This is why Tivo is failing its customers & going down the tubes...

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Domenic, Aug 15, 2019.

  1. Domenic

    Domenic New Member

    Jun 6, 2004
    I have been a loyal Tivo customer since the Series 1 / 1999 and have upgraded to each successive hardware platform since purchasing Lifetime subs on each device. Five years ago I purchased the Romeo + 5 original Minis. Finally a couple of weeks ago I took Tivo up on their promotional $99 lifetime sub transfer and purchased a new six tuner Bolt / Vox. For this I had to wait on hold for 90 minutes since the web site said sold out but call to get the offer via backorder. No problem so I did just that.

    When I placed the order I explicitly asked if my old minis would still work with the new Vox as the head unit. I was assured they would and this would be a simple swap out.

    Fast forward to Tuesday of this week (48 hours ago). After I installed the new Vox the old minis refused to connect to it. I called tech support and after waiting for 45min on hold the tech wasted another hour of my time going through nonsense steps. Finally after insisting on escalation (and waiting another 20 min) a "supervisor" immediately told me this was a common / known issue and Tivo needed to remotely make a change to my new Vox somehow to fix the issue. This change would take 24-48 hours! I wasn't happy happy but what could I do - nothing but wait.

    After 24 hours (yesterday) I called them back in a fruitless effort to get a status update. I got nothing but "24-48" hours.

    This afternoon Tivo sent me an email saying they made the change to my new Vox and "If the problem with the minis didn't resolve in ANOTHER 24 hours call back. What?!

    I immediately called back, waited on hold, asked for a supervisor, waited some more, etc. then I was asked to go and unplug all of my boxes, turn them back on, go through the "connect to Tivo process", reboot, wait some more etc. After yet another hour of nonsense the supervisor finally had me do a complete wipe and restart of one of the minis. This process is very painful and took about 30 min or more looping through redundant "connecting to tivo" cycles which all required my intervention to hit OK. Finally after all of that it worked. I was then told I need to go through that pain on my remaining minis - argh!

    So at the end of the call I nicely communicated my displeasure for all of my inconvenience and hours of lost time this week for simply "upgrading" and spending $ with Tivo. I said look I get it but Tivo needs to do a better job. As a means of compensating me for all of this I asked if they would consider sending me a complementary 2nd gen / Vox Mini for my trouble - especially since I have been such a long and loyal customer. Without even waiting 1 second to respond the supervisor, sounding like a clerk at BestBuy, immediately dismissed me saying Tivo could not do that. The _way_ he dismissed my request without regard infuriated me. I explained over the years I have not only been a loyal customer but have recommended this platform to many friends and colleges. I also mentioned I would write up all of this and post it on this forum. Again, I got the rehearsed dismissive answer. I then asked to speak to his manger but was told "I am the highest manager". Wow, I didn't see this supervisor's name on the Tivo Management Team list posted on their Investor Relations page.

    What a shame and an irony. The Tivo product and company which started as a way for those of us that wanted to break free from our cable company set-top boxes and lousy service is now "them".

    What a shame....

  2. mrsean

    mrsean Active Member

    May 15, 2006
    New Jersey
    Why didn't you seek help here after the first time Tivo support failed? Coming here with an anti-Tivo rant is not going to win you any friends.
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2019
  3. Wil

    Wil Unknown Member

    Sep 26, 2002
    (with apologies to Groucho Marx) I've always been amazed that Tivo was as successful as it was, given such lousy customers.
  4. Domenic

    Domenic New Member

    Jun 6, 2004
    I tried to give them the benefit of the doubt over the last couple of days but the attitude, lack of expertise, and overall terrible customer experience I endured is why I shared my story here knowing how large of an audience this community is.

    Perhaps someone on the executive team at Tivo actually reads this forum or directs people to monitor it for trouble signs. I want Tivo to succeed because I have loved their product and and admired the customer service of yesteryear - remember I have been a customer for 20 years like so many others probably are here.

    No way can my experience be isolated both in terms of the actual technical issue or how it was handled. Hopefully someone will recognize the "slide" in customer service and correct it.
  5. kpeters59

    kpeters59 Well-Known Member

    Jun 19, 2007
    Houston, Texas
    There's probably 1 million threads on here where poor Support is discussed as being provided by TiVo. Still, it continues.

    If you want any chance of it mattering, post to @tivo or @tivosupport on Twitter. Probably both. They won't read this thread.

    jrtroo, dlfl, PSU_Sudzi and 1 other person like this.
  6. chiguy50

    chiguy50 Well-Known Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    Atlanta, GA
    The good news is that now you know to come here first with any technical issues or questions. TCF is your best resource. Our self-appointed experts are standing by!

  7. Anotherpyr

    Anotherpyr Active Member

    May 6, 2015
    I wonder if the OP realizes that TiVo is now owned by Rovi. A company so well loved it changed its name to TiVo after the purchase.
    ncted likes this.
  8. jlb

    jlb Go Pats!

    Dec 13, 2001
    I think you were using the wrong website for TiVo help. Here is the correct address:

    TiVo Help Center


    In all seriousness, this forum is full of information and helpful people. I have NEVER sought help from TiVo directly in all the years I have been a member, well, except when I was trying to get a deal on a new box/lifetime x-fer/etc.....
  9. dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    @chiguy50 , love that photo!

    @Domenic , nothing that new about your experience. (Apparently you haven't been reading this forum since you joined in 2004.) After all, how can you beat a customer experience based on the dynamic combination of Tivo and cable company support! (Yes I realize your complaint is just about TiVo, but imagine how bad it would be if you were caught in the middle between the dynamic duo, with each blaming the other, a frequent scenario reported on these forums.).
  10. Darrell Patton

    Darrell Patton Member

    Jul 19, 2018
    You are not alone.

    Earlier this year, during a Tivo sale, I purchased a new Bolt to replace a Roamio, which worked with 2 Minis. I could never get the Minis to fully work with the Bolt. I ended up shipping the Bolt back within the 30 day return period.
    Perhaps you can learn something from this thread,

    Mini with Bolt OTA errors
  11. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

    Nov 27, 2014
    Give the OP a break. The only way to appreciate this forum and all that it offers is to experience this forum over a period of time. Well, he knows now!! Hopefully he will present his problem here first next time.
    andrew1883 likes this.
  12. stevepow

    stevepow New Member

    Sep 3, 2014
    My experience lately has been quite different and I can't say how I managed it - lucky? I have no idea...

    In June I took advantage of a sale on the Bolt that also offered yearly service @ $99 - seemed like a good deal and I planned to sell my Lifetime Roamio +.

    I had the same issue with my Minis - they would not connect to the Bolt. I called in and similarly, whatever they did at first didn't work. They escalated the problem and after forcing a connection to update the Bolt, all worked fine. I don't recall it being a big deal - may have taken 24 hours.

    Then I saw the Summer Breeze thing for a Bolt and transfer my lifetime. I called and asked if there was any way I could get that transfer of Lifetime since I had only just got my Bolt. The woman I spoke to was very helpful and understanding - she put me on hold, then came back and explained that they really couldn't do that since the Bolt I bought was through a different promo... But, what she could do was to extend my return date on the Bolt I had so I could return it, get a refund, and then take advantage of the Summer Breeze offer. Kind of a hassle to have to transfer my recordings and Onepass info again and set up another box, but worth it. And TiVo did not have to do this - they could have just said too bad your timing was off on our offers, because it was. But they didn't - they made an exception and I got a new Bolt with Lifetime.

    The support I got was pretty great.
    chiguy50 likes this.
  13. powrcow

    powrcow Active Member

    Sep 27, 2010
    The only reason I have a Twitter account is to tweet to companies for support. They're remarkably capable.
    andrew1883 likes this.
  14. JoeKustra

    JoeKustra in the other Alabama TCF Club

    Dec 7, 2012
    Ashland, PA...
    Same here. But sometimes the DM from TiVo is just to call a phone number.

    or try chat: Tivo Customer Support Community
  15. trip1eX

    trip1eX Well-Known Member

    Apr 2, 2005
    The product itself was always the thing that was better than cable. I'm not sure that ever included the customer service part.

    The only irony I see if the OP being a good 10-15 years late with the irony comment. :)
  16. Charles R

    Charles R Active Member

    Nov 9, 2000
    Recently I have had a couple of channel repacks calls and they were handled very professionally. Over the years (since 2000) I have had a few (certainly not all) support calls that ran into the typically script support... versus a willingness to use common sense and or a broad understanding of the product. The numerous times I have called in to set up a TiVo swap (new owner) have always gone very smoothly. Bottom line I feel their support is rather typical of the industry... at times stellar other times not so much. Often based on what you need/want and how you approach it.
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
    kpeters59 likes this.
  17. WorldBandRadio

    WorldBandRadio Member

    Dec 20, 2010
    You get the customers you earn.
  18. just4tivo

    just4tivo Active Member

    Dec 9, 2015
    Some businesses make money despite their best efforts not to.
  19. bob1000

    bob1000 New Member

    Aug 15, 2019
    I'm very happy with my two 4 tuner lifetime Premieres and several minis. The alternative is renting equipment from Comcast, which I would not do. Owning Tivo equipment makes Comcast equivalent to streaming packages. Costs are similar if you are comparing to the best streaming options.

    I had a couple of issues when I changed over to Comcast / Tivo. Everything worked out quickly. I understand the stress these new users are feeling. It's ok.

    TV delivery services is the new big thing. Hulu, Sling, and the others have one model for live TV. The home DVR is another. If the Series 7 looks like a combination roku / bolt but better and Comcast accepts the fact it is a services company, not a hardware rental company, then the future looks good for Tivo and Comcast TV.

    Assuming the series 7 is a good design, I would consider changing over if the cost was not too high. The DVR with a reasonable number of tuners (6+) plus $500 lifetime is a non-starter. I'll pay a nominal fee to xfer a lifetime over from a Premiere. $0 to very low monthly cost is essential, otherwise. $15/month .... I'll think about it unless they toss in Netflix or Hulu for free.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  20. paully65

    paully65 Member

    Feb 20, 2002
    I love Tivo! I have had it since 2005 and have upgraded every few years. I have always had the lifetime service which has paid for the unit after a few years and then I upgrade. I have the vox now and love it. All my apps work great. They do not buffer and have always worked. My brother has the FIOS DVR and he is always complaining it missed a recording or cut off early or froze up and he has to pay a monthly fee. I have never had any of those problems. The only thing I added was a cooling fan underneath the unit and it went down to 52C so that was a big decrease.

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