Weird Billing e-mail from TiVo?

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by Popasmurf, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. Popasmurf

    Popasmurf TiVo Holic

    Jun 10, 2002


    Anyone else get this e-mail?

    Now after checking my statement, I started my Gift subscription in May of 2005, and it ran 2 years. My billing started in June, and I was billed for both June and July. Now where do they think I have not been billed? I also verified I had the correct credit card, and I do remember being billed for the 2 months. Anyone else get this e-mail and think it was wrong?
  2. minckster

    minckster New Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Manhattan NYC
    Could they be counting from May 1, 2005 to April 30, 2007 as two years, so your billing should have started with May, 2007?
  3. ZeoTiVo

    ZeoTiVo I can't explain

    Jan 2, 2004
    I got one yesterday, have not had a chance to check it out yet
  4. Harv_ster

    Harv_ster New Member

    Mar 30, 2003
    I received the same e_mail and I have life time on both my tivos, when I called they said the e-mail was sent to everyone
  5. aadam101

    aadam101 Tell me a joke

    Jul 14, 2002


    I received one last month stating I had been billed twice. They really did bill me twice. What is the deal with the billing system??
  6. Popasmurf

    Popasmurf TiVo Holic

    Jun 10, 2002
    I kind of wondered if it was a mass e-mail, sent by mistake to everyone. Thanks for the info Harv. Guess I'll see in awhile.

  7. jblake

    jblake New Member

    Jan 24, 2002
    Birmingham, AL
    Wow. They should really let people approve that before they just hit you for a double or triple billing. Maybe bill them a month and a half worth each month till they're caught up?

    I haven't gotten this email myself...yet anyway
  8. suzyc

    suzyc New Member

    Mar 12, 2007
    I also got this email. Of course, it didn't say what the mystery charge was based on, which puts the onus on customers to call up and say "What does this mean?" Nice!

    So of course I called.

    Turns out that now -- seven months after I prepaid for a three-year contract on the heels of my expiring initial "gift certificate" subscription -- TiVo claims I owe them for a month of service between the two contracts (Nov-Dec '06). The thing is, I called in late October, just *before* I thought my gift certificate subscription was due to elapse, because I wanted to go directly to a three year prepaid contract. TiVo refused to sign me up for one at that time on the ground that my gift certificate subscription didn't lapse until December. They told me to call back right before the date in December it was due to elapse, which I did, at which time they took my $ 299 for the three-year contract. And then didn't bill anything else (of course), but now this email comes along.

    TiVo now claims my gift certificate subscription lapsed in November, not December as they *insisted* before. They will not honor the fact that their own reps wouldn't take my money in October for the three-year subscription on grounds the original contract ended in December. They refused to even talk to the guy who told me that even though I gave them a name and a case number (actually, more than one person told me that, because I asked to speak to more than one person since I found it odd TiVo wasn't grabbing the money I was offering). Even though they see in the record that he held the three-year rate open for me until it was time (on their weird schedule) to sign up for the new contract in December, they claim there's nothing further in their notes backing up that I was told the original subscription expired in December, not November. (And I waited in order to pay the higher rate for one month because . . . ? And I wasted my time to call about it twice because . . . ? Sheesh.)

    So anyway, they refused to not put this charge on my credit card so I'm expecting to see a $12.95 charge on it now.

    This means I'll have to send a return-receipt requested letter to TiVo's CEO complaining about this, plus dispute the bill with my credit card company, plus file a complaint with the state attorney general where TiVo is based in hopes they launch an investigation. I find it interesting that perhaps the people getting this email may have been between contracts and are being billed for that "lost" time, suggesting to me that I'm not the only one who was told by TiVo's own billling department one thing several months ago, and now they've reversed course. If the population receiving these emails are locked into long-term contracts with hefty cancellation fees, what will people do? Pay. Sweet!

    If that's the case, I hope they enjoy the ensuing fraud investigation. If it's not, then at least I hope they enjoy the extra $ 4.64 they're squeezing outta me here (difference between the 12.95 and 8.31/monthly avg cost for long-term contract for the month in controversy), because the administrative costs in responding to my disputes and letters and complaints will eat that up in no time. :) Plus I won't ever renew with them again :)
  9. mearlus

    mearlus Member

    Nov 1, 2004
    Madison, WI
    I just got this email as well today. I checked my billing history and there is no gap between the gift card balance running out and when my credit card was started to be billed. I'm going to watch my credit card statement and if I don't like what I see I'll be changing my credit card # to be one that is temporary from my credit card company to eliminate them charging me.

    Seems to be a convient 'billing' mistake on their part to pull in some more $ from all those gift card users...
  10. Alarmcluck

    Alarmcluck New Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    I wonder if TiVo might have recently got a very aggressive CFO who is trying to make points by promising to get back all this nickel and dime stuff that is allegedly out there for the picking.
  11. brewman

    brewman Member

    Jun 28, 2003
    Just a bit of warning. This same kind of email may also be a phishing attack. Do not follow the link provided in the email, but type it into your browser manually to login to your TiVo account.

    Here's a link to wikipedia for those of you unfamiliar with phishing attacks:
  12. mearlus

    mearlus Member

    Nov 1, 2004
    Madison, WI

    The link within the email is a valid one to the page.

    Below is the entire source of the email including header information that isn't identifiable to me ;)
    Return-Path: <>
    Received: from ([unix socket]) by (Cyrus
    v2.1.18) with LMTP; Fri, 27 Jul 2007 13:08:33 -0500
    X-Sieve: CMU Sieve 2.2
    Received: from ( []) by (Postfix) with ESMTP id 10123B8008 for
    <>; Fri, 27 Jul 2007 13:08:32 -0500 (CDT)
    Received: from (sjnmx3 []) by
    (ESMTP/ESMTP) with ESMTP id l6RI8VYA001106 for
    <>; Fri, 27 Jul 2007 11:08:31 -0700
    Received: from (
    []) by (ESMTP/ESMTP) with ESMTP id
    l6RI8V2l001102 (version=TLSv1/SSLv3 cipher=DHE-RSA-AES256-SHA bits=256
    verify=NO) for <>; Fri, 27 Jul 2007 11:08:31 -0700
    Received: (from tivocare@localhost) by
    (ESMTP/8.13.1/Submit) id l6RIBXrk016758 for;
    Fri, 27 Jul 2007 11:11:33 -0700
    Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2007 11:11:33 -0700
    Message-Id: <>
    Subject: Important message regarding your monthly billing
    Received-SPF: pass ( is authenticated by a
    trusted mechanism)
    Received-SPF: unknown (sjnmx3: error in processing during lookup of
    X-TM-AS-Product-Ver: : ISVW-
    X-TM-AS-Result: : Yes--9.872600-0-2-1
    X-TM-AS-Category-Info: : 2:0.000000
    X-TM-AS-MatchedID: : =?us-ascii?B?MTUwNTQ0LTcwMTE1My0xMjEx?=
    X-Evolution-Source: imap://user;
    Mime-Version: 1.0

    Dear Valued TiVo Customer,

    It has come to our attention that you have not been billed for one or more months of your TiVo service. After your gift subscription was used in full, the credit card you provided when you activated your DVR, should have been billed for your ongoing service. Due to a system error however, this did not happen. We apologize for this inconvenience and are working quickly to fix this issue. Within the next ten days, you should see a charge on your credit card for the service you have received since your gift subscription expired.

    To see a detailed view of the charges on your account once the appropriate changes have been made, please visit

    Thank you for being a loyal TiVo Subscriber.


    The TiVo team

    Definately not a phishing scam.
  13. msdonnelly

    msdonnelly Member

    Apr 3, 2004
    I also got the email that really looked phony. But I checked my billing history and the message is correct. I had a "One Year" gift certificate that started in May 2005 for my second unit so they were deducting $6.95 a month as they should have. The $155.40 should have run out in month 22--February of this year. TiVo didn't start billing me the $6.95 it was entitled to until June of this year. I owe them two+ months for a total of $18.95 and that's what they just charged to my credit card.
  14. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

    Jan 16, 2007
    Typing the Link provided in the email manually will take you to the same site that the link in the email provides. So there is no benefit to this at all. if it was a phishing attack you just fell for it.

    Always check the Email Header Information as mearlus provided.

    This is a quaranteed way to check if an email is faked or not. Check this out:

    Received: from ( [])

    Now do a who is search: WHOIS and do a Domain Search for Tivo: Type in

    See this:

    Domain servers in listed order: Manage DNS


    Theres One clue there that it is not a Fake Email. Notice the Name Server and IP Address match? :D
  15. Popasmurf

    Popasmurf TiVo Holic

    Jun 10, 2002
    Ok, I understand now. I assumed, without using the trusty calculator that my 1 year Gift Subscription was to last 2 years because I was billed $6.95 per month for MSD, but my math is off. You are right, it should only have been 22 months, so I also have been charged $18.35
  16. barlav

    barlav New Member

    Aug 4, 2003
    I was charged today for the underbilling. I also assumed that the 6.95 a month would last for 2 years and that explains the underbilling issue since apparantely TiVo also didn't get out their trusty calculators. I also verified the amount I was charged for the underbilling was correct. I was getting angry but at least there is an explanation.

    TiVo should have elaborated a bit with the original email to eliminate confusion. They should've explained what the error was and how to determine how to figure the amount for the underbilling (if any).

    For anyone that's still confused, it appears that a 1 year gift subscription has a dollar amount attached to it that equal 12 months of full price service (which, for me, was 12.95 at the time the gift subscription was activated.) This works out to $155.40. The gift subscription was for my 3rd TiVo which only pays 6.95 a month for it's service. 155.40/6.95 = 22.34 months not 24 months. TiVo made the same incorrect assumption that it would last for 24 months hence the error in their system and the underbilling emails/credit card charges.
  17. MighTiVo

    MighTiVo TiVotarian

    Oct 26, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    Not exactly, most phishing emails I have received come with the URL as the link name that looks like the real link but the href points to their bogus site...

    For example:
  18. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

    Jan 16, 2007
    Yes that can happen, but for the average PC user, who knows nothing about faked emails and phishing, you do not even need to Mask the URL in order to be successful.

    The IP method is the best way to stay safe. An IP address cannot be faked.
  19. Phantom Gremlin

    Phantom Gremlin Active Member

    Jun 20, 2002
    I encourage you to do this. It's one of the few ways the "little guy" can keep big companies honest.
  20. MighTiVo

    MighTiVo TiVotarian

    Oct 26, 2000
    Nashville, TN
    The average user won't know how to do the IP address
    The IP address won't work always work
    Most phishing attempts are simply a masked URLs and typing in the site is the best way to assure you go to the site you expect most all of the time.

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