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?

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.