TiVo lowering monthly fee for some users

Spotted via PVRWire, TiVo is cutting the monthly fee for some users. I’ve seen other reports of this around the web – that people call to cancel their sub and get offered the $6.95/month rate on their primary box, instead of $12.95. This isn’t unheard of, falls under customer retention. I’ve been offered things like this by other companies in the past – you know “Don’t cancel this credit card… how about we give you a lower interest rate?” Same idea. Some people seem to be upset by this, I don’t really see why.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
This entry was posted in TiVo. Bookmark the permalink.
  • spamthecat

    Weird, I thought it was only for users with multiple TiVos. I have 1 lifetime sub and one monthly that I just got. When I activated the monthly on the same account, the price dropped to $6.95. This is the deal they put in place when the rebate ended.

  • megazone

    Multi-service discount has been around for a while – if you have one unit on monthly or lifetime any additional monthly units are $6.95/month. But if the ‘primary’ unit is monthly, it remains $12.95. So if you have three units, all monthly, it is $12.95 + $6.95 + $6.95.

    What’s happening is that people with even one unit call up to cancel and are being offered $6.95 on that unit if they don’t cancel.

  • rdcf

    Well the reason I have a problem when companies do this is because they are rewarding customers who are willing to walk away and not rewarding loyal customers. Of course, it comes down to price points and what people are willing to pay, but the policy has always irked me.

    I had been with AT&T Wireless for 5 years. They told me the reason my signal was so bad was because I was on the old network and if I upgraded my signal would vastly improve. Okay, I’ll upgrade. AT&T Wireless had a deal for new customers getting a free phone on the new network. They wanted me to pay $150 for a new phone (actually $300 since my husband needed to upgrade too). The only way I could get the new deal was leave, lose my number and then come back versus switching my number to Verizon Wireless and getting a free phone. Guess what I did? I would have preferred to stay with AT&T Wireless but they basically told me that a new customer was worth more to them than a loyal, long-term customer. That’s why policies like this piss me off – they may bring you new customers but at the expense of their old customers.

  • megazone

    True – but I guess it works since it seems like everyone does it. Magazines do the same thing with ‘new subscriber offers’ that are less than renewing an existing subscription. It all goes under the marketing budget for ‘customer acquisition’.

    For some of these I understand – they’re a loss leader and the vendor is counting on that person remaining a customer once they’ve started. So they make less, or even take a loss, to start because over time they’ll make it back and more. Which is why they can’t offer the same deals to everyone because there is no upside for them – especially if they already took a hit to acquire the customer, taking more hits to keep them can wash out the upside reason for the first hit.

    AT&W Wireless/Cingular has made a lot off of me, since I’ve had 3 phones in < 2 years, all non-base models I paid for myself. (Currently a Treo 650).

  • buran

    Allstate Insurance did this to me when I switched to State Farm (lower quote, closer office, working e-billing through Bank of America). I told them that they should have offered the fairer price in the first place.

    New agent’s office is a lot closer, plus I like them.

  • buran

    You probably know it already but I’m gonna get one of those soon since my current phone is dying slowly. Have you ever tried syncing it with your mac to see if bluetooth can see it?

  • megazone

    I don’t have a Mac. :-)

    My PC does see it over BT, but I’ve never bothered syncing that way.

  • eryn_

    I don’t like it because it’s unfair. The point is that rewards are for good behavior. By offering bribes for poor behavior, that is the behavior which is encouraged.

    I have no problems with them offering incentives to keep customers. What I have a problem with is that only the loud and annoying people (the ones making the threats) are getting the bonus. There should be something for being a long-term customer, even if you don’t want a new box. “Free shipping on all tivo.com purchases every December for customers 1-year or more”– wouldn’t even cost them that much since they usually run a free shipping promotion.

    What I’m left with is the impression that TiVo would rather have these cancelling people than me. And my feeling is, “I know when I’m not wanted.” The irony is that it is exactly that which would get me the reward.

    Good thing for TiVo I have a lifetime subscription, or I’d cancel based on this information and get half off. Better believe I won’t be buying another lifetime subscription since the monthly rate is so much lower than it was, and they’re jerking people around.

    I didn’t mind paying my “fair share” but I don’t like it that other people are getting out of doing their part.

  • seriouslyuguys

    When I was between jobs I had to cancel my Tivo subscription for a couple months. I explained the situation when they asked why I was cancelling, and they offered me a few months of free service. I declined because I didn’t have cable tv at the time either.

  • shadoh

    Fascinating. I didn’t realize (until reading your post and the people’s comments in response) how strongly some people felt about this. Very interesting.