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>>> Not Pleased with Gift TiVo <<<

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Natron is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 06:52 PM
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Natron
New Member

Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Greater Washington, DC
Posts: 10

Not Pleased with Gift TiVo

I have purchased my 6th TiVo this week as present for my parents. I also bought a lifetime subscription for my parents. I had it shipped to my house, so I could set it up. When I went to activate the subscription on the web a credit card was required, even though it has already been paid for.

I called the TiVo CSR and explained that I have already paid for the subscription, but the CSR said a credit card was still required. After talking to supervisor I was told it was required for verification. I asked if my parents were activating it then how would their credit card be used verification. The supervisor asked if I have the same last name. So if I give it to a friend who has a different last name how is verification possible? What if I give it to a friend who does not have credit card? I don't want to give someone a gift and tell them "Oh by the way you will need your use credit card to activate this gift".

The final answer I got from the supervisor was that how our system is set up, which akin to saying that's the way it is. I am planning on sending it back for a refund and buy my parents something else.

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kantonburg is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 07:07 PM
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kantonburg
TiVooViT

Registered: May 2002
Location:
Posts: 235

Although I feel the verification system seems a bit silly I can't understand why you would send it back. You obviously endorse the product as you have mentioned you purchased 6 TiVos. You have a product you like, find useful, and think is good enough to give as a gift.

I don't know I suppose everyone has their annoyances that deter purchases that others find silly. Hopefully TiVo has a good answer for the reason.

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dobbie1 is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 07:07 PM
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dobbie1
Member

Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Cleveland, TN
Posts: 75

I was thinking of purchasing a TiVo and subscription as a wedding gift. I understood all that was needed to activate was the code you received when purchasing the gift. If this is not the case, I will re-think my purchase. Thanks for the heads-up.

Regards

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Ladd Morse is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 07:11 PM
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Ladd Morse
Senior Member

Registered: Feb 2002
Location:
Posts: 254

Wow!!

Good timing with this post -- I have also been considering giving a TiVo as a gift to my parents and this information definitely causes me to pause.

I look forward to seeing how this evolves with additional information in additional postings from other community members.

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DancnDude is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 07:36 PM
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DancnDude
Dumbledore's Army

Registered: Feb 2001
Location: Madison, WI, USA
Posts: 1229

If you are setting it up anyways, why not just activate it for them? Set it up at your place with their TV lineup, and maybe even put in a few season passes for shows you know they like. If you have the same lineup, let it record a couple shows even so they have something to try out when they get it.

It is silly that you would need a credit card to activate a gift subscription, but if they won't be charged, I don't see much of a problem. If they don't have a credit card, I would assume calling TiVo support would probably activate you over the phone.

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Natron is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 07:43 PM
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Natron
New Member

Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Greater Washington, DC
Posts: 10

I did talk to TiVo support and a supervisor and they said a credit card was mandatory. I wished I would have asked what would they do if someone does have a credit card.

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stevel is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 07:47 PM
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stevel
Dumb Blond

Registered: Aug 2000
Location: Nashua, NH
Posts: 7476

I think the way TiVo wants you to do this is by buying a gift certificate, but I agree that the requirement for a credit card when lifetime service has already been purchased is absurd.

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murgatroyd is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 10:40 PM
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murgatroyd
TiVo Forum Special Member

Registered: Jan 2002
Location: Berkeley CA
Posts: 3825

The verification is not silly. It is standard practice in a lot of different businesses.

How is this different than picking up theatre tickets at a will-call window?

If you buy the tickets over the phone, when you pick them up, you generally have to show the CC you paid for them with. Once I got tickets for a show as a gift and the person who gave them to me gave me a letter saying the tickets were a gift along with a photocopy of her credit card, thinking that should be good enough.

Wrong. The box office person plotzed, called a supervisor, I was left standing around long enough to miss the start of the show.

TiVo may need to improve its handling of service given as gifts, but so do a lot of other industries.

As credit card fraud over the net gets worse, you can expect even more hassles from vendors when you try to buy gifts and have them shipped to the third party's address, or do anything which involves having the merchandise or service at places other than the credit card's billing address. Credit card companies are NOT willing to protect the merchant against fraud, so the merchants have to be strict in order to protect themselves.

Jan

Last edited by murgatroyd on 06-25-2004 at 10:51 PM

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TiVoOpsMgr is offline Old Post 06-25-2004 11:35 PM
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TiVoOpsMgr
Director, Svc. Ops

Registered: Jun 2000
Location: Alviso, CA, USA
Posts: 944

Hi folks,

I'm sorry that this is a problem. Our system does require a valid credit card for every single gift card redemption, even for Product Lifetime when there will be no charge to that credit card.

To re-emphasize the point: There will not be any charge to your credit card in this situation.

There are a lot of arcane accounting, system and identity verification reasons for this, and unfortunately that's the way it is. We did try to remove that requirement during the design of this program, but there were too many issues and ultimately we were forced to launch as we did.

I will take the feedback here to the team and let you know if we can make any changes in the future.

One advantage to having your credit card on file is that if we ever offer future optional services that involve a charge, you'll have the convenience of having a card ready to go.

Natron, I'm sorry that you're upset and considering a return. Please contact me and we'll see if we can work out something as an alternative.

Best regards,
Stephen

From the Gift-Giving FAQs (http://www.tivo.com/2.9.3.asp):

Why am I being asked to enter my credit card information if I have a TiVo service gift subscription?

At the time of activation, we require credit card information from all TiVo subscribers. If you choose a monthly billing option and apply a monthly gift subscription toward this option, you will be charged the regular monthly fee only after your gift subscription has been fully used. If you choose a product lifetime service and utilize a product lifetime TiVo service gift subscription you will not see a charge on your credit card.

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http://www.tivo.com/support/
NOTE: I prefer e-mail to Private Messages. Due to the volume of e-mail I receive, please try to go through normal channels or post your question on the forum BEFORE contacting me directly, if possible. Thanks!

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kenerups is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 12:07 AM
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kenerups
cat furniture

Registered: Apr 2003
Location: cleveland
Posts: 91

The problem that made me parranoid about this was mistyping the code. I was afraid if i mis-typed it that my credit card would be charged since the service lifetime code was invalid. However, I was able to get around this by not putting my credit card number in until i knew the code would be accepted.

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dobbie1 is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 12:13 AM
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dobbie1
Member

Registered: Apr 2002
Location: Cleveland, TN
Posts: 75

It is unfortunate. As I said I was intending to give as a wedding gift and have it delivered. I don't know if they have a valid credit card or not to activate TiVo. It is not really any of my business. Seems to me kinda tacky to say, "Hey I sent you a wedding gift, but you will need a credit card to activate." Also kinda ruins the occasion. Since I don't plan on providing them my credit card number to activate, therein lies the problem. Maybe this isn't a big problem to others, but it does create a problem for me. I have been ordering items online long before it became a common practice. I have never had a problem ordering an item and having the item delivered to a different address. All I have had to do is provide both my address as the card holders and the shipping address. Oh, well back to the drawing board.

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bootedbear is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 05:35 AM
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bootedbear
JavaJunkie

Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 142

quote:
The verification is not silly. It is standard practice in a lot of different businesses.



How does that make it not silly? Lots of businesses do lots of silly things.

quote:
I was left standing around long enough to miss the start of the show.


And you didn't find that incredibly silly just becaue it's "standard practice"?

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skubish is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 07:51 AM
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skubish
Member

Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Posts: 122

This is absurd.

A credit card is to be used to make a purchase not to verify identity. This is not the intended purpose of a credit card and I think you will find it is a violation of the use agreement.

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Natron is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 08:50 AM
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Natron
New Member

Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Greater Washington, DC
Posts: 10

I waited and decided to give the TiVo to my parents. I have pasted 2 screen shots pertaining to the activation. I think that they need to make the wording better or even an option for a life time gift subscription. The second screen shows that there will be no charge. I really appreciate TiVoOpsMgr responding to this thread.

http://home.comcast.net/~bracyr/mom/TiVo1.jpg
http://home.comcast.net/~bracyr/mom/TiVo2.jpg

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OLdDog is offline Old Post 06-26-2004 06:19 PM
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OLdDog
Reformed Druid

Registered: Dec 2001
Location:
Posts: 1546

TiVoOpsMgr,

While it is good that you responded to this thread your stated reasons for CC is totally absurd. IT is the "excuse" that many companies give for outdated policies and lazy support departments.

There are many, many people that do not use any form of CC yet want to own equipment like TiVo. This policy excludes those people from your buyer group and costs customers.

Currently the only way for people without CCs to get this kind of product is to go to the trouble of acquiring one of the prepaid CCs, an option that many people find annoying and many believe that there is a chance they will loose their money.

You are correct that some companies require a CC for various reasons but there are also many that do not and most of those that do have a work around for those that do not have a CC..
Dish does (for their promotions that involve free equipment. They have services and subs that do not require a CC)
DTV does (For the same as Dish)
Sprint does not.
Verison does not.
Comcast does not.
Sirius does not.
Yahoo (business services) does not.

You can argue all you want that it is the way it is and that the software is at fault but it still remains a dumb police that most companies are working to get around and those that donít have made the decision to be less profitable than the could be. This seems a dumb business decision to me.

There should be, at least, a phone call option that gets around the "requirement". Online options may require a CC but there should be an alternative if the customer calls in their activation.

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LiveBlues is offline Old Post 06-27-2004 06:57 AM
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LiveBlues
Master Blaster

Registered: Oct 2001
Location: Sun Valley, ID
Posts: 2145

While I find this a bit silly myself, most people have a debit card these days. Works the same way.

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ThreeSoFar is offline Old Post 06-27-2004 07:08 AM
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ThreeSoFar
FourNowActually

Registered: May 2002
Location: Baltimore
Posts: 2708

I have to agree here. Asking for a credit card for proof...of what, I don't know. It's been paid. Maybe call the gift giver and get their authorization and credit card if you must.

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I think ThreeSoFar's advice is by far the best...gregpr

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kensteele is offline Old Post 06-27-2004 12:46 PM
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kensteele
Senior Member

Registered: Dec 2002
Location: Overland Park, Kansas
Posts: 339

Absolutely absurd.

Have to have sufficient credit issued by a bank in order to use Tivo equipment? Mandatory?

Absurb. Perhaps Tivo can give us THEIR credit card number for this no-charging transaction LOL.

Any company that demands that it's customers have credit, no other choice or options; not wise. I guess if you are under 18, no Tivo.

While I might be open to use my cards freely and I understand the whole deal, there are people who WILL NOT understand it.

Last edited by kensteele on 06-27-2004 at 01:20 PM

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dswallow is offline Old Post 06-27-2004 01:09 PM
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dswallow
+258PC

Registered: Dec 2000
Location: Long Branch, NJ, USA
Posts: 15575

TiVoOpsMgr provides the best reason why you would not activate a gift subscription using your own credit card: there might come a time when optional extra-cost services are offered and the credit card that is on file will get those charges.

TiVo is essentially providing an avenue for credit card abuse.

The requirement of a credit card in this situation is absurd, and is entirely based on a limitation in poorly designed software that's probably been adjusted over the years to accommodate new things that were not in the original design and those were done in such a way that they required workarounds, making the whole system even worse.

If I were giving a gift, I expect the gift to be the end of it. The additional hassle of requiring a credit card when a subscription is fully pre-paid or even when a subscription is prepaid for a given period of time is poor customer service. As a gift-giver, I don't want to worry that the person I'm giving it to has a credit card or not, and I don't want to be using my own credit card, exposing me to additional charges at some point in the future.

Whether this gets fixed properly, or TiVo CSR's are simply given a list of "fake" credit card numbers to use in such situations, it should never be something the customer has to deal with. It shouldn't take a posting like this to find a workaround to the substandard system; it should be handled by any CSR.

Well, let me say that finding the need for a workaround might be something a posting like this is good for, but the next person who runs into this situation should be dealt with gracefully by the CSR with a documented procedure for them to follow so that a credit card is not required.

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bywi is offline Old Post 06-27-2004 01:49 PM
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bywi
New Member

Registered: May 2004
Location:
Posts: 11

Thanks for the heads up, Natron. Yes, it is *absurd* that they require a CC to activate a gift purchase. I have considered giving TiVo as a gift to my parents, but they've always been paranoid about entering their CC#'s online and they would no doubt ask me why TiVo is requiring a credit card number for a gift I gave to them.

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