TiVo Won't RMA Replace an HD -- RANT

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by MJ-bos, Jul 21, 2011.

  1. MJ-bos

    MJ-bos New Member

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    Sorry to :mad: rant, but I need to get this off my chest and maybe get some input from folks out there about what to do next.

    After 2.5 years, the drive in my TiVo HD (#2) starts to emit the click of death... then goes into reset loops.

    I replaced the drive with another (as I have done dozens of times, loading a factory image from MFSTools) and it only boots 1/2 way and then goes into a reset loop. Replaced with fresh new never-used drive, sporadic resets, sometimes even all the way up to guided setup, then reset loop.

    So definitely not the drive. Fabulous... this is the 2nd time in a month I have to RMA replace an out of warranty TiVo HD (hdmi port broke last month on HD#1) ... so I call TiVo...

    TiVo Rep: "You voided your warranty by opening it" ...

    Me: "um, no, it's well past warranty, 2.5 years old, but it does have lifetime service on it, can we do a swap just like we did last month on my Kitchen unit?"

    TiVo Rep: "No.. you voided the warranty. We can't do anything"

    I got the exact same thing from the supervisor, except that she recommended I "take it to a mechanic for repair." :confused:

    :eek: Un-freaking-believable. I reminded her that this is a proprietary mobo and "joe's computer repair" likely can't do much to replace it. She said, basically, "so sad, sorry."

    I've been with TiVo since 2001 ... 7 total units, 3 active and 4 retired. I just added it all up... over $2,000 in service fees and $2,200 in hardware in those 11 years.

    I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow. How far from SFO is the TiVo office?? I may bring the damn thing with me and make a fuss in the lobby. I was hoping to pay them $79 (+ advance ship deposit) and have the replaced unit waiting when I got home. Now I'm going to be seething about this for days and looking into every other alternative now.

    Verizon FIOS, you may just be getting a new customer thanks to how TiVo just handled me.

    Grrrrrrr.:mad:

    mj
     
  2. tivohaydon

    tivohaydon New Member

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    Mar 24, 2001
    So, out of curiosity - did you tell them you replaced the drive yourself or did they know by looking at your account?
     
  3. MJ-bos

    MJ-bos New Member

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    Jul 12, 2002
    Boston, MA
    They looked it up - it was identified on the account that a new drive was added - but I also think I mentioned trying a new drive to the 1st rep (doh! idiot!)

    I wasn't all that worried because it was out of warranty, I didn't think this was going to be a deal-ender.

    SO... word to the wise, I guess. The arrogant 2nd level rep did say that they will always "look into" an account to see if drives have been changed, but this has never been the case in my 11 years as a customer.
     
  4. shwru980r

    shwru980r Well-Known Member

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    You might have a bad power supply or cable card. You might need to remove the cable card to run guided setup and then install the cable card afterwards.
     
  5. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    How frustrating. What is the exact drive brand and model (from the drive label) you used as a replacement?
     
  6. pdhenry

    pdhenry Recumbent

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    PA
  7. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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  8. MJ-bos

    MJ-bos New Member

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    Boston, MA
    Yup... lifetime service on this box, so want to keep it- It's only 2.5 years old.

    Bad drive #1 was a WD7500 green, #2 was same. #3 is a brand new Seagate 250. I'm going to try the no cable card trick and see what happens.

    Thanks guys, mj
     
  9. MJ-bos

    MJ-bos New Member

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    Jul 12, 2002
    Boston, MA
    @shwru980r -- I did take out the cable card and rebooted once before, but I didn't leave it out when I did the guided set-up...

    I took your advice and did the full guided set-up w/o the card installed... bingo. It worked, no reset in over 2 hours.

    I'll let it run overnight but so far, so good.

    TiVo community to the rescue.

    Cheers, mj
     
  10. P42

    P42 Active Member

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    Interesting & concerning for those of us who've upgraded drives...
     
  11. Worf

    Worf Well-Known Member

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    Not really. It's been well known since the series 1 that TiVo can tell when a TiVo's been upgraded.

    Heck, there used to be an old set of guidelines to avoid being a "moron" that would cause TiVo to clamp down.

    And they especially know when someone downloads a software update twice (a case when a drive's been restored or somesuch).

    Perhaps the best bet is to ask nicely if you can buy a new TiVo direct from them and transfer lifetime to it. It'll cost more than an RMA (but you're already looking at $150 + $200 transfer fee anyhow), so it's worth a shot.
     
  12. richsadams

    richsadams Well-Known Member

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    It's true that within minutes TiVo can tell if a drive has been changed by viewing their logs IF it's a size other than what was originally installed in the unit. First level (front line) CSR's do not have access to those logs and have no way of knowing. FWIW the original Series1's did have a security sticker on the case...but even that could be removed and replaced if one were careful enough.

    As Worf points out, it's well known by TiVo that "enthusiasts" have been modding TiVo's for a decade now. TiVo employees frequent this forum and without addressing it directly have acknowledged it many times over the years. TiVo has always turned a blind eye to the situation. If warranty service is required and TiVo is returned with the original drive intact and no other evidence of foul play, end of story. I've been in that exact situation twice.

    AFAIK in the last eight years or so there have been two recorded cases (as reported on the TCF) of TiVo refusing warranty service due to an upgrade or other modification requiring the unit to be opened by the owner. On both occasions the owners told the CSR that they had done so.
     
  13. lew

    lew Well-Known Member

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    This actually makes some sense. Tivo is going to repair your unit and use it as an "exchange" unit for another customer. No reason for tivo to have to take the time to examine the MB in order to determine if it was scratched or otherwise damaged by the customer. Return a computer MB under warranty and it's examined under a magnifying glass (figure of speech I'm sure it's some kind of digital camera) for any signs of physical damage.

    I wouldn't be happy if the exchange unit I received had been "worked' on by a previous customer.

    It would be nice if tivo would repair your actual unit. Customers wouldn't be happy with the delay or with a repair price that's almost as much as just purchasing a refurbished unit. Easier for tivo to just say no.
     
  14. jcondon

    jcondon Well-Known Member

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    A refurbished device is used. Supposedly gone over by the manufacture.

    I bought one on the Woot deal. Had much trouble getting it to boot up. With in a week or so (can't remember exactly how long) it was dead. On the bottom the device I noticed 2 of the white plastic clips were broken.

    I assume Tivo was the one doing the refurbishing but don't really know. If they are they did a horrible job and I am guessing it is hit or miss with their refurbished units. Doesn't seem like they carefully checked over the one I got.
     
  15. mr.unnatural

    mr.unnatural Well-Known Member

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    Ellicott...
    It can also be a customer return that was never actually put into service. Once the box has been opened, it can no longer be sold as new. This is true with any consumer electronics device.
     
  16. takeshi

    takeshi Member

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    Doesn't make sense to me. The entire returned product should be reviewed as a part of the refurb process.

    Why would it matter if it works? If it doesn't work then, again, that should be addressed during the refurb process.
     
  17. P42

    P42 Active Member

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    Good to know Rich, thanks!
     
  18. jcondon

    jcondon Well-Known Member

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    Yup that's true. Neither the Refurb I bought off Woot nor the replacement Tivo sent for it were new though.
     
  19. sieglinde

    sieglinde Active Member

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    My Series 2 had a replaced disc drive and it acted funny so I replaced the power supply. Check Weaknees trouble shooting page.
     
  20. aaronwt

    aaronwt UHD Addict

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    Northern...

    Nothing new. They did the same thing to me back in 2007 when the TiVoHD came out. On a brand new box they would not look at an issue because they saw where I had replaced the drive. So I put the original drive back in and exchanged it for another one at Circuit City.

    Edit: I did not tell the CSR the drive was replaced. They told me they could see that it was replaced. But my issue was also a software issue. they would not look into the issue since my box had the hard drive replaced. So I had to exchange the box for a new one just to get them to look into the issue where a stereo signal from an analog channel came out as a mono signal on both channels. i have no idea if they ever fixed the issue since a few weeks later i got FiOS and have not looked at any analog channels since.
     

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