TiVo Won't Cancel Your Account, Even If You Tell Them You're Moving To The Moon

A TiVo CSR insisted that Jerry explain why he was canceling his account, so Jerry said he was moving to the moon, an explanation that might earn sympathy from a company whose logo is a martian. The CSR was not amused, and did not cancel Jerry’s account. Instead, taking him for an astronaut, the CSR gave him free service for three months, which Jerry discovered only when he presciently called the next day to verify that his account had been canceled. Jerry writes:

Oh how I loved my TiVo when I got it years ago. Unfortunately, it’s been made redundant by other services, so it was time for me to cut the cord.

You can do everything online with your TiVo account except cancel it, of course, so I called TiVo and listened to the groovy hold music.

The TiVo employee said he was sorry they would be losing me and he would help me cancel my account. He just needed to know why I was canceling.

I said “I don’t want Tivo anymore.”
“Why?” he asked.
“I just don’t.”

I should mention that as of late I’ve been through one too many of these conversations, where the employee has a script designed to stop you from canceling. I didn’t want to hear about how TiVo is *not at all* redundant to the other services I have. Because it, in fact, is.

The employee continued. “But I need a reason.”
“Just put down that I want to cancel.”
“But why? Are you moving? Do you have other services?”
“I just want to cancel.”
Now he’s exasperated. “Look, I have a section of my screen where I have to put why you’re canceling, ok?”
“It doesn’t matter to me what you put there. Put anything you like.”
“But it has to come from the customer.”
“Oh.” I said. “Well, you could put that I’m moving to the moon.”

Silence. “Moving to the moon. Well, I’m sorry you *don’t want to cooperate with us.*” Creepy. “Hold please while I cancel your service.”

I was put on hold for an inordinately long time.

He came back and said, “Any more questions?” I said no, and that was it. I thought.

The next day I checked my online TiVo account, and there was a curious thing. Instead of “canceled” it said “

TiVo Monthly Service

(3 MONTHS FREE CONCESSION)” Hmm.

So I called back, saying that the phone conversation was cut off and I wanted to make sure it was canceled.

“No,” the nice woman said, “I see here that you’re not going to use TiVo for three months, but then your service charges will resume.”

“Really? It doesn’t say I canceled the service?”

“No.”

The rest of it was predictable. I canceled, again, then talked to a supervisor (who told me specifically not to record the call because he “didn’t want it ending up on the internet.”) Basically TiVo was planning not to charge me for three months and then pick right up again after I assumed my service was long since canceled. How long would it have taken me to notice the charge on my credit card bill had resumed?

The lesson of this is: if you need to cancel TiVo you’ll need a reason, just not wanting it won’t suffice. I suggest you make up a reason in advance. In retrospect I think I should have said I don’t have a TV anymore, because that seems pretty ironclad, but I didn’t think that fast.

And be diligent – double check that you’ve really had service canceled.

The CSR probably would have applied the three-month concession offer regardless of Jerry’s excuse. Jerry’s story serves as an amusing reminder that not all CSRs respect your instructions. As with nuclear disarmament or a potential pregnancy, verification is essential.

(Photo: grovesa16)

Comments

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  1. Uriel says:

    I woulda recoded it anyways ;)

  2. Nick says:

    I found the best way to deal with these retention folks is just to flat out lie. Tell tivo you’re leaving the country for several years. Tell cell phone companies your work just gave you & your family free phones & service. Tell others you’re filing for bankruptcy and you were ordered by the court to terminate your services. This way, you let the retention person know right away that there is no hope of keeping you. Insist on some sort of cancellation confirmation number as well.

  3. Esquire99 says:

    @schwnj: I completely disagree. You shouldn’t have to lie just to appease some ignorant fool who works in retention. If you don’t want to provide a reason, you should not have to. Just keep refusing, and if it comes to it, ask to speak to a supervisor. It’s absurd to think that you have to craft a story just to cancel service. Stick to your guns and make them do as you say.

  4. TimSPC says:

    I’m calling shenanigans. Who the heck would want to cancel TiVo?

  5. Sherryness says:

    I’ve had two separate situations where I had to cancel my TiVo – once because I was cutting costs (it was a very bad time, a story for another time) and another time when I moved out of state and was not going to need it for awhile.

    The first time, they were very nice and, not only did they cancel me promptly and courteously, the lady told me not to unplug the phone connection to my TiVo so that the cancel wouldn’t cancel out the 2 weeks’ programming that was already in there.

    The second time, I moved out of state and it was a move that took a relatively long time, logistically. So they offered to credit me 3 months, which they did immediately (I checked my statement), and then just keep charging me with the idea that I would be set back up and wanting TiVo in 3 months or less. Which I did – the solution was perfect for me, and I actually came out ahead financially.

    If the thing this other person hed described had happened to me, I would have definitely been as upset as he was. I hope that is not a sign of things to come.

  6. djhopscotch says:

    “i’m moving to Europe” usually work great.

  7. dbeahn says:

    I used to love Tivo customer service. It TOTALLY rocked. I had 2 Tivo’s myself and everyone in my family had one.

    Then Tivo hired some third party company to do their support. And it went straight into the shitter. I’ve been a Tivo customer since 2000. In that time, I’ve called Tivo probably once a year, be it to check my account, request a line up change be fixed, upgrade my Tivo box, whatever. Always a FANTASTIC experience.

    In the past year I’ve had to call 3 times. Once to try and get one of my old Tivo units activated in my sister’s name – the CSR and the “stupervisor” were both rude and unhelpful. I had to escalate to Tivo directly and wait a week for a callback.

    The next time I called was to ask about upgrading to an HD Tivo. Again I got a moronic rep and then talked to his stupervisor. Escalate to Tivo again, get a call back a week later explaining that OF COURSE if I wanted to buy an HD Tivo they’d roll my 3 year commitment over to it, I didn’t have to sign another 3 years. Duh. Why couldn’t the CSR or the stupervisor have told me that? Why waste 45 minutes of my time and make me wait a week. I didn’t order the HD Tivo. Not with service like that. I settled, after nearly 8 years as a Tivo customer, for a Comcast HD-DVR. No up front cost, and the customer service is as good as the new Tivo customer service.

    Called again to cancel my second Tivo. Got the run around. Explained that I’m STILL a Tivo customer, I just didn’t need TWO Tivo’s anymore. More run around. Another stupervisor. 45 minutes of wasted time later, and finally it was cancelled.

    I used to be a HUGE fan of Tivo. Now I like my Tivo, but hate the Tivo company.

  8. ChrisC1234 says:

    This reminds me of my AOL service. Back in 2000, I wanted to suspend service for 2 months as I would be out of the country (and didn’t want to pay a bill for service I couldn’t use). It is easier for their reps to give you free service than it is to suspend or cancel service. Now for my needs, I was perfectly fine with just getting 2 free months.

  9. jamesdenver says:

    BradG I’m totally with you in principle. I’ve done it both ways. I have a job where I can work and be on the phone (and internet as you can see by my posts) all day.

    But if I had a hour lunch to take care of personal business, and didn’t want to waste time in the evening on the phone – I’d stick to my often used boilerplate response of “Yes yes, moving to Buenos Aires for work… No puedo continuar mi servicio. Lo Siento.”

    On the other hand why the hell can’t an employee just make something up? How hard is it to write “moving”, “changed providers”. Well unless your call gets recorded and reconciled to the CX notice.

    Ugh- it all is so difficult for no reason. I’m going home.

  10. mantari says:

    “My TiVo is dead.” You’d think that’d get them not to give a 3 month promotion instead. :)

  11. samurailynn says:

    People working in customer service call centers often have very little control – sometimes just over things in their workplace, but often over things in all parts of their lives. I think that some of these people choose to exert what control they do have – basically, they will screw you over to show you that they really did have some control over what happened to you and your account that day. The turnover rate in call centers is high enough that they will probably be gone by the time the company finds out and tries to do something about it anyway.

  12. bostonmike says:

    Reasons TiVo might accept for cancelling TiVo service:

    1. No longer having a television.
    2. Discovering that YouTube is more fun.
    3. Discovering that sex is more fun.
    4. Deciding that the remote is a symbol of the patriarchy.
    5. Going blind.
    6. Shipping off to Iraq.
    7. Shipping off to Iran.
    8. Moving in with someone else who has TiVo service.
    9. Moving in with someone else who is allergic to TiVo service.

  13. Toast442 says:

    I got the hard sell when I canceled my service (got a DirecTivo) a couple of years ago. The guy would not shut up about moving my tivo to another tv so I wouldn’t have to “live without tivo,” (which I wasn’t – I just wasn’t paying them directly for it.)

    I was eventually reduced to answering “Please cancel my service,” after everything he said. He must have run out of script because he eventually said “ok – it’s done!” and hung up. Fortunately for me, he really did cancel it.

  14. Nick says:

    @bradg33: You’re right in theory, but the stories save you time. I never give a reason unless I’m asked, and then I use my fake reasons. I truly believe that refusing to give a reason will only waste both the CSR’s and my time, and will change nothing about the CSR or the way his/her company does business. It’s a less-than ideal tactic, but perhaps more practical.

  15. When I tried to cancel my TiVo service months ago, the guy kept asking if I had family or friends who would want my TiVo as a gift with free service for a month. I finally became the “a-hole” and told him I just want the service canceled now. Even after that, he told me he was authorized to give me three months for free in order to keep me. ARGGGGH!

  16. dohtem says:

    @bradg33: Really? Because all you just suggested is what the letter writer did and it DID NOT WORK! Telling an ironclad lie, as schwnj suggested, is much quicker virtually guarantees your service will be cancelled.

  17. txinfo says:

    When I had to cancel my DirecTV service, I was prepared in advance for their tactics. I told the CSR that I was moving into an apartment and that I had already checked and there was not an acceptable place for the dish and that I already had somebody check it and it could not be placed where it could get a signal. He did offer to send one of their folks out to check it, but I politely said no.

    And that was it. No pressure. They immediately canceled it with no problem.

    Just be prepared…..

  18. Esquire99 says:

    It just infuriates me that you have to prepare yourself to cancel a service. I like the tactic of just repeating “Please Cancel my service” to everything they say. I’ve done that with reps who don’t want to transfer me to a supervisor. I just keep repeating myself until I win. Maybe I’m just a stubborn a$$.

  19. timmus says:

    There needs to be a Consumerist Wall of Shame for any corporation that uses strong-arm retention tactics. Seriously.

  20. yg17 says:

    I think a good ol chargeback with your credit card company will cancel it pretty quickly if they keep giving you any more crap.

  21. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    Can’t say nothing bad about TiVo, I shut one off about two years ago, I forgot to cancel and it was on an expired credit card for three months. When I called, not only did they not give me any grief about cancelling, they forgave the three months (about $36 or so). (Now I have an S3 *HD* TiVo)

    Try cancelling a Chase card. “I’d like to cancel my ***** Chase card.” “Well, we’re sorry to hear that. Why are you cancelling?” “You see I haven’t used it for four years or so?” “Yes.” “There you go.” “Alright, let me take care of that for you.”
    Two months later, card still not cancelled.

  22. evilgenius says:

    “I’m sorry sir. You can’t return an item because of spite”

  23. Buran says:

    @TimSPC: While I love my TiVo, there are reasons, and calling shenanigans just because you love yours doesn’t mean other people may not need it. I will actually need to discontinue service on a unit myself as I will be selling it (only have one TV, upgraded to a Series 3, when I put lifetime on it I got a free year on the series 2 which I never got around to selling — oops)

  24. mind says:

    i think customer services are getting to the point these days where it’s just best to record the call, tell them you’re doing so, cancel, and have a transcript of the call notarized and dated (or perhaps just mail it to yourself and don’t open it, for the postmark), and if they come after you in several months saying you haven’t paid your bill, tell them to go pound sand and do the mentioning of mail/wire fraud.

  25. nequam says:

    @samurailynn: Often CSRs get in trouble if they don’t fill in the space on the form asking the reason for canceling. The company’s try to use that info. to determine how to stem cancellations, but also to point the CSR to the correct retention script. I think rather than just being jerks, more likely they are trying to protect themselves from a poor review. They just need to fill in the blank with something. That’s why SCHWNJ’s technique makes a certain amount of sense. It will save you the hassle of hearing the retention speech, and will save the CSR some grief as well.

  26. breny says:

    The next time I’m going to use my mother’s reason, “Because I’m the mother and I said so!”

  27. ptkdude says:

    @nequam: All they have to do is put “customer refused to discuss”. My company even has that as an official drop down selection.

  28. meatwad says:

    unless you are trying to break a contract, why should you have to give any reason?. this is pure nonsense. i want someone to start holding these companies accountable for the amount of time we all must wait on phones trying to accomplish a 15 second task

  29. BillyMumphry says:

    While the retention tactics are annoying, it is entirely retarded to go back and forth over the reason thing. Just give him one. Don’t be a dick.

  30. Infe says:

    Sometimes I wonder if it’s just best to cancel in writing, or follow up your call with cancellation in writing, certified mail. I was going to subscribe to Gametap, then I looked it up and found several people talking about what a pain it was to cancel. Guess what? Never gonna try Gametap! Guess what? Now I’m never gonna try TiVO! I use BeyondTV, but it’s beside the point. I will never recommend TiVO to anyone, and I’m the resident tech guy in my family. So I hope these companies realize they are losing money with these tactics. I don’t care if your service rocks…I refuse to ever put up with this crap when I can avoid it. I hope other people join me. And I agree with TIMMUS, there really should be a WALL OF SHAME for these kinds of companies (ie SCUM).

  31. humphrmi says:

    @bradg33: You are right, and you pretty much always have a reason for cancelling, otherwise you wouldn’t right? The issue at hand is not really *not* having a reason, it’s that you don’t think you’re reason will get you by CSR. But if you’re going to spend that much time on the call getting by the reason, why not just give the real reason?

    “I’m cancelling my Tivo because it’s redundant”

    “Sir, if I may, Tivo offers many…”

    “I’m not interested in the features that aren’t redundant. I’m only interested in the features that are now redundant, and since I have to pay you, you lose. Please cancel my service”

    You can even let them finish listing the “non-redundant services” if you have the patience, or just tell them you already looked them up online and you’re not interested in those.


    Either way, you (A) don’t have to lie, (B) don’t have to be afraid that your reason is lame, (C) don’t have to give no reason, because you probably have one, you’re just afraid they won’t like it.

    That’s my $0.02 :)

  32. zingbot says:

    I agree with Humphrmi’s argument that you didn’t need to lie, but have an additional, more selfish reason: They need to know why you are leaving to make things better for the rest of us that have decided to stay. If something is broken or needed, you can help them fix it.

  33. adamwade says:

    I had a similar experience a few months ago with TiVo. Now, before I explain, let me tell you that I love my TiVo. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

    However, once the dual tuner TiVo came out I had no reason to have two machines. I had one Series 2, and then purchased a Series 2 Dual Tuner model. After a few months of having two TiVo’s I upgraded the hell out of the Dual Tuner model (put in a 500GB HD) and shelved my old series 2.

    So I call TiVo to cancel my original TiVo, which was now unplugged, back in it’s original box, and in the closet. I only have one TV, so I didn’t even have another room to put it in. I get a cheerful girl on the line, and after she pulls up my account info I told her that I’d like to cancel one of my TiVo’s.

    She said, “No.”

    Now, the girl was really sweet, so I said, “I’m sorry?” like I didn’t understand her. She laughed and said, “No.” I told her that yes, I wished to cancel this TiVo. I was trying very hard to keep the conversation light as she offered me as much as six free months, and I had to be firm and explain that it simply wasn’t even plugged in any more and I had no room to use it in.

    The conversation didn’t end badly…I didn’t let it. I explained to her and after a few sells she gave up and nicely cancelled one of my accounts. She *really* wanted to give me free time though, LOL. I told her that I love TiVo, I just didn’t need two anymore.

    Nothing profound, just wanted to share a similar experience. I don’t blame the call center people as much as I do the management, who is hopefully reading all of this and finds out that hard sells are bullshit and no one likes them. If what happened to the person in the article happened to me I would have been pissed, though – no means no, not “temporarily hold my account and start charging me again”.

    Oh, and about redundant features…I have yet to find a DVR with that comforting “ding ding” noises, or one with any where near the search/wishlist features (which I use constantly). There is no other DVR in my mind. :) I’m a TiVo fan.

  34. Lordstrom says:

    Reading stuff like this, I really don’t want to sign up for any service ever again unless it has online cancel.

    I really wonder if the successful retention rate justifies paying all these people. They could just put a “cancel service” link on the website, or even do it by e-mail, and save on payroll costs.

  35. TechnoDestructo says:

    @doctor_cos:

    I’m not sure if mine is really cancelled or not. I zeroed it out, and there hasn’t been any activity of which I’m aware, but I am still able to log in to the website, and there is a note on my credit report “cancelled at customer’s request.”

    I didn’t cancel because I wasn’t using it, BTW, I canceled because they were moving my due date around every month, ensuring that I’d rack up late fees. Then they were lying to me about it.

  36. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @TechnoDestructo: This is clearly a case of YMMV, and while I’ve never heard this, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen.
    Perhaps it would be time to escalate, or not.

  37. palegreenstars says:

    Am I the only one who is bothered by the fact that you have to give TiVo a reason for cancelling your account? Is that not just plain *weird*?

  38. BenMitchell says:

    Well I recently had to cancel my Rapsody account (Music Download Site) and the Rep would not let me do it- she kept demanding a reason and when provided would argue that is not a very good reason. By the 3rd time I was very very annoyed.

    So finally I told her that “I’m dropping the account on moral grounds – If they can’t hire Americans to answer the phones then they don’t need this Americans dollars to run thier business. They can just let you indians pay for thier crummy service.” – this excuse worked and she then cancelled my service.

  39. TexasScout says:

    A certified letter “return recipet requested” with your request to customer service. Is the only LEGAL way to communicate with big bizness. Then you have a paper trail when you quit paying your bill. They can’t do didley.

  40. mantene says:

    When I cancelled my Tivo service the only complaint I had was that it took them forever to actually do it. I spent over 10 minutes on the phone. They did, of course, ask why I was cancelling and I told them the truth, I was going with the cable company’s DVR service which was cheaper and recorded HD. She offered to cut my monthly fee in half and when I said my Tivo still would not record HD programs she said that was true and confided that she probably wouldn’t want to spend the (at the time) $600+ on one of the new Tivos. She then put me on hold for a full 8 minutes while she canceled my account. I have no idea what took her so long but when she came back she said the account was canceled and asked me to sell my tivo on ebay if it was in good working order.

    Throughout the call she was kind and courteous and aside from the overly-long eight minute wait for her to cancel the account it was a painless process. I have no idea what she was doing for those eight minutes though. Maybe she decided to run to Starbucks?

  41. mmcnary says:

    @adamwade: I was waiting for you come back with the punchline: Of course, she cancelled the WRONG account…

  42. getjustin says:

    I just called and said I couldn’t afford it. He looked at my account and asked if I wanted it for half price. So I decided to keep it for $6/month. I’m such a sucker. But it seems like a totally reasonable price to me.

  43. OKJeff says:

    Coincidently I am on hold right now trying to get through to cancel my Tivo service. Given this discussion I found it humorous, that the phone tree option to cancel service is described as “Press 2 to Discuss canceling Tivo” Not to actually cancel it but just to discuss it.

  44. jeffj-nj says:

     
     
    Sounds like TiVo is the new AOL in terms of cancelations. That sucks.

    I agree that “Why would you want to cancel TiVo?” is a fair question for one consumer to wonder about another, but TiVo shouldn’t ask. Or if they do, certainly not more than once. You want to cancel. They should let you cancel. End of discussion.

    I once tried to change my account from 2 TiVos to one 1. They reminded me I was paying a discounted rate on the second box, but I said I knew that and wanted to drop that box anyway. They offered me the same discounted rate on the 1st box, so I was effectively getting 2 for the price of 1. Uhm, okay, so basically I’ll be paying exactly what I planned on paying anyway, but the 2nd box will keep working? Yeah, sure, do that.

    At the time, it seemed like a great deal. I guess it still does. But now, I suppose it was just indicative of their clearly growing desperation. Don’t be like that TiVo. You rock.

  45. Black Bellamy says:

    As soon as you get the CSR put on a broken accent.

    When they ask you why you’re cancelling, say “I do not need the [Product] for soon I will be in Paradise!”

    If they’re anything but compliant say “Do not mock my religion, infidel! What is your name?”

  46. Nytmare says:

    “I passed away last week.”

    Oh, @BillyMumphry: Tell me why I should kowtow to a CSR who is being a dick.

    And don’t give me any crap about CSRs having no power or authority. They are called CSRs. That means they represent the company. If they can’t represent, then they have no business answering the phone.

  47. jchabotte says:

    Two Words:

    “murder one”

  48. enm4r says:

    Asking the question ones is fair game, it’s completely understandable that a company would like to know why their customers are cancelling. However, requiring a reason is ridiculous. The CSR was the dick here, there is no other reasonable interpretation of the events. He wants to cancel, he gets to. End of story.

  49. samurailynn says:

    @Nequam

    Once upon a time I worked for a call center. It is correct that there are specific things that have to be done in every call. But I can also tell you that people rarely get reviewed more than once a month, usually know when during the month they will get reviewed (their supervisor suddenly vanishes into the monitoring room), and they have to have more than one bad performance review to be fired. I knew a lot of people who played games with the customers just for the hell of it. I’m so glad to be out of that line of work.

  50. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone aware of site that can tell me where various cellular companies do not have service (and know they don’t have service)?

  51. missdona says:

    One time TiVo promotion for existing users. Free 140 hr TiVo if you buy a year of service in advance. I ordered a bunch for friends, and for gifts. Get this, they accidently sent me an extra TiVo.

    I still love them, and one day, I’ll get the S3

  52. Buran says:

    @mantene: At least now there’s a $300 HD TiVo. I understand where you’re coming from – some people think $700 for the Series was expensive. I’m not sorry I bought one, but now they’ll sell more of them. If you ever want a TiVo again, at least that’s a choice for you. Too bad the choice wasn’t available sooner.

    I do love having HD DVR capability.

  53. Buran says:

    @Buran: … series 3, sorry. (and I have lifetime on it, something you can’t get on new ones)

  54. SadSam says:

    I had a similar experience when I tried to cancel my Earthlink service. I was happy to provide them with a reason, we switched to BellSouth DSL in order to bundle all our services (land line, 2 cell phones, DirecTv, and DSL) and save money. However, once I gave my reason I was not happy with having to argue with the rep as to whether my reason was satisfactory. I did the “cancel my service” repeat over and over and a couple of I’m going to contact the attorney general in my state if you don’t cancel my service until he gave up.

    I have no problem with a company wanting to know the reason and would hope that they use that info to improve services but having to argue and repeat one’s self over and over again is just crazy. I would never go back to Earthlink b/c of the cancellation experience.

  55. galatae says:

    How about a few more reasons:
    “My house burned down”
    “I didn’t want to mention it, but I have terminal cancer and my medical bills are forcing me into bankruptcy, but thanks for minimizing that so that I can keep Tivo”
    “My house was robbed and I’ve chosen not to get a new television”
    “I’m boycotting [random tv station]“
    “I’m boycotting [random tv show]“
    “I’m going off-grid and TiVo uses too much power”
    “I’m moving”
    “I’ve gone blind and have found there really isn’t anything on TV worth watching”
    “I found deeper purpose in my life than talking to CSR’s all day about my television watching habits”
    “Are you being paid enough to put up with me?”

  56. jeffeb3 says:

    I used to sell stuff for a living, call be the devil if you’d like, but I loved when people gave me an excuse, I wouldn’t often get them to change their minds, but it happened about one out of four times. Mostly, I loved it because I love to argue. When someone just said no, or no thank you. I had nothing, and had to move on. That’s always my tactic when I’m dealing with hard salespeople, just a no thank you, then a no. If they broke the rules of engagement further, like this person did, I will go apeshit maybe a little unjustly so, just to prove a point.

  57. manus manum lavat says:

    Here’s the thing you have to remember about being a phone monkey: The company gives you certain things to ask, and you have to ask them. Some of those things actually require a response, some just require that you ask. The reason that you have to ask is because management is monitoring these calls and you will get in trouble and eventually fired if you do not ask all the questions in the script.

    So if you call tech support because your internet is down, and before troubleshooting the tech asks you for an e-mail address, realize that the tech understands that the question is just as stupid as you do. They just don’t want to get fired.

    That said, the guy really should have accepted “I’m moving to the moon” – his ass is covered, there. He asked the question, and he got an answer. On the other hand, sales is even more evil a place to work than tech support. You no doubt get a mark against you for every time you have a cancellation, which is the reason he pretended that there was a loophole.

  58. drjensen1 says:

    Here’s a great excuse for canceling. “I believe that watching television is the work of the devil.”

  59. acambras says:

    You would think the CSR would have had an “other” box that could be checked. I think “moving to the moon” would qualify as “other.”

  60. mathew says:

    More suggested excuses:

    “I gouged my eyes out.”
    “I’m allergic to electricity.”

  61. Always, always, ALWAYS Record!

  62. EmilyM says:

    I have had Tivo for years, and I love it. But it came down to trying to cut down on monthly expenses. I decided to go with the DVR service from my cable company (I knew it wasn’t as good… but it was half the price). When I called Tivo to complain, they cut my monthly payment to $6 a month (more than half of what I was paying before) to match the cable company’s DVR service price. I’m happy to have my Tivo still!

  63. tlo182 says:

    Whenever I have to cancel anything, I always go with a classic they can’t say anything to – “Personal Reasons”

    What are they going to ask? “What kind of personal reasons?”

  64. PositivelyJosh says:

    As a former Bank of America claims agent, I used to get calls from people who were having trouble cancelling their service all the time. In fact, while we weren’t *supposed* to do this in order to keep call time down, just about every call I made was one where I’d call the company with the customer on the line and make SURE they were cancelled. I had one lady who hadn’t noticed a $100 yearly charge showing up since 1999!

    Here’s a tip, though: When you cancel a service, companies are required by law to give you some sort of cancellation code. In virtually every case I had where someone had failed to cancel a service, the company had provided no cancellation code.

  65. ThirtyWhat says:

    Well, guys, I just escaped from hell … or, in layman’s terms … I just got off the phone with Tivo. I read this entire thread before I called, so I was aware of what I was getting myself into … but there just wasn’t any way to get around it.

    Two months ago, we bought an LCD HD television … and my choices were a) spend hundreds of dollars on a Series 3 Tivo AND pay a monthly service fee or b) get a dual tuner DVR from the cable company for FREE and pay a monthly service fee.

    Guys, you have no idea how much I have LOVED my Tivo. I was like a Tivo EVANGALIST. I spread the good word to everyone I knew … I even have a stuffed Tivo guy on my desk at work. But, back in June when I saw how much a Tivo 3 was going to cost … I put my foot down.

    So, after three months of having my Tivo hooked to my bedroom television … and after three months of almost NO use … I decided to cancel.

    I explained the situation (exactly as I typed it above) … and he proceeded to ARGUE with me about my choice. Seriously, guys … he ARGUED with me. He said that the Series 3 Tivo was the ONLY hd dvr on the market and what the cable company gave me was hd “compatible.” When that didn’t work, he told me I’d wasted $2,000 on a television if I wasn’t going with a Series 3 Tivo. THEN I got mad.

    I used the suggestion on this board … I would only answer, “Please cancel my account.”

    “So, you don’t LOVE your Tivo anymore?”
    “Please cancel my account.”
    “But you’re not getting the full use out of your HD television …”
    “Please cancel my account.”
    “Well, how long have you HAD their dvr …”
    “PLEASE CANCEL MY ACCOUNT.”

    And … the cherry on the top? He ended the conversation with a huff and said, “Fine, I heard you the FIRST time …”

    Well … apparently not …

  66. sladowski says:

    Just got off the phone with TIVO. I loved this company and the product until I had to deal with their customer service. It defines bad.

    Had bought several TIVO Series 3′s last year and rolled over my lifetime memberships on the old units to the new ones. They gave a 1 year membership on the old unit for free.

    After the one year, found they were charging my credit card for the highest published rate. These TIVOs were broken and I was not using then. Virtually impossible to get my money back — they gave it back on one unit, had to go through credit card company for the other.

    Had another TIVO I gave as a gift under the same deal. Told them not to extend that TIVO when the one year was over. ON-CAN-DO the unfriendly service adviser told me. I can cancel now, and lose the remaining term, of cancel on last day of the one year and deal with all the Christmas call and wait for an hour.

    Told them I DO NOT authorize them to use my credit card. Another NO-CAN-DO. They said a credit card must be attached to the account even if there are no charges coming due. Again told them I do not authorize them to use the card. Hung up frustrated and looking for a Class Action Lawyer that might want to make a million bucks or so with a big law suit. This is the only way these jokers will learn they cannot treat the customers like trash.

  67. Anonymous says:

    I canceled my tivo today without ANY problem. I got to talk to Charles without any waiting, he was helpful and polite and canceled my tivo immediately. Maybe the past complaints rectified the problem.

    SSP

  68. Anonymous says:

    So the world is going digital. Fine.

    I have been a Tivo customer, devotee and advocate since their service was introduced to me (3-4 yrs ago +/-) and before they had any competititon (DVR).

    I called to disconnect one of my two Tivo accounts earlier in the year, as the box was malfunctioning (a Tivo box). I was convinced by a zealous customer service agent to maintain the 2nd acct as they would send me a “deeply reduced price” replacement box that had added capability (tape two shows at once–wow!)

    Come to find out this feature is rendered useless in the new all-digital world we are entering.

    Talked to three Tivo customer service reps at Tivo today to find out that none of them are empowered by the company to recognize that the relationship with me — a longtime, loyal customer, is more important than a 30 day return period; or is empowered to do whatever is necessary (very little, in fact) to maintaining me as a devoted customer and keep me from moving over to the competition.

    I am deeply disappointed, but also warn share-holders that this company is doomed for failure. They no longer “own the market,” and letting loyal customers like me go is a clear signal that the competition has the edge.

  69. Anonymous says:

    Funny, after reading this and several articles.. it was almost word for word. In the end they did cancel it.. or at least i think they did i’ll have to check back. Not my fault they dont offer an HD DVR for Satellite yet or else I would still be enjoying my TiVo! I did love it.. but I like HD better :)

  70. snapdoodle says:

    I will vouch for saying you no longer have a tv. They will try to give you 2 months free but that doesn’t cancel and you will have to call back again and cancel or they will resume billing.

  71. annoyed says:

    I haven’t used the service (but still own a box and was paying monthly costs) for a couple of years. With moving I had not plugged it in but had kept the service and finally decided I wouldn’t so called to cancel the subscription. Instead of just doing what I asked the person kept going on and on trying to get me to upgrade, stay with them, sell my tivo box via ebay, craigs list, or give it away to a family/friend having the service continue on with the new owner. After countless begging of him to just cancel the service he still kept up his antics, I then began asking for a manager to which he wouldn’t pass me off, I then was begging over and over again to which when I raised my voice this person had the nerve to tell me to keep it professional! Eventually I hung up, he of course attempted to call me back but I was already on the other line with another customer rep attempting to get my original cancellation completed. Seems as though the original rep pushed my cancellation through as I received an email while the second rep was looking into my account. I can now understand why this company is having issues and as for “keeping it professional”, clearly they need to teach that to at least one of their customer service representatives! I am sure to watch my bank account to make sure this service was cancelled and will NEVER use Tivo again nor will I suggest it to anyone else! For being a customer for quite a few years and paying for a service I wasn’t even using, I was so disappointed in how I was treated.