The personal website of Chris Coyier

Me Whining about TiVo

WARNING: I should probably just delete this post because I hate whining in general and this is, most definitely, whining. But hey, I already wrote it all up. And you know what they say, unless you say something things aren’t going to get any better.


I was on the bleeding edge when I first got a TiVo. Must have been 8-9 years ago. I remember setting up the little IR thingies over the cable box just right so it would change the channels on it with the best accuracy. I remember having to get a land line for no other reason than just so the TiVo could connect and get programming info. I loved it. My roommates loved me for having it.

That love affair is over. TiVo, you’ve done a lot of things during that time to make me not like you any more.

I dislike how the only place you can find out what the monthly service fee is is this cluttered terms and conditions page.

I dislike how the price has gone up over the years but what you get is the same.

I dislike how rarely the software is updated. It seems only to be updated when a new feature is slapped on. Interface is all you have left, TiVo. You need to be crafting that thing into the best experience out there, like it was when you launched.

I dislike how there is a one-year contract now. I remember when I found out I was automatically enrolled into that contract without warning. I wasn’t very happy.

I dislike the $155.40 fee for “early termination” (even if you were say, at 11 of 12 months fulfilled).

I dislike how unreliably scheduling of a show from the web worked for me.

I dislike how it’s $59.99 for a TiVo-branded USB wireless connector when the same product typically costs far less.

Most of all, I disliked how I was treated on the phone when I was moving and wanted to cancel service for a while. First of all, it’s ridiculous that I had to call at all. The TiVo website is fully capable of allowing me to cancel my service. They don’t allow it because they want me to jump through hoops to cancel. If it’s too hard, maybe I won’t do it at all and they can charge me for longer. Then once they have me on the phone, you can throw every sales trick in the book at me to try and keep the service. I disliked having to lose my temper to make myself clear that I just wanted to cancel service.

I dislike the company TiVo has turned into. The cute little TV logo just pisses me off now. I’m afraid I’m just going to have to throw my TiVo away. I can’t even give it away to someone knowing how bad their experience is going to be.