TiVo is dropping the ball…

Thursday, January 13, 2005 2:34 AM

I’ve been a loyal customer for almost 3 years with two Series2 80hr boxes. I’ve loved my Tivos, but I have reached the period of being very disappointed in the company and service offerings.

My first bitter taste was when I paid $100 for the HMO option, only to watch them give it away months later for free, and refuse to refund anything I paid for it. I’m a lifetime subscriber on one box (I got the second box after my HMO issue, and thus elected to go with the month-to-month… who knows what they will do). In fact, the customer service experience was less than desireable… the two people I spoke to basically gave me the line of “yeah it sucks, but that’s just how it is… anything else I can help you with”.

Now, TiVo2Go is announced almost a year ago, it’s finally “released”, but there are those of us who, after two weeks, are still sitting on our thumbs waiting for it. Not to mention the fact that we ~still~ can’t burn DVDs of our recordings. The Tivo2Go functionality isn’t that far-fetched. You can copy a recording from your TiVo -> PC and watch as long as you have the appropriate codecs. Um… that took 1 year of development and testing?

And the reasoning of not being able to push it out to everyone because of the server load surprised me they even admitted it. Microsoft adds servers to account for the heavy load on the Windows Update site (and that is a FREE service)… if CNN wasn’t responding, they’d add servers (and that’s a FREE service). It surprised me when TiVoBill came out to say it was a 1) server load issue and 2) customer service coverage.

I know others have spent more, and others have spent way less, but I’ve sunk close to $1,000 personally into TiVo stuff (2 80hr Series2 boxes, 1 HMO, 1 lifetime, 14 months of monthly subscription). And I’m still sitting here waiting for my limited functionality of TiVo2Go.

With so many competitors coming out of the woodwork (Comcast boxes, DirecTV boxes, MCE’s, etc), you’d think they would push harder. To me, this looks like another case of a company inventing/spearheading a technology, only to watch others perfect the distribution of it. I for one am rooting for a Apple buy-out of TiVo because their marketing machine seems to get it more than TiVo’s. But for now, when people ask me about my TiVo, I tell them I love PVR’s, but if I didn’t have anything right now, I probably wouldn’t go with TiVo… I’d look closer at the box being released by DirecTV, the Comcast boxes, and even the MCE’s.

I’m trying my hardest not to slam TiVo in this thread… it’s more of a disappointment rant… hoping someone there will see it, see more of these, and have the internal talks about being more marketing/customer service friendly. There will be the replies of “why don’t you just get rid of your TiVos and get something else”… the same arguments to “why are you using IE, FireFox is better”. It all boils down to I’m a TiVo customer, I don’t want to switch but TiVo has to sell me on staying a TiVo customer.

» Originally posted here on TivoCommunity.com

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