Monday, January 22, 2007

TiVo Customer Service

I'll edit this post later today about TiVo Customer Service. Depending on some answers I get about a replacement for our defective TiVo, it could be positive or negative.

The Story So Far

On Tuesday of last week, Sheryl and I decided to take the TiVo plunge. I called and ordered the Series 2 Dual Tuner model for 69 dollars with the two year plan. I followed the tracking online and was excited to see that it was going to arrive on Thursday. I was going to see a movie that night and wanted to record the Scrubs musical episode and The Daily Show and Colbert Report. I set it up that night (including wireless adapter) and set it to record Scrubs. No problem. I then set it up to record TDS and TCR. Problem.

When I hit the button to record, the TiVo shut off then back on, with a yellow and black screen that said, "Welcome. Powering Up..." So we let it sit that way for about 10 minutes and then decided that we didn't like that that much and unplugged it and plugged it back in. Same thing. Went online. Got the same advice and unplugged it and plugged it back in. Same thing. Called customer support. Got the same advice and did it one more time. After we got the same result, the CS person told us we had a bad hard drive and they would have to send us a new one. At which point we had the option of sending our old one back and waiting for the new one to arrive or them sending us a new one and then we send ours back, which is what we chose to do (of course, our account was charged with $250). We were told it would be several days to get it, so I asked if we could be upgraded to overnight. Because the exchange had already been processed, we couldn't so I just decided to wait on it, patiently.

Friday. I had received no emails or confirmation that our new box had been sent. So I called Customer Service and they said it HADN'T been sent out yet and in fact, it might not be sent out until Saturday. And it might not get to us for 7-10 business days, or 2 weeks in real person talk. Which honestly just flabbergasts me. I mean seriously, if a customer gets a defective box, why wouldn't you send a replacement out IMMEDIATELY and sent overnight.. I pointed this out to the CS rep and his supervisor, who said that their hands were tied because the exchange had already been processed. I suggested cancelling that exchange and redoing it, but they couldn't do that either. They did give us a month of service for free, so that was nice.

So I called the corporate office to register my complaint. Someone there took my name and number and promised that someone would get back to me. I called again and no one did.

Saturday, we got a call telling us that it had been shipped. Great. Two days later.

Today. Just now. I just got off the phone with CS and they gave me a tracking # for the replacement, which is scheduled to arrive tomorrow. My anger has abated some, but it'll still be a day later than I wanted for Heroes and 24. Also, it would have been PERFECT for last night, which the barnburner Colts-Pats game ran into the 9 o'clock hour while Battlestar Galactica was on, which we could have recorded and switched over to after the game.

I'm still going to send an email to the Investor Relations about this. I'm pretty ticked off about it overall, but much less so than about 45 minutes ago.


Scott said...

Dude, your Tivo is messed up? On Monday when 24 goes up against Heroes?

What are you going to do?

Phil said...

Tell me about it.

Tonight we'll have to go old school and watch Heroes live and then I'll watch 24 later.

Jennifer Thompson said...

My Tivo broke once. It was a sad day.

Mine was because the power went out (due to my space heater, which has not been used since) and fried the Tivo when it came back on. But I got it at Best Buy, so they just exchanged it for me (this only happened a month or two after I got it). Hopefully yours will be fixed as easily.

(Also: Get a good surge protector.)

Scott said...

Man, I feel your pain.
Praise God for internet streaming.
Of course, I'd watch 24 live and then watch Heroes later.

TCS said...


Gadget Frustration Syndrome

Alice said...

Phil. You watch too much tv.

Alice said...

But you're still a good guy.

Tony Arnold said...


Isn't technology wonderful. It adds so many advantages and efficiencies to our lives.

But no one mentioned the time we would spend supporting and fighting the technology and the stress it adds.

Having been an electrical design engineer for 20 years and very adept with electronic gadgets, I am actively working to reduce the amount of technology in my life and the more I eliminate the less stressful I find life to be.

The one big problem I have with technology these days is exactly what you are going through. That is, who takes responsibility? And trying to get to a human who can actually help you with your problem.

For most technophiles, customer service and help lines are just a big source of frustration. You have already tried what they suggest and they don't understand the technology anyway (we won't mention the communication barriers). Yet, you still have to appease them with their silly attempts.

That is the real kicker, the customer has to appease customer service instead of customer service appeasing the customer. This is truly a phenomenon of the technology and communication industries, not of other service industries.

It won't change until everyone quits using technology and spends there time reading a book or interacting with their families. Maybe technology really is the number of the beast.

Sorry for hijacking with my rant....

Jennifer Thompson said...

I'm sorry you had a bad first TiVo experience. You'll grow to love it... just as soon as you get one that works. Promise. Especially since you have the fancy dual-tuner version. Luckyyyy.

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