Friday, November 19, 2004

TiVo comments

Here are some comments from by way of this post on Church of the Customer:

I bought a TiVo because it allows me to skip commercials. I HATE commercials. I will do anything possible to circumvent commercials. I have a TiVo to block TV ads. I have an iPod so I don't have to listen to ads on the radio. I have a bunch of filtering proxy software in place so I never see ads on the Internet. Now you're telling me that while I am SKIPPING commercials I am going to be forced to watch commercials FROM TiVo? I don't think so. I refuse.

Years ago I bought a 40 hour Phillips SA [Stand-Alone TiVo]. I loved it and evangelized it to everyone I know. I then bought a DTivo [DirectTV TiVo] and evangelized THAT to everyone I know. I have PERSONALLY sold five DTivos and three SA Tivos. I also planned to buy a SA unit for my girlfriend this Christmas, until now. I will wait and hope that Tivo does the right thing here before condemning the company, but with all the recent changes at Tivo, I no longer actively evangelize them. If this comes to pass, I'll make sure I steer people AWAY. This is customer hostile, pure and simple.

I know Tivo is out to make money. But I don't think I am being naive saying that Tivo USED TO be one of those companies that was looking out for us. I can't say that they are anymore. There's lots of dollars to be made by selling out to Hollywood and TV, and I understand Tivo is trying to avoid getting sued, but by screwing us in the process they might find that their loyal subscriber base disappears. Will Tivo's advertising partners be so eager to pay for ads when Tivo's subscriber base starts shrinking? ... This is selling us out."

Here's another commentary, again by way of Church of the Customer:

I used to be a vocal advocate for Tivo. I recommended it to many many people. I really love the product. Unfortunately things at Tivo are changing in a bad way. This announcement coupled with the announcement that they will only allow [Pay Per View] recordings to stay on the Tivo for a certain amount of time have forced me to reevaluate my position and Tivo's value to me.

.... I cannot continue to endorse Tivo to everyone I see. I may even start telling people to avoid Tivo."

Getting away from anonymous sources, here's Scoble's comment:

Jeff Sandquist unplugged his Tivo yesterday. I'm unplugging mine tonight (read Jeff's post to see what I'm picked up from Comcast). Gotta get home. Halo 2 and new electronic toys.

This will wind up being a case of customer evangelism turned against the company that they used to evangelize.  The whole reason that I was finally ready to jump into the market and buy a TiVo was because of the overwhelming number of people that told me that I was missing out by not having one.  The interesting thing is that I am usually an early adopter and massive evangelizer for products that I enjoy using (those of you that read my blog frequently know that I will always post a review of a product and heap praise on products that I love).  Not even being a TiVo subscriber/user, simply someone who was intending to buy, I still am jumping on the bandwagon of reverse evangelism.

It is an interesting experience to be a reverse customer evangelist; to steer people away from a product that I have never used.  The simple fact of the matter is that TiVo was a company that inspired absolute passion in the people that used their product.  That passion, now turned against the company, is what inspires me to reverse evangelize the product.  I admit: I have not seen the new advertising scheme.  But I don't care!  I really don't care -- the passion exhibited by people that I don't know that heretofor (nice word, huh?) were massive supporters of this product is enough to involve me in their reverse evangelism against this product.

TiVo, welcome to the global community of instantaneous customer feedback and subsequent distribution.  They say that any press is good press; I tend wonder if that "they" has ever had really horrible press, especially really horrible press from their own customers.


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