TiVo Wins The Award: Best Way To Say We Screwed Up Our Pricing

from the doubletalk-deluxe dept

There really isn’t that much to say about TiVo’s decision to get rid of its lifetime subscription plan (just as they’re ditching the upfront hardware fee). However, we have to give TiVo points for the amount of doubletalk in the explanation, which, boiled down simply is: “we were losing money on the liftetime plans.” Instead of just coming out and saying that, they said: “We understand it’s a great value, but in balancing trying to provide customers with great value and our own business interests, we think it was too far in favor of good value to make sense for us financially.” In other words, people who bought into the lifetime plan got a pretty good deal.


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Comments on “TiVo Wins The Award: Best Way To Say We Screwed Up Our Pricing”

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26 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Why TIVO anymore

I love Tivo, but with all the ‘free’ or ‘near-free’ DVR’s out there…how can they even justify a monthly fee…how do they plan to stay in business. Considering they haven’t made strong partnerships with Microsoft or Apple, they are a ship on their own that will sink eventually.

jb says:

Re: Why TIVO anymore

TIVO really picked a bad time to change its pricing structure. In todays world it is far to easy to make your own PC pased version of TIVO that includes a DVD backup. The PC version can be made for the cost of two years of TIVO service.
This alone makes you wonder why they would think the $299 lifetime subscription is very good value Not to mention the cable providers also have PVR’s built in. My current PVR is $4.95 a month.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Lifetime Holder since 2000

I’ve been with TiVo on a lifetime subscription for about 4 years now. The cost of a lifetime subscription was $299 which is just under two years of payment ($12.99 x 24 months comes to $311.74).

The past two years have been completely free of charge to me, and all the upcoming years will also be completely free of charge.

I hear that mid-March (within about 11 days from today), they will no longer offer the lifetime service – so if you have TiVo, now is the time to invest in a nice service upgrade… and if that isn’t enough incentive, I hear they will be upping the month-to-month rate of $12.99 to a whopping $19.95 per month for a minimum of 12 months at a time, which is $239/year.

Upgrade to lifetime now for $299 or pay $239/year….. yeah, lifetime sounds good.

Scott says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Lifetime Holder since 2000

The problem with that will be the Broadcast Flag once everything goes digital. If(note when) congress gives in the big media companies, if your hardware has been approved by the gestapo, too bad.

It is a shame, because there are some really good free systems out there, but big media can’t stand free.

Scott says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Lifetime Holder since 2000

Dang, let me write that in English now:

The problem with that will be the Broadcast Flag once everything goes digital. If(note when) Congress gives in to the big media companies, if your hardware has not been approved by the gestapo, too bad.

It is a shame, because there are some really good free systems out there, but big media can’t stand free.

MGray says:

Re: Re: Re: Lifetime Holder since 2000

Grr. Second time I’m correcting this error. Tivo is not explaining itself well.

They are NOT UPPING the monthly from 12.99 to $19.95.
They are offering NEW Tivo’s to customers for $19.99 with NO UPFRONT COST (you pay for the Tivo over time).

So that $19.99 with no initial hardware cost. It’s actually a pretty good deal, and should increase the customer cost. After 1 or 2 or 3 years of paying the higher price (which you pick) the price drops to the regular 12.99 a month.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Lifetime Holder since 2000

> I bought a Series 1 a long time ago and I bought the lifetime service for it that very Christmas morning. It is still going strong.

–> Read the fine print. That “lifetime” service contract is for the lifetim of the Series 1 box, not your lifetime. If you buy a new Tivo or upgrade it’s hard drive, the service subscription no longer applies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Lifetime Holder since 2000

the fine print pertains to the box, not the HD. but then again, if you open the box to get to the HD, you’ve violated your warranty, invalidating the service to your box. so while you may upgrade your hd as often as you like while still being covered by the lifetime subscription, you’d better home that you dont break the box while doing it – because in the event you do, that is what tivo will not fix for you.

nick says:

Re: Re: Lifetime Holder since 2000

Your not correct. My series 1 failed I did an exchange with phillips (the manufacturer) the lifetime service was transfered. I them upgrade to a series 2 and the lifetime was transfered to that one. The harddrive is failing now in this and I spoke with a TIVO rep. He told me to watch every couple of months the give an opportunity to upgrade to a better unit and transfer the lifetime contract.
All that said obviously TIVO has some hardware issues. But I have tried other DVRs and there is no comparison.

Tony GIorgianni says:

Re: Re: Tivo Hard drive replacement

I pay $0.00 per month for TIVO. THe unit is almost 100% fuctional without paying a monthly subscripton. You can program the unit for time shift by getting program information from your local paper or from sites like TV guide on-line. Program manually by station or time and works great. Tivo is charging a lot of loot for an on line TV Guide. Yes it does take a few extra seconds to program the unit but I don,t mind doing that for free. The rest of the live features such as pausing, ff, reverse or staring a recording of a program that is about to start or has already started is duck soup. You can even view a previous recording while Tivo records your new program. You can set it up so you can watch one station while you record antoher. ALL FOR FREE!

Jon Brown (user link) says:

Too Bad

It’s too bad about TiVo. So promising, but it looks like they’re going to be the next BetaMax (I’m old, I remember this battle – I had one of those too…) I think the failure is that they got early adopters, like me (I’ve got 3 series 2 live now, and a series 1 offline in the closet) and then failed to reach the masses in time. Raising the price of service isn’t going to do anything for their market share, unfortunately, and will just make the boxes from the cable stations that much more compelling an offer. Oh well, it is a cool gadget that I love using, but there are some really viable substitutes that cost less and are easier to buy.

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