Tivo: Retail lifetime transfers are great, but some of us took you at your word...

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by jtbarrett, Sep 16, 2006.

  1. Sep 16, 2006 #1 of 134
    jtbarrett

    jtbarrett New Member

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    I'm glad that Tivo relented and is allowing lifetime transfers to retail S3's. It's the right thing to do. But for myself and many others who took our "VIP invitation" at its word, this policy change isn't fair at all.

    Retail TiVo's are readily available (no shipping fiascos), and they cost at least $80-100 less with coupons than buying direct. I nonetheless ordered directly from Tivo, because I believed what they told me and wanted to follow the rules.

    I appreciate that Tivo is trying to do right by all the retail folks, but doing so at the expense of other loyal customers sends entirely the wrong message. I've been with TiVo for five years now, having bought three (now four) boxes directly from Tivo and paid almost $1000 in subscription fees. I'm willing to pay $800 for an S3 despite the current step backwards in some key features.

    TiVo, please do right by me, and by others who followed your rules for lifetime transfers and bought direct from you. A $99 transfer rather than $199 for direct buyers would even the playing field, and would go a long way toward making this particular VIP feel a whole lot happier.

    Regards,
    - Jeff Barrett
     
  2. Sep 16, 2006 #2 of 134
    raober

    raober New Member

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    Y'know...normally, I would disagree, saying that we had no right to expect something for nothing.

    In this case, though, I have to agree. We were told, and it was made absolutely clear, that we *must* order through TiVo directly to get the lifetime transfer. This was the basis of the whole "VIP" idea...that the customers who were the most loyal, paying $199 for the right to transfer, and maximizing TiVo's profits on the purchased box, were being given this "exclusive" offer.

    Now I sit here, wondering when (and starting to wonder *if*) my S3 will arrive. Meanwhile, others who bought at retail, taking advantage of discounts and extended warranties, are getting the "exclusive" offer that I was promised.

    Free shipping is nice. However, the VIP issue is unresolved. I think the above solution is equitable. Not that I expect it at this point, of course.
     
  3. Sep 16, 2006 #3 of 134
    tivo_madness

    tivo_madness New Member

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    I too am a VIP member and ordered a box through tivo. Unfortunately, they didn't come through and I needed an S3 box in time for the cable guy (if I rescheduled, I would have to wait next week, missing all the season premiers!).

    I'm glad that they are offering lifetime transfers on retail boxes. They never should have gotten involved in distribution.
     
  4. Sep 16, 2006 #4 of 134
    Deacon West

    Deacon West New Member

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    TiVo has generally tried to do right by us subscribers - i.e. Grandfathered clause when lifetime wasn't well defined, a one time transfer of lifetime from S1 to S2, adding a month to the last possible day you could buy lifetime on regular S1 and S2's when they discontinued, being able to transfer lifetime for $199 to S3.

    All that to say, I'm sure they will do right by us this time as well. Your solution is one they should seriously consider. Yes, we want the best deal possible for our pocketbooks, but we also want the company to flourish as well. None of us want to be forced to use one of the Sat. or Cable Co. DVR's. Adding to the discussion, I would just hope that TiVo won't stop letting lifetime be transferred from retail bought boxes, but would do something for those that tried to follow the rules.
     
  5. Sep 16, 2006 #5 of 134
    eisenb11

    eisenb11 Member

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    Redondo...

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    Yeah, this is getting sad.

    We buy through tivo.com because that's supposed to be the only way to get the VIP and now they're letting everyone get them even with retail purchase.

    Sorta sucked that Tivo couldn't get the S3 out the door on time (many still haven't shipped yet from orders on Tues morning)... and now the retail buyers are getting it for $100 less than those who bought on Tivo.com... and they don't have to pay shipping either.

    Gotta say this sucks. My cable install is next Friday... I'm going to be really mad if at the least they can't get the thing to me by then...
     
  6. Sep 16, 2006 #6 of 134
    boomvader

    boomvader New Member

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    I ordered from the VIP site and was in the same boat as the rest. However, I too, needed to get a box in time for the cable guy to install the cards. I ended up buying retail at full price and transferring my lifetime from my S1. I will more than likely end up either selling the VIP S3 or just refusing the package from UPS.

    I think what Tivo should do to help rectify this mess is reward the ones who do not cancel their original order by allowing them to transfer their lifetime service for free. This seems fair to me.

    Thoughts?

    -boom

    PS. The S3 rocks. Cable card installation was very smooth for the tech. I personally think it is worth the cost. YMMV
     
  7. Sep 16, 2006 #7 of 134
    musicforme

    musicforme It's a Dry Heat

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    No kidding. The company goes to the effort to product content viable on their own devices and doesn't keep their message consistent.

    Like many of you, I ordered my Tivo through the VIP page because I thought I had to do so. I even had a Tivo pre-ordered at my local Best Buy that I cancelled back on Tuesday.

    I haven't been this mad over a transaction in a long time. First they say you have to go through the VIP page. Second, they screw up the shipping (still don't have an e-mail with a tracking number three days after the purchase). Third, they start allowing lifetime transfers to persons buying at retail.

    I really hope someone rights this up as a business case model on how NOT to do a product launch. Business students need to be educated on what went wrong becaust this one certainly did not go right.
     
  8. Sep 16, 2006 #8 of 134
    cpucrash0

    cpucrash0 Premium Member

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    well I ordered from tivo/vip and I'm thinking that if bestbuy gets series 3 before tivo shipment arrives I will get it at bestbuy here and just transfer lifetime. But yeah it sucks that tivo did this to us.
     
  9. Sep 16, 2006 #9 of 134
    ThreeSoFar

    ThreeSoFar FourNow...WaitFive

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    Well said, Jeff. I am in exactly the same boat. Feel the same way.

    You listening Stephen? Jerry? Pony?

    Will a post from someone with more than a dozen so far make any difference? Given it's me, I'm guessing no, it won't. Been NOT singing the praises of TiVo for some time now. This whole VIP thing had me really excited, I bought mine the same day I got the email. NOw I know I've just been screwed.

    Thanks, TiVo.
     
  10. Sep 16, 2006 #10 of 134
    NJ Webel

    NJ Webel Member

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    So Market Segment 1 gets something that Market Segment 2 doesn't.

    Market Segment 2 complains (quite voraciously).

    Producer decides to accomodate Market Segment 2.

    Market Segment 1 complains (quite voraciously).

    Repeat as neccessary.

    I think that's part of the problem. TiVo is listening to all the complaints, and for all their good intentions in going overboard trying to appease everyone, they're only ending up managing to anger ALL their Series3 customers.

    You can please some of the people ALL of the time.

    You can please all of the people SOME of the time.

    But when you try to please ALL of the people ALL of the time, you usually end up pleasing none of them.
     
  11. Sep 16, 2006 #11 of 134
    smak

    smak TV MA SLV

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    I agree with that. Instead of people looking at it from the perspective of allowing MORE people to transfer lifetime, people post how horrible Tivo is because it effects them.

    Help 5,000 people, but if you're kinda harming me, then a pox on your house Tivo.

    If $799 is too expensive for ME, then Tivo shouldn't even bother releasing it so others can enjoy.

    Nobody's perfect. They have a policy in place, and then maybe because of some customer complaints, they revise it to help more customers, and that's horrible of them.

    -smak-
     
  12. Sep 16, 2006 #12 of 134
    jtbarrett

    jtbarrett New Member

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    I definitely didn't say it was horrible of them to change the policy; in fact I said just the opposite. I appreciate that they are trying to please retail customers, but I do think that those of us who followed their rules shouldn't be disadvantaged for doing so.

    Even if TiVo allowed direct buyers to transfer a lifetime sub for only $99, they would still make substantially more money from each direct purchase than from a retail one. And with respect to the "angry customer loop," my suggestion doesn't create a "better" scenario for direct buyers than for retail -- it creates an overall out-of-pocket customer cost that's about the same for each.

    TiVo does seem to be trying to do the right thing, and I commend them for it. I'm not trying to take advantage of them or looking for a huge windfall here... but offering something close to equity with retail seems like a reasonable gesture toward those of us who adpoted early and followed their announced VIP rules.

    - Jeff Barrett
     
  13. Sep 16, 2006 #13 of 134
    NJ Webel

    NJ Webel Member

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    I guess I'm having a hard time understanding how it's a disadvantage for you that other people now receive a benefit that you were already getting? :confused:
     
  14. Sep 16, 2006 #14 of 134
    jtbarrett

    jtbarrett New Member

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    The folks who bought retail had the option of paying less than $800 for the S3 itself. 12% off at Best Buy, or 10% off plus free shipping from Circuit City. I and many others specifically payed TiVo's higher direct price (and endured delayed shipping) solely because TiVo told us that was the only way to get a lifetime transfer.
     
  15. Sep 16, 2006 #15 of 134
    Aiken

    Aiken Blah, blah, blah.

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    Yes, exactly. Those of us who ordered from tivo.com did so only because it was supposed to be the only way to get the transfer. As a result, we are paying full MSRP and waiting a week or more for something we could have gotten already for 10% or more off with perks like service plans. This, as part of a campaign that paints us as Very Important People to TiVo.
     
  16. Sep 16, 2006 #16 of 134
    eisenb11

    eisenb11 Member

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    Redondo...
    Exactly. It's not that the retail buyers are getting the lifetime transfer that's making me mad.

    What's making me mad is that, while I'm now paying $150 more than the retail guys, that Tivo also hasn't even gotten around to shipping my unit yet.

    It's insult to injury. We're not jealous of the "other guys" we're mad at how we're being treated.

    Think about it... I could have driven to BB on Tuesday, bought the unit for 12% off, avoided shipping costs/delays, transferred my lifetime... I'd be playing with my S3 and be $150 richer all by the end of Tuesday.

    Sucks this does!
     
  17. Sep 16, 2006 #17 of 134
    jtbarrett

    jtbarrett New Member

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    Jun 16, 2004
    (emphasis mine)

    That's another idea that would work for me...

    Best Buy purchasers have been getting 4-year service plans for under $30. If TiVo doesn't want to discount lifetime transfers for direct buyers, then an alternate goodwill gesture would be to toss in a multi-year extended warranty with our paid lifetime transfer if we bought direct from TiVo at launch.

    (Although none of my three previous TiVo's have failed in any way, so perhaps I should lobby for the cash...) :)
     
  18. Sep 16, 2006 #18 of 134
    pntsoptional

    pntsoptional New Member

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    Santa...
    I can’t say I’m that upset, about the shipping situation. Stuff like this happens in product launches all the time.

    What does irk me though, is Tivo’s inconsistent business practices. Like most folks on this post I ordered the S3 through Tivo because it was suppose to be the only way to transfer Lifetime. Had I known they would allow units purchased at retail to transfer Lifetime, I would have went that route if for no other reason than to purchase an extended warranty.

    This isn’t the first time they did something like this either. I paid for the Home Media Option when that was first introduced. Six months later they give it away for free and those that paid don’t get squat by way of compensation.

    I don’t begrudge anyone that benefits from Tivo’s corporate inconsistencies, but I for one am really starting to feel like a sucker.

    :mad:
     
  19. Sep 16, 2006 #19 of 134
    NJ Webel

    NJ Webel Member

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    But this thread isn't about shipping, discounts, or even Lifetime transfers.

    -emphasis mine.

    {edited to remove an overly harsh sounding paragraph that I didn't mean for it to sound like}

    All I will say is "caveat emptor" - buyer beware. Companies change Terms and Conditions all the time. TiVo has the right to yank their Promotion tomorrow if they choose. They have chosen to modify the terms of their promotion to include other retailers.

    There's nothing stopping those that ordered from TiVo to cancel the order or refuse the shipment and buy the darn thing from a B&M retailer. Then you get everything!
     
  20. Sep 16, 2006 #20 of 134
    Aiken

    Aiken Blah, blah, blah.

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    Actually, there is. They aren't allowing anyone to cancel their order. You have to refuse shipment. Ah, but there's the rub: how do you refuse shipment on a shipment that requires no signature and whose tracking number even TiVo says you probably won't have until after the unit has already arrived? Once the unit arrives, you can RMA it, but then you have to pay the shipping back to TiVo.

    (I've had all of the above confirmed by TiVo supervisors. I spent a lot of time talking to them.)

    It's a bit tricky.

    Worst of all is that it's been long enough waiting to find out what's going on that all of the retail units have been snapped up (around here, anyway). Even if you could bounce the shipment back to TiVo, at this point, there's not much point, because it's now the only game in town.

    We're not even sure there's a game at all, since the TiVo* folks all clammed up and nobody's seen a confirmation yet. No one explained why nothing shipped on Thursday, which is clearly the case, so there's no reason to believe the same unknown force didn't keep shipments from going out Friday as well. I mean, really, if they actually shipped Friday, don't you think Pony or Stephen would be here, blaring the news to the world? I'd like to think I'm wrong, but it doesn't look promising.
     

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