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· Roamio Pro Newbie
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Caveat Emptor – Buyers with “Product Lifetime” paid at the time of purchase

I purchased a Tivo Roamio Pro in 2014. Since this was my first purchase of a TIVO product I did my research. A TIVO salesperson on the telephone explained that I could buy a Roamio for less money but it would not have the Product Lifetime feature. He said pay once and you will never have to pay for TIVO service or repairs again. I found the same product on eBay and an online store for much less but they were without “Product Lifetime”.

Over the next 7 years I was a happy TIVO customer with few problems. The few I had were expertly handled by the TIVO Technical Support personnel.

Last week the TIVO mini that was part of the original order failed. It cycled through the Welcome screen continuously. The TIVO Technical Support person had me provide a new power source with no change in symptoms. He had a new power block and cord sent to me at no charge.

I received the power block on 5/10/21 and immediately installed it. Exact same symptom. She asked me to plug it in directly to wall outlet versus an extension cord. The best I could do was to use a heavy duty orange power cable to a different outlet. No joy, same symptom. She said the TIVO Mini had experienced a hardware problem and needed to be replaced. I said sure, I purchased Product Lifetime service so send me a new one. That is when the debate about the definition of ‘Product Lifetime’ started. I spoke with Anna for about an hour with repeating the “once the product stops working that is the end of its life – no replacements, no repairs.” I escalated and talked with Supervisor J (spelling?) for about an hour. She just repeated, I repeated and we just couldn’t get to a common point of view. J the supervisor tried to explain to me that the product lifetime was until the first failure (after the Warranty period of 90 days had expired). The TIVO Mini was no longer in stock or refurbished. TIVO offered me $25 off a TIVO Mini LUX at $174.99. I asked why I would pay for anything when TIVO has a technical solution to my problem and it should be replaced under the Product Lifetime that their salesman talked me into. No joy.

We (the TIVO supervisor and I) discussed all the logic of defining Product Lifetime. It seems the Product Lifetime is available until the first time a product fails. Then there is not Product Lifetime on that product. When she explained what I would receive with Product Lifetime and she read off a list of items. I said every item on that list is available to any TIVO customer who calls for support. She didn’t acknowledge or disagree. We went on for over an hour with me stating the logical perspective as a TIVO customer who purchased Product Lifetime and she kept repeating TIVO’s definition of Product Lifetime.

I asked her to send me an email with the product description, terms and conditions that I agreed to upon installation. She said that they emailed in 2018 with a new description of “continual care protection” that TIVO emailed to all their customers. She could not email that description to me either. In other words – she was referring to documentation that I didn’t have and she wouldn’t email to me.

I asked for escalation. She said that she was the highest level of escalation. I asked if the customer satisfaction manager or the service operations manager could call me and tell me what I got for paying a higher price for Product Lifetime. She said that they do not talk to customers, she was the highest point of escalation. I was surprised to hear that Customer Satisfaction managers do NOT talk to customers.

I never learned what Continual Care Protection was except that it expires after 5 years of a purchase. I asked that my Product Lifetime original cost be refunded since it didn’t work and could not be described. No joy there either.

Since it was late in the day and I was worn out, I asked her if she would commit to me to review with her manager our conversation and she agreed. We disconnected our call at that point.

Bottom line: I have no idea what extra service I paid for by getting Product Lifetime for a large surcharge. I feel like I was ripped off the cost of Product Lifetime, which was $500 on my invoice.
 

· TDL shepherd
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17,753 Posts
I feel like I was ripped off the cost of Product Lifetime, which was $500 on my invoice.
Not for the Mini it wasn't, or you really *did* get ripped off. And it isn't "Product Lifetime" ... it's Lifetime *TiVo service* (i.e. guide updates, etc) for the life of the product. You're conflating the TiVo service plan with a lifetime product warranty.
 

· Registered
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416 Posts
I purchased a Tivo Roamio Pro in 2014. Since this was my first purchase of a TIVO product I did my research.
A little more research may have been warranted. The description of lifetime (which is for the TiVo service - not the device, as krkaufman has mentioned) has been for the life of the device for a very long time now.
 

· Roamio Pro Newbie
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Not for the Mini it wasn't, or you really *did* get ripped off. And it isn't "Product Lifetime" ... it's Lifetime *TiVo service* (i.e. guide updates, etc) for the life of the product. You're conflating the TiVo service plan with a lifetime product warranty.
My invoice reads "Product Lifetime" with no mention of Lifetime *TIVO service.
 

· Roamio Pro Newbie
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A little. more research may have been warranted. The description of lifetime (which is for the TiVo service - not the device, as krkaufman has mentioned) has been for the life of the device for a very long time now.
Strange that supervisor J with the "highest level of escalation in the company" certainly made no reference to TIVO service. If that is the fact she and I could have saved a lot of time discussing Product Lifetime. So it was the Tivo presales person who steered me wrong. I still don't know for sure what I was supposed to get for my $500 investment as the presales said once I paid that I would not need to spend any more money to maintain the equipment on my order - ever!
 

· Roamio Pro Newbie
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22 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Not for the Mini it wasn't, or you really *did* get ripped off. And it isn't "Product Lifetime" ... it's Lifetime *TiVo service* (i.e. guide updates, etc) for the life of the product. You're conflating the TiVo service plan with a lifetime product warranty.
I can only report what I was told by Tivo presales 7 years ago.
 

· TDL shepherd
Joined
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17,753 Posts
I can only report what I was told by Tivo presales 7 years ago.
$500 was the cost of Lifetime service for DVRs.

Back when Mini's were sold without included Lifetime service, they cost less to buy ($99) ... but Lifetime service could be purchased for a Mini for $150.
For A Crazy $5.99 A Month, The $99 TiVo Mini Will Pull Recordings From A TiVo Premiere - TechCrunch

It's even priced right at $99 - until you consider the monthly cost. The TiVo Mini costs $5.99 a month or $150 for a lifetime pass.
 

· Premium Member
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9,704 Posts
And it isn't "Product Lifetime" ... it's Lifetime *TiVo service* (i.e. guide updates, etc) for the life of the product.
During the Roamio era, Tivo did actually call we refer to as "Lifetime Service", as "Product Lifetime", that was the name of the (device) Lifetime subscription level (as opposed to yearly or mothy)

From 2014:

Code:
S00031               TiVo Package, Product Lifetime             1     $ 499.99       $ 0.00    $ 499.99
R84030               TiVo Roamio Pro                            1     $ 599.99       $ 36.00   $ 635.99
I never bought any of the "care" packages, so I don't know how they are billed, or what sort of timespan they covered.

(The box in question is still my main Tivo, no regrets!)
 

· U.S. Army (ret.)
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1,844 Posts
I can only report what I was told by Tivo presales 7 years ago.
The TiVo terminology "Product Lifetime (Service)" has been the source of much misunderstanding over the years and was an unfortunate marketing choice (if not intentionally deceptive). It is very easy to conflate the actual intended meaning of "service subscription fees included for as long as the product remains in use" with the idea of a warranty with no time limit for full replacement or repair.

When you made the purchase you would have had to pay for the service one way or another since both the DVR and the Mini client would serve no purpose without it, and your only other option would have been a monthly or yearly subscription. Looking at it from this perspective, the $500 you spent seven years ago would equate to a monthly service fee of approx. $6.25 (covering both devices)--which is a relative bargain. So in hindsight, you were not "ripped off" but rather fell victim to a misconception.
 

· I am the me.
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820 Posts
I still don't know for sure what I was supposed to get for my $500 investment
Tivo monthly service @ $14.99/month by 84 months (7 years) is $1259.16. You paid $500 instead. You saved $759.16 over the lifetime of your tivo by purchasing lifetime service instead of monthly service. Now you must come to terms with the fact you saved over $700. How you do that is up to you.
 

· Registered
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70 Posts
Well, the Tivo Mini reached the end of its "Product Lifetime" which was 7 years in your case. Seems pretty self-explanatory to me.

I've also got a bricked Tivo Mini with the Welcome Screen reboot cycle that I haven't been able to bring back from the dead. I think it was also around that same age when its "Product Lifetime" ended and it went to meet its maker.
 
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