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>>> Service Theft Scam <<<

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huntersa is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:04 AM
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huntersa
Member

Registered: Sep 2002
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Posts: 33

Angry Service Theft Scam

Just wanted to warn people out there to be wary of buying a used Tivo with Lifetime Service from someone they don't know.

I did this, buying a unit on eBay. It arrived with a dead modem, but I never got anywhere with the seller and managed to get it working with my US Robotics modem.

Anyway all was well until last weekend when I got the warning that the grace period on my "Lifetime Service" unit was about to expire.

Calling up Tivo we found out that the Lifetime Service had been transferred to a new box by the guy I bought mine from.

He had claimed the unit I was using was defective and returned under warranty and so Tivo tranferred the service to the new unit.

Tivo acknowledged the daily calls emanating from my phone number to this device, proving that the unit had not been returned as defective by the seller.

I also faxed them over 30 pages showing the sale of the device from eBay and the subsequent mail exchanges the seller and I had regarding the box. As far as icould see it was irrefutable that I had and was using the device that had Lifetime Service on it, and that the Tivo rules on transfer of service had been violated.

However at the end of the day after escalating as far as I could ,"Myrna" told us that Tivo would not do anything because the original owner had paid for the Lifetime Service - not me, and that I hadn't had the account ownership changed when I took delivery of the machine.

I had them on that one, because when i got the device I went to tivo.com and filled in one of their email forms telling them about the ownership change and asking for them to update records.

They claim they responded to that saying that had to be done over the phone - I never got that email, do you know why? Because they emailed back the original owner!!!!!!!!!! And of course he wasn't about to forward it to me was he?

The guy I bought it from has moved, Tivo won't tell me the phone number he is making his daily calls from so I can't track him down that way, and my "grace period" expired today.

Of course I am angry with the seller, but I am even more angry with Tivo, after having the initial problems with the modem once I got sorted out I was comforted by the fact that I had the Lifetime Service on the machine and I didn't think it could be taken away - the service goes with the device, remember?

So today I relented and signed up for monthly service, but in all good conscience I can no longer recommend the service to other friends and colleagues - I'm no longer an advocate for Tivo, because while the system itself is superb, I cannot condone a company who asked for and was given evidence of such a scam and at the end of the day they do nothing at all about it.

Stuart

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Lord Nimon is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:08 AM
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Lord Nimon
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Registered: Apr 2001
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No offense, but TiVo's policy is clear and simple. The original owner is the only person who has the authority to transfer a lifetime ownership. Otherwise, there would be plenty of scams of the other kind: people claiming that they bought the service from someone else, and expeting TiVo to transfer the service without the approval of the original owner.

I think it's wrong of you to blame TiVo.

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feldon23 is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:13 AM
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feldon23
MythBuster

Registered: Mar 2001
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 1821

Actually, TiVo's policy is CLEAR AND SIMPLE.

The original owner CANNOT TRANSFER LIFETIME OWNERSHIP FROM ONE TIVO TO ANOTHER!

Only Hughes, Sony, Philips, or TiVo are allowed to do this once they have received a broken TiVo and sent out another.

TiVo is breaking their own rule here and trying to back out. What utter BS!

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willardcpa is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:21 AM
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willardcpa
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Registered: Feb 2001
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Any recourse through Ebay. You obviously didn't get what you bot??

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dgh is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:22 AM
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dgh
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Registered: Jul 2000
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quote:
Originally posted by feldon23
Only Hughes, Sony, Philips, or TiVo are allowed to do this once they have received a broken TiVo and sent out another.



What happens when a TiVo is replaced under a store extended warrantee? Do they have to send the unit the original back to the manufacturer to switch the service?

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(Now only 31 years until I'm allowed to be opinionated!)

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SAFW is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:26 AM
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SAFW
TiVophile

Registered: Jun 2002
Location: San Francisco, CA
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How did you pay for the item? If you used PayPal, you can initiate a claim through them to refund your payment. eBay may intercede on your behalf, but all they can do is blacklist the seller, hardly helping you.

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dgh is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:34 AM
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dgh
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quote:
Originally posted by SAFW
eBay may intercede on your behalf, but all they can do is blacklist the seller, hardly helping you.


Ebay claims to provide up to $200 of fraud insurance.

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(Now only 31 years until I'm allowed to be opinionated!)

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huntersa is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:36 AM
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huntersa
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quote:
Originally posted by Lord Nimon
No offense, but TiVo's policy is clear and simple. The original owner is the only person who has the authority to transfer a lifetime ownership. Otherwise, there would be plenty of scams of the other kind: people claiming that they bought the service from someone else, and expeting TiVo to transfer the service without the approval of the original owner.

I think it's wrong of you to blame TiVo.



But surely they can only do that if the device was under warranty and has been returned?

I can prove it wasn't - and have proved it, and Tivo even admit that.

Stuart

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huntersa is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:39 AM
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huntersa
Member

Registered: Sep 2002
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quote:
Originally posted by willardcpa
Any recourse through Ebay. You obviously didn't get what you bot??


Difficult that one, it had the Lifetime Service when I purchased it in September, I don't think they would be liable for something that happened several months later.

They later cancelled the seller's eBay account because a couple of people contacted me about troubles thay had with high-ticket items.

I might try SquareTrade though - the seller was a member and they cancelled his membership when he wouldn't arbitrate on the dead modem which was my initial problem.

Stuart

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brettatk is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:46 AM
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brettatk
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Registered: Oct 2002
Location: Atlanta, Ga
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What kind of unit was it? I know that older SA's TIVO extended a clause that if you bought it before I certain date that you could transfer the lifetime subscription to another TIVO unit. I'm not sure what the date was, something like Jan 2000. If the unit is a newer one then I would say TIVO screwed up and they need to rectify the situation and give you a new lifetime subscription.


Brett

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jmoak is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:49 AM
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jmoak
-no title-

Registered: Jun 2000
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Posts: 1000

huntersa,
Bless your heart, it looks like the seller, upon receiving the email you were suppose to get from tivo, saw the opportunity to get "free" lifetime service on his new box and put the screws to you in the process.
I hope a tivo rep sees this thread and can help you out.

For those of you who are reading this and considering buying a tivo with lifetime service off ebay, beware.

As SAFW posted, there's not a lot ebay will do to help. They made their cut of the sale and that's all they care about and the seller is free to do it again with another username, at the worst.

Keep in mind you have almost no recourse on bad deals through ebay. The payment method you choose can help some times, but ebay will not.

Please be careful.

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drake3 is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 12:54 AM
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drake3
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I bought a Tivo Series 2 60 hour unit with lifetime service. It went bad and I exchanged at best buy in the same week I bought it.

I transferred the lifetime service to the new unit on the Tivo website and my new unit registered the change after 1 day of making the web entry.

I don't know if there was a grace period in there, that never appeared on the system information screen.

I assume Tivo got the broken unit back, however, it did not appear that they needed to transfer the service. It looked like the service was trasferred after I made the change on the website.

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phone1 is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 01:15 AM
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phone1
?????????

Registered: Mar 2002
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Posts: 6869

Well something's not right here. It was my understanding that when an authorized repair (swap) is made, the service center notifies TiVo with the new SN and your sub is switched.

TiVo is not going to switch a sub to a new box based only on a phone call. They'd certainly want proof of some kind. Maybe the seller's got an even more involved scam going.

__________________
HDVR2 35 Hrs. -> 212 Hrs. with TwinBreeze™
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dgh is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 01:28 AM
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dgh
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Jul 2000
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quote:
Originally posted by drake3
I bought a Tivo Series 2 60 hour unit with lifetime service. It went bad and I exchanged at best buy in the same week I bought it.

I transferred the lifetime service to the new unit on the Tivo website and my new unit registered the change after 1 day of making the web entry.



That reminds me. I had an obscure problem with my SA TiVo(s) and my cable system and I took it back to the store and swapped it for another twice. TiVo had no issue accepting my word on the phone. It hadn't occurred to me until now that I could have sold those as LNIB with Lifetime on ebay instead of actually exchanging them.

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Dave Hicks
(Now only 31 years until I'm allowed to be opinionated!)

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dslunceford is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 01:29 AM
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dslunceford
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Registered: Oct 2000
Location: No. VA/D.C.
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I think Pony or someone else needs to address this -- is the policy that service stays with the box or not?

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phone1 is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 01:32 AM
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phone1
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Registered: Mar 2002
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quote:
Originally posted by dslunceford
I think Pony or someone else needs to address this -- is the policy that service stays with the box or not?
The policy is clearly stated. It's their enforcement of the policy that seems to be questionable.

__________________
HDVR2 35 Hrs. -> 212 Hrs. with TwinBreeze™
TiVo Series 2 60 Hrs. -> 223 Hrs.
SVR-2000 - stock
Best Universal Remote (for the money - $18): OFA URC-6131

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BlankMan is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 01:34 AM
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BlankMan
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Mar 2002
Location: WI
Posts: 1438

I thought eBay's SafeHabor stuff was suppose to help with things like this? You're decision to bid an amount was based on the features the item was described to have. The item then not having those features, in this case the lifetime sub, affects the value of the item, therefore if the value is not what was stated, that is fraud. IMHO you should be able to get eBay to ante up something, $200 is $200. I'd push it with them big time. The seller may be gone, but maybe they'll go after him to recoup or maybe they'll just pay and write it off. You've got nothing to lose but some time spent, but there could be something to gain.

__________________
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and ah, a, A55

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ADent is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 01:43 AM
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ADent
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Jan 2000
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 1290

TiVo honors the extended warranty work of BB, CC, etc - but there appears to be no contractual relationship with them.

Several people have called TiVo and told them they just got their replacement unit from BB, CC, even Phillips, and the CSR transfers the lifetime over.

Even if it is a legitimate replacement, what happens to the original dead unit. I assume there is a scenario where the CC/BB tech gets his hands on it and sells it.

Even if you called TiVo and asked them if you unit has lifetime on it, the owner can call the next day and get the CC replaced unit activated with that lifetime account.

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korn316 is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 01:52 AM
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korn316
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I sold my tivo with lifetime on ebay. Everything is fine, what you need to do is contact the seller in advance. Tell them you would want to change the information on the lifetime service, so you would then be in control of the lifetime service and they wouldn't be able to transfer it. Also the feedback is key, try to buy from someone with at least 10 if not 30 feedback.

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huntersa is offline Old Post 12-07-2002 03:21 AM
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huntersa
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quote:
Originally posted by brettatk
What kind of unit was it? I know that older SA's TIVO extended a clause that if you bought it before I certain date that you could transfer the lifetime subscription to another TIVO unit. I'm not sure what the date was, something like Jan 2000. If the unit is a newer one then I would say TIVO screwed up and they need to rectify the situation and give you a new lifetime subscription.


Brett



It is a Sony SVR-2000, can't tell when it was manufactured though unless the machine number is an identifier.

Stuart

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