I feel like TiVo stole $150 from me

Yeah, I know, I should always read the fine print, but when you’re registering your brand new gadget, it’s too easy to miss something huge like an early termination fee. So today I called to cancel my second TiVo Series3 and learned that by getting the multi-service discount that I also agreed to pay the fee. I feel very sick right now and cheated by TiVo. I’ve loved their products for so many years and now I want to tell the whole world that they are no better than the worst cellular provider I’ve ever had. I know, I know, I did agree, but still, ETFs in general are so anti-consumer. In the end I had the Series3 for 14 months, which comes to $17/mo, which doesn’t sound bad in that retrospect, but I still feel very cheated right now.

2 Responses to “I feel like TiVo stole $150 from me”

  1. ETF fees are tacky, but they are also necessary when TiVo subsidizes the cost of the hardware. I’m not sure why MRV would trigger a termination fee, but it probably has something to do with the discount they gave on the pricing. I hate to see you lose the $150, why not sell it to a friend for a year and see if you can get it back? Ideally, I’d like to see TiVo move away from the ETFs or at least offer a $25 – $30 monthly rental plan as an option. I think that there are plenty of consumers who wouldn’t mind paying TiVo more each month, if it meant that they didn’t have to spend any money up front and they still had the flexibility to quit at any time.

  2. Ben Drawbaugh says:

    It was due to a multi-service discount, not for multi-room viewing. I paid like $600 for the Series3, so I don’t feel like it was subsidized, but I was only paying $7/mo instead of $20 because I already had another TiVo with service.

    So if you add the $7/mo plus the $150, it ended up costing me $17/mo instead of $20. So my bitching and moaning aside I still paid less than I would’ve without a commitment.

    When I sell my other TiVo I’m going to run into the same thing as I pre-paid 3 years of service that is non-transferable. Again, I’ll save money vs paying the full monthly fee, but it sucks to lose the money. I will offer to let the buyer use my service, but since it’s non-transferable, they’ll have to take my word on it. If they already have another TiVo it won’t work as both TiVo have to be on the same account to MRV.