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Monday, 11/21/05

The Tivo is still in Kentucky, where it will apparently remain. They sent me my first refurb exchange unit in late October, which failed out of the box -- overlaying buckets of static on all three audio outputs. The fellow on the phone that day indicated I was playing one of tech support's greatest hits. I boxed it up again and sent it on its way back to Louisville, after negotiating a credit that covered most of my expenses in shipping this second unit off to be exchanged. They swore up and down, unconvincingly, that they lacked the ability to cross-ship even under these self-inflicted circumstances.

Thanksgiving will mark four weeks since they received that defective unit, over which time I've been told a lot of lies. The shipping estimate climbed from "five days" to "seven to ten days" to "seven to ten business days" to "fourteen business days", and then they stopped offering estimates. I've been told their warehouse is in transition, and that they have no way to contact the warehouse except email, and that emails sent on my behalf go unanswered. Today is the third time in less than two weeks I've been patted on the head and told my query has now been sent in such a way that will get a response; my faith in this assertion has dropped to zero.

And here's the punchline: when I first called Tivo in early October about a new video hiccup, I was told it was the first sign of incipient hardware failure, precipitating all this drama. In the weeks since as I've knocked off novels left and right, I've told myself that at least the replacement machine won't be on death's door. But this original assertion turns out to be no more accurate than a Dick Cheney stump speech -- the hiccup was a software problem affecting a small number of models, and has already been corrected in the new 7.2.1 OS update, which started rolling out a week ago. Classy operation, TiVo. Thank you, I love you. 02:03PM «

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