6.22.2005

CVS Annoys Me.

Even buying something simple like a pack of gum or a notebook is now a near-tedious affair thanks to CVS. As many of you who shop for consumables are aware, store 'savings' cards are all the rage -- you check out, use your saving card and end up 'saving' a buck or two on your groceries each week while supermarkets and other stores track your buying habits, sell your contact information and provide you coupons for products you probably won't ever buy.

Though I haven't received unwanted harassment thanks to giving away all my information to save a few dollars a month, CVS has certainly made it a minor pain to shop there. Upon checkout at CVS, you will be asked whether or not you have a savings card. If you DO have a card, you have to go through the hassle of ripping it out of your wallet (since it's really clunky plastic that sticks to everything). If you DON'T have a card, you have to explain why you don't want it when the cashier tells you all the benefits of the card (selling of your contact information, useless coupons, etc.). Either way, it makes buying a soda a real hassle.

Don't get me started on CVS's policy of giving you a receipt for every purchase you make, regardless of size. Why aren't there more Walgreens?

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6.21.2005

RTV Tried to Screw Me, so Screw It

So I don't have TiVo, I have RTV (ReplayTV). It's pretty similar -- I bought it because the unit was cheaper and some programmers had developed software that would allow me to pull shows right off the unit into my computer so I could share/send/cut up whatever I wanted. It also had a nice 30-second skip button that made skipping over commercials pretty easy (something TiVo supposedly lacks - more on this later).

A couple of weeks ago, however the hard disk on my RTV crashed. After emailing all my information to D&M Holdings (the company that owns RTV), I received an email back saying that it would cost $79 to fix my RTV. Let's say I politely declined their offer to help.

Why pay $79 when I can go to an online forum for help and try to fix it myself? The worst that can happen is that it won't work and I will have to shell out an extra $20 on top of the $79 for a factory-renewed (with warranty) unit that has double the capacity? And this just in -- TiVo is now offering a FREE box (factory renewed), if you purchase a year's-worth of service in advance.

Thanks for the happy memories RTV -- that time you recorded only the first two minutes of an episode of Lost... the time you recorded the HD signal of The Sopranos -- even though I didn't have HD service at the time...Your awkward web-based programming "feature" that requires programming at least 24-hours in advance...The many times you recorded over episodes of shows I hadn't seen because you have no 'Season Pass' feature.

Now that TiVo offers official software that lets you copy shows from your unit to your desktop (and there's some unofficial software that will allow you to turn those proprietary .tivo files to .mpg files), I think I'm sold.

Besides, I'd rather own a product by a company that really cares about what it makes and stands behind it, not some foreign holding company that owns a bunch of companies that don't even produce their own unites anymore. TiVo rules!

8 Comments:

Anonymous MegaZone complained...

Welcome to the cult - you may find the info here useful: http://www.livejournal.com/userinfo.bml?user=tivolovers

6/21/2005 5:59 PM
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Anonymous Anonymous complained...

Do you recall what you paid for your RTV unit? Do you really expect free repair given the manufacturer made nothing on the box?

Being cutting edge means a little pain from time to time, get used to it. Oh, and get used to watching commercials again as well as Tivo plastering advertisements everywhere they can. . .

6/22/2005 9:20 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous complained...

Yeah dude. Tivo effing rules. I couldn't be happier. Also, programming the remote to do a 30 second skip is as easy as 1-2-3.

Rozinator

6/30/2005 3:42 PM
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Blogger Carl complained...

I paid $150 for the RTV (TiVo was $200 at the time). I was a loyal customer for over a year and I probably would have stayed a loyal customer if it wasn't going to cost me 80 bucks (plus postage) to ship off my unit to be fixed. Buying this TiVo was a great deal that could not be passed up. There's also a philisophical difference between companies. RTV is just an arm of some large conglomerate. TiVo is the only product/service of one company. Compare websites: RTV is a very nice rehashing of the instruction book you get with the unit. TiVo.com is for TV lovers with suggestions and lists and a ton of other features. I just installed and ran the TiVo desktop software. Now I can listen to all my MP3s on my stereo system!

7/12/2005 7:21 AM
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Anonymous Anonymous complained...

Most companies don't fix things for free after the warranty ends. You never siad how long you owned the unit. Also do you know for a fact that Tivo would just send you a new unit for free.

How much sense does it make to purchase a years worth of service in advance? Lifetime is $299 wheter you are a year into it or not. All they are doing is taking your first year wasted subscription fee and applying it to the box. Buy a $99 box plus $299 subscription and hav eit for life. That is less or the same as paying a years subscription and and still not owning service for life. 30 second skip is cool, but auto commercial advance on the 5000 models beats that hands down!

7/15/2005 6:43 PM
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Blogger Carl complained...

I like how this topic won't die.... I had the RTV for over a year before it konked out. I didn't expect them to repair it for free, but I was suprised at just how much a post-warranty repair cost. To give an update, I did receive a free TiVo when I purchased a year-long subscription. I don't plan on buying a lifetime subrsciption (non-transferable between units) just yet, because I might want an HD TiVo unit or might be required to purchase a different type of TiVo unit, if they ever partner with Netflix. If TiVo were a non-evolving service, it obviously looks like I'm losing money in the long run, but I don't think TiVo is done with rolling out new products and services just yet. I plan on saving money over the long run.

7/22/2005 1:48 PM
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10/04/2005 7:53 AM
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10/30/2005 6:50 AM
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I Was Turned Down by Live 8

Damn that Bob Geldof. I offered my services, said I'd like to help out with a Somerville location, maybe get some other local talent.... maybe raise a couple... dollars. But it didn't work out. Now I feel the same way I felt when I declared myself for the NBA, MLB, NHL and NFL drafts.

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Blogger Coolhand complained...

Very nice. i liked this post.

7/25/2005 11:00 AM
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