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I've owned and loved several TiVo devices over more than 15 years. For many of those years, I found their technical and overall customer to be the very best. Unfortunately since the sale of the company in 1916 these services have taken a nose dive. I currently have two BOLT devices purchased some years ago. In 2020, one finally bit the dust. TiVo replaced the unit with a reconditioned, newer BOLT for a price. (Basically the price of a reconditioned unit.) There were problems with audio and video dropouts for at least several seconds which occurred intermittently from the start. My first contact with service was within a month of installation. I followed the meager troubleshooting items suggested. Since this is an intermittent problem, it was left with me to 'see if it still happens' and to contact my cable provider. It did still happen, while my second older BOLT worked and works fine, even when swapped with this main TV.
After several more contacts with TiVo service, I was told all they could offer is to sell me another reconditioned unit since my warranty on the present unit had expired after 90 days. I will not renew my annual service agreement and will retire this BOLT and replace it with something else. I'll keep the older one and use it till it dies. It is sad to see a great company with good reliable products, degenerate following a sale to another company. Stay away from the 'new' TiVo.
1st bought a TiVo Sony 30 Hour PTV Recorder 2/2/03. It was 2nd or 3rd Gen, I think, I wanted the dual tuner model, but couldn't afford DirecTV. Friends & family lauded the greatness of the TiVo DVR 7 its quality. That Sony TiVo, with some tweaks, lasted me 10+ years. But looking back w/o the rose colored glasses, they were the only fully working DVRs available, and DVRs were to VHS recorders what Smart TVs are to that 13" black & white console tv I watched my first British TV on.
Fast forward 2018, I cut the cords, wanted an OTA DVR & bought a TiVo BOLT OTA, w/ lifetime service, a little pricier than many other DVRs, but hey, it was a TiVo. What a waste of money. TiVo ain't the quality & customer service oriented company they use to be. I made excuses for the glitches and constant rebooting the 1st year. Now out of warranty, kept researching fixes, finally came to needed new hard drive (shouldn't after 1 year, but things happen).
New hard drive didn't fix anything, just cost more $$$. So I let repair shop specializing in TiVos have a look at. Nope, can't be fixed. They credited me the service fee, and the cost of the hard drive to keep my Bolt for parts. Don't trust the TiVo name. They just want that upfront $$ of higher price equipment, & lifetime service fee, which is a real bargain to TiVo when the lifetime of their product is 2 years or less. In my humble opinion, if you need/want a DVR OTA or cable/dish, buy anything else, just don't buy a TiVo.
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To begin with, I have been a customer for over 15 years, have bought at least 4 machines from them, and have had great service in the past. This is a main reason I am disappointed. Last year I had a problem with my Bolt and called customer service. They diagnosed it as a hardware problem and exchanged the 2 year old machine with a reconditioned one for a $150 fee. The new machine had the same problem and it turns out it was a software issue which was diagnosed by an upper level service department. The $150 was not necessary but I didn't complain.
In November, the new machine had DVR problem but the tuner was properly working, they sent some software codes to the machine which caused the DVR to work and disabled my tuner. They now tell me that I need to give them $600 to fix the issue. After paying $150 for a problem that didn't exist only to have their new machine break a year later by codes they sent to the machine seems to be a company problem. I'm convinced this is still just a software issue since the problem started with them sending codes to my machine. The technicians are completely unable to help me, they say I can't speak to a supervisor, won't elevate the problem to the department that fixed the software problem last year, and letters to the company have gone unanswered after 2 months. I will not pay for a new machine and wish I could just have my original, working machine back.
The NFL games I record are removed shortly after the recording is complete. There is no way to recover them. This is a perfectly awful system TIVO has devised. Twice, I've spent thirty minutes on the phone with someone in the Philippines, dealing with a faulty phone on her end, trying to get some answers. Nothing accomplished. Same with a chat; only suggestion was to delete everything on our DVR and start over again. Forget it! This is a TIVO process problem, not something here on this end; it is only with NFL games. I urge avoiding any TIVO product at all costs, after fifteen years of using their product, it is clear that the company is being seriously mismanaged.
Updated on 03/16/2021: This is to update the postings I made (2/2/2021) on five websites regarding Tivo, their Product and Customer Service. I did receive a response from Tivo’s Executive Relation Group to the posting I made on ConsumerAffairs.com and because, as of this date, that review has been read 1450 times, I believe an update is necessary. As stated in my first posting, I contacted Tivo’s Customer Service, using the standard contact phone number (877-367-8486), with no satisfaction and extreme frustration. After my posting to Consumer Affairs, multiple phone calls, and 42 days, I purchased a Tivo EdgeA and am on the Lifetime warrantee program.
1) Purchased the EdgeA on 2/4 for $399 plus Tax, which was acceptable.
2) Purchased the Lifetime Warranty for $199 plus Tax, which was offered to me through the Executive Relation Group. The problem was I would be charged the monthly rate ($14 plus tax) and then billed the lifetime rate with the first month's billing being credited to my account. The first Whoops was being billed a monthly service rate the second month instead of the Lifetime rate. After 9 days and 8 phone calls to the executive group, as well as the three calls the Tivo’s billing department, this error was resolved (41 days after my purchase).
3) I am pleased with the Equipment, but beware, it DOES NOT come with an instruction booklet.
4) The Tivo service side is difficult and time consuming. My suggestion is, if you are not satisfied with the service received from the standard Tivo phone number contact the Executive Group (Ph. 877-561-4567) and have a Reference # (*) to leave with your message. Call back every day until your call is returned. With regard to billing, call their billing department at 877-289-8486 and if they do not resolve your issue to your satisfaction, get a reference number of the issue and request an individual of the Executive Group contact you (give your phone number).
5) ALWAYS request an email confirming what was agreed to in a telephone conversation. (Don’t forget to get the reference # for that phone conversation.) If the email is not complete or correct, call back to have it corrected. This is what I did before I made my purchase.
6) Now that my Lifetime Service Fees and Credits have been corrected (as of yesterday), I am scheduled to receive a phone call from Carlos (an individual from the Executive Group) on 3/22/2021 between 10 and 10:30 am PT. He is to remove my Credit Card Information from Tivo’s Data Base. I also had an issue that occurred three times, but has not reoccurred, hopefully he has an explanation.
Now the question is, is all this effort worth the time and frustration? For me, yes! I have a device recording what I like to watch, I can skip through commercials, and Tivo, with lots of follow up on my side, met their commitment. Time will tell if the equipment stands up to the longevity test. As for Customer Service, Patience and Perseverance are necessary.
(*) Reference Numbers: Every telephone call is given a reference number. If the caller leaves satisfied or not a reference number is posted for the call. The same reference number can be used to resolve a previous problem that was unresolved. When you end your call with Tivo, ask for the reference number that will be used for the inquiry (and resolution). My overall review – The Tivo EdgeA works well and I am happy I purchased it. Customer Service is dismal and Tivo needs to make it more effective and efficient.
Original Review: In 1992 I purchase the first Tivo available on the market and then paid an additional $100 for the lifetime warranty. That puppy died in 2003/04 and I purchased a Premiere XL unit. After a telephone discussion with a Tivo Representative, I was able to purchase another lifetime warranty on the unit for an additional $100. It’s now Feb. 2021 and the second unit has failed and the HORROR Story begins.
1) After talking to a Philippine Service Technician, #3 as the first two’s English could not be understood, my two options were to purchase a new unit or sent the old unit to their suggested repair site. Phone #s are 888-932-5633 or 310-842-4700. The website given is **. The website is very useful BUT states they are NOT an accredited Tivo service repair station. I called the Tivo service # back, got the same Philippines service and was told this was the only number available for Tivo repair services and that NO ACCREDITED TIVO SERVICE REPAIR STATION EXISTS.
2) Enquired into purchasing an new EDGE unit. $399.99. How much is the lifetime service agreement? $549.99 and the unit CAN NOT BE OPERATED WITHOUT THE service agreement. What’s in the service agreement? Not much! Tell them what cable service or area you’re in for antenna and you get two weeks of programming. Great, except the programming isn’t always correct and there isn’t anyone to call to fix it. $950.00 total and no support. Plus, after reading customer reviews, this unit may or may not work with my cable company’s card converter.
This allows the Tivo Unit to process the channels you’ve purchased from your cable company. NOTE: I called Cox Communications and they stated that not all Tivo Equipment is compatible with their card converter hardware. When asking Tivo which units are and are not compatible, Tivo (Philippine Service Technician) stated that is a Cable Company Issue, not a Tivo issue. So if you subscribe to Cox, Mediacom, Optimum, Spectrum, Suddenlink or Xfinity - Beware.
3) I called Tivo’s Corp Office in Northern California 408-519-9100. No one answers the phone AND after 3 weeks of leaving a message every day, no one has called back. I have a few simple questions and Tivo’s current Support Systems can’t/ or hasn’t provided answers.A) Is there any Tivo Supported and Recognized Repair Organization in the United States?
B) Where can I read Tivo’s warrantee information for the equipment I am looking to purchase?
C) Where can I read Tivo’s Lifetime Service Agreement that states the services I will be receiving?
D) Will the Cox Cable Card Converter support the Tivo equipment I would be purchasing?
4) After reading about 60 reviews I have gone online to look at other DVR manufacturers. Type in “Tivo Competitors” or “What is the best alternative to TiVo” on your search engine. There are many alternatives for recording and streaming. What about your channel listings? Your cable provider call keep you up to date and some of the devices can be programmed, just like Tivo, to record the same channel and the same date and time until you stop it. Maybe an inconvenience, but $650.00 cheaper. And most of these companies have an IN U.S. technical support program.
5) Bottom line for me.... Tivo’s history – too expensive – no support – reviews show high equipment failures – and not always compatible or offing a continuing compatibility with your cable company. Not mentioning how do you get the channel lineup and recording times corrected from Tivo???
I’ve been a loyal customer to Tivo for over six years spending thousands of dollars on equipment. I purchased a 4K stream last year. It didn’t work and I called it in within a few weeks, they would not do anything about it. So I threw it in a drawer to forgot about it. I need another streaming device a few months later so I dug it out and hooked it up again. Still did not work even after factory reset. So I called and instead of a refund asked for an exchange. They said it’s past 90 days and I pointed out that I’ve spent thousands of dollars with them and for them to deny me for a cheap $50 piece of equipment when I’ve spent thousands with them really upset me. She offered to sell me another 4K stream though!
Tivo used to have, and still has the gold standard of recording shows. But that is all it has. They have outsourced customer service to the Philippines, and it is impossible to get a supervisor. Having now owned 3-4 generations of Tivo units, and always buying lifetime service, the customer experience was awesome until 3 years ago. Devices are no longer trustworthy, and lifetime service only goes with the device - device dies, so does lifetime service. So sad to see what had been a cutting edge tech company turn into a has been. Shame on their management and parent company - it will be too late when people have cut the cord.
I had Tivo for years until about 12 years ago when cable companies didn't come with DVRs. Back in the old days it was perfect. I switched to satellite after that, and didn't need Tivo because my providers gave me DVRs. I switched back to cable because satellite doesn't work with all the trees that surround me now, and signed up for Tivo. It's a different service. IT DOES NOT RELIABLY RECORD PROGRAMS YOU SET UP TO RECORD. It's pretty hit or miss, and I MISSED most of my favorite shows for the past few months, thoroughly confused over why they never showed up, even though they were always set to record.
What confused me was that some shows did show up, so I thought it was a user error, or something. After finally calling them I learned, no. It was them. And they didn't seem to know how to fix the situation. They wanted me to wait a week to see if my shows finally showed up. (?) They did not have any thoughts on what they might do if the shows did not show up.
Thinking I had done something wrong was stupid because they take your money for a year in advance, then give you only 90 days to cancel and get a refund. If you're wondering what YOU did wrong, you're wasting time. Don't do that. Because, again, it's them. They apparently replaced the last generation of programmers with a new generation that doesn't know what this product is supposed to do, or does not know how to make it work properly. Again, it used to be great. What I don't understand is how they're still in business because there are so many other options now. If you're no longer competitive, why do you deliver a product that doesn't do what it's supposed to do?
Had Roamio with Lifetime guide. They cancelled that so I bought Bolt. Neither TiVo receivers got Fox or some other channels despite OTA signal booster and new cable ends installed by pro. Used them in different rooms, same results each place. Recorder often had picture distortion. Calls for service not satisfactory.
I have been a customer since the startup of TiVo and yes it does truly make tv your own! However, equipment and customer service are terrible. They can't seem to supply a receiver that will last more than two years. When you call you get people you can't understand and they can't understand you! My two year old Bolt crashed and they are sending me a replacement Edge (for $200), eight days later I receive the Edge without even a power cord! Seven days later I'm still waiting on power cord. This is like buying a car without tires! Again, the Tivo experience is great but equipment is unreliable and customer service has gotten progressively worse through the years. I purchased a lifetime subscription from the beginning but you still pay a high price for the equipment. Be warned, great tv may come at a price with some serious frustration.
TiVo author 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).
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