TiVo Inc dump 50% of their loyal UK users

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by spitfires, Feb 15, 2011.

  1. Feb 15, 2011 #1 of 105
    spitfires

    spitfires wassock

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    Following the tie-up between TiVo Inc and Virgin Media to market the new VM Tivo in the UK, TiVo Inc are now casting adrift 50% of their loyal UK customers by closing their UK service on 31st May 2011.

    http://support.tivo.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/318/kw/uk
    http://blog.tivo.com/2011/02/1123/

    They claim we can "upgrade" to the new Virgin Media offering but we cannot - VM are only offering the new service in areas with cable television (which covers only 51% of the UK households). This leaves 50% of existing TiVo users in the UK scr*w*d.

    Virgin Media have NO alternative available for existing TiVo customers in areas which do not have Virgin cable. There is NO "upgrade" path available to us - there is no "special offer".

    Sure we don't expect TiVo to maintain the service forever, but their handling of the way they are closing the service is causing serious anger and resentment amongst their extremely loyal UK customers. If they'd just come clean and said "sorry, we're closing it" then fine, but their arrogance in suggesting we should all switch to VM is galling, and shows a total lack of understanding of the UK market.


    Why am I telling you this? Well since it seems that TiVo Inc.'s business strategy is to move out of the direct sales market (restricting themselves solely to sub-contracting with cable companies in future), then all of you in the US with S1/2/3 Tivos had better watch out - you are on borrowed time before TiVo dump YOU up the creek without a paddle.
     
  2. Feb 15, 2011 #2 of 105
    dlfl

    dlfl Cranky old novice

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    Sounds like a bad situation -- my sympathies. Who knows whither goest TiVo in the future? It's possible many more of us will be in a similar situation at some time.

    Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by "extremely loyal UK customers"?
    Using this description implies to me that UK customers have "stuck by" TiVo purely out of loyalty when they have had better choices at hand. Is that the case? If so, why not just dump TiVo, take one of the better choices and be happy?
     
  3. Feb 15, 2011 #3 of 105
    bschuler2007

    bschuler2007 Frustrated owner

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    I think the majority of the US Tivo owners have, over the last year now, come to terms and accepted that they are on borrowed time. While I think it sucks that Tivo has decided to go this route, it is completely understandable from their viewpoint. I feel for you guys in the UK.. but you're not gonna be alone for long. Fact is, the days of a personal Tivo are limited.

    My 1st hope is for Tivo to hold out for a few more years yet in the US market, maybe giving us a full year warning near the end of this year.

    My 2nd hope is some other company fills the void left by Tivo and offers an alternative DVR to the cable companies Tivos filled with everything Tivo couldn't be bothered with, like an app store, coverflow mp3 player, etc.. A high end 'this is not your cable companies DVR' DVR. Moxi?

    Regardless.. it looks like you UK Tivo owners are just the canaries in the coal mine. On the bright side, I am sure you will find something Tivo-like is available to you.
     
  4. Feb 15, 2011 #4 of 105
    MrSkippy53

    MrSkippy53 New Member

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    I am a bit confused. What about the owners of Life Time subs? Are they SOL?
     
  5. Feb 15, 2011 #5 of 105
    janry

    janry New Member

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    I'm guessing that what you are loosing in the UK is the program guide information and you are monthly subscribers (no lifetime). Is that correct?

    Being that I am lifetime on two boxes, I would be more than upset if TiVo just said "that's it". I would at least want to be able to make manual recordings in the future. But who knows what will happen? I knew many years ago TiVo was a bit of a gamble.
     
  6. Feb 15, 2011 #6 of 105
    spitfires

    spitfires wassock

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    Thanks guys. I say "loyal" because we have staunchly defended our beloved Tivos against all those who would say they were too complicated; too big; outdated (I think not!). We've set up self-support groups to help people out (customer support was contracted to BSkyB and they really didn't want to know since they had their own PVR which they wanted to promote - how's that for a conflict of interest!), and provide hard disc upgrades when the original (now 8-10 years old) disc has died. (No spares available from TiVo since 2002).

    We don't really have anything else that comes even close to what the S1 can do! Most of the PVRs we have can't even do Season Passes let alone Suggestions.

    Many of us have been paying £10 ($16) to TiVo every month for the last 8-10 years. Of course we knew it would come to an end one day but we can't believe just how TiVo Inc are letting it happen. To say we can "upgrade" when we can't shows either callousness or ignorance - either of which is poor management.

    We have offered officially to take the service off their hands, but... nothing. They have ignored all our e-mails and not returned any phone calls.

    Probably half of us are on Lifetime Subscription but they are being cut off too (ok the small print in the Agreement says that even a Lifetime Sub actually only means a "rolling 30-day period" - TiVo can pull the plug for no reason with 30 days notice, and they've given us 3.5 months, so I suppose we should at least be grateful for that!
     
  7. Feb 15, 2011 #7 of 105
    petew

    petew Active Member

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    While I sympathise with my fellow Brits and can understand your frustration. However TiVo stopped selling units in the UK in 2003 so they have actually provided 7+ years of service since the unit was discontinued.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2011 #8 of 105
    ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

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    The UK is a very different market from the US. these are essentially S1 TiVo DVRs and TiVo is dropping official support. The UK folks will figure out soon enough they can supply guide data on their own as a group, just like Canada and Australia did before they had official TiVo DVRs to buy. Important fact is that TiVo stopped selling these DVRs in 2003 so this would be more like an announcement that replay DVRs were no longer getting guide data.

    So while I fully agree that the standalone market in the US is not making TiVo profits, here we are talking the same product that TiVo can sel lto tier 2 MSOs and we are a great test bed to develop on. So I think your timeline projections are way, way too early.
     
  9. Feb 15, 2011 #9 of 105
    spitfires

    spitfires wassock

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    Agreed but it's not the fact they have stopped the service (we've been expecting that for 7 years), it's the way they've done it.

    At best, it shows a total lack of understanding about their customers. At worst, it show total contempt for their customers.

    .
     
  10. Feb 15, 2011 #10 of 105
    davisa

    davisa New Member

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    Also remember TiVo are just re-entering the UK market, not leaving it.

    If this had happened any time in the last 5 years I wouldn't have been surprised, but to do so on the dawn of a new TiVo era in the UK is disappointing.
     
  11. Feb 15, 2011 #11 of 105
    mas

    mas 274GB, Oct 2000-2011

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  12. Feb 15, 2011 #12 of 105
    spitfires

    spitfires wassock

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    They could if they wanted to, and we're trying to persuade them to do just that, but it seems they think we can all get the new "upgrade" offering so they don't want to play.
     
  13. Feb 15, 2011 #13 of 105
    velocitysurfer1

    velocitysurfer1 Proud S1lifer

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    I assume that it's in the virgin contract to migrate S1 user to the virgin media TiVo, especially as virgin has signed an "exclusive" agreement i.e. no one else can supply the TiVo service in the UK. Having a second TiVo guide data supplier (for S1 tivos) was probably always off the table.
     
  14. Feb 15, 2011 #14 of 105
    pteronaut

    pteronaut Killer of Threads

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    And now they continue to provide service, but only to those lucky 51% of the British Isles which Virgin Media provide service to.

    Why not continue to supply the legacy TiVo owners with guide data? I am willing to believe that service exclusivity was part of the deal for TiVo software being installed of Virgin cable boxes.

    BTW, If I was still in the UK, I would be in one of the unserved regions, a town of 30,000+ which in the late '90's was subject to major traffic chaos for six months as one of the cable companies purchased by VM, ripped up two major roads through the town to lay cable with no intent on serving the town itself.
     
  15. Feb 15, 2011 #15 of 105
    WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

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    It's also likely that there just aren't enough S1 owners left in the UK to justify keeping the service active on antiquated units when they have a new deal in place.
     
  16. Feb 15, 2011 #16 of 105
    wondermouse

    wondermouse New Member

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    But Virgin Media can not or will not provide cable services to at least half of all TiVo owners. I'd sign up tomorrow, but I can't!

    I've been told I can't get cable by Virgin, and I live in London, so what chance can people outside cities and larger towns have?

    It's not like the US, where most people have access to cable. Cable started in America as people could not recieve broadcast TV properly. In the UK we had/have a very good broadcast TV service, so there was no need for cable. What will I do in July with my large silver door stop?
     
  17. Feb 15, 2011 #17 of 105
    velocitysurfer1

    velocitysurfer1 Proud S1lifer

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    I completely agree. I live in a medium sized town in the east midlands, and there is no cable and probably never will be.

    As for what to do in June, I'm pretty sure that an unofficial solution will be up and running by then.
     
  18. Feb 15, 2011 #18 of 105
    yunlin12

    yunlin12 Tivonation Citizen

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    Actually my lifetime ReplayTV from 2000 is still getting guide data, and even had a dial-in to update the Daylight Savings Time change a couple of years back. It's almost as surprising as the fact that the unit is still working.

    It sucks for UK Tivo users.
     
  19. Feb 15, 2011 #19 of 105
    WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

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    I keep seeing this but is it really accurate? Just because 50% of the overall population doesn't have access to VM doesn't mean that Tivo ownership is equally distributed among the country. For all we know, a vast majority of Tivo owners may have access to VM which is why they made the offer to 'upgrade'.
     
  20. Feb 15, 2011 #20 of 105
    nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    Keep in mind that the UK TiVo was originally a partnership with Sky. Since TiVo's deal with Virgin Media is exclusive I doubt that TiVo has the option of continuing to support those boxes even if they wanted to.
     

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