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My first public review- About a year ago I had decided to buy a TiVo product because of the great reviews and reliability of the products. I bought the Bolt+ that has struggled to be reliable. When my first box failed (hard drive failure) right before the end of the extended warranty, I requested a new Bolt, and was given a refurbished one that I was told was tested too and was as good as new. Well that failed (would not power up) in less than 60 days. I then requested again a new replacement but was reassured that could not do anything else because of policy, even though message boards said others received new boxes. This replacement box did not even work when it arrived.
Numerous hrs on the phone, calling cable company to troubleshoot, I finally called executive customer care and surprisingly got a call back from one of the executives. I called back and was transferred to someone else that said they could only replace my box with a new one if I paid $70 for the new model with voice control. I asked to speak with the executive that reached out and was told for over 20 mins that I could not speak with them. This by far has been my worst customer experience second to Combatant Gentleman's dealing with not even talking to customers (but their CEO actually contacted me directly and took care of all costs).
TiVo's call center technical assistance continues to disappoint & reinforce my decision to go with a cable provided DVR. I spoke with Ezra at the Philippines Call Center - he was pleasant and somewhat helpful as I attempted to get my TiVo HD back online. I started the process of Guided Set-Up and he said that a hot spot Internet connection would work as Internet connection. I just wanted to watch my shows that were saved on my old HD model.
I started the process, then got hung up on the last step, I think it was getting program information... I called back spoke to a woman and she said "Hot Spot will not work with my TiVo" I told it was working, she said no it won't. I then ask her how familiar she was with the older TiVo models... she said she was. I asked to speak to a supervisor she insisted three times that - that was not needed. I insisted a fourth time and she said she would connect me. She then hung up on me. Great service.
I called back, got Ezra again, agent the first time. He was a little confused over my question... would hot spot work, and I just wanted to watch my saved programs. I then asked to speak to a supervisor again. He put me on hold and after 10 minutes... yes 10 minutes. I got supervisor Jeff. Jeff gave no clear answers and just kept repeating what I was saying to him, and he said "Hum" a lot. Hum this, hum that.
He then told me to look at my TiVo Wireless G USB Network Adapter. He kept asking if the two lights were light or blinking. I told him there was only light with two symbols on each side of it. He told me to turn it over and look for another light. I asked him if he was aware of what these look like... there is no light on other side, just a rainbow/upside down smile light that goes from power to the internet connected symbol... handshake symbol I call it. He kept telling me I was not connected. I got so frustrated with his hums, and more hums from him, I hung up. What kind of service does TiVo offer? The worst. So unless you are a tech smart person I would not recommend TiVo as there is no customer service any longer. There used to be... not it has been unsuccessfully outsourced to another country. Bummer.
This company has a clever scam going. They send a warning that your connection is failing and then when you contact them to fix the problem they try to upsell new equipment and a more expensive subscription. Thanks for warning from other consumers, I was aware. Hard to believe they will be able to avoid prosecution for this much longer.
When I order TiVo Bolt easy to hook up but I have to get tuning adapter box is free and cable card 2.50 month. Not bad. Everything work fine. I love it. I watch TV and movie. They are best show no plm.
Once again TiVo has screwed their - cough - lifetime service customers. First they charged me for TiVo Desktop. Then they charged me for TiVo Desktop Plus. Then they DROPPED support for TiVo Desktop. And over the years I've had to reach-out MANY TIMES to their so-called Executive Support department because of changes they've made that rendered TiVo Desktop unusable. Well they've done it again and I've been without a working TiVo network for over a month and waiting for a solution for the same amount of time - yes, I called it in. They've outsourced EVERYTHING to the Philippines, including their so-called Executive Support department, and it is a terrible change. By-the--by: have they passed-on any of that cost savings to us? No, they have not.
The support reps are useless. I've been chasing them for over 4 weeks (AS THEY DO NOT CALL BACK AS THEY PROMISE) and the latest callback was a total waste. The rep did not understand the situation and it’s obvious no work has been done on my behalf. He asked the same questions three times and each time he re-asked or re-stated things back to me, HE MADE IT CLEAR THAT HE DOES NOT COMPREHEND SPOKEN ENGLISH. I run a help desk and this guy would NOT have passed the interview. TiVo has again abandoned their lifetime customers and should be ashamed of themselves. Find an alternative, find a company that cares about customers.
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We have been totally satisfied customers of TiVo for fifteen trouble-free years. Our TiVo unit started warning us that it was going to lose the ability to record in three days. And it did. It seemed fishy that the unit would have this "warning" in anticipation of a malfunction... almost like it had sort of a built-in lifespan. We called their technical people numerous times. Everyone you talk to is overseas and while they were all very nice, the language problems were pretty much insurmountable. Two days were wasted on all this. So it seemed like the best idea was to get a new unit. Nothing lasts forever and fifteen years is a long time. We record literally everything. I can honestly say I haven't watched a commercial in the whole time we've had TiVo. So we weren't going to give that up.
My warning is to long-time TiVo users like us. The new system is terrible. Starting with the fact that our lifetime service wasn't transferable, to the fact that the price has quadrupled, to the almost unbelievable difficulty in hooking the unit up... it's been an awful experience. TiVo was wonderfully easy to use. Hook-up on our original box took minutes. Simply screwing in a DSL cable. Period. We knew we were in trouble when we realized that this new TiVo Bolt didn't even have a DSL thing. It also came with no... I repeat NO... Viewer's Guide. And for some bizarre reason they have changed the names of every single service TiVo provides. Forget all you knew about "Season Passes" and "Find Programs" and all the other user-friendly features you have gotten accustomed to. They're all called something different now. And it comes with no instructions to tell you this.
The old TiVo remote was easy enough to be operated blind-folded. The new one would challenge Stephen Hawking. And even for more technical folks than we are, the screens that pop up are absolutely dreadful. Everything you see is confusing, noisy, cluttered and full of what apparently are ads to see shows you aren't remotely interested in. The old TiVo screens were clean, clear, and precise. The new ones are exactly the opposite. We are heartsick and feel, strongly, that we've been ripped off by a trusted friend. On a side note, we used our old TiVo remote to do everything... from turning on the TV to engaging the VCR to adjusting the volume. Forget doing all that with the new system.
Strangely enough, the old 15 year old remote still works for all these things. So that's still what we use to turn on the TV. This is progress, I guess? There's plenty more that I could say. I've probably said enough. Just know that if you have been a happy user of TiVo in the past, you will be sorely unhappy with what they have become. We're sending the darn thing back. The DVR service from our local cable provider certainly couldn't be any worse. And is a whole lot cheaper.
Updated on 04/11/2018: I was very surprised to get an email from you folks at ConsumerAffairs saying my dissatisfaction with TiVo had been resolved. It absolutely has not been. And where on earth would you have gotten an idea like that? My original warning to long-time customers like myself who were thinking of purchasing a new TiVo box and service was that major changes in the service had been implemented--including even what things were called-- and no User's Guide was sent to explain any of these changes. I got an owner's manual with my vacuum cleaner, for Pete's sake. But nothing with this very complicated DVR system.
Their idea of "resolving" the issue was to have me talk to yet another out-of-country technician. As if the many, many phone calls I'd already made weren't enough. These technical people specifically refuse to tell you where they're located. They are very polite-- at least the ones I talked to were-- but I can think of nothing less polite that refusing to answer a simple question like where they are.
In my original negative review I said I was going to send the box back. And I have decided not to. A fifteen-year habit of skipping commercials is pretty hard to give up. The last tech guy was able to walk me through the process of setting up the remote so that I'm able to turn the TV off and on with it and do other things I was able to do before. I've learned through trial and error-- lots of error!-- what buttons do what. All of this could have been taken care of quickly and easily by sending me an Owner's Manual. It is absolutely mind-boggling that these people refuse to do a simple courtesy like that.I have read the other reviews for TiVo on this website and realize that had I sent the machine back it would have caused me even more grief. It appears that their customer service doesn't just start with not providing instructions with their service. It seems to get even worse if a person tries to get their money back.
Somebody there ought to be ashamed of themselves. TiVo was a wonderfully competent and well respected company in the beginning. This is not the company it once was.
After several unpleasant recorded phone conversations with a customer service person, I was told me my order did not go through because I spelled my name wrong (left out a letter). I called my bank and they told me that would not make a difference. I felt the customer service person was rude to me and not understanding of what I was going through; $800 is a lot of money to me! After 7 days the charge did go off my card but instead $1,000 of charges to a travel website appeared. I am not sure why the security of my card was compromised, but my bank did reverse those charges as well. I use a virtual keyboard to enter my cc number so I don't know. My customer service experience with TiVo was quite unpleasant. I never want to go through that again or have any further contact with them. I will add one star because the charge was ultimately taken off my card.The issue was resolved, but it was very stressful getting it resolved.
For me, just ordering a Bolt and mini was a terrible experience. I went directly to the TiVo website to order, I set up an account, and entered my credit card number. Within a second, I got an email from my bank for the $750 charge; however, I got no receipt from TiVo, the items were still in my cart, and I could not sign into my new account. I started a chat but was told I must call. I called and was told the charge was only a hold and it would "fall off" in a couple of days. Meanwhile, my bank will not let me use the $750 and I have no TiVo order. Be warned: customer service for TiVo is farmed out overseas. I was on the phone for close to an hour with no help except wait and see what happens. It was a complete circus. I was even told we process the orders in the order we receive them. What? Are they using pen and paper? Imagine having a problem with your TiVo unit and putting up with this. Dish Network beats this company by a mile.
I have one of the first TiVo Bolts. It worked great with an occasional unplug/plug needed. Then, after I added 3 Minis, problems started. Scheduled shows would not record at times, and/or I would get message that I could not watch live TV because all tuners were “busy”. That would happen even if nothing would be recording and the Minis were not in use. Re-powering or re-booting would fix the problems for few days, then they would start again. Customer service is a joke, they mostly read from a script: unplug power, re-plug, reboot modem, reboot router, etc. While you do that, they hung up and never call back. When you call back, you get a new rep who starts you again on the script, not listening to you or not understanding you.
I suspect the problem is with the minis which “grab” and hold onto a channel even after you turned the attached TV off with the supplied TiVo remote. It appears to be a software issue, and I am not sure if the Mini firmware/software can be updated. TiVo is not going to recall hundred thousands of minis, and/or admit there is a problem. It will be interesting to see if the new voice control remotes have solved the problem!
I have had TiVo in one form or another for years. They are ridiculously horrible in terms of customer support. Just try and cancel them. I had TiVo on auto bill and got another service, boxed up TiVo, put it in the basement. God almighty, try and cancel them. They kept billing me, you can't cancel online, then they fight with you to cancel. They kept referring to "while we attempt to cancel" and other creepy statements like I couldn't cancel. Then they drill on why are you canceling. I just kept repeating cancel. They drone on and on, then expect you to listen to a disclaimer that never ends. "Your guarantee is no good if you cancel," (say what?), "Your warranties are no good," but they dream up hundreds of these things to read to you. I finally said, "Look, I have grandchildren, they are getting old while I listen to this, just cancel". Let's see if they do. Awful.
Customer service is beyond bad, their grasp of the English language is tenuous at best and they just talk down and over you not listening to anything you say. Everything is your problem not theirs. They replaced one box with a broken box then told me they would send another but I had to wait over two weeks. Avoid this company. Their products do not hold up and the customer experience is horrific. I would rather pay for cable than deal with these people.
Updated on 03/03/2018: Here's my latest salvo with Tivo... after over 11 hours on the phone, and my first CA review, I get this... "Thank you for providing your account information so we can assist you with your concerns. This is to inform you that I will be your point of contact to address your concerns in case. I will be contacting you on today 02/23/2018 at 02:00 PM – 04:00 PM PST so we can discuss this further."
I have called him repeatedly and all I get is a voicemail loop and no return call. Then to add insult to injury they told me they could not send an RGA label as they were having technical difficulties so they sent me a barcode and told me to take it to a FedEx office and they would scan it and print a label... WRONG... The FedEx office said they do not do that. I would need to provide a proper label. Can you imagine how pissed off I am after schlepping all over town just to find out these clowns are as usual clueless. And of course my original problem has not been addressed or fixed, I still have channels listed and with strong signals that are blank. No picture, no sound. I TRULY HATE TIVO.
i'm updating my review cause tivo reached out and sent a new tv box thingy which works a lot better than the one we had. tivo's customer service is 10/10. also john from tivo is cool.
I literally made an account for this website. Just give TiVo one star. I wish there was an option to give it zero stars but ya know this is close enough. If you’re considering TiVo, STOP YOURSELF. Not even kidding. TiVo is the absolute worst. I’ve been trying to watch the Olympics and right when something interesting starts happening, TiVo decides that it’s time to reboot itself meaning it cuts to a picture saying “one moment” (takes about 10 min) and then goes back to what you’re watching AND THEN cuts the feed again, showing the stupid “one moment” page. As you can probably tell, I ** hate TiVo with a passion. I would recommend this to someone I hate. Save yourself. Ok thanks. - Child of a father who will not pay for decent TV provider.
I bought a new TiVo Bolt in responses to a TiVo promotion to trade in an old TiVo and transfer my lifetime service. The Bolt would not activate because TiVo sent a Bolt with a different service number than it had in its records. This took days and hours of phone calls to correct. After finally appearing to be resolved, my lifetime service was deactivated 4 months later without notice or any cause. I am back begging again for this company to simply do what I paid for. They are a failing and disreputable company who cannot be trusted. Avoid doing business with TiVo!
We bought a TiVo Bolt just before Christmas and got a card from Comcast. The TiVo would not connect with Comcast so we could not get live TV. Comcast sent out a technician who tried several cards and worked for almost two hours but could not make a connection. I spent several hours on the phone with TiVo which told me to contact Comcast which told me it was a TiVo problem. We exchanged the TiVo at Best Buy and began the journey again. The new TiVo would not connect with our wifi so we had to add an extender.
Comcast paired the card but TiVo would not connect. Again back and forth between TiVo and Comcast. Comcast says, and I think this is correct, that there is a glitch in some TiVos which keep them from working with Comcast cards. TiVo's recommendation is to keep trying cards until one works. The cards are made by Motorola. Comcast also told me that TiVo is reluctant to exchange the non-working equipment. Fortunately we bought the TiVo at Best Buy. I've canceled the TiVo contract.
I bought a TiVo from TiVo, and I have another TiVo I rent from my cable company. According to TiVo, I cannot watch shows recorded on the cable company TiVo on my personal TiVo! Unless both boxes are purchased from TiVo, they will not communicate with each other! Beware!
I've been using Tivo's since 2010. And I'm very satisfied. In fact, I would go so far as to say I'm extremely satisfied. I had a series 3 unit for a year. But lost that in a divorce. So I bought Tivo Premier on eBay. And it came with Lifetime Service. This a feature of the service. The Lifetime service stays with the machine. So when I got it. I simply called TIVO and they transferred the service to my name.
That machine was a real deal. I used it for three years. And just a month or so ago Tivo was offering a sale on the newer Tivo Bolt and they threw in an option to transfer the lifetime service from my old machine to my new one for $99. A great offer. The machines are great, and and the operating system on the TIVO is excellent. I'm surprised to see people complaining about customer support. I've called them a few times on tech issues. And yes, they're outside this country. But they are very knowledgeable, polite, and will stick with you until your problems are resolved.
Please be aware that TiVo customer service and tech support are notoriously bad. My own experience with them was extremely frustrating: the new Bolt I purchased for $300 soon developed major defects, they sent me a "refreshed" unit with even more defects and I went around and around with them for many months, being continually lied to and misrepresented by their employees (mostly making promises that were never fulfilled). I finally documented all written contacts with them then disputed bogus charges with my credit company - and won! Recommend you check out: https://www.consumeraffairs.com/entertainment/tivo.html. I believe they hope dissatisfied customers will just give and go away, which many do due to the extreme frustration of dealing with this company.
Loved the idea of the TiVo Box but once we decided it wasn't going to work out for us, we were stuck with making payments for a year. Called to explain why it wouldn't work and they didn't seem to care. I get it's only $15 a month but what a stupid thing to hold on to as a company. Maybe I'd be back, maybe I could find a way to make it work but now I will never use or recommend anyone to use this service. It's too bad.
Multiple phone calls and no resolution. Very poorly trained staff, who make you walk through a series of troubleshooting steps each time, even though you just did them. The result is that you can never get anything actually resolved in less than an hour. Also, they ask you questions, then don't listen to the answer – and ask the same question seconds later.
I purchased my TiVo over 2 years ago and really appreciated it. They appeared to have spent a lot of time on human interface issues, especially searching for shows. I even went and purchased a lifetime subscription. About a month ago, they made some firmware changes and I noticed two new things that really bothered me; - Before the highlight color was yellow and now it's white; the white is much more glaring, harder to read, and annoying. - Before, when I turned on my TV set using the TiVo remote control, I would have to wait for about 10 secs to get video.
At the same time I would get audio AND control of volume and mute. This was particularly important to me because our bedroom is next to my room and if the volume would come on while my wife was sleep it would disturb her. Since I got control immediately, I could hit the mute button and at worst I would get a short chirp if there was audio going on. Now it takes another 10 secs after video, with the audio at the old volume setting, before I would get control which would be enough to wake her up.
I contacted TiVo for the first time about a month ago, explained the issue and impressed on them that these changes ONLY occurred after their firmware changes. I still had to call them at least 6 times as well as send them emails and they kept putting me off. They had me reboot the TiVo 4 times, they sent me a new remote control, they interrogated my box several times and had me go through resynching my remote control at least 3 times, etc. The first tech that I talked to stated that it could be the hard drive since, from his experience, if the hard drive started to fail it could impact the TiVo - TV communications. I changed the hard drive and it didn't make any difference.
To see if something in my TV set was causing this. I connected my VCR to the TV, powered it on, and I got video, audio, and control of volume and mute all in 10 secs. Identically how my TiVo used to work. Today, after many calls and delays, they finally agreed to replacing the box but it would be treated as a regular hardware replace. They would be generous and only charge me $79 instead of $149. And I had to send in my box and get a return in 1 to 2 weeks. If I wanted to go a cross-shipment I would have to give them a deposit of $499. So, for a problem that they caused I would have to pay $79 and be without a TV in my room for up to 2 weeks.
I am very disappointed and frustrated with them. If I could be assured that they would really replace my box with a new one, transfer my lifetime subscription, and have everything work like it did a month ago I'd pay the money but I don't have confidence that this would really happen. I no longer have confidence in TiVo since they don't stand behind their product.
I went out and bought a TiVo Bolt and Mini thinking that would be the answer to my frustration with high cable TV prices. I got the hardware installed and signed up for everything online, give them a credit card number for month by month subscription until I decided whether the service was right for me or not. After a few months I realized that it really didn't give me what I needed. I still had to subscribe to Netflix Hulu Amazon in order to give all of the programming that I wanted and TiVo just didn't seem worthwhile.
I went online to try to cancel my subscription but after being able to do everything else online discovered that the one thing they won't let you do online have to call and talk to somebody. I tried calling but got frustrated waiting in the queue so gave up. About that time the credit card I was using expired so I decided to simply let the subscription end for non-payment. Now they are billing me for $89 for that nonpayment. When I didn’t pay it they turned it over to a collection agency that I am now dealing with. Not to mention a couple hundred dollars of useless equipment. Wish I read the reviews here before getting involved with this awful company!
I have been a long time customer of TiVo. Just recently I started having issues with my TiVo Roamio and its HDMI port. I called tech support and they had me go through all the basic steps, which I understand. My TiVo Roamio was deemed 'defective' and support sent me out a replacement. The replacement box that I received was defective and would hardly boot up before rebooting itself. I called support, they had me go through all the same troubleshooting techniques again. They deemed that the replacement box was defective, so they sent me out another box. I received the 2nd replacement box and yes, that too was defective. It wasn't an issue with booting up this time, it booted up but the screen was pixelated to the point where it could hardly be read. I started doubting myself here and tested many different scenarios - different HDMI cables, different TVs, etc - nothing.
I called support, they had me go through all the same troubleshooting techniques again (now it's starting to get a little old) - and they deemed this box defective as well. They sent me out another box. Keep track here, this is the 3rd replacement box. This box worked! Was on a brand new (Completely different brand) TV, UPS, top of the line HDMI cable, anything I could think of that would cause an issue like this. After about 45 days - the HDMI stopped working. I called support, I explained the issue, they had me go through all the troubleshooting techniques and they deemed the box was defective. They were just getting ready to setup a replacement and (this would have been the 4th replacement - my 5th TiVo Roamio) and after a brief hold they told me they did not have any record of my support agreement. They must have some record of what has occurred that shows I had a support agreement, right?!
The technical representative was very quick to get me off the line and transfer me to a customer support representative who could look into why I no longer had any record of my support agreement, which don't come cheap if you have ever purchased one. When I finally got to the representative on the phone she saw record of my support agreement and couldn't understand why it was no longer on my account. I was placed on hold, and she came back and said I was no longer eligible to receive replacement boxes. She couldn't explain why - I was asking if I had reached a 'limit of liability' of some sort, but one would think that since I was given essentially 3 faulty replacement boxes that even if there was a liability limit that I would not be subject to that clause. After going back and forth, she said that if I wished, I could extend my warranty for another two years - but I was limited to only ONE replacement box.
This is outrageous. Why would I pay even more money for the chance that yet another replacement box would work? I find it completely unacceptable and disappointing that TiVo would not only offer such poor support, send out non-functional replacement boxes under their warranty program, but not even stand behind the fact that I have a contract with them to ensure my box is working. I would drop the company all together if I hadn't paid for the lifetime subscription on the TiVo Roamio, and purchased 4 TiVo Minis to work with it. I have a lot invested in this system that is still covered under warranty, but TiVO will not support. Absolutely unacceptable. Buyers beware.
I upgraded a lifetime service agreement on one of my 2 Premier TiVOs to a new Bolt 10 days ago. The sales rep for TiVO, who was NOT located in the USA, transferred the wrong TiVO Premier lifetime service from a machine I still intend to use. Trying to explain this situation to the various foreign representatives has taken at least 20 phone calls to TiVO and, to date, developed 5 different Case Numbers in the past 10 days. I have requested a representative based in the USA to speak to about this issue. The only thing TiVO has done is to close the Cases without ever talking to me, by voice, or email, or pony express for that matter. This company's customer service is a cruel joke.
We have now owned three TiVos. The most recent being the BOLT. It has just failed and is less than two years old. TiVo insists the only way to transfer our purchase of a lifetime subscription is if they ship to us a new one and we return the nonfunctional TiVo. This whole transaction will take 5 to 6 days. We are requesting that we go and buy a new one now and then ship back to defective one, but TiVo will NOT accommodate us. We would have to buy another lifetime guarantee. This is not customer service! We have spent hours on the phone with TiVo going round and round about this with zero customer service, little to no understanding of what we are saying. They LOVE to put you on hold forever hoping you will hang up or go away. If you are in the market for inferior equipment, horrific customer service and wasting hours of your time, this is your product!
I purchased a TiVo Bolt. I'm on the road all of the time, so I do not need cable or satellite service. The Bolt works great. The problem is the TiVo Mini's. This is the second one they sent me to fix the problem. It is worse than the first one... The problem is... For those of you who work with computer hardware and software like me. If the wifi card is active and the Ethernet port is also active, they will not be compatible. There is no way to deactivate either one... With so many complaints with this product, you will think they can fix it!!!
My TIVO Bolt worked for 4 months, but has had issues for over 2 months. Calling support results in the same response. "Unplug the unit, Unplug the modem, do this multiple times" while I am put on hold for 5-10 minutes at a time. Then wait 5-10 days and try it again. When asking to speak to a supervisor usually results in a dropped call. The couple of times I got someone, I was again put on hold for 5-10 minutes. I finally got them to send a new unit, which had a different problem.
After going through multiple calls, they finally agreed to take the new unit back and send another unit. Surprise, the new unit had the same issue as the first replacement. Now I am told it is a known issue and to wait another 15-20 days for a fix. I have had 14 different service log numbers and spent over 4 hours on the phone with TIVO. I purchased a one year contract upfront, which I now know was a mistake. I plan to cancel as soon as possible and never deal with TIVO again. I rated them a 1 only because there was no 0 option. I hope this save someone the aggravation of dealing with this company.
TIVO Discontinued My Lifetime Service. What is the point of paying for Lifetime service if TiVo is just going to cancel it whenever they feel like it? I'm sure there is something in their legal mumbo-jumbo that allows them to do it but they shouldn't be able to call it "lifetime" service if it isn't. They should call it "lifetime service until we cancel it", at least that would be truth in advertising. Very sad because I have used Tivo for over 10 years and I hate the idea of using another service.
Like many others on this thread, I had excellent service and luck with TiVo. I have two Series 2 boxes which have run for 10+ years with little incidents. If/when there were incidents, I'd call the TiVo Tech Support line and they'd invariably help me fix the problem quickly and professionally. In February, I got an email saying the Series 2 boxes would not be supported much longer. They had a great offer to transfer my lifetime service onto a new Bolt. I bought a Bolt and a TiVo Mini to connect to the machine. I then got emails saying the supply was not meeting demand and the delivery was on hold awaiting their manufacturer. I got the new Bolt a few weeks later and got it all running with the TiVo Mini. I really liked streaming off the box onto my phone feature because I travel for business.
All was working well until a few weeks ago. I spent 10+ hours on phone with TiVo Support and Verizon as TiVo often blames the provider. Then TiVo sent me a replacement box. I got it, plugged it in, called TiVo to activate. It didn't work. Called Verizon. Spent 3+ hours on phone trying to get it to work. Called TiVo back. Spent another 3+ hours. Finally, I plugged my Series3 boxes back in and they work fine. So, after 20+ hours of working on this, I called TiVo and they're refunding my money. It appears these Bolts are just not working.
Customer for 9 years. Premiere box in 2008, then Roamio Plus in 2014. Premiere died two years ago (hard drive kaput). Roamio is still alive. The interface for the DVR function is fabulous and the recording function seldom fails. But over the years as streaming and wireless connectivity has taken on a bigger role, Tivo has lagged far behind. During that same timeframe I have owned Apple TV (two boxes) and Amazon box. Never ever an issue with them streaming. Tivo not so much. Once a month Tivo box fails to connect with Tivo's homeland to download the TV listings (without which, Tivo can't record). When that happens, you need to check under the hood and tinker because Tivo support only ever has one solution: reboot your router (then reboot your cable modem then reboot Tivo then start rebooting everything again).
I don't even know the support phone numbers for Apple and Amazon because I have never had to call them. Tivo offers a link to Netflix and Youtube just like Apple. Choosing the Tivo link instead of Apple is madness - freezes up midway through any show. Same top of the line router, same distance from it. And the Tivo smartphone app? HaHaHa...
Purchased three (3) TiVo units that are now 3, 4 and 5 years old respectively - all with lifetime service. Approximately six months ago, the channel guide would not download correctly to all three devices requiring a call into customer support. TiVo acknowledges the problem promising a fix but it has only gotten worse. The temporary fix is to reboot the DVR. After contacting TiVo again for the third time with yet another ticket number, I elected to reach out again by phone.
I first spoke with Muriel who then passed me on to her supervisor, Patrick. In the course of our discussion, Patrick suggested, given the age of my 5 year old unit, that problems are to be expected. I argued, "What therefore, is the value of a Lifetime Service Plan if it is only expected to last 5 years?" Flustered, he proceeded to ramble on with a stream of nonsensical gibberish only to hang up on me.
Patrick's 5 year admission only serves to confirm that TiVo's long term, life time plans are meaningless. Their business model is based on two elements, 1) monthly service fees and 2) selling new hardware. Bear in mind, there's nothing wrong with my hardware - it's a software issue. As a software developer, there's no easier way for a technology company to render a product worthless than by breaking the software with which its hardware is dependent. TiVo does not want their solutions lasting beyond 5 years - consequently, there's no value in purchasing a TiVo.
I have had a Tivo DVR since the company's launch. I recently acquired a BOLT after nearly 2 months of fooling around with fixing the #3 generation TIVO. I can't begin to describe the hassle I've encountered -- everything from payment to order to technical support. I suspect that TIVO's recent acquisition by a larger company may have something to do with the problems I've encountered. Now after about 3 weeks of use, the BOLT box I installed isn't working and TIVO is mailing me another. I am ready to pull the plug and use the less user friendly but at least less expensive cable DVR. Don't make an investment in this technology unless you're willing to put up with consistent problems across the board. It's too bad as this used to be a very well run company.
TiVo expert review by Jonathan Trout
TiVo first appeared in 1999 with the DVR. Today it offers the TiVo BOLT, a streaming device that turns your TV into a smart TV by integrating your favorite streaming apps like Hulu, Netflix, Sling TV and more. The BOLT comes in a 500GB, 1TB and 3TB storage capacities. That comes out to be about 75, 150 and 450 hours of show and movie storage capability. Pricing starts at $199.99 for the 500GB BOLT, $299.99 for the 1TB and $499.99 for the 3TB.
Monthly plans: You have three options when it comes to TiVo’s service plans. You can pay a monthly service fee of $14.99, an annual service fee of $149.99 or an all-in service plan for a one-time payment of $549.99. The monthly plan comes with a one-year commitment and a $75 early termination fee.
Cable and streaming integration: By using the TiVo BOLT box instead of your cable provider's box, you can integrate your cable TV subscription with your streaming services subscriptions and puts them all in one place. This lets you avoid monthly rental and DVR fees from your cable company.
Avoid commercials: SkipMode on the BOLT makes sure you never have to watch commercials again. Not only that, but you’ll never have to fast forward commercials again. One button lets you skip a whole commercial break and resume your show exactly where it picks up again.
4K ultra high definition compatible: 4K UHD TVs are slowly creeping into the market as the next big thing. TiVo BOLT is 4K compatible so you can get all the clarity, color and detail your new TV offers.
Recording features: TiVo BOLT lets your record four shows at once for up to 150 hours of HD programming (for the standard model). Watch your recorded shows on your TV or your mobile device.
Multiple devices: You can stream content from the TiVo BOLT on up to ten TVs as long as you have a TiVo Mini for each TV ($150 each).
Best for: people who want to integrate their cable subscription and streaming service subscriptions in one place.
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