TiVo Box, Lacking Love, Jacks Up Huge Phone Bill

Neil Gray placed a TiVo in his family vacation cabin. After he returned home, he started receiving bills from the empty cabin. The first month’s was for over $800 and the next, over $1000.

It turns out his TiVo got lonely and was reaching out and touching someone(s), over and over again.

When Neil contacted TiVo, they pointed out a clause in the service agreement that said they were not responsible for such malfunctions. “It didn’t seem to matter to them. It was extremely frustrating,” said Neil. After a CBS reporter called TiVo, they agreed to cover the charges.

If you have satellite TV, you can unplug the box from the phone line, as its only needed for activation. Cable users can hook it up to DSL so it doesn’t make unexpected calls, as detailed at tivocommunity.com.

Or you could just be nicer to your TiVo, don’t leave it alone. Instead, make it feel part of the family. Perhaps there’s shows it would rather record, rather than just Deal or No Deal and Wonder Showzen?

TiVo Box Rings Up Fat Phone Bills” [CBS5] (Thanks to Danilo!) [photo cred 1 and 2]


Edit Your Comment

  1. flyover says:

    There is nothing better than watching some Wonder Showzen after a night at the bar.

  2. geedeck says:

    I’m going with the customer is wrong trip here. Like who the hell sets a deice to dial a 1-900 and then forgets about it? Sorry, they deserve a $1000 lesson.

  3. QuasiInformed says:

    A night with the bong might be one, not that I would have any personal experience watching foam letters fornicate while high.

  4. drsmith says:

    I’d bet the customer messed up on this one. Tivo routinely calls the Tivo service to get updates and programming information. If you set the dial up number incorrectly so every call is a long-distance call, you can definately expect a hefty phone bill. Tivo makes it very clear that it’s the customer’s responibilty to ensure the dial up number chosen is a local call.

  5. superhalo says:

    I know this post is really old, but I just have to comment on this. As a former TiVo CSR I know that TiVo calls out at least once EVERY day. This is to grab the program guide data. TiVo does have a ton of POP numbers for the unit to call, and the customer sets this up in the guided setup process when the unit is first started. If he set it up at home he could have easily have made a mistake and set up a long distance number. TiVo is not responsible for any incurred phone charges. Even if you have satellite the phone line is needed, or if you have a S2 dual tuner and above you can network it to stop all phone troubles.