Unbox 24hr rule almost got me murdered!

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by drosoph, Aug 31, 2007.

  1. steve614

    steve614 what ru lookin at?

    May 1, 2006
    Dallas, TX


    Count me in on the letter / e-mail campaign.

    Just give me a place to send it.
  2. javabird

    javabird Well-Known Member

    Oct 12, 2006
    I remember when Blockbuster used to have a 1-day rental time. You had to watch the movie and drive back to the store by midnight or pay for an extra day...
  3. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    But even then, except maybe for the newest releases, that "extra day" charge was not the full rental cost that was paid for the first day charged again.
  4. mportuesi

    mportuesi As seen on TV

    Nov 10, 2002
    I didn't just stop renting movies from Amazon. I wrote Amazon a nice, polite letter (via the feedback form on their website) spelling out in no uncertain terms why I found their policies unacceptable.

    I know Amazon/TiVo are just the middlemen, but I trust them to provide feedback to the studios as to why the studios have their heads up their ass.
  5. dylanemcgregor

    dylanemcgregor Well-Known Member TCF Club

    Jan 31, 2003
    Corner of...


    Around here you only get 1 day to watch at most of the local video stores, and the one closest to me wants to charge a $25 membership fee in addition to the $4 a rental (I thought membership fees for video stores stopped in the early 90's?).

    Compared to this Unbox restrictions are not nearly that bad, but luckily there is Netflix so I don't have to even put up with those restrictions most of the time.
  6. mtchamp

    mtchamp New Member

    May 15, 2001
    I'm so glad this 24 hour time bomb is getting a lot of attention. Enough of us have used Unbox more than once and we speak from experience. A 24 hour view limit flat out stinks and I'am being as nice as possible with the language.

    Why do they make it 24 hours? Why not just make you finish as soon as you start watching it. This is total nonsense! What in the world is the reason for a 24 hour rental in the first place. It makes no sense. Do they really think they can force me to rent it twice?

    Assuming I'm a typical human who would consume this media in the course of a busy day; according to the studios, do they think I will watch 15 minuets every hour, watch 30 minutes every 2 hours? I suppose I'm allowed to watch half before bedtime and the rest at breakfast. How do they come up with these stupid concepts that don't fit real life?

    I would like Amazon Unbox on TiVo to succeed, so fix this stupid rule and people will have no need to worry about doing a rental at any price. First thing that goes through my mind while considering an Amazon Unbox rental is the last screwed rental that I couldn't finish and the fear I won't be able to start watching a new rental unless I can finish it and that is near impossible.

    Amazon must have lost $50 in rentals from me over the last two months, since my rental experience is completely unsatisfying and stressful because of the feeling there is a gun to my head. I often want to take a peak before I watch it with my wife and I can't even do that. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

    I can't buy every movie I want to watch and I've bought at least a dozen from Amazon Unbox. I used to rent, now I don't rent. This must be a very puzzling phenomenon to Amazon because they must have the data and they still do 24 hour rentals. Amazon Unbox should have made a big announcement by now with a new 48 hour rental time. Man! I worked hard on this post and there are a lot of complaints here about one thing that can be easily fixed.

    I'm not going to go any further with my complaining than my ranting here. The fact is I've closed my wallet to Amazon Unbox for the last few months since it started and that should be enough of a problem to make somebody do something. Let me know when it's 48 or 72 hours. It really should be a weekend rental or three days. Why screw around and just fix it right the first time.
  7. jkovach

    jkovach TiVoing since 1999!

    Feb 17, 2000
    Gilbert, AZ USA
    I don't think 48hrs or 72hrs is the best answer either. To accomodate the fact that most people have a window of time each day where tv viewing fits into their schedules, I think it'd be best to have it be a # of days plus 8 or 10 hrs. So, make it 56 or 58 hrs instead of 48hrs. Even 32 or 34 hrs would be multiples better than 24.
  8. alansh

    alansh Active Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    Phoenix, AZ
    And it's even more insane: TV episodes for rent (from the BBC), which usually can be watched in one go, are available for 7 days after you start watching.
  9. d_anders

    d_anders Sr Legacy Member

    Oct 12, 2000
    Twin Cities...
    TiVoStephen, thanks for your quick response. It's good to quickly remind us when TiVo is restricted due to legal or technical means to offer better service.

    So here's a little of off the box thinking that TiVo/Amazon that I believe you can do without having to change your licensing with them...otherwise you should definitely should try to sell to the Studios that will still honor the 24 hr rule.

    Upon pausing the rented program, and the user switches out of the program (goes to live tv, or goes to the TiVo menu), prompt the user with an offer:

    "Reminder, you have 24 hours to view this rented content. Due to licensing restrictions with distribution studios, we are obligated to enforce a 24 hour rule. Would like to rent this content for an additional 24 hours for an additional .99?, even better 48 hours for 1.50, more hours for more $$$"

    If they select "yes and the amount of days they want" then they get the content for the additional time....then prompt them with the Unbox pin and have them purchase it. The content is already on the harddrive so it wouldn't need to be redownloaded, and the rental contract is extended. Problem solved.

    You can then do this again, and again, if they should choose to keep the rented program even longer. While I wouldn't want to do this, I bet some people would use it 1-2 times if needed.

    Seems to be a win-win-win for everyone. Why couldn't be this done. If it can, then please send me amazon/unbox credits...I just created the opportunity for the studios, amazon, and tivo to make more money.

    I agree with the other comments here...the overall window should be increased for the first and initial rental...but it seems my suggestion is very feasible.
  10. jkovach

    jkovach TiVoing since 1999!

    Feb 17, 2000
    Gilbert, AZ USA
  11. jfh3

    jfh3 Active Member

    Apr 15, 2004
    Denver area
    I'd be willing to bet that the studio license doesn't allow Tivo to do that. Tivo could certainly allow you to do another rental period without studio approval, but that would be at the current rate and not a discount rate of .99 (unless that was also the current promotion). Interesting idea though.

    I suspect that the studios will find that their incremental rental revenue will increase far more by increasing the initial rental period than by doing something like this anyway.
  12. dswallow

    dswallow Save the ModeratŠ¾r TCF Club

    Dec 3, 2000
    There is some leeway that Amazon might have... their profit margin on the transaction. That could allow Amazon to offer additional rental days for as much as 50% off the 24-hour rental price, if they were willing to do that without earning more money on the rental than from the first day's payment.

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