Tivo "lifetime" membership is a blatant lie

Discussion in 'TiVo Help Center' started by todwest, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Jul 5, 2011 #1 of 62
    todwest

    todwest New Member

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    I, like many others, apparently, paid $200 for a lifetime membership back in 1999. I originally had a Tivo stand-alone box, and then I upgraded to a Philips box that had a Directv tuner in it. I absolutely loved the service.

    Then, in 2007, Directv announced that they would be adding HD channels. I was therefore eager to upgrade to a new Tivo box that was HD capable. As we all know, of course, no HD-capable product with a Directv tuner was ever manufactured. Thus, Tivo kicked me to the curb. I had no choice to to go with Directv's inferior DVR, as Tivo simply didn't have one.

    Now, it's a few years later, and I've finally given up on Directv (who at one time had service far superior to cable, but no longer does), and I've been thinking about buying a new Tivo model DVR for my cable service. So, I crawled into my storage space, pulled out my old Tivo box, dusted-off the serial number, and gave the company a call.

    And guess what? The alleged 'lifetime' membership for which I paid is "no longer valid, sir; we're terrible sorry (as we snicker all the way to the bank)."

    WTF? "Lifetime" means "lifetime." When I signed up for the Tivo stand-alone service, I was told that my lifetime membership would transfer. Now, that's no longer the case, apparently. Thus "lifetime" actually means "until Tivo decides it's not going to honor its commitments anymore; go suck an egg."

    Interestingly, XM/Sirius is running the same scam. I purchased a radio a few months back and bought the "lifetime" membership. I wonder how long it will be before they, too, decide that "lifetime" means "we'll change the agreement whenever we damn well please, and if you don't like it, tough luck." I was told that I could upgrade a total of four times with XM/Sirius, though I'm beginning to doubt that the company will ever honor its commitment, especially with the precedent of Tivo not honoring theirs.

    Tivo needs to step up and do the right thing. For those who were caught in this Directv grey area, there should be some way of reactivating a lifetime membership that is dormant. Short of that, as a sign of good faith, the company could at least offer a free year, or perhaps a "store credit" on the hardware for the amount of the original membership price, for those former Directv Tivo subscribers want to come back to the service; something, anything, that would provide a clear indication that they screwed up and they want to make it right.

    As it stands now, I have a really bad taste in my mouth, and will never recommend to anyone that they purchase Tivo service, as the company doesn't honor its agreements.
     
  2. Jul 5, 2011 #2 of 62
    vurbano

    vurbano Member

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    The HR10-250 DTIVo that I owned had 2 HD tuners in it.
     
  3. Jul 5, 2011 #3 of 62
    David Platt

    David Platt Mouse Master TCF Club

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    So they're saying that the lifetime service on your series 1 is no longer valid? Or are they saying that you can't transfer that service to a new box?
     
  4. Jul 5, 2011 #4 of 62
    WhiskeyTango

    WhiskeyTango New Member

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    Sounds like the OP used the free one time transfer to move the sub from the S1 to the DirecTivo. Giving Tivo the S1 serial number would show no Lifetime on that box since it was already transferred away.
     
  5. Jul 5, 2011 #5 of 62
    shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    Plug in your old Tivo and run guided setup for your current cable service and see if it works. Check the account status to see if it is lifetime.
     
  6. Jul 5, 2011 #6 of 62
    Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Back in 1999, did they say they would transfer lifetime service to a new model Tivo? If so, did you get that in writing?

    The agreement today doesn't allow for product upgrade transfers. See the highlighted clause.
    (I also have lifetime Sirius/XM so I'm looking into the written transfer policy. My radio is quite old.)
     
  7. Jul 5, 2011 #7 of 62
    todwest

    todwest New Member

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    You may be right. At the time I made the switch to the Directv-enabled Tivo box, Directv and Tivo were the same company (or, at least, Directv owned Tivo), so there was no hassle with the transfer.

    When the Directv/Tivo divorce happened, I was under the impression that my lifetime membership stayed with Tivo (I ended up paying a $4.99 DVR fee to Directv each month, so my membership did not transfer, apparently). Thus, my Tivo membership should still be valid as far as I'm concerned. I didn't do anything that should have invalidated my membership, at least not knowingly.

    And the policy that was stated to me at the time I bought the first box, is that I could transfer my membership to the latest equipment should I decide to upgrade. So, now I want to upgrade my inactive non-HD Directv Tivo box to a new cable-ready HD Tivo box, and I feel the membership should transfer. If someone had told me when I made my original purchase that I would eligible for only one equipment upgrade, I never would have signed up for a lifetime membership. In fact, I remember asking about this, as I was concerned about this very thing occurring. It appears they changed the user agreement at some point, and a lot of us missed the fine print that screwed us out of our lifetime memberships.

    Tivo: FAIL

    I'm really feeling jerked around, here. Each company is saying it's the other's fault. Gonna escalate this to Tivo's corporate offices and see if that gets me anywhere. As it is now, Tivo has lost me as a customer permanently.
     
  8. Jul 5, 2011 #8 of 62
    stevel

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

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    Initially, the Lifetime attribute was non-transferable. (I am ignoring the limited grandfathering of early S1 boxes ) When DirecTV acquired the accounts, Lifetime service applied to the account, which was nice. Much later, TiVo started selling Lifetime transfers and even offered a deal if you had previously bought Lifetime on a DirecTV box. That went away a long time ago.

    I am not sympathetic to beryl's whine.

    As for XM, I too have lifetime service, which can be transferred for $75. I have done this once already.
     
  9. Jul 5, 2011 #9 of 62
    todwest

    todwest New Member

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    Really? That box wasn't available when Directv and Tivo split up. Damn. Wish I'd have known. Maybe waiting a couple more months would have been wise. I would have much preferred to stay with Tivo (Directv's DVR sucks, but not nearly as profoundly as Time Warner Cable's).
     
  10. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Where is this hate coming from? I never whined. I just empathized with the OP and went to Sirius/XM site to save the policy for the future.

    Sheesh!
     
  11. todwest

    todwest New Member

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    Worth a try, though the old box is non-HD, which kind of defeats the purpose.
     
  12. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Since the OP bought lifetime on a stand alone Philips in '99, I'd say this thread is all about the grandfathered S1 lifetime transfers.

    Of course if he transferred it to the DirecTV TiVo back when, well, one-time transfer don't mean twice.

    Beryl seems not to know about the grandfather clause, but any whining must have happened in a different thread from this one.
     
  13. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    DO NOT RUN GUIDED SETUP!!!!

    You'll never get out.

    Just hook it up (if we're talking about the stand alone, non-satellite S1) and check the system info page for account status, then let it call the mothership and check that page again.
     
  14. todwest

    todwest New Member

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    Alas, I no longer have that box, and Tivo has no record of it.
     
  15. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    Well, if you bought lifetime on the standalone and transferred it to the DTV model, that was your one-time grandfathered transfer, I suspect.

    Although I seem to recall reading somewhere that lifetime on a DirecTV TiVo was a slightly different animal with different rules and a different definition.

    Also, didn't you just pay DirecTV each month and they paid TiVo?
     
  16. todwest

    todwest New Member

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    That may have indeed been the case for those who opted for the monthly subscription. I paid for the lifetime membership AND I paid a monthly subscription fee to Directv after the transfer. Hence, I was under the impression that my lifetime membership was exclusive to Tivo. Now, it appears that I was paying for the same service twice. Lucky me!
     
  17. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    I'm sure that someone without lifetime paid what a non-TiVo DirecTV box would have cost per month and something to TiVo as well, I'm just not sure if it was all handled through DTV or if there was a separate TiVo bill each month as well.

    But I do remember reading something somewhere about DTV lifetime TiVo subs being attached not to the machine but the DTV account, so that if you discontinued DTV service at any time, for any length of time, for any reason, that was the end of the lifetime sub. When yoiu went from your DTV TiVo to a non-TiVo DTV machine I don't know if that counted as closing one account and opening another or not, but it sounds like you closed your most recent DTV account before attempting the TiVo lifetime transfer, so if it was in effect during your non-TiVo period, it isn't any more.

    What physically became of your original stand alone TiVo, and was the box you pulled out of the storage space for it or for the DTV TiVo?

    And what became of your DTV TiVo unit?
     
  18. todwest

    todwest New Member

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    Apr 21, 2004
    I have the Directv Tivo unit (I think I gave the other one to a friend or I sold it on Ebay). I gave the guy my SN, and was told I have no lifetime membership, and that I'm SOL.

    It's not my fault that the company split up.
     
  19. Beryl

    Beryl Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    You are correct. That is why I didn't assume but asked.
     
  20. unitron

    unitron Well-Known Member

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    I don't think they split up, they just discontinued the partnership.

    My folks had some GM stock that turned into Hughes stock that turned into DTV stock that turned into News Corp. stock or something like that, but there was never any mention of TiVo stock, so I'm pretty sure there was never any joint ownership of both companies.
     

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