New "zero upfront" pricing costs effect on warranty

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by jfh3, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. marlborobell

    marlborobell New Member

    16
    0
    Jun 20, 2002
    Berlin, MA

    Advertisements

    So... correct me if I'm wrong, but if I already have a 'full-priced' TiVo and want another one, I should go buy one for $224 and put a reminder in my calendar to call you guys in one year's time. Then the $19.95/month I would have started paying you goes right down to $6.95. (You'll take the $19.95 if I don't call you, which I think is a bit skeevy, but a lot of companies do that.)

    Have I missed something? Is that pretty much correct?
     
  2. Scott Atkinson

    Scott Atkinson New Member

    170
    0
    Jan 19, 2004
    Watertown NY
    Personally, I have no problem paying $240 for a box with service over the course of a year, as long as I can reduce the price per month to the current level - $12.95/$6.95 - after year one.

    (I do think Tivo should automatically reduce the subs at the end of the commitment period, however. Like others, not doing so strikes me as...cheap and out of character.)

    The company's gotta make money one of these days, and I like what Tivo offers enough to pay a reasonable premium.

    This strikes me as a relatively painless way to put more boxes in the hands of more people.

    One question: what about dvd recorder or player S2 tivos? Will you be offering those or extending your arrangement with Humax, and if so, what will the deal be?

    Scott A.
     
  3. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

    2,059
    361
    May 15, 2002
    I'm guessing "service-only" means you just get guide updates, and no feature upgrades. Software upgrades would be limited to bug-fixes only. Unless you just illegally put the new code into your Tivo for free.

    It's just a guess, though.
     
  4. SteveH66

    SteveH66 New Member

    12
    0
    Aug 22, 2005
    OK...I have a question that hasn't been asked yet and seems appropriate given the discussions that occur in some of the other TiVo Community forums here: :)

    Let's say I get an 80-hour TiVo for zero cents, pay the monthly commitment fee, and I "own" the TiVo. Are there any new legal or contractual limitations on my ability to install larger the hard drives in that TiVo? Would any upgrades need to occur after the commitment period?
     
  5. MickeS

    MickeS Well-Known Member

    25,983
    25
    Dec 26, 2002

    Advertisements

    BobCamp1, you guess wrong. "Service Only" means that you pay a hardware fee upfront, and then the $12.95 (or $6.95 if you have a multiple unit discount) per month.
     
  6. MickeS

    MickeS Well-Known Member

    25,983
    25
    Dec 26, 2002
    SteveH66, I don't see why there would be any changes in that area. The $16.95 pricing with no hardware cost has already been an option for a while, and there haven't been anyone mentioning anything about what you're asking about.

    Maybe they will make some changes, but I don't see why they would.

    EDIT: I just got this in my email
    That was a nice reminder of why I love TiVo. :D
     
  7. BobCamp1

    BobCamp1 Well-Known Member

    2,059
    361
    May 15, 2002
    So you can prepay a lot and pay more per month, prepay a little and pay even more per month, or prepay nothing and pay a huge amount per month.

    Or, if you don't like the last option, you can prepay some and pay more per month after x number of years. If you remember to call them in x years, you'll magically pay a little less per month for the same service. Gee, I wonder why people aren't happy.

    One other nice feature of this option is that Tivo can, at any time, increase the rates and everyone will eventually have to pay them.

    The new pricing structure is confusing to say the least.
     
  8. DCIFRTHS

    DCIFRTHS Active Member

    2,119
    0
    Jan 6, 2000
    New York
    Thanks for the info!
     
  9. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
    0
    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    No,with the new Tivo plans, you own the box off the bat, in exchange for a higher service fee and a commitment.
     
  10. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
    0
    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    The difference is you don't need to have $220 available to purchase a DVR outright. With the monthly plans, you pay just the montly fee, albeit a higher one. The "service" is the same however you subscribe.
     
  11. classicsat

    classicsat Astute User

    17,877
    0
    Feb 18, 2004
    Ontario Canada.
    Pretty much. If your existing DVR is on Lifetime, you pay the montly bundle rate, and when the contract is up, switch to service only, and MSD kicks in. If you existing DVR is on monthy full regular service (12.95), it goes to 6.95 for the contract,and as long as you keep the other subbed.
     
  12. bsnelson

    bsnelson Well-Known Member TCF Club

    23,643
    499
    Oct 30, 1999
    McKinney,...
    Funny you would say that - we talked about that at lunch today (coming soon to a podcast near you!). Why not retain a lifetime option, at, say, $899? Yes, it sounds insane to most people, but there are lifetime memberships to the NRA, MENSA etc. that are WAY out there in price, yet some people will always bite to avoid the monthly fee.

    Maybe 0.5% of your customers would choose it, but you'd have the feather in your cap of maintaining a lifetime subscription, and I'm certain that you could make money on a $899 subscription over the life of an average box.

    I've been a fan of TiVo since the beginning, but trying to spin any of this as "no monthly fees" is disingenuous. Give the buyers a real option, even if it's "off the hook".

    Brad
     
  13. TheSlyBear

    TheSlyBear Opinionated Walrus

    8,355
    158
    Dec 26, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Stephen (TivoOpsMgr),

    Just to be perfectly clear:

    If I buy the one-year-committment box, I will pay $19.95 a month for 12 months, and then after that, since this will be my 3rd TiVo, the service will revert to $6.95 a month? (Assuming I make the call to request that -- btw, put me in the "why can't your billing computers just figure that out" group).

    thanks
     
  14. bsnelson

    bsnelson Well-Known Member TCF Club

    23,643
    499
    Oct 30, 1999
    McKinney,...
    That's an easy one: For every month that the customer doesn't call, they keep getting the bigger fee. It's much easier to just let things ride, and TiVo will benefit from that.

    Brad
     
  15. rlcarr

    rlcarr Member

    448
    1
    Jan 18, 2003
    Arlington, MA
    Pony and OpsMgr have repeatedly said that after the commitment expires, you have to take affirmative action to drop down to the cheaper "service-only" rate. If you do nothing, you stay at the higher price even though your box has already been paid off.

    OpsMgr also said that if your box breaks after 90 days, you have to pay to fix/replace it even though you're still under contract.

    Putting this together, it appears that once the initial committment expires, there is no reason to stay on the higher-priced plan -- in otherwords, everyone should switch to "service-only" as soon as they can.

    It seems so obvious I figure I must be missing something. What am I missing? Is it really as simple as TiVo wanting to rip off subscribers and therefore not simply auto-converting them to "service-only" once the initial commitment ends?
     
  16. HDTiVo

    HDTiVo Not so Senior Member

    5,556
    0
    Nov 27, 2002
    Everytime I think about the pricing options, the number one thing that comes to mind is that if I somehow 'forget' to call TiVo THREE YEARS from now, I'm going to feel so stupid that I got a bill for $16.95.
     
  17. bsnelson

    bsnelson Well-Known Member TCF Club

    23,643
    499
    Oct 30, 1999
    McKinney,...
    Certainly nobody from TiVo is going to officially comment, but there's really no other possible explanation. The "smarts" needed in the back office system to autoconvert wouldn't take more than a few days work for even a novice programmer.

    Of course, TiVo "covers their bases" by stating clearly up front that you have to call to make the change. In a way, it's kind of like a rebate - they're not going to give it to you unless you take some action to get it.

    Brad
     
  18. DancnDude

    DancnDude Thrice as nice TCF Club

    10,502
    1,331
    Feb 7, 2001
    Madison, WI
    It works like your cable company. They charge you so much for a package of stations and you pay per month. Then they come out with some new super-duper package that contains more channels and services for a less amount. They don't notify their customers....they'd rather have people paying the higher amount until they call and get their plan changed.
     
  19. Scrith

    Scrith New Member

    17
    0
    Apr 6, 2003
    Redwood...
    Another key point. You no longer have any protection whatsoever from fee increases.

    And, yes, the automatic continuation of service at the higher rate after the contract ends really calls into question the new TiVo's commitment to its customers. With this new pricing structure TiVo is potentially losing much of the loyalty from its customers that they have enjoyed.

    Has TiVo considered that, with monthly plans only, they are ripe for a competitor to come in with a similar product and have everyone jump ship at the drop of a hat?!? I think this is the downside of the cel-phone business (just ask one of those companies how difficult it is to have so many customers leave after their year is up in order to get a better plan with another company). Just because nobody else has figured out how to make a decent interface for a competing DVR so far doesn't mean they won't in the future...

    Stupid, stupid move TiVo...copying the cel phone business is going to be your final undoing, I think.

    I mentioned this in another thread: I once bought a TiVo for my parents with a lifetime subscription...I was considering buying one for my in-laws, but with the new pricing plans that idea is right out the window because I'd never give a gift with a montly fee attached. TiVo seriously needs to consider making a lifetime option, or perhaps a more 'deluxe' version of the box that sells for $599 or whatever with some extra feature(s) and it would include lifetime service.
     
  20. megazone

    megazone Hardcore TiVo Geek

    3,302
    0
    Mar 3, 2002
    .worcester.m...
    There used to be such a competitor, they were called ReplayTV. Early on TiVo offered monthly, yearly, or lifetime options. ReplayTV offered lifetime only, bundled into the cost of the unit. And their feature sets were very similar - RTV even had a couple of features TiVo has never had, automatic commercial skipping and Internet show sharing. In later units they also had built in Ethernet, streaming between units, Internet scheduling, and cooperative scheduling - before TiVo.

    TiVo severely beat them in sales. Eventually ReplayTV caved in and unbundled the subscription, and copied TiVo's pricing - exactly the same service pricing with monthly and lifetime options. TiVo still outsold them. ReplayTV later tried the bundling thing again, selling units for a higher price with 'no commitment' - that didn't last long at all, and they went back to the TiVo style of pricing after tanking in sales.

    ReplayTV went bankrupt, was purchased by SonicBlue, which went bankrupt, and was purchased by D&M Holdings, and made part of DNNA. And under that ownership they ceased developing new hardware and software, and have now exited the DVR business.

    TiVo themselves reported that fewer than 20% of their subscriptions were lifetime, and that was declining when it was reported last year. The large majority of subscribers just don't care that lifetime is going away, because they never cared about it in the first place. Even if someone managed to produce an equivalent product - which is not at all as simple as you seem to think - the thought that just offering lifetime would make people 'jump ship at the drop of a hat' is utterly laughable.

    The facts show that most people *want* monthly plans, and that when TiVo trialed these new pricing plans last year, sales went *up*.

    Is it going to make everyone happy? No. Is it likely to boost sales overall? Based on the evidence, yes.
     

Share This Page

spam firewall

Advertisements