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>>> Service Theft Scam <<<

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KKemp is offline Old Post 12-10-2002 09:30 AM
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KKemp
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Registered: Apr 2000
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Posts: 65

Seems to me that in the past RB would have chimed in no later than page 2. Where the heck is TiVo on this one??

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dd9 is offline Old Post 12-10-2002 08:34 PM
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dd9
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Aug 2000
Location: Boston, MA, USA
Posts: 206

quote:
Originally posted by dgh
No - the fraudulent seller created the problem.


No they didn't. If Tivo had correctly transferred the lifetime ownership as requested by the new owner, the seller wouldn't have been able to do what he did.

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richNYC is offline Old Post 12-10-2002 08:45 PM
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richNYC
Senior Member

Registered: Feb 2001
Location: New York, NY USA
Posts: 275

Does TiVo have a legally-binding relationship with the new owner in the absence of authorization from the seller? I don't think so. I think TiVo is bound to the seller until the seller notifies TiVo that he transfers his rights to the new owner.

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Binkish is offline Old Post 12-10-2002 11:28 PM
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Binkish
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Registered: Nov 2000
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I think the real problem here is that TIVO is not a device but a service, by their own definition. The fact that you have to have a device to use the service makes this line muddy.

To clarify that line, TIVO had stated that the service will follow the device -- that it would be linked to the device. If they intend not to water down that claim, they need to turn on his LS.

There are no analogies that capture the problems here. TIVO has a device calling in and reporting itself. They have the proof that device is still in action (matter of fact they sold another LS on that device). If the device was supposed to be defective, then its their responsibility to make sure its in that classification. If its defective the LS should be turned off immediately.

That wasn't the case here.

Here the person had the service for a period of time, which should not have been possible per the TIVO agreement. I don't think the person could have been granfathered in the old contract because this is reported to be a Series 2 device.

TIVO is the one that linked the service to the device. Since they are the only ones that have a method of determining which devices are in use (through call in), its their responsibility to enforce this link and provides a black and white solution to the problem. If the device is in service, the LS should be linked to it. If its 'defective,' that service should have never been on and the device should have not been resold.

We need some clarity and a definitive statement from TIVO and TIVOPONY.

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Polcamilla is offline Old Post 12-11-2002 05:38 AM
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Polcamilla
Senior Member

Registered: Nov 2001
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Posts: 218

quote:
Originally posted by huntersa
Yes, but if you lie about it and do not replace the unit under factory warranty do you think you should be allowed to transfer the service?

Stuart



I understand this is a very difficult situation. I've read through many of the posts and can't honestly say what is right or what is not. However, I thought I might give a little more info on transfering a LS, since I've done it not once, but twice.

We bought a TiVo with a LS and an extended warranty through The Good Guys in June of 2001. That September (well past the 30 day period), the video card in the TiVo went haywire. After several calls to TiVo and Phillips tech support to determine the problem, they offered to replace the unit. However, since that would take several weeks, I asked if I could exchange it under the extended warranty instead and they said that was fine. Went to Good Guys, swapped units, came home, called TiVo, gave them my case number for the problem and the new serial number for the unit and Lifetime Service was transfered to the new box. No other authorization of any kind was required, so far as *I* saw.

February 2002, I noticed that the box only listed half the recording time it should. Again called TiVo and they eventually concluded the second hard drive died and again offered to replace the unit. Again, I opted to swap it through the extended warranty and again, came home, gave them my case number and the new serial number and had LS transfered.

Now I don't know if Good Guys sent the defective units back to Phillips or not. I also don't know if I could've just pretended to swap it under extended warranty and sold it (TiVo wouldn't even have a way of knowing if I HAD extended warranty or not). Certainly, TiVo did not wait until they'd received a unit from GG before reinstating my LS.

I would suspect this is a very obscure loophole in the process and I don't know if TiVo should be held responsible for it or not. Certainly, any countermeasure they put in would likely greatly inconvenience anyone who did have to legitimately transfer LS.

Good luck!

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MakingNews is offline Old Post 12-11-2002 12:12 PM
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MakingNews
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quote:
Originally posted by KKemp
Seems to me that in the past RB would have chimed in no later than page 2. Where the heck is TiVo on this one??


I was thinking the same thing. I don't think TiVo is the wrong here. But it would be nice to hear their explanation.

And it does seem like the kind of mess Tivolutionary would have just quietly "fixed."

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papabrody is offline Old Post 12-11-2002 11:03 PM
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papabrody
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So unless we hear differently from TIVO we take away from this thread:

1) Don't buy a LS box on e-bay b/c it might really not have LS.

2) If you want to transfer a LS, just call up TIVO and tell them you are exchanging a box under an extended warranty plan.

3) If you buy a LS box and attempt to transfer the account to your name, don't expect TIVO to even reply to your attempt.

I do learn alot here.

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phone1 is offline Old Post 12-11-2002 11:18 PM
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phone1
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quote:
Originally posted by papabrody
So unless we hear differently from TIVO we take away from this thread:

1) Don't buy a LS box on e-bay b/c it might really not have LS.

2) If you want to transfer a LS, just call up TIVO and tell them you are exchanging a box under an extended warranty plan.

3) If you buy a LS box and attempt to transfer the account to your name, don't expect TIVO to even reply to your attempt.

I do learn alot here.



1) I think "buyer beware" is excellent advice for anyone contemplating buying on ebay.

2) Yes, if you want to defraud TiVo.

3) If you're buying a legitimately subbed box from the owner, they should assist you with this. If it's a third party, refer back to number one.

__________________
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dgh is offline Old Post 12-11-2002 11:35 PM
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dgh
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Jul 2000
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quote:
Originally posted by phone1
1) I think "buyer beware" is excellent advice for anyone contemplating buying on ebay.



On a wristwatch forum they keep repeating the motto: "Buy the seller, not the watch." It solves a lot of problems.

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

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papabrody is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 02:13 AM
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papabrody
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quote:
Originally posted by phone1


2) Yes, if you want to defraud TiVo.




"defraud" is a pretty strong word. It appears all one has to say is that they are replacing the box under an extended warranty. I don't think TIVO in this case asked for any warranty info. When we replace a box ourselves, isn't that just like a self-insured extended warranty?

TIVO is the one who is making the statement that LS stays with the box. They have publicly been adamant about this, but privately don't follow their own public policy

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phone1 is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 02:49 AM
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phone1
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quote:
Originally posted by papabrody
"defraud" is a pretty strong word. It appears all one has to say is that they are replacing the box under an extended warranty. I don't think TIVO in this case asked for any warranty info. When we replace a box ourselves, isn't that just like a self-insured extended warranty?

TIVO is the one who is making the statement that LS stays with the box. They have publicly been adamant about this, but privately don't follow their own public policy

I'd still have to call it cheating them. If you lie about the circumstances under which TiVo was replaced in order to get a free subscription, knowing it's not following their policy, I'd call it that. You are also harming them financially. No HW is going to last forever, I'm sure the cost of the lifetime sub is carefully calculated based on the product's expected lifecycle. (BTW, I don't mean you personally of course, but if one uses a more formal tone around here, one tends to have fun poked at oneself. )

I like the "self-insured warranty" angle, but I don't think TiVo will buy it. They'll just tell you to have the bad unit repaired - if it's done by an authorized repair center and has to be exchanged, they will transfer your sub. If you replace a drive yourself, your sub is intact. So your self-insurance covers the cost of the repair/replacement, not an "upgrade" to a new unit, just as a real XW would have.*

And we still don't know all the circumstances of the transfer (and probably never will.)

*Yes, there have been cases where stores refunded a warranty holder's money (store didn't carry TiVo any longer) and they were able to transfer sub to a new machine, but that's an exceptional circumstance, and the owner would have kept his original unit if it had been working.

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

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shady is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 03:23 AM
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shady
Senior Member

Registered: May 2002
Location: San Mateo, California
Posts: 492

quote:
Originally posted by dgh
On a wristwatch forum they keep repeating the motto: "Buy the seller, not the watch." It solves a lot of problems.



Hang on a minute. Are you telling me that they have forums that discuss wristwatches?

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jcblack is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 03:34 AM
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jcblack
Member

Registered: Jul 2001
Location: lexington, ky
Posts: 125

quote:
Originally posted by Binkish
I think the real problem here is that TIVO is not a device but a service, by their own definition. The fact that you have to have a device to use the service makes this line muddy.
OT, but i still don't get it. How can they be a service when you buy this from them.

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TiVoPony is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 04:04 AM
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TiVoPony
Good TiVo, Good.

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Just a quick note...I'm aware of the thread, but not of the details yet. I'm just back today from a long trip, and wouldn't want to comment until I'm caught up and have had the opportunity to check on a few things.

Pony

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dgh is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 04:11 AM
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dgh
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Jul 2000
Location:
Posts: 1902

quote:
Originally posted by shady
Hang on a minute. Are you telling me that they have forums that discuss wristwatches?


Quite a few really. I know one guy who's been averaging about 1 new watch per week for the last 4 years (and his typical watch is around $15K too.) If you have an addiction like that, you need a support group

(Not to stop you but to tell you it's OK of course )

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

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holee is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 04:22 AM
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holee
Uncertain

Registered: Dec 2000
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Posts: 1498

You know if the transfer had been done for legitimate issues, I think folks would be praising TiVo CSR's for "bending" the rules. And as far as the CSR was aware, the customer was telling the truth.

Now they're being slammed for doing something that 99% of would be in favor of? What if someone's TiVo died for real and the CSR did in fact allow for the LS to be transffered, as a service. We'd all be praising TiVo for that. There's no way a CSR to know about all the scams out there.

As far as the CSR was concerned, he/she was doing someone a favor. It's like getting upgraded to first class for free or getting to go home early. It happens once in a while even if it's not the policy.

I feel bad for the OP, but I really think that the ebay seller is the only guilty party here. We all know TiVo's policy of LS. I'd rather it remain a situation where some discretion is given to the CSR versus a draconian one with no wriggle room at all.

If you buy it from ebay, you have to deal with the risks involved. TiVo can't police everyone, especially in the second-hand market.

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unixadm is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 04:30 AM
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unixadm
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Registered: Jan 2001
Location: Georgia, USA
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quote:
Originally posted by TiVoPony
Just a quick note...I'm aware of the thread, but not of the details yet. I'm just back today from a long trip, and wouldn't want to comment until I'm caught up and have had the opportunity to check on a few things.

Pony




The prodigal son has come home

Welcome back TP....I just started a thread in the DirectTiVo forum listing you MIA

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rseligman is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 05:11 AM
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rseligman
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Registered: Dec 2000
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quote:
Originally posted by holee
You know if the transfer had been done for legitimate issues, I think folks would be praising TiVo CSR's for "bending" the rules. And as far as the CSR was aware, the customer was telling the truth.

Now they're being slammed for doing something that 99% of would be in favor of? What if someone's TiVo died for real and the CSR did in fact allow for the LS to be transffered, as a service. We'd all be praising TiVo for that. There's no way a CSR to know about all the scams out there.

As far as the CSR was concerned, he/she was doing someone a favor. It's like getting upgraded to first class for free or getting to go home early. It happens once in a while even if it's not the policy.

You're right, but your scenario doesn't apply here. This transfer was not done for "legitimate" reasons. Suppose someone tells the airline that you won't be showing up for your flight, and therefore they should let him upgrade to your first-class seat. But then you show up and legitimately ask for your seat back. Does the airline tell you "sorry, we've already given it to the liar, you're out of luck"? No, they kick the liar out of his seat and give it back to the rightful owner (you).

The "slamming" against TiVo isn't because they bent the rules to help someone. I don't think anyone can fault TiVo for believing the original seller and doing what they asked.

The complaint is that once it was demonstrated to TiVo that they were deceived and that--even while trying to be nice--they took an action that cost an innocent third-party his service, TiVo's response was "tough luck". It should have been "oops, sorry, we'll rectify that immediately."

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richNYC is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 05:18 AM
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richNYC
Senior Member

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They can't rectify it immediately. They have a contract (the LS) with the seller. They can't transfer it without his permission.

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smak is offline Old Post 12-12-2002 05:44 AM
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smak
new glossy edition

Registered: Feb 2000
Location: Studio City, CA USA
Posts: 4610

But if you look at Polcamilla's two legitimate cases, in both he returned his
defective unit to good guys, got a new one, and called Tivo to swap the lifetime.

So there's no way his old box could be sold by him, because he dropped it off to GG.

Now from his post it looks like he called Tivo afterwards and said his original machine died, he replaced it with his GG extended warranty and got LS on the new machine.

That's wrong, Tivo should never transfer the LS under any circumstance to a person who calls on the phone, unless it's a grandfathered pre 2000 one.

The only way the lifetime should have been transferred is if GG called tivo, or philips had done it if he sent it back to them for warranty work, and they replaced it.

If the case in this thread ends up being that the original owner called tivo and told them his box broke and he returned it for another one, and they granted him new LS on his new box, than Tivo is at fault and must rectify the situation.

The old box should have been taken out of service to be refurbished, and never should have been able to be sold on ebay.

I've returned a few electronic items, mainly a few cell phones in the last year, and they always want the old one back or they'll charge me for the new one.

No company should take the word of someone on the phone that their machine is broken. They need proof either from a retail location, or by sending the device back...

-smak-

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Last edited by smak on 12-12-2002 at 05:49 AM

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