Can anyone advise what is the best service plan for a lifetime subscription to Tivo Premiere?
I understand TiVo sells a 3 year plan for $39.99. Then there's a buy-up charge if the TiVo has to be replaced within that time frame. (See TiVo site).
On the other hand, Best Buy offers a 4 year plan for $19.99. Now the folks at Best Buy are not very well versed in what this arrangement REALLY covers. They initially told me that their service plan (the Best Buy plan) only covered the box itself and not the transfer of a lifetime subscription to a new box in the event of TiVo box failure during the service plan period. Obviously, we understand any transfer of a lifetime subscription (during the active service plan dates) is subject to whatever TiVo wants to do. Obviously, this scenario would also hold true for anyone in the monthly contract plan with TiVo. But the point is here, Best Buy had no knowledge whatsoever. Only that their $19.99 4 year plan covered the replacement of the TiVo box (itself) if it breaks within 4 years of purchase. And we all know, a new TiVo box will do you no good until it is activated with TiVo. So then the question becomes, what will that cost you (if anything) during the active service plan period?
So I called TiVo to get more information about the Best Buy service plan and how that relates to what TiVo does when/if Best Buy customers contact TiVo and report their boxes are broken (within the active service plan period). The TiVo rep told me (currently) they are honoring a retail transfer of TiVo boxes during the service plan period of a Best Buy service plan. In other words, if the box breaks within the 4 year period (purchased at Best Buy), then Best Buy would give you a new box. Then, according to TiVo, they are currently offering the *transfer* of a lifetime subscription to a new TiVo box provided the Best Buy customer first contacts TiVo, then ships the defective TiVo box to TiVo, along with an exchange receipt from Best Buy.
However, the TiVo rep told me he cannot guarantee that TiVo will always offer this 'retail exchange' of the lifetime subscription--even when Best Buy customers are still within the 4 year period. However, he had no information about any upcoming changes that would affect that arrangement either.
It seems like a little bit of a gray area for people who are considering a TiVo box--particularly those people who are considering the lifetime subscription with TiVo on a single TiVo. $500 is plenty of money for someone to spend on the lifetime TiVo subscription service, in addition to the $100 up front to purchase the box itself. So most people would want assurances that their TiVo box would last at least 3-4 years with FULL coverage and no fees whatsoever if it became necessary to swap out the TiVo box due to failure during that time frame.
On the surface, it would appear the *current* situation with what TiVo is willing to accept from Best Buy is a more favorable service plan option (versus the service plan offered internally through TiVo). But I am not certain on this matter since the rep at TiVo told me what they honor from Best Buy (right now) is subject to change at any time, even for those customers who have just paid for a new subscription.
TiVo seems like a great product with user friendly features. I just want to feel more comfortable about these service plans and what is truly the best way of handling it. Any thoughts or suggestions from others here