Upgrade Your Tivo For Cheap By Trying To Cancel

Reader Justin tells us that now is the time to upgrade your Tivo, should that be your heart’s desire:

Tivo is now offering a trade-up program for older Series 1 Tivos. If you tell them your Series 1 machine is acting up, they will offer a highly discounted model (I got a series 2 Dual Tuner for $35 shipped) with your original service agreement.

I recently added a Dual Tuner to our house, and was going to cancel my older Series 1. When I called, the representative (very helpfully, I might add) suggested I take advantage of their new offer, and I couldn’t resist. Now I have 2 Series 2 DT’s, one at 14.99 a month, the other at 6.99 a month. They didn’t even want the old series 1 back! Tivo customer service has rocked my world every time I have called.

This tip teaches us a valuable lesson: Retention specialists have the best offers. Try to cancel and you shall receive.—MEGHANN MARCO

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  1. eldergias says:

    Actually, rather than resubscribing to TiVo you could try to find a Panasonic Gemstar. TiVo sued Panasonic into discontinuing it, which is a shame because it is a much better deal. It has the features of a TiVo plus CD/DVD player/burner and no monthly fee. The service is free to use, you just need to download the TV listings onto your box and you are ready to go. The ATI All-in-wonder graphics card for the PC uses the Gemstar service to allow people to access TV listings and programs recordings on their computer. However, since they were discontinued due to the lawsuit they are very hard to find now, and have gone up to a price of $400. But $400 for CD/DVD player/burner with free lifetime service seems pretty good to me considering the lifetime subscription TiVo cards are going for $500-$600 on Ebay. Now the trouble is actually finding the darn thing.

  2. If someone knows a good way to upgrade your Tivo equipment and transfer your lifetime membership to the new machine, please chime up in the comments. I love my Tivo service, but the removal of lifetime’ness doesn’t make it sound like a good deal at all.

  3. chrismar says:

    From past experience they will transfer lifetime service to a new box that you purchase as a replacement from them. Case in point: I had an old 60-hour Series 2 with lifetime service that went kaput on me, so I called TiVo. They “sold” me a brand new Series 2 80-hour replacement unit (when they first came out) for $50 or $80 (I can’t remember) and transferred the lifetime subscription.

    Now, the 80-hour Series 2 mentioned above is starting to act up by randomly freezing and power cycling. I’m wondering if the same retention “deals” apply to Series 3 units because I’m about ready to make the leap to HD.

  4. joeblevins says:

    Now, I wonder if I could get my 40hr Series 2 upgraded this way…

  5. bigdave914 says:

    I also got this deal, I called saying I really wanted dual tuners and that my 140-hr unit was “making weird noises” he wasn’t sure what he could do so he put me on hold, came back and said he wanted to give me a 3-month credit (I pay 6.95 for 1 TiVo), I said sure but I’d really like a Dual Tuner unit. Said he would have to check and call me back. He called be back in a few minutes and said he could give it to me for $35 sooo $35 – 20.85 = $14.15 for a 80-hr Dual Tuner Tivo! Thanks TiVo!! Also if you’ve been a TiVo customer for a long time mention that always….

  6. ADM says:

    i did this over a year ago and got a new series 2 tivo for free, as well as a reduction in cost to $6.95.

    when i called to cancel recently (6 weeks ago), i was hoping they would offer me something, but they really didn’t, even when i dropped hints that i wanted something that could handle HD. they gave me a 2-month credit ($15, woo-hoo) and that was it.

    that said, i’ve pretty much had it with tivo and the slow transfer-to-pc times, the drm, etc., so i’ve been using a PC-based solution for the last several months and have been very happy.

  7. Buran says:

    @ADM: The only unit that can handle HD is the Series 3 (which I have and love) but they cost many hundreds of bucks. They’re not going to give those out for free — they’re the top of the line unit. If you want that deal, you’ll have to pay $500 or so, or wait.

    I paid the new-item list price and transferred lifetime subscription, but am I sorry since the price has come down? Nope. I’ve gotten plenty of use out of it, won’t get another bill ever, and am not really worried at this point of TiVo going out of business.

    You may not agree, but there it is …

  8. guroth says:

    Of course they don’t want the old one back. You have probably more than paid for it with the monthly fee already, they aren’t going to be able to lease it to anyone else, and now it is YOUR problem to dispose of it properly..

  9. jcmiller09 says:

    well yeah, that’s not a huge surprise, but it was nice to not have to worry about putting it in a box and bringing it to UPS. I imagine they also stand to make much more money with the new units, as they are adding pay-to-download features such as Amazon UnBox, and the increased advertising on the newer units.