoron

    gonzoron New Member

    Jun 4, 2007


    I've been a loyal Tivo subscriber for years. When I first got my S2, I wanted to try it out before committing to Lifetime service, but then of course by the time I wanted it, it was gone, seemingly for good. But I was hooked, and like a good Tivo addict, I kept paying my monthly fee until I got my S3 a year ago. I would've jumped on Lifetime a year ago if I'd had the option, but at the time, the best they could do was $299 for 3 years, so I went with it.

    Now Lifetime is back, and for $100 more than I paid last year, any schmo off the street can have lifetime service. But can I upgrade my S3 to it? Nope. Not until my contract runs out. And then I'll have to pay the full price of lifetime, whatever it may be then, if it even still exists. So, if I waited 1 year, I would've spent $399 (maybe even $299 if my S2 subscription allowed me the $100 discount) for the life of my S3. But since I was an early adopter, I'll end up paying $698 for the life of my S3, assuming prices hold. I realize a contract is a contract, but doesn't this seem unfair to anyone?

    Well, when I called customer service to check if I was a screwed as I thought I was, they confirmed it. Ideally, I'd like to just pay the extra $100 I would've given them if lifetime were available last year, but I'd even be willing to eat the cost of last year and start my lifetime subscription from now, but no dice. Here I am, willing to give them more money, today, for a service they offer on new boxes and they don't want it.

    But here's the kicker: when I asked if there was any way I could put in a complaint about this, they said no! Does Tivo have any sort of complaint department? Do they care at all what their customers think, or do they only listen to complaints made by cancellation of service? (Which wouldn't even do anything in my case, since I'm pre-paid for 2 more years)

    From a technical standpoint, I love my Tivo and could never part from it. But from the billing, marketing, and account support side, I wish I could go elsewhere to get my service.
  2. TiVoStephen

    TiVoStephen formerly TiVoOpsMgr

    Jun 27, 2000
    Alviso, CA, USA
    I'm sorry that you were told that "no, you can't complain." You can call our customer support number, 1-877-367-8486, and ask to make a complaint. If the rep who takes the call doesn't (against training) listen and record the complaint, then please ask to speak to a supervisor.

    If you have any further trouble, a comment here will get the attention of TiVo employees.

    Sorry to hear you had a problem complaining, and also sorry that you're not happy with the pricing of Product Lifetime.

    Best regards,
  3. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    I don't see what you have to complain about. It's just bad luck that you bought during the period between when Lifetime expired and when it was resurrected. Like you said, a contract is a contract. This type of thing happens with all kinds of products. Special promotions for cars, phones, cable tv, etc. and if you don't lock in the price during the specified period, you are out of luck. None of those companies would allow you to change your deal if you signed up the DAY before the promo, let alone a year. Who knows, by the time your current contract is up, there might be a S4 or S5 out by then that you would want.
  4. sdzc

    sdzc New Member

    Sep 3, 2005
    Not really one solution other than "yes, you can make a complaint", but you can bet the answer will not change. Also, he did not say he was not happy with the pricing of Product Lifetime, just unhappy he could not get it or change to it.

    They have your money, they do not care about you anymore!!! Plain and simple.

    TivoStephen, I do appreciate you being on the boards (which is more than a lot of companies would allow), but you did not really bring a solution to this (which has been echoed by others on this board). Long time subscribers do get shafted by Tivo's policies in a lot of different areas from what I have read on this board over the years.
  5. ah30k

    ah30k Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006


    You asked if there was a way to complain and he told you.

    As for being unhappy with the timing of the pricing announcements, there is not much of a solution he can bring. There is no solution.

    The pricing is, cancellation fee for current contract plus the fee for lifetime. He is not happy with that.
  6. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    So what exactly is it that you want to complain about? :confused:

    Not taking advantage of lifetime when it was available to you?
    That Tivo didn't have a pricing plan that you wanted at the time you committed to service?

    Even if you do file a complaint (which you certainly should be able to do), I'm not sure Tivo can (or should) do anything for you.
  7. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    umm, actually it is - TiVo and the poster made a deal on a service contract. Now 1 year in the poster wants to make a better deal that is now availble. If this was reversed and say the poster was on a monthly rate for 3 years and then TiVo wanted to raise the rates, you can bet the poster would want that contract to be unchangeable then. NOTE - that in the past it has been unchangeable even when in TiVo inc.'s favor. I still have a couple of 6.95 month to month TiVo DVR subs to back up that assertion.

    So TiVoStephen addressed what he could, a CSR that was not following the training, and left open the lifetime question as he would not deal on a final answer for that in a public forum.

    Thanks as always TiVoStephen for participating here and setting straight things that were told to someone in error :up:
  8. Jul 2, 2008 #8 of 64

    gonzoron New Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Thank you to TivoStephen for the information. I will be calling to lodge a complaint.

    As for what my complaint entails or whether I have a right to complain:

    I'm not looking to get out of my contract. I'm looking to EXTEND my contract INDEFINITELY. I'm not asking for any money back. I'm asking to GIVE them more money for more time on the contract.

    This seems like a reasonable thing to ask for, and many other companies would gladly do so. (Try adding features to your cell phone contract. They will don't mind as long as you extend the length of the contract.)

    Yes, I got unlucky in my timing. I accept that. But I don't understand why Tivo won't work with me (a loyal customer) to help me make up for it, even in some small way. Even if they offered a "Lifetime Extension" to people who are under pre-paid contract for some reasonable price, I'd be happy. Do they have an obligation to make their customers happy? of course not. Should they, because it's good business? I think so.

    Walmart will gladly exchange merchandise, even without a receipt, for store credit to put toward something bigger. Petsmart will gladly take returns on even used merchandise. You call a credit card and say you're canceling, they'll offer you deals on your rate to stay with them. This sort of deal is not unheard of. It's called good customer service.
  9. Jul 2, 2008 #9 of 64

    ah30k Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2006
    Why do people think loyal customers deserve different treatment? And what is loyal anyway?
  10. brettatk

    brettatk Thread Killer

    Oct 11, 2002
    If you bought a car last year and then you see the same car is selling for $5000 less this year do you call to complain to the dealership? Sure the stores you mentioned will allow you to return things but it's been over a YEAR!!! Suck it up. Some of these stories are just beyond me. Tivo doesn't owe you anything.
  11. Expat

    Expat Member

    Nov 19, 2004
    Spotsylvania VA
    [/QUOTE]You call a credit card and say you're canceling, they'll offer you deals on your rate to stay with them.[/QUOTE]

    This is not guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination:D
    You also forgot to mention that the Credit Card companies reserve the right to increase your rate also.
  12. WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

    Sep 20, 2006
    New Jersey
    The problem with this line of thought is that you've paid $299 so far, correct? You want to throw them an extra $100 and be set for the foreseeable future with your S3. By denying this, Tivo can collect the initial $299, and when your 3 year contract is up, assuming you stay with Tivo (I would hope so after paying almost $700 for the unit), they can get another $399 for the Lifetime from you. This is a business that needs to make money, desperately so in Tivo's case.
  13. jakerock

    jakerock Hey ho howdy!

    Dec 9, 2002
    Lee, NH
    I can understand why the poster is confused and not happy about. TiVo says that for $299 (or $399) they are willing to give a you life time subscription. They already have the guys money for the monthly that he has been paying. If they now sell him a lifetime and cancel his monthly they have made more money than they would if he bought today.

    Forcing him to continue his contract is certainly in keeping with the terms of his contract, however it still isn't all that friendly.

    To add fuel to the fire, I was in the same situation as he is but the CS rep I talked to gave me the life time and canceled my contract with little fanfare. Perhaps it was because I called with in the first couple of days of the new lifetime option and she hadn't been trained.
  14. GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

    Sep 21, 2005

    Contract terms work both ways.

    I would expect Tivo to be as understanding on this one as I would be if they tried to raise my 3 year locked in contract rate.
  15. TiVo Steve

    TiVo Steve New Member

    Nov 8, 2005
    Seattle WA.
    "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more"...
  16. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    you can cancel any plan for a refund within 30 days. No sweat.

    The poster should be aware that TiVo ends up with less money per year in the long run if they switch him to lifetime. So it would be good customer service but it is not a good business deal for TiVo. Bottom line right now around TiVo - they can not afford to be too generous - they are trying for their first year ever in the black
  17. gonzoron

    gonzoron New Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Geez, I really shouldn't add fuel to this fire, but I can't help it. I just don't like being misconstrued.

    I never said TiVo owes me anything. They don't, they're a business, they're out to make make money and there's nothing wrong with that. I get it. But good business and treating your customers well are not mutually exclusive. And treating your customers well keeps them coming back, and keeps them spreading the word about your company.

    A service is not the same a car or any other good. Last year's car isn't worth as much as this year's model. But a service remains the same.

    Would TiVo get more money in the long run by forcing me to wait until the end of my contract and then selling me lifetime at full price? OF COURSE. On this one particular deal, yes. But the same goes for EVERY lifetime service they sell. If they never brought back lifetime, and everyone who bought lifetime stuck to a monthly instead, they'd make more money. But that's just it, not everyone who bought lifetime would have stuck with monthly forever, so obviously TiVo thinks it's good business to offer lifetime. If it's good business to offer lifetime to new customers, why isn't it good business to offer it to me?

    Bottom line is this: If TiVo had never brought back lifetime, I'd be none the wiser and I'd probably renew at the end of my contract, or upgrade to the latest and greatest TiVo. If they'd brought it back and let me switch to it, I'd be very happy to do so, and when my S3 craps out, or when I need another DVR for another room, I'd go straight to TiVo and sign up for lifetime again, and continue to praise them to all my friends, (some of which have bought their own TiVo's on my recommendation.)

    But by souring a "loyal" customer in this way, they've made it far more likely that when my contract runs out, I'll be looking carefully at competitors, probably switch to a cable-company DVR, and all the praise of TiVo to my friends will carry a caveat that the tech is great, but the customer service is poor and unforgiving.
  18. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    you seem to want to keep glossing over that you agreed to a contract with clear terms. TiVo has that contract and has booked it in their system.
    Just as you expect TiVo to abide by that contract and not raise rates or whatever, TiVo is asking you to abide by the terms and not try to change it midway through.
    You offered a new deal to TiVo and they declined it solely for business reasons. I doubt they were trying solely to penalize a customer.

    IF you want to go with a product you seem to perceive as inferior simply due to not wanting a contract you agreed to in the first place then that is your perogative of course but seems a little more hurtful to you than to TiVo.
  19. jkalnin

    jkalnin Baad Spellor

    Jan 8, 2003
    Warrington, PA
    You can complain directly to me, please hold...
  20. shady

    shady Previously European TCF Club

    May 31, 2002
    Wow, that's a huge sacrifice for you to make, just so you can make your point. Are you really really sure you want to go there?

Share This Page

spam firewall