Marching on With Customer Service

May 2013 Note: This was written back in December 2012. It has hung out in the Drafts folder since then. I’m not sure why I didn’t put it up at the time, but here it is now.


It’s 2012. In the suburban, broadband-connected world I live in I have high expectations for internet customer service. This is especially true when it comes to services which are by definition internet service. For example, if a particular company advertises that you may operate your account settings from their website, this should actually be possible, up to and including cancelling service.

Today’s complaint is about TiVo. First, we’ll start with this:
"It will take up to 24 hours before the changes take effect and you can use the Season Pass Manager."

We upgraded to a new TiVo DVR as a part of our grand “GET A NEW TV!!!” plan for this Christmas. As a part of this upgrade, I discovered new functionality on the TiVo website, such as adding the shows we like to record rather than with the remote control (which is annoying). Except that apparently there’s a cooling down period between turning on the Season Pass Manager and actually being able to use it. I can buy a pistol faster than I can use this online service. Good job, TiVo.

The second complaint is that while you can change your service and add new TiVo service online, you are unable to delete or cancel any existing plans. As we only have the one TV, and our current DVR is 7 years old (almost to the day; it was a Christmas present to Jenn way back when), I have no need to maintain the service on the old TiVo. So I added the new TiVo to the account, but was unable to remove the old one without actually calling. Thanks, TiVo.

If I had been required to call to do all this work, I wouldn’t be complaining. The decision to not permit the customer to self-remove themselves was made (I’m sure) at a level in the corporate structure of TiVo to encourage people to remain on the plan by introducing friction in the process. I don’t like friction in my online life. Thanks, TiVo.


Now back to May, 2013

I’m not so bothered about this that I’m not using the service. I’m very happy with the TiVo we have and the way it’s working. But it’s the principle of the thing. Give us full service websites, please-and-thank-you.

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