TiVo Restores Service, Refunds Gift Card

TiVo may not have treated Lee right, taking him for granted and unfairly billing him while cutting off his lifetime service. Maybe it even slept around with cocktail waitresses and D-list reality show stars. But TiVo stopped dragging its feet once Lee told us his story.

He writes:

I am kind of in a belive it when I see it mode, so I will finalize when I hear from TiVo, but ….

Got a call from TiVo’s executive CS (whatever that means :)

Going to reinstate my lifetime (accounting error)

Already credited me $100 (for the gift card).

Lee and his TiVo will now begin the long, tough process of putting the past behind them and getting to fall back in love with one another.

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  1. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    He’s apparently so stunned he’s writing his e-mails like Shatner! It’s nice to see that Lee got a call from TiVo, and that apparently TiVo actually pays attention to what people are saying about them. I’m a huge fan of TiVo, and their customer service has always been helpful.

    • Hawkins says:

      He’s apparently so stunned he’s writing his e-mails like Shatner!

      Given the droning, long-winded correspondence that we so often see here, I’m refreshed to see people get to the point, say what they mean, and shut up.

      • Saites says:

        Agreed. And his last story wasn’t exactly the picture of conciseness. Although, as the editor points out in that post, it would have been difficult to cut it down much.

    • Blueskylaw says:

      He was already saying stuff about them when he complained and it went nowhere, only when he started saying stuff about them on an internet blog did TiVo actually pay attention.

  2. CompyPaq says:

    Until they mess up and disable his service again.

  3. Hank Scorpio says:

    Slightly (but just a bit) off topic, but I’ve been thinking of ditching the Comcast supplied DVR and replacing it with a TiVo. I’ve heard conflicting things, some people seem to love the TiVo, others prefer the Comcast DVR. Are there any Consumeristas out there who’d like to share their opinion on how they compare?

    (FWIW, the big features that make me lean towards the TiVO are the ability to move recordings off it to my Mac, the ability to stream from the Mac, and Netflix/Amazon streaming.)

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      I don’t have a Comcast DVR, but I used to have a DirecTV DVR and a DirecTV TiVo before that. I hated the DirecTV DVR. It would stop recording randomly, it would skip recordings, delete recordings randomly, and we eventually wanted to replace it, but DirecTV sent us a DVR that wasn’t as good as the one we had.

      I love TiVo, and I don’t think I’ll go to anything else. It’s just so easy to use, and the user interface is so simple and self-explanatory. I love gadgets, and I love tinkering, and hacking things, but sometimes I just need to be able to sit down, and watch some TV without taking more than three steps.

      Just so you know, though, I got a reburb unit and it works perfect. You still get the full warranty with the refurbs, and they’re half the price of the new ones.

    • jurisenpai says:

      I have Comcast cable and a Tivo, and I cannot imagine ever using a Comcast-supplied DVR. Even just on an aesthetic basis, the Tivo is far superior.

      With my Tivo I can:
      – move recordings to my Mac with iTivo and put them on my iPhone to watch at the gym
      – stream DVD rips using piTivo (we don’t have a DVD player attached to our TV)
      – watch HD Netflix streams in all their glory
      – watch HQ YouTube videos
      – use Season Passes/Tivo Recommendations and all the other awesome Tivo features

      I *adore* my Tivo – it was the best wedding present I got next to my KitchenAid mixer!

    • JediJohn82 says:

      I like my Dish DVR (Vip 722). You can use it in two rooms at once.

    • larrymac thinks testing should have occurred says:

      When I had a Comcast DVR, it regularly locked up, especially during fast-forward and rewind operations. When it got into that state, it would then queue up all button presses, so when it decided it was going to start responding, it would have to go through every command that it had stored. The on-screen guide was three line of actual channel/program information and the rest was ads. It was generally a pain in the ass.

      • Hank Scorpio says:

        Ours does that occasionally too! That is so frustrating. It also will sometimes just jump to the end of recording when trying to fast forward.

    • tbax929 says:

      I’m curious to know what the so-called benefits are of the Comcast DVR. I’ve never heard anyone say they prefer a cable company’s DVR to a TiVo box. Yesterday I posted what I think are the main benefits of TiVo over cable company DVR. You can search my history for that posting. One feature I use that I failed to mention was transferring shows from one TiVo box to another. I use that to watch things in my bedroom that I originally recorded in my living room and vice versa. My Comcast DVR couldn’t do that.

      • Hank Scorpio says:

        I don’t know what some of the benefits are supposed to be, but my wife was asking people she works with who used to have TiVos and later got Comcast, and they said they liked the Comcast unit better. They didn’t really give reasons, but my impression was that these were older TiVos that maybe didn’t have all of the same functionality as the new ones.

    • hills says:

      I used to have the Comcast DVR (after having a couple tivos my husband wanted to save $) – that lasted less than a week before I ordered the HD Tivo and have never looked back. I will never question it again – there was just no comparison. I can’t remember specific examples of inferiority to provide, but it was bad. I agree with someone’s comment yesterday that if you start with Tivo, and then try to switch it doesn’t go well – but if you start with Comcast and don’t know what you’re missing you ought to be fine….

    • Palmetto274 says:

      I switched from Comcast DVR to TiVo about a year ago and I would NEVER go back to a Comcast DVR. I also leaned towards TiVo because I have a Mac and could move stuff from the TiVo to my computer. In my opinion a TiVo is well worth every penny. I found an HD TiVo on eBay and it came with a lifetime subscription. The subscription stays with the box, not the owner. I’ve never experienced a TiVo problem and love it. They added Netflix streaming and I am totally addicted. It’s so much better than a Comcast DVR. The only problems I have experienced were with Comcast (big surprise) and the cable card. Comcast does not like having to supply a cable card for something other than their box, but by law they are required to supply the card. It did take a Comcast tech visiting my house a few times before they got the card up and working, but once they did it’s been smooth sailing. Another thing to note, I am not able to transfer TiVo recorded HBO programs to my computer. I’ve read different possible reasons for this. Most people blame Comcast and I’ve been too lazy to really pursue a solution. Good-luck making a decision.

    • Patriot says:

      As long as you don’t care about video on demand or pay-per-view then go for it.

      • lordargent says:

        Video on demand == television shows and movies that were on regular channels and got recorded on my tivo months ago.

    • rdclark says:

      I had the latest Motorola Comcast DVR, and replaced it with TiVo.
      1. The TiVo records more reliably.
      2. The TiVo has superior software, that better supports finding and reliably recording the shows you want.
      3. The TiVo is expandable, so you can add either internal or external storage for much greater capacity than the Comcast DVR.
      4. While the TiVo doesn’t support OnDemand, Comcast (in my location, anyway) will provide an HD box for free that does. So there’s no loss of major features.
      5. The TiVo is cheaper if you buy Lifetime service. The deal I got, compared to the Compacs monthly fee, the TiVo and the service will break even in a little over three years.

  4. ColoradoShark says:

    And if Lee had not sent this to Consumerist and if Phil had not selected the story for publication, how happy do you think Lee would have been? What has Tivo done to avoid this problem in the future? I don’t believe Lee is the only one who this has happened to.

    BTW, I have a Tivo, think it’s great and it spoils me.

    • CompyPaq says:

      I don’t think that TiVo knows what they did wrong. Therefore this will happen again.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      There’s actually no information or evidence to suggest that TiVo saw this post specifically, and that’s how Lee’s attention was brought to their attention. I made that assumption in one of my posts upthread, but I actually don’t think there’s any evidence that suggests that TiVo wasn’t replying to Lee’s continuing efforts. Until Lee says, “they mentioned they saw my post on Consumerist…” it’s very possible that TiVo was following up.

      After all, Lee didn’t include his phone number or email address in the original Consumerist post. And in fact, at the very end of Lee’s message to Consumerist, he says “I contacted Tivo again and asked for a return call and activation of my Tivo.”

      So it’s possible TiVo was simply returning his phone call.

  5. parrotuya says:

    Don’t get a collared DVR or Tivo. Buy a stand-alone DVR instead! It really is not that hard to program it manually. I love my stand-alone Panasonic DVR! Why let the cable company or Tivo tell you what to watch?

    DOWn, baby, DOWn!