Poor hardware, poor customer support
I have had a Tivo series 2 DVR for 7 years with no problems. My less-then-3-year old Tivo HD DVR quit working last night. I called Tivo tech support, and after the incredibly helpful instructions of "unplug it, plug it back in" (which I had already done) was told I was out of luck. My options were to (in this order) 1) Upgrade to Tivo Premier = buy new box, buy new service plan, lose all my saved shows, or 2) Pay $150 to send my box in for an exchange, keep my service plan, and lose my shows. This was logged under case # 100824-007476. I'm a mechanical engineer, not electrical, but it seems to me like the only problem is the power supply, and the hard drive is fine.
Since we watch all our TV through the Cable Cards in the Tivo, we cannot watch TV without Tivo, or at least we cannot watch anything but our few local stations.
I decided to go the upgrade route, but didn't want to wait on shipping delays. I had recently received an email upgrade offer: buy a new Tivo Premier box and get 50% off lifetime service, $199 instead of $399. I called Tivo customer support to ask if I could purchase a box from our Local Best Buy and still get the lifetime service discount. I talked to Kyle, who told me I could; all I needed to do was ask for it when I called to activate the new box. I did not get a Case # for my conversation with Kyle, because I didn't think I would need one.
So I purchased the Tivo Premier XL box from Best Buy, came home to set it up, and called Tivo to activate my lifetime service. I was told I couldn't have the discount (at 199) because it was only available for equipment purchased directly from Tivo, I would have to pay 299. What Kyle had told me was wrong. I spoke at length with supervisor Steve, who informed me there was absolutely no way "the system" would let them give me this discount. In addition there was no way they could give me any kind of 100 credit to reduce my out of pocket costs. Very disappointing to be told one thing and then find out it was incorrect. My conversation with Steve was logged under Case # 100825-004860. Steve did offer to knock 100 off the exchange price, so I could exchange my box for $50. Strange that he could do that, but not reduce the lifetime service by 100.
So now I'm going to pursue options with WeaKnees to spend 100 and get a new power supply. Hopefully that will work, and if so I won't lose all my saved shows. If it doesn't I am so disgruntled with Tivo right now that I'll go back to Comcast. Tivo just lost around 700 from me that they'll never get now. Or at least, not until my current box breaks again and I'm faced with the same situation.