Really Bad TiVo Promotion

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by TiVoPhish, Jan 8, 2006.

  1. TiVoPhish

    TiVoPhish New Member

    Mar 12, 2003
    Long Island, NY


    This isn't TiVo's fault AT ALL. I think it was a promotion meant to increase market awareness for TiVo, to prove it's a viable product for Cable to "resell" or "offer", and to hopefully get TiVo into more homes. Maybe it did that a little... but the problem was all on the Cable-"Partner". I read in a news report that this was to be a "test market" for TiVo...

    The promotion was this: People on Satelite could switch to Digital Cable and get the "triple-pack" (TV, Internet, Phone) for one "low monthly cost" AND get a free TiVo. (reference)

    Just as a prelude, I stayed completely polite and friendly on the phone with everyone I dealt with at Cable. Get more bees with honey is always my motto.

    December 29: I called Cable. Told the saleman I'm interested, and how do I get the free TiVo. He didn't know what I was talking about -- on hold -- came back and said it was expired -- I read the dates from the website to him with the web address (promotion extended - see above) -- on hold -- he came back and proceded to tell me how their DVR was much better. We talked about that and I still wanted the TiVO -- on hold longer. Finally came back and got an agreement I was entitled to the promotion (this is after about 1/2 an hour). We set up the installation appointment. He tells me I'll have 30 days to cash my TiVo coupon in.

    Thursday (I think): I call TiVo, explain I'm going to be a Cablevision customer and will be getting a coupon for a box... which box is it? The nice rep tells me Series 2 80 hour. I tell her my little story from above as a FYI and she agrees it's like TiVo being stabbed in the back.

    Friday: Cable guy gets here and starts the install. I'm friendly and we're all set up for him with the TV's pulled out, wires labeled, etc. He is very nice. After he's done with the new modem we look over some paperwork and I ask him about the free TiVo coupon. "oh no, I don't have that... you're going to have to call the office... I don't know why they do this to us" -- I tell him that I have my latest Satelite statement -- he says something like: "that's silly... I don't need that... I don't know why the sales reps say to give that to us... you're going to have to call them..."

    He finishes the install and it's all very light and friendly. I tip him at the end and tell him I'm going to write on the receipt (where I sign) that I expected a free TiVo coupon and will call or visit the local office. He says that's fine.

    Saturday: I go down to the local cable center. Let's talk TiVo. Front office manager (not her exact title) has no idea what I'm talking about... then looks at the computer and says it's expired... I relive the above with her (very happily, smile on my face) and she tells me I really don't need TiVo... that THEIR DVR is much better. I smile and say I've already experienced TiVo and would really like to get the promotion I'm entitled to because I enjoy the TiVo system -- she researches more on her computer and we exchange small talk (I get to see cute pictures of her pets) -- She tells me to wait and goes and talks to her manager... for like 15 minutes. Comes back and says that the manager will have to call me because they are still "investigating" how the promotion works and what they need to do (!!??!!)

    So as of right now, I still haven't gotten the coupon. Haven't heard from them via phone yet either.

    I don't think my experience was unique. I really do not believe they WANTED to give these boxes away, and my husband thinks they were instructed to make it difficult (not uncommon sales technique to favor one product over another -- and they want to favor their own!) -- How is that a fair "test market"?

    Again... this is not a complaint about TiVo!
    This is just to highlight how the current environment is making it very difficult for TiVo to get into people's homes. Even the companies they seem to "partner" with don't make it easy. I would like to think (and WANT to think) that it's totally possible for TiVo to enter households through existing cable boxes (like Comcast) and DO hope for it to happen. The Cable companies though... they throw sand in the sandbox even when they agree to play nice, announce they'll play nice, and make everyone think they'll play nice (not really news to anyone).

    Feel free to share your thoughts.
  2. Billy66

    Billy66 Again with shoelaces

    Dec 15, 2003
    Sorry for the hassle.

    It does seem that Cablevision has used the promotion to identify customers who want a DVR and then they attempt to cross sell their own unit to the uninformed. It also seems that this technique has been so successful that they don't even know how to provide the TiVo when someone pushes back.

    The problem for TiVo here is that they have no power in the relationship. They are begging for anyone to get in bed with them and then they have to take what they get from them. In this case TiVo has gotten almost nothing, but Cablevision has gotten use of the TiVo brand name to attract Sat customers.

    If TiVo could position themselves to be as valuable to the cableco as they are to their customers, then they could force certain actions from them. I think they are trying that with Comcast now.

    Additionally, after almost 7 years, TiVo still has not been able to market and advertise their service in a way to make a person who has never used a DVR understand that TiVo is superior. Thus when the Cablevision stooge says "You don't need a TiVo, ours is better and you don't have to pay TiVo monthly service. People believe it. After almost 7 years, this is still an enormous failure for TiVo.
  3. TiVoPhish

    TiVoPhish New Member

    Mar 12, 2003
    Long Island, NY

    I agree with you completely.

    TiVo needs to get into the marketplace and to do so widely, at least right now, they need the helps of cable companies -- but it's a double-edged sword, because trusting the cable companies is really quite the the bargain.
  4. nhaigh

    nhaigh Member

    Jul 16, 2001
    cablr have offered TiVo before. This press release from July 2000 documents Comcast delivering TiVo but I guess they never managed to build on it.

    Comcast TiVo PR July 2000
  5. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

    Jun 20, 2002


    AT&T (bought by Comcast) marketed a TiVo long ago. Unit was stand-alone and not integrated into a cable box. It used an IR blaster to change channels on the cable box, which is IMO a non-starter in terms of reliability.

    But it sounds like this recent Cablevision effort is even worse, in terms of trying to sabotage TiVo to the benefit of their proprietary solution.
  6. TLTypeS

    TLTypeS Member

    Dec 27, 2002
    Isn't that the classic "bait and switch" tactic? In the state of MA, it is illegal to do that with cars. I wonder if that is legal to do it with any other product?
  7. Billy66

    Billy66 Again with shoelaces

    Dec 15, 2003
    A requirement for it to be bait and switch is that there aren't any of the advertised item available. It is commonly misunderstood.

    Bait and Switch
  8. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004

    well is there a way to make the cable cos do this ?

    and TiVo gets its name out there to people who use sat and are switching to cable. Too bad they only have the SA 2 to give a coupon on. Start talking IR blasters and two boxes and two bills to the customer and it is doomed alright.

    I think TiVo just saw this as a small cost marketing deal and is not at all surprised the cable cos spent little time or effort to setup a process for the deal or train anyone.

    SA 2 TiVos only appeal to those with analog cable or who do understand the benefit of TiVo to begin with to go with the hassle of Digital setup on analog TiVo.
    Short of going to everybody's house and giving them a weeklong demo,

    what can be done to market TiVo

Share This Page

spam firewall