My Cable Provider Won't Let Me Have TiVo Without $50 Installation

Mike wanted to renew his suspended love affair with TiVo and inquired about ordering a box through his cable provider. He reconsidered when he was told the only way he could get a TiVo through the company is if he paid an unnecessary $50 “installation fee” to plug the box into his TV and wall.

He writes:

Many years ago I had a TiVo through DirecTV and fell in love with it. Eventually my living situation changed and I moved in with my future wife, but left the TiVo with my former roommates. For years I dealt with the cable company standard DVR’s which I found painfully inadequate, but I could never convince the wife to shell out for an actual TiVo box. I became excited a few months ago when my current cable company, RCN, announced they were going to be rolling out an actual TiVo box.

A few weeks ago it arrived in my area, and this morning I called RCN to go about receiving TiVo. The first thing the rep told me was I would have to pay $49.95 for someone to come out and install it. I told the rep that I was pretty sure I could handle the installation, since I managed to hook up my existing DVR when I got a new TV a few months ago. But I was told the only way I could get the TiVo was to have it ‘professionally installed’.

There’s no way I’m paying $50 for someone to plug in a box to a power outlet, followed by plugging the HDMI cable into the box, followed by plugging a network cable into the box. I was perfectly happy to pay the extra $5 a month for the TiVo service, so in the long term that’s RCN’s loss. I know there’s not much that can be done about this, but I just thought I’d let you know another silly way the cable companies are nickle and diming their customers.

If you get your DVR service through a cable company, what installation fee, if any, did you have to pay?