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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had wondered when TiVo changed the pricing plan how would TiVo collect from somebody who just stopped paying (by changing their credit card). I just found out as a friend just got a TiVo and it showed account closed (what was expected) but on the TiVo web sight when you put the TSN in the red print came up saying that this unit was already activated. Calling TiVo he found out that the former owner had money that was owned TiVo Inc on this TiVo. The CSR is going to try to clear up this TiVo but is not sure how long it will take or if it can been done. This means that TiVos in the wild may have a lien on them, bad new for the used market and unlucky customers who get them. In the case of E-Bay (my friend got his at an outdoor flee market) if the seller was not the owner or the owner owes more than the unit sold for he may not want to pay TiVo.
I don't know how big a problem this may become but buyers should get the TSN before paying on E-Bay.
 

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Dang, that sucks.

Thanks for the good hint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
SugarBowl said:
what's the most that could be owed? 12.95?
Could be over $200 depending on the contract the user took out, plus TiVo keeps charging the account even after a few non payments, they told me at least 3 months so the odds are it will be more than $12.95 and they will not tell you because the TiVo in question is not in your account !! As I said they know my friend has the unit because we set up the TiVo with a different zip code. I sure TiVo will solve the problem for my friend, but when.
 

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Eventually the system info screen on a defaulted unit says "defaulted" under sub status, but that may take a long time. A defaulted TiVo is useless for resale. TiVo demands the new owner to cough up the contract cancellation fee or take over the subscription for $16.95 per month for the life of the contract regardless of how much the default owner was paying per month. They claim they turn these accounts over for collection but refuse to clear the default status so as the OP noted be very careful when buying these. I always ask up front before bidding what the subsription status is on the unit. If I don't get the right answer then I don't bid. Fortunately, the only defaulted unit I bought was refunded by Paypal when I filed a claim. The seller claimed she got the unit from somebody else and did not know about the default status.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
funtoupgrade said:
Eventually the system info screen on a defaulted unit says "defaulted" under sub status, but that may take a long time. A defaulted TiVo is useless for resale. TiVo demands the new owner to cough up the contract cancellation fee or take over the subscription for $16.95 per month for the life of the contract regardless of how much the default owner was paying per month. They claim they turn these accounts over for collection but refuse to clear the default status so as the OP noted be very careful when buying these. I always ask up front before bidding what the subsription status is on the unit. If I don't get the right answer then I don't bid. Fortunately, the only defaulted unit I bought was refunded by Paypal when I filed a claim. The seller claimed she got the unit from somebody else and did not know about the default status.
Now it it has closed in the SI screen, but you have provided good information except TiVo will not tell my friend anything about the money that is defaulted on this TiVo.
 

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lessd said:
Now it it has closed in the SI screen, but you have provided good information except TiVo will not tell my friend anything about the money that is defaulted on this TiVo.
Have your friend keep calling TiVo and asking for a supervisor each time. I think they are free to make special offers, and you might get a sympathetic one. Did he/she ask specifically if the cancellation fee could be paid to get the unit clear, or if the monthly contract could be switched to him/her?
 

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lessd said:
This means that TiVos in the wild may have a lean on them ...
Thanks for the heads-up.

In the same spirit, the word you wanted to use is spelled 'lien'.

Jan
 

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So what's next, I buy a tv from somebody and find out I can't use it because he didn't pay his cable bill? Cmon TiVo, this is getting ridiculous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
murgatroyd said:
Thanks for the heads-up.

In the same spirit, the word you wanted to use is spelled 'lien'.

Jan
Just checking how closely people read what is posted..you get the 4 stars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
funtoupgrade said:
Have your friend keep calling TiVo and asking for a supervisor each time. I think they are free to make special offers, and you might get a sympathetic one. Did he/she ask specifically if the cancellation fee could be paid to get the unit clear, or if the monthly contract could be switched to him/her?
If you purchase something you do not expect to pay an additional amount to use it because it has a lien on it, if you purchase a TiVo like a home I guess you would know because you would have a title search done...
You can't switch monthly, you can get monthly service cancelled because the original owner does not owe money to TiVo, its when the original owner owes money to TiVo the problem starts.

He is giving me the TiVo to try to fix things up for him with TiVo, as he now has a case #
 

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Mars said:
So what's next, I buy a tv from somebody and find out I can't use it because he didn't pay his cable bill? Cmon TiVo, this is getting ridiculous.
Great information from the OP.

TiVo has been going down the road of "ridiculous ideas" for some time. :D
 

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wolflord11 said:
Great information from the OP.

TiVo has been going down the road of "ridiculous ideas" for some time. :D
well a TV and the cable company are not from the same company.

You do a title search on the house because once you own it the liens are yours as they attach to the property. You would need to sue in civil court to make the other person pay at that point.

if TiVo did not do this then those that try and skip out on their legal commitments get the extra reward of getting cash for the box.

so do a subscription search on any used TiVo you buy. If the seller will not give you the TSN then move on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
ZeoTiVo said:
well a TV and the cable company are not from the same company.

You do a title search on the house because once you own it the liens are yours as they attach to the property. You would need to sue in civil court to make the other person pay at that point.

if TiVo did not do this then those that try and skip out on their legal commitments get the extra reward of getting cash for the box.

so do a subscription search on any used TiVo you buy. If the seller will not give you the TSN then move on.
Good point: If your purchasing the unit on E-Bay you can ask the seller after you win and before you pay, for the TSN, but at a flee market you would have to have TiVos tel. number handy and sit on you cell phone for them to answer..a pain
 

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lessd said:
Just checking how closely people read what is posted..you get the 4 stars.
My high school trig teacher used to do that, too. ;)

He'd say 'bad piece of chalk' -- or erase the 'mistake' and say 'where?'

Jan
 

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Mars said:
So what's next, I buy a tv from somebody and find out I can't use it because he didn't pay his cable bill? Cmon TiVo, this is getting ridiculous.
Sometimes when we buy things, we become the proud owners of someone else's problems.

Take for example a couple in Eagan, MN who purchased a property which was later found to have an illegal concrete dump buried in the yard. The city/county (I don't recall which) swoops in and says you either take care of it or we will do the work and bill you $90,000.

Or the person who wants to buy a home that has a lien on it because of an unpaid water bill by the previous owner who abandoned the home.

Things like this do happen. Although it's not the new owners fault that the Tivo has an unpaid bill attached to it, it is also not Tivo's fault the previous owner didn't pay his bill. Since the unit was bought at a flea market, there really isn't any recourse. Hopefully Tivo works it out in favor to the new customer, but in all likelihood that box may never run Tivo's service again.
 

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dvr4me said:
Things like this do happen. Although it's not the new owners fault that the Tivo has an unpaid bill attached to it, it is also not Tivo's fault the previous owner didn't pay his bill.
Does this happen with used cellphones? That's the model TiVo was trying to emulate...

Either way, a decent percentage of people used to learn of and get their first TiVo from ebay. This sort of thing sours potential new customers who won't become new customers and will tell their friends they just got screwed by TiVo and possibly come on here and ***** to a wider audience as well. So maybe it's not TiVo's fault, but it is TiVo's problem.
 
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