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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Warning: content may include ranting!

So we dropped $800 + tax on the HD series 3 to match our nice new HDTV and then we dropped $300 more for the 3 years prepay (1 year free, yay). I am going to round this total to approx $1150.

So I activate the service online following TiVo's instructions, then notice I have to cancel the old series 2 monthly subscription.

But you can't do a cancellation online! Why? No comment is found about "why" and in fact it doesn't even clearly say "just call for cancellations" which is in fact the policy. So I wasted a lot of time looking for the option. But c'mon, secret policies from TiVo? Unnecessary and unexplained hurdles to cancellation? But we love our old pal TiVo, Inc. They can't be behaving like a cell phone company.... can they?

The plot thickens. I call at night, endure annoying
"computer-voice-tree-talks-like-a-person-and-demands-spoken-answers-even-if-i-prefer-pressing-a-button"
to find out I have to talk to a person. I call back during day, endure annoying
"computer-voice-tree-talks-like-a-person-and-demands-spoken-answers-even-if-i-prefer-pressing-a-button"
to wait on hold for 20-ish mins. I finally get a person and immediately realize the reason I am being forced to waste my time with this is so they can give me the Pitch. The Pitch is to offer to pay for some more months if I won't cancel, and instead sign a contract. Wouldn't I like to try out the convenience of 2 TiVos? I could transfer .... oops pitch is wrong there, the Series 3 won't transfer... etc. Knowing I would write this post, I looked at the time on my phone handset when I hung up from that call after another 4 min wait on hold for a confirmation number (yes, they refused to send a confirming email)... and the time was 29:57.

Absolutely ridiculous. I spend $1150 and TiVo wants to waste 30+ mins of my time for marketing? C'mon, we're all on the new wave, open source, techno-hippie same side here, aren't we? TiVo isn't just a gadget, it's a lifestyle!

It's supposed to sell itself without the hard sell tactics. TiVolution.

Action items:
- get a cancellation option online
- give phone staff the mandate to provide confirming emails upon request

If TiVo, Inc. can't manage these 2 action items, I propose we demote it down to "mainstream corporate America" from its current ranking of "one of the companies that gets it."

Thank you for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
bpurcell said:
That's hardly a TiVo-only practice. I don't know of any cable, satellite, or phone company that has online cancellation.
Thank you bpurcell for your reply!

Sounds like you are already willing to lump TiVo in with the big, bad, media dinosaur guys! Is it a TiVolution or not? Trust the user to know what shows they want to watch when they want to watch them ... is very similar to trusting the user to knowing when they want to cancel.

Additionally, a cancellation option when I have just upgraded to series 3 is the context of my complaint .... I am remaining a customer, don't you get it? Why do I need to waste my time on the leaving customer pitch? Where's that well-thought-out interface?

Final remark: if that is honestly the policy, let's just put it right there on the web site.
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
I feel like people are making up assertions on this thread, and then reasoning from them...

Assertion #1: no one allows online cancel
I can cancel TONS of accounts and purchases online. Easily. The proverbial click-of-the-mouse is all it takes. Ranging from World of Warcraft to NetFlix to Rhapsody. And I have canceled big ticket purchases if they haven't shipped. So to provide a little PERSPECTIVE, TiVo is joining a select group of atavistic corporations on this policy.

"we'll treat you like your cel phone company" is a sucky motto.

Assertion #2: this is in any way a common business practice
TiVo is worse than those devils! I know that people assert that phone and cable companies are this bad, but they are not reading carefully. Those companies are not actually too bad for upgrades, lol. In 2007, I upgraded cable to HD, my Verizon to Fios, and my cel phone. In ALL CASES, the company involved canceled the old service automatically, and with Verizon it was canceled online. Most importantly, in all cases, I did not have to endure any mistargeted marketing pitches when spending more money.

Even those media monopolist idiots understand something taught in business school 101: don't aggravate the customer who is spending more money.

Stanley Rohner said:
If they totally allowed you to cancel TiVo service online people would be calling TiVo to say - I must have done something wrong at your website, my TiVo service is totally gone. They would rant on the phone to the TiVo Rep. and here about how totally stupid it is to have an option to totally cancel online.
Assertion #3: online cancellation would harm the consumer
No one would complain upon accidentally canceling. You can just click it back on, right? You can have a confirmation dialog, right? This problem has already been solved in User Interfaces 101. They could make you enter 3 thumbs down. Plenty of companies do allow online cancellations (see assertion #1) and they haven't gone broke from the phone complaint load. Sorry, this just sounds made up to me.

If you are honestly suggesting this hassle was for my own consumer protection, I find that laughably naive.

============

Informational remark: the Series 3 installation process includes instructions that preclude using the "change service number" option. You are told to activate the new account. Feel free to open your own thread to complain about the merits of those instructions.

Thank you for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
ZeoTiVo said:
Trying to program around exception cases like this sort of an upgrade if you look closely at it scenario would just be nuts and very expensive.
This sort of remark is the type best-supported with evidence, lest I label it an assertion and debunk it.

Please notice I have very limited claims. TiVo seizing the option to pitch me in a time-consuming, nonconsensual way is:
Claim A) very similar to bad companies you hate - and -
Claim B) against its stated approach of empowering the user to make choices independent of corporate control.

Very few posts have clashed with either of those claims. Do you really disagree with them? In particular, Claim B seems to meet with silence or agreement, and is at risk of approval unless someone has an 11th hour impassioned defense of the TiVolution.

Thanks for reading!
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
minckster said:
The rep's were stunningly friendly, perhaps inefficiently chatty, and, although, they obviously were looking for an angle to prevent the cancellation, the sales pitch was very low key. They took my polite "no" for an answer without hassling me. For a system that forces a phone call to cancel, it's about as pleasant experience as I could imagine. I don't know how I got so lucky relative to the OP.
I have called back a few times to test the hold wait time, and yes, my first time was unusually bad, about double my average experience, and one time I was on hold for under 30 seconds, yay. Did you have to hold a few minuntes to get a cancellation confirmirmation number, minckster? (Did you ask for a confirming email, by any chance?)

(For the record, I agree that the TiVo reps were friendly and competent, and not unpleasant... the one I spoke to even caught the error in the script that suggested by keeping 2 TiVos I could transfer between them, which is false for Series 3 at this time.)

Thank you for your reply!
 
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