Tivo eBay Scam

Discussion in 'eBay Auction Central' started by IntrusDave, May 24, 2019.

  1. IntrusDave

    IntrusDave New Member

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    Aug 9, 2017
    Hey guys, It's been a long time since I've been here. I just wanted to tell you about a new scam on ebay.

    About 6 weeks ago I purchased a Tivo Mini Vox 4k on ebay for $175. Sent payment via paypal, received the unit in a sealed box about a week later, shipped directly from Tivo.

    While trying to add it to my account, the tivo site stated that it was already on an account. I called Tivo, and the rep stated that it was already on an account in *MY* name, with my address, but the sellers email address. The device was transferred to my account and activated.

    After 5 week of use I got an email from tivo saying that the device was purchased with a stolen credit card and that I was going to be charged for the box. After several hours of fighting with tivo, they have deactivated my account because I refused to pay a second time for the box.

    It appears that eBay sellers are selling a device that they do not have, buying them with stolen cards and using the buyers name and shipping address so that it appears that the buyer on ebay is actually buying from Tivo using stolen cards. Tivo is not verifying shipping or billing addresses, and they are holding the customer responsible for the fraud, instead of the person actually buying it.

    I've filed a police report and a claim with PayPal, except PayPal is demanding that I return to the box to the seller, but the seller's account on ebay and paypal are closed.

    This leaves me with a bricked Mini, a useless Bolt+, and out the $175 for the Mini, $500+ for the Bolt+ and $500+ for the tivo service. Nearly $1300 total.

    I'm going to be filing a small claims suit against Tivo for the Bolt+ and Service.
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  2. kdmorse

    kdmorse Well-Known Member

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    Sadly, this is not a new scam.

    And while Tivo's not really the bad actor here - they're really not doing themselves any favors by taking such a hard line against people who just want to be Tivo customers. And they seemingly aren't really (as you discovered) doing anything to stop it - so it happens again, and again, and again.
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  3. IntrusDave

    IntrusDave New Member

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    Aug 9, 2017
    Lovely. I just got off this phone with their Executive Relations department. They didn't like being served with a $1500 small claims suit.
    This is an easy fix for them, only allow shipping to the credit card billing address.


    Oh, and they deactivated my bolt+ and locked me out of my tivo online account within the last hour.
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  4. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    This scam appears periodically, the tip off is that although purchased from an Ebay seller, the actual unit arrives directly from Tivo. Although this is possible because of the way Tivo allows shipping to other than the cc billing address, they accept no responsibility and usually the first notice you will get is that your Tivo device will just stop working with a message to contact customer service. Tivo's only response will be to ask you to purchase it again.
    Your only recourse will be via Ebay or PayPal depending on how long it takes for Tivo to get the charge back it can go for as long as 3 months or so. The actual Ebay account/seller is totally unaware of what is going on as that account has been hacked, they may not even be alive anymore. Ebay/PayPal is following their standard procedure as to how they handle returns on "item not as described", which is to simply return the item to the seller's address of record.
    Not sure why you refused to do this as you have a sellers name and mailing address but you could simply sent it to that address or send something???? of a similar weight with tracking to that address and you then provide that tracking information and you would have had a full refund long ago. The fact that the Ebay/PayPal account is closed would have absolutely no impact on you but for whatever reason, you have chosen to blame Tivo and try to charge them what appears to be a grossly inflated premium because they don't do business the way you want them to.
    Not sure what the Small Claims Court process is wherever you filed the case, but in the few times I used it out in CA the first thing I found was that even if you won, they would not award you more than actual documented losses, no matter how aggravating the circumstances were. Further, even upon winning a case, the issue of actually collecting anything can be extremely problematic.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  5. Jun 3, 2019 #5 of 18
    schipperke

    schipperke New Member

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    Dec 12, 2004
    Same here, not posted in many years. I just received a Bolt+ all in plan with identical circumstance as OP. My first thought was gee, maybe someone won this and didn't want it. It arrived with a Tivo packing slip and my name and address from the fulfillment center in Texas, again this struck me somewhat odd. I installed it, and it too was already activated in my Name, but not my actual Tivo account. So it couldn't talk with my other units. I called and they moved it to my account, which I now wish had never been done. It was only then I could see the billing history. I buy it off Ebay, then the scammer just submits an order in my name with stolen credit card. Here is the part driving me nuts; I'm trying to do the right thing and send this back to Tivo. It's even within the 30 day return window, and I swear it may just be easier to try that. I have a RMA# on packing slip. I'm trying to explain this scam, want to return it to them but the representative swears there is no record of it being purchased at Tivo? Ebay made me whole on my end, but the Tivo rep keeps telling me to send it to Ebay. Ebay didn't sell it, a user long gone now in the wind did. No way to contact (and prefer not to anyway). So I have a Bolt+, that was installed for a few hours even the protective sheets on it, can return it in as new condition, and I can't get anyone to help me! So when I read what they did to OP, that is totally wrong. WTF is wrong with these people. I'm trying to make good, and they are not letting me.
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  6. Jun 3, 2019 #6 of 18
    fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    Simply accept your Bolt+ as a gift for parts, spare remote, etc. and stop being silly about it.
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  7. Jun 3, 2019 #7 of 18
    Kaphka

    Kaphka Member

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    Dec 15, 2008
    This happened to me a few years ago. (Although I didn't pay $175--why would you buy from a shady eBay seller when you could get a brand new Mini from Amazon for $5 more?)

    When the box arrived, I thought it was very suspicious that it was shipped from Tivo and registered in my name. I called Tivo support, and they were as helpful as ever: they told me that it was perfectly normal and I shouldn't worry about it. About six weeks later, the box stopped working, and Tivo support said that I'd have to pay full price to reactivate it. I filed a claim through Paypal instead, and I quickly got my money back.

    It would have been nice if Tivo support had pointed out the obvious scam when I'd first called them, but at the end of the day this isn't their problem. It wouldn't make sense for them to eat the cost when you could easily get it back from Paypal.

    I don't understand why this made your Bolt "useless", or why they deactivated it after you called them. There must be more to that part of the story.
     
  8. Jun 3, 2019 #8 of 18
    schipperke

    schipperke New Member

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    Dec 12, 2004
    Silly? I don't want to be on the hook for receiving a unit ordered in my name with a stolen credit card. The OP post is what concerns me. They closed his entire service on boxes he already owned legitimately.
     
    Mikeguy likes this.
  9. Jun 3, 2019 #9 of 18
    schipperke

    schipperke New Member

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    Dec 12, 2004
    It kind of is. They shipped you a unit they believed you bought, basically someone used a stolen CC , then stole your identity making the purchase in your name. Paypal made you whole, but Tivo ate the cost of the unit. It's a triangle scam. The Ebay Seller is long gone.
     
  10. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    "Silly" was my attempt at being polite. Even a really dim bulb would realize that the OP is not on the hook for anything. The credit card used in these scams is not in the name of the buyer, it is in the name of the ebay seller. If anyone is entitled to have the Bolt returned to them it would be the ebay seller who's account was hacked but since they are likely completely unaware and not at the address of either the ebay seller, real or fake, so other than sending the Bolt to god knows who, what is the point. Tivo likely either has insurance to cover their losses or has chosen to self insure.
    To my mind Tivo was finished with this transaction when they terminated the service on the unit and any actual recovery would likely eliminate their right to whatever means they have used to insure themselves. Tivo, by the way, has long understood that by allowing shipping to other than the billing address allows for these scams to continue but apparently they find it more profitable to continue with their same practices.
    Right now, the OP has been getting aggravated and using their time to sort this out and is entitled to whatever salvage value they can get from the box...especially since a reasonable good faith effort has been made to return the item.
    Further efforts to do this would seem to be futile and completely unnecessary....hence "silly."
     
    krkaufman likes this.
  11. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Indeed.
     
  12. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    He probably shouldn’t have filed suit to reclaim the costs associated with the DVR purchase, putting ownership into question.

    All to save $5 vs direct purchase.

    Silly? Yeah, that’s one word to describe it.
     
  13. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    And yet, TiVo deactivated his entire TiVo account/system. Totally apart from the eBay Mini VOX purchase and getting remedy for that, that's a problem.
     
  14. krkaufman

    krkaufman TDL shepherd

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    Yes, after he filed suit in small claims court seeking recovery of all costs associated with the entire TiVo setup, not just the Mini VOX -- so the poster is responsible for getting the other equipment dragged-in and deactivated. The poster has handled seemingly every aspect of this transaction wrong.
     
  15. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    The order of events in the posts is a bit confusing, but, in fact, it actually may be/seems that it was TiVo that first escalated matters beyond the Mini to the OP's entire TiVo system. In the original post, the OP wrote:
    And so, in fact, the global deactivation seemed to have taken place before any suit was filed. Perhaps matters had become, um, "intensified" in the customer support call, and TiVo just decided to turn everything off.

    At the same time, the OP later that same day also posted here,
    Making what was said about TiVo's earlier actions less clear.

    Regardless, the fact remains that the OP has a dead entire system, because of a fraud perpetrated on him by an eBay fraudster, in circumstances that TiVo has faced before and seemingly hasn't set up an adequate "remedy script" for. Something that other people (such as those who further posted above) likewise, understandably, could be concerned about, as I had posted. A sad situation, likely intensified by emotions, all around.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2019
  16. fcfc2

    fcfc2 Well-Known Member

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    Your assumption that it was Tivo alone which "caused" the dead entire system, as a direct result of Ebay fraud only that is not really "factual". The "fact" is, that according to the OP,
    "Lovely. I just got off this phone with their Executive Relations department. They didn't like being served with a $1500 small claims suit. This is an easy fix for them, only allow shipping to the credit card billing address.
    Oh, and they deactivated my bolt+ and locked me out of my tivo online account within the last hour."
    Needless to say, it would appear based on the OP's statement, that it was his filing a $1500 law suit against Tivo which was the actual precipitating action, not the initial fraudulent Ebay purchase. Further, based on past behavior by Tivo, in cases of similar fraud, there has never been another reported case which had the same result, i.e., Tivo closing the entire account and deactivating all of the OP's other Tivos. Heretofore, only the single fraudulently purchased Tivo item was impacted. Might I also add that the actual loss suffered by the OP was not $1500 and not even a fraction, $175. In reality, the OP already has/had remedies via Ebay/PayPal which would effectively made his loss "zero" and left him with a spare remote and power supply.
    Tivo, in fact, has a "remedy script" but it is not easy or customer "friendly" for those caught with a fraudulent purchase. Tivo is for certain aware of the possible consequence of allowing shipping to other than the cc billing address, and likely has done some calculation which determined that their rate of loss was balanced by the increase in sales by continuing this practice and thereby decided to continue to allow these sales.
    However, given that in most cases, there is a relatively simple process for the consumer to fully recover their losses, Tivo has made it clear, that they are not going to change their billing practices to accommodate what is likely a relatively rare occurrence.
    The facts of this case seem to indicate that Tivo has suffered a real loss, Ebay/PayPal could suffer a real loss, the major loss to the OP is his temper and good judgement.
     
  17. Mikeguy

    Mikeguy Well-Known Member

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    As I had posted originally, the OP's second post indeed seems somewhat at odds with his original post, in which it appeared that he filed his small claims suit because TiVo had deactivated his equipment and account entirely. (As he wrote in his original post, "After several hours of fighting with tivo, they have deactivated my account because I refused to pay a second time for the box. . . . This leaves me with a bricked Mini, a useless Bolt+, and out the $175 for the Mini, $500+ for the Bolt+ and $500+ for the tivo service. Nearly $1300 total. I'm going to be filing a small claims suit against Tivo for the Bolt+ and Service.")

    As you said, it's also possible that heightened emotions complicated matters and led to the subsequent events. But the major loss to the OP now being the loss of his operating TiVo system, and the major loss to both the OP and TiVo now being needing to spend time and energy on this at court, possibly to dial this back to the earlier status and eBay/PayPal making the OP good for his loss. (Ideally, someone at TiVo now would step in to help try to mediate issues to this goal.)
     
  18. jeremy3721

    jeremy3721 MrTivo

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    East Tennessee
    I all but stopped using ebay several years ago because of stuff like this.
     

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