Registered: Sep 2002
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.
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