• Report: #691358

Complaint Review: Tivo Corporation

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  • Submitted: Sat, February 05, 2011
  • Updated: Sat, February 05, 2011

  • Reported By: Frederick — Miami Florida United States of America
Tivo Corporation
2160 Gold Street Alviso,, California United States of America

Tivo Corporation Tivo Engaged in Fraudulent Billing Practices Alviso, CA , California

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If you cancel your Tivo subscription it may be vital to do it in writing and by certified mail. 

Doing it by telephone will not give you proof of cancellation, not even if Tivo sends an email confirmation, and if you cannot prove cancellation, the Tivo corporation may keep billing you for months. 

Once Tivo has your credit card authorization, getting them to stop billing has been next to impossible for some consumers, costing them  hundreds of dollars and destroying their credit. 

It makes no difference to Tivo whether or not you are actually hooked up to their service.  If they have your credit card number and you cannot PROVE cancellation, Tivo will charge your credit card again and again, in some cases for years. 

If someone had told me that, I wouldn't have believed it but I've just spent several hours searching the web and I'm telling you not to take my word for it, do some web searches yourself on keywords like Tivo billing problem and you'll soon see a pattern emerging.  Clearly something is amiss in Tivo's corporate ethics. 

If I had stock in Tivo I'd be selling it because any company that treats its customers so dishonestly is too apt to be playing fast and loose with its accounting methods too.

When I'm done writing here I'm going to follow my own advice and send off a certified letter to the Tivo corporation, copying my attorney while I'm at it.  They didn't get me for much, under $50, but no one should be a Tivo victim.

I was given a 3-month Tivo gift subscription.  The Tivo box and our cable box were not compatible and after a few weeks I disconnected the Tivo equipment. 

In order to avoid charges I made a point of telephoning Tivo to cancel the subscription before the 3 month gift sub ended.  To do so required talking with an aggressive Tivo sales representative who did not want me to cancel the subscription and did not want to take no for an answer.  I held fast, however, and thought it was taken care of.

The following month I replaced my computer and in the process lost archival email, including correspondence with Tivo.  When Tivo charged my credit card this month I was not overly concerned, however, because the Tivo equipment had not been hooked up and I assumed Tivo records would reflect the cancellation.

Wrong.

After an hour and 4 telephone calls, including two times on indefinite hold, I learned:

1.) Tivo claimed they had no record of my canceling the subscription.  Either the Attitude-strutting Tivo sales rep I talked to 2 months ago failed to complete the process or, when contacted now, Tivo's billing department chose not to investigate thoroughly enough to find record of my cancellation.  I think it is possible that my canceling a gift subscription before it ended ran counter to Tivo's normal methods, thus dropping the cancellation into digital oblivion, but the Tivo billing department was unwilling or incapable of further research into my account.

2.) Proving subscription cancellation is entirely up to the customer.  The rigmarole about Tivo recording phone conversations is hooey; they cannot or will not use those recorded conversations, if they even exist, for the customer's benefit. The Tivo Corporation pays sales representatives commissions to dissuade customers from canceling their subscriptions, then, if the Tivo rep's pitch fails, it's up to him/her to process the cancellation.  A Tivo rep has a choice whether to take another phone call -- which might lead to a sales commission -- or follow through on the one he just had that was a failure and will net him nothing but a black mark on his turnover record.  It's like leaving it up to the fox to take inventory in the hen house.  Little wonder if those fox sometimes neglect to follow through.  No company the size of Tivo can claim disingenuity about such a glaring managerial failure; the only explanation is that Tivo CHOOSES to disregard the problem because doing so means big dollars for their bottom line. 

3.) Whether or not a subscriber actually receives the Tivo service they're being billed for makes no difference to the Tivo corporation.  The Tivo billing department acknowledged that their records verified I had not been hooked up to their service for over 2 months but they nevertheless refused to issue a credit for  the charges to my credit card made after cancellation, standing by their claim that I had not canceled the subscription.

I did some web investigation and learned that claiming non receipt of subscription cancellation is an old trick of the Tivo corporation, one that likely produces many millions in revenue.  At first I was inclined to believe such shoddy behavior could not be deliberate but the volume of complaints on the web suggests it is a problem Tivo chooses not to correct.

There are probably too few dollars involved to interest a class action lawyer which is a shame.  Clearly Tivo's corporate ethics need the kind of cleansing best done by a large financial penalty.

For shame, Tivo, for shame!

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/05/2011 04:19 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Tivo-Corporation/Alviso-California-95002-2160/Tivo-Corporation-Tivo-Engaged-in-Fraudulent-Billing-Practices-Alviso-CA-California-691358. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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