Official Word From Replay - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 10:42 AM - Thread Starter
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The ReplayTV website should be updated sometime today with this information, but I've been allowed to share the following information with the forum:

(Please note that since this is not an official statement from Replay, I may have some details wrong, but I believe them to be correct. Please do not threaten to sue me if I make a mistake)

The new prices on the ReplayTVs are official as of today. The pricing on the units (as many know already) does *not* include any service plans:

5504 - 40 Hours - $149.99
5508 - 80 Hours - $299.99
5516 - 160 Hours - $449.99
5532 - 320 Hours - $799.99

Service activation can be had for $12.99/month or $300 for lifetime service (lifetime meaning the lifetime of the unit). Each box needs its own activation, and as always, the units will not function without activation.

Now, here's the part that many have speculated on:
Replay has been working with the retailers in order to collect information on the units sold in the past week, when the retailers jumped the gun and lowered prices prematurely without altering their stock to reflect the new unbundled service. This includes collecting the serial numbers, purchase date, and purchase price of the units sold. Replay will be using the purchase price as the sole criteria to determine whether or not the unit included service activation or not: if it was sold at the old pricing, it will include activation, if it was sold at the new pricing (as above), it will not. In case of a dispute, customers will be asked to provide a copy of the sales invoice.

Customers who are not interested in keeping the boxes under these circumstances are welcome to return them to the retailers under their normal money-back policies (both Circuit City and Radio Shack have 30 day MBG, so this shouldn't be a problem).

My understanding from different sources is that the units in question will most likely be de-activated and require re-activation within 10 days. I have not gotten this officially, but we've heard enough circumstantial evidence around here to believe this to be true.

The good news is: For those people who have purchased 5500 units or 5040 units from Radio Shack that included 3 years of service, you will now have your service activations converted to "lifetime"! No more of that 99 cents/month add-on to worry about.

I have also been told that the Customer Service centers will be fully staffed over the holiday season in order to handle any problems or questions with this issue.

Ok, bring it on....

Remember, it's just television...
Planet Replay: http://www.planetreplay.com
Do you VUDU? http://www.planetvudu.com
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post #2 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:00 AM
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They've left themselves wide open to the "gift" lie.

Magically, America's Jewish population surged overnight when it was discovered that receiving a ReplayTV as a Hanukkah gift was the ticket to free service.
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post #3 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:02 AM
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they're not leaving themselves open to the gift lie, they're requesting proof of payment price. if this is the case, the people who are really in trouble are those who got it as a gift, the purchser paid $500, but they can't provide proof of purchase price. Probably few and far between, but it would really stink to be one of those people.
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post #4 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:02 AM
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My reading is that they will be deactivating ALL the 5504s that have been activated since 12/17 and you'll have 10 days to prove you paid $500, not $150...

How do you read it?
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post #5 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:02 AM
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I think it's going to be a headache for everyone involved, especially since Circuit City sold tons of 5504s at $149.99 that said service was included on the website, on the box, and inside the box.

"Sorry sir, but there's no warranty on your car since you paid less than $xxx" wouldn't fly.
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post #6 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:03 AM
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P.S. The pricing table did not mention 5XXX units.
Where does that leave them?
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post #7 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:07 AM
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As a follower of this situation (My local CC was out of units when I checked on Friday), I am very disappointed in this response. My friends think that I am evil because I have a marketing degree. They think that companies are trying to take advantage of them and marketing is the means with with they accomplish this. Situations like this only serve to reinforce this perception. A company (either CC or RTV, take your pick) offered activated units for a low price and now they are retracting that offer after the transaction has been completed. All of us evil marketing professionals know that when you screw up, you take it on the chin and you do what is best for the customer. This issue is compounded by the fact that many were purchased as gifts and now the giver looks like an ass for buying 1/3 of a gift and it is worthless with the receiver paying for the other 2/3 of the gift. I have have my 5040 for about 6 months and I love it, but this situation has effectively ended my relationship with RTV. If this is how they run there business, I will choose not to support them with my disposable income. I may not have been affected by this situation as directly as others, but I still support you. When my 5040 dies, I will move on to Tivo or whatever other options arise before then and I won't be adding any more units to my current setup even though the thought has crossed my mind. This is not how a corporation does business, and I hope that consumers have not been brainwashed into thinking that this treatment is acceptable but unfortunately, I'm not too sure if that is the case.
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post #8 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:07 AM
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After 2 calls to the activation line to plead my case (the honest one), I figure I will return all of the RTV's I purchased on the 17th to Radio Shack and be done with the whole matter.

Quote:
Originally posted by jleavens
My understanding from different sources is that the units in question will most likely be de-activated and require re-activation within 10 days. I have not gotten this officially, but we've heard enough circumstantial evidence around here to believe this to be true.
Granted, the information is not official, but do you suppose "units in question" includes EVERYBODY who purchased from 12/17 onward, including those who lied their way to free activation before they required proof?

- Runny
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post #9 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:13 AM
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From FW:

PRESS RELEASE:::


The Industry's Premium Quality DVRs, and Best Overall Value...
REPLAYTV ANNOUNCES NEW FLEXIBLE PRICING MODEL FOR ITS AWARD-WINNING 5500 SERIES DIGITAL VIDEO RECORDERS
-- Purchasers Now Have Choice of Buying the ReplayTV Service Monthly or for a Single Onetime Fee --

SANTA CLARA, California, December 22, 2003 – ReplayTV®, the inventor and creator of personal television, today announced a new flexible pricing model for its acclaimed 5500 Series Digital Video Recorders (DVR). Beginning immediately, consumers will be able to purchase ReplayTV 5500 Series DVRs at the following prices: $149.99 for the 40-hour Model RTV5504; $299.99 for the 80-hour RTV5508; $449.99 for the 160-hour RTV5516; and $799.99 for the new 320-hour RTV5532. With each model, consumers will have the choice of either purchasing the ReplayTV Service for a $12.95 monthly fee, or choosing lifetime service bundled with the product for a single, onetime payment of $299. ReplayTV 5500 Series customers who have already purchased 3-year subscriptions to the ReplayTV Service under the previous pricing model will have their services automatically extended for the lifetime of the product at no additional charge.

ReplayTV President Bernie Sepaniak commented on the company’s pricing move, noting: “ReplayTV has always been committed to providing our customers with superior quality premium DVRs, offering the most powerful feature sets, highest recording capacity, as well as the industry’s best overall value. With our new pricing model, we’re making a ReplayTV DVR purchase even more attractive for consumers, providing unprecedented value, while allowing them to choose between either purchasing the lifetime service upfront or on a monthly subscription basis.â€

ReplayTV 5500 Series: The Premium DVR Choice
The ReplayTV 5500 Series is the industry’s broadest range of premium full-featured DVRs, offering a host of unique image-enhancing features including progressive scan and digital audio outputs, as well as superior recording features like One-Touch Record; First Run, the ability to only record first-run programs and skip repeats; and theme-based recording. Additionally, ReplayTV 5500 Series DVRs provide built-in networking capability, which allows for instantaneous connectivity to other units in the home network – with no additional fees or adapters. And because it’s broadband-ready, users can choose either to connect to the ReplayTV Service through their high-speed broadband Internet connection or simply plug in their regular phone line and connect using ReplayTV's built-in V.90 analog modem.

ReplayTV’s Industry-Leading JumpIt™ Feature Set with Show|Nav™
ReplayTV 5500 Series DVRs offer industry-leading features that put unprecedented control options in the hands of TV viewers and deliver a new level of intelligent control. These features include the advanced JumpIt™ set of viewer control functions, including Show|Nav™, QuickSkip®, Instant Replay, and Jump Anywhere™. Major benefits of each feature are as follows:

* Show|Nav lets ReplayTV DVR users navigate programs by segment, making it more intuitive and easier than ever before to quickly find and view precisely the scenes they want to enjoy. Users can jump to any segment of a recorded program quickly, instead of hunting for it using fast-forward as with other DVR brands;
* QuickSkip lets viewers instantly advance 30 seconds ahead while watching any recorded program;
* Instant Replay lets viewers jump back to review the last seven seconds (great for catching that missed snippet of dialogue);
* Jump Anywhere lets viewers jump forward or back by any number of minutes in a recorded program. Users can just enter the number of minutes they want to jump, press QuickSkip or Instant Replay – and they’ll be precisely where they want to be.

JumpIt, Jump Anywhere and the ReplayTV logo are trademarks of D&M Holdings Inc.
Show|Nav is licensed by and a trademark of Televentions, LLC.

About ReplayTV
ReplayTV® is the inventor and creator of personal television and offers the most powerful DVRs on the planet. ReplayTV has earned over 20 prestigious awards including CNET’s Editors Choice Award and is the winner of an Emmy for technological achievement. The company leads the DVR industry in groundbreaking innovations aimed at providing consumers with unmatched power and control in maximizing their TV viewing experience with the best performance and best value. Founded in 1997, ReplayTV is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. The ReplayTV® brand is owned by D&M Holdings U.S., Inc., through its wholly owned subsidiary Digital Networks North America, Inc.

About D&M Holdings Inc.
D&M Holdings Inc. is based in Tokyo and is the parent company of wholly owned subsidiaries Denon Ltd., Marantz Japan, Inc. and McIntosh Laboratory, Inc.- global industry leaders in the specialist home theater, audio/video consumer electronics and professional audio markets. In addition, through its U.S. based owned subsidiary, D&M Holdings also owns the ReplayTV®, Rio® and Escient® brands - each representing award-winning technologies in digital home entertainment. Additional information is available at www.dm-holdings.com.

DISCLAIMER
Statements in this news release that are not statements of historical fact may include forward looking statements regarding future events or the future financial performance of the company. We wish to caution you that such statements are just predictions and that actual events or results may differ materially. Forward looking statements involve a number of risks and uncertainties surrounding competitive and industry conditions, market acceptance for the company's products, risks of litigation, technological changes, developing industry standards and other factors related to the company's businesses.

A home network is required for streaming shows to another compatible ReplayTV inside your home. A PC connected to a home network is required to store and view digital photos with ReplayTV. 320- hour recording capability is only available in the ReplayTV 5532 model. All specifications may be changed without notice.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Media Contacts:
DBA Public Relations
Sara Trujillo
+1-212-388-1400
strujillo@dba-pr.com

John Muscari
+1-212-388-1400
jmuscari@dba-pr.com
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post #10 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:14 AM
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What's to stop someone who paid the full $499 price, getting it activated with the reciept, and then getting the 110% price protection guarantee? I didn't see that mentioned anywhere, but im sure there are very few people (in comparison) that bought the full price units in the first place.
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post #11 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by WannabeSQ
What's to stop someone who paid the full $499 price, getting it activated with the reciept, and then getting the 110% price protection guarantee? I didn't see that mentioned anywhere, but im sure there are very few people (in comparison) that bought the full price units in the first place.
The retailer would stop you. If they don't, they just simply eat the cost. There are always going to be people who manage to find an ignorant employee or store manager who will make the price adjustment. Not really relevent to the discussion at hand.
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post #12 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:18 AM
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FYI - activation web page now shows the $12.95/$299 price, whereas about 30 minutes ago it showed the lower prices...
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post #13 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:24 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by sixt7gt350
P.S. The pricing table did not mention 5XXX units.
Where does that leave them?
My belief is that the will follow the 55XX pricing, as they had done before. No units will be sold with activation bundled at all.

Remember, it's just television...
Planet Replay: http://www.planetreplay.com
Do you VUDU? http://www.planetvudu.com
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post #14 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:24 AM
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Note the "Beginning immediately" in the press release dated today, 12/22. What about the pricing prior to today?;)
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post #15 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:25 AM
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It will be near-impossible to track serial numbers from CC, because they aren't recorded at the point of sale. IMO, this is all speculation at this point, but if it's true: DNNA may be resorting to unethical (or even illegal) tactics to recoup some of their loss. I'm sure no one gave CC permission to give/sell their information (or about their unit) to anyone, let alone DNNA.

Those people bought RTVs with a very clear indication that they were also getting 3 free years of service - regardless of the purchase price. Since when is the consumer responsible for corporate screw-ups? Bottom line- these units should have been PULLED from stores BEFORE the price change. But they weren't, so those who bought one are entitled to the benefits that come with the unit. In this case, this means they should get their 3 free years of service (see RTV website for verification on this).

And it's not like they were giving these units away, either! Believe it or not, a lot of folks think $150 is a LOT of money! It's not like they walked away with a free RTV. Why shouldn't they assume it includes the free service? I just don't see the argument...

Regardless, I can see now that this is going to end up messy, and a lot of people will be very upset.

Thanks for the update jleavens, and is it possible for you to share your source?
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post #16 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by dewolfxy
they're not leaving themselves open to the gift lie, they're requesting proof of payment price. if this is the case, the people who are really in trouble are those who got it as a gift, the purchser paid $500, but they can't provide proof of purchase price. Probably few and far between, but it would really stink to be one of those people.
Unless you got it anonymously, it's not like you couldn't ask the giver to fax the information to Replay for you... They don't even have to send the price info to the gift recipient.

Where it *will* suck will be for the people who paid more than $150 for a Replay on eBay with the claim that it was activated.

Remember, it's just television...
Planet Replay: http://www.planetreplay.com
Do you VUDU? http://www.planetvudu.com
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post #17 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by vivarey
It will be near-impossible to track serial numbers from CC, because they aren't recorded at the point of sale.
Wrong, CC has recorded serial numbers for several years.
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post #18 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:34 AM
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I may have missed this elsewhere, but are the prices going up for people with 5000-series units that were activated at $9.95/month long before this snafu? I have a few friends who purchased 5040's when buy.com had them for ~$125 and chose $10/month instead of lifetime activation.
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post #19 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:35 AM
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I don't understand this obsession with serial numbers. DNNA doesn't need to link serial numbers to purchase price. They can simply deactivate all units activated 12/17 or later, and have people pay for activation, barring proof that the higher price was paid for the unit.
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post #20 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by lizard_boy
Wrong, CC has recorded serial numbers for several years.
Perhaps, but they don't track them at the point of sale (i.e. attaching a serial number to a specific purchaser). This information is coming from a CC employee (not me) - and it may differ from store to store.
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post #21 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jleavens
Unless you got it anonymously, it's not like you couldn't ask the giver to fax the information to Replay for you... They don't even have to send the price info to the gift recipient.
I bet people will love to do this. It will in no way reflect poorly on the company? Where did the people at DNNA get there business degrees anyway? The fact that people would find this solution reasonable is an insult. People are not merely consumers to milk money from. What has happened to our society that now makes it OK for someone to buy something and then to either accept much less than they purchased. I don't care if I paid 150 or 1500 for the product, I still expect it to include what it says it will on the packaging, product literature, etc.

I have seen people posting that they don't want to hurt RTV. Well if this is how they run their business, maybe they deserve to take a hit. Capitalism is the survival of the fittest (unless you are a govt supported entity of course) and if this is how DNNA runs their business, maybe they should not be in business.
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post #22 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by NearlyGod
I bet people will love to do this. It will in no way reflect poorly on the company? Where did the people at DNNA get there business degrees anyway? The fact that people would find this solution reasonable is an insult. People are not merely consumers to milk money from. What has happened to our society that now makes it OK for someone to buy something and then to either accept much less than they purchased. I don't care if I paid 150 or 1500 for the product, I still expect it to include what it says it will on the packaging, product literature, etc.

I have seen people posting that they don't want to hurt RTV. Well if this is how they run their business, maybe they deserve to take a hit. Capitalism is the survival of the fittest (unless you are a govt supported entity of course) and if this is how DNNA runs their business, maybe they should not be in business.
I agree...any cost savings they realize by denying people activations would pale in comparison to the number of returns they'll get, and the badwill they've generated. Especially with so many people giving these as holiday gifts...the recipient's first (and probably only) experience with Replay will be that they lied on their packaging.
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post #23 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, it's crazy to ask people to pay the actual price of the product instead of giving it away at a loss. Nuts.

Guys, the retailers dropped the ball here too. Try taking it up with them...

Remember, it's just television...
Planet Replay: http://www.planetreplay.com
Do you VUDU? http://www.planetvudu.com
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post #24 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:47 AM
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Everyone paid the price that was asked. The units where marked and sold at $150 w/ 3 years service. I'm missing your arguement.
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post #25 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:49 AM
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Look....this is clearly either bait and switch (they made an offer and then changed it) or outright false advertising (they advertised something that wasn't true). Any judge will see that the retailer made a tempting offer (3 years free service, clearly marked in store promo material and on each box) and the unit for $149....now they are claiming that this is not the case....the retailer will be found at fault, the retailer will lose the case in a heartbeat, even though the blame is on RTV, which the retailers will go after RTV for the loss. I see a Class Action lawsuit coming from either consumers or the retailers against RTV.
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post #26 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:49 AM
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I don't know why I care so much since I didn't even buy any at this price. Sorry if I have offended anyone, but I just don't get the arguement that people are ripping off CC/RTV/RS. They sold the units for $150 with service included. I don't see that as the customer's fault.
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post #27 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by jleavens
Yeah, it's crazy to ask people to pay the actual price of the product instead of giving it away at a loss. Nuts.

Guys, the retailers dropped the ball here too. Try taking it up with them...
ReplayTV and CC/RS/CompUSA can argue with each other all they want, but in the end, they sold units for $149 that included activation. Said so on the websites. Said so on the box. Said so in the box. They can't take that back after the sale.
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post #28 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:51 AM
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According to posts at Fat Wallet, even today, even after the big announcement on the Replay website, Customer Service is still telling people that if they bought their units at $500, they have 3 years of service, and then .99c a month afterward. No mention of lifetime at all, and it appears that they are still taking people at their word rather than asking for proof of how much they paid.

It appears that Replay can't get anything communicated to their CSR's in a timely fashion. What a joke of a company. You guys can bash TiVo all you want, they've never done anything THIS stupid and unprofessional.

I entered into a contract to buy a ReplayTV with 3 years of service for $150. CC confirmed it, ReplayTV's CSR's confirmed it, ReplayTV's web page confirmed it and CC's web page confirmed it. My money was taken and the contract was consummated. That OUGHT to be the end of the story, but no, Replay wants a do-over because somebody OTHER THAN ME made a mistake.

It's not going to be worth my time to fight this, although I'd likely win in small claims court. I won't call ReplayTV and lie, but if my unit goes from active to inactive, I will call and argue with them. If I don't get my way, the unit will go back and I'll be done with ReplayTV - likely for good.

I don't want to be a jerk to those of you who are happy with your ReplayTV's - I even posted in the Sonic Blue bankruptcy thread that I was happy to hear that DNNA stepped up and promised you all that your subscriptions would continue to remain active, but I really don't see how a company that manages a unit this poorly will be able to stay in business for very much longer.

The Replay product line has been lucky so far, surviving so many near death experiences. For the sake of those of you invested in the product and happy with it, I do truly hope that they continue to be lucky, or at least continue to provide the functionality you paid for.
For me, I think I'll be sticking with TiVo for as long as they last. Too bad I haven't gotten the chance to really get to know my ReplayTV, I was looking forward to being able to really compare the two platforms fairly.
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post #29 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally posted by NearlyGod
Everyone paid the price that was asked. The units where marked and sold at $150 w/ 3 years service. I'm missing your arguement.
The argument was that the retailers were informed that there was an upcoming dramatic price change that was to be coupled with changes that would require re-marking the inventory and changing the sales literature. Some of the retailers sold units at the new pricing, before the pricing went into effect, and without making changes to the inventory as required.

Yes, Replay changed the deal and caused confusion. But if the retailers hadn't jumped the gun on the pricing, they might have carried out the second half of the equation without confusing the heck out of their customers.

Remember, it's just television...
Planet Replay: http://www.planetreplay.com
Do you VUDU? http://www.planetvudu.com
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post #30 of 424 Old 12-22-2003, 11:56 AM
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Anyone who doesn't think that the terms of a sale can be enforced needs to read the FW Dell WD 200GB drive thread. The jist of it was that two $100 rebates were listed on Dell's web site by error instead of one rebate causing the final price to be $22 instead of $122.

Long story short, after initially claiming that they were only going to honor one rebate they relented and everyone who ordered one got it for $22 after rebate. You can argue they wrote it off to goodwill but I think that once their lawyers got involved they realized they couldn't refuse to honor the terms of the purchase.
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Closed Thread ReplayTV & Showstopper PVRs

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