Recieved A Used/Returned Tablo From Amazon

So I ordered a “new” Tablo from Amazon about two weeks ago. I had to wait about a week for the order to come in stock. I guess it’s a popular item at Amazon. In fact it is now listed as out of stock with Amazon LLC. I finally received the tablo a few days ago… had some trouble setting it up… and finally figured out the device appears to be used. The free trial subscription is already expired and there are shows already listed in the Recordings section.

I’ve contacted Amazon and they offered a 30% refund.
I’ve contacted Tablo about resetting the trial subscription via their Contact support page and I’ve yet to get a response (it’s only been about 24 hours).

I’ve seen a few search results on google about this happening with Tablos ordered from Amazon. Has anyone else experienced this? Do I have any hope of getting Tablo to reset my trial subscrption? Should I just return the Tablo and try out a Tivo OTA Roamio? :smiley:

I’d give Tablo a chance to make this right (resetting the trial subscription) and take the 30% refund from Amazon.
Tablo support has been extremely customer-centric in my experience and I’d be surprised if they didn’t reset the trial for you.
They don’t have 24/7 support, so it will likely be Monday before you hear back, but again, @TabloTV @TabloSupport are very responsive during weekday business hours.

1 Like

I’ve ordered a 2-tuner Tablo from Amazon. I’m assuming it was new because I had no problems setting up/using the guide. I must have jumped in at the right time before the onslaught of orders. :smiley:

Tablo support isn’t 24/7. (Weekdays only.) I attribute this to them being a small (but dedicated) team. Some people consider this a deal-breaker but I don’t.

As others have said Tablo tech support is only Monday-Friday 9:30 am - 5:30 eastern time. If you open a ticiet, only do it once and wait for them b to contact you. You could try calling Monday morning, and have the Tablo mac address handy. Mondays the are busy catching up from weekend problems.

Return it. Tablo has to many known issues to deal with already. Having a used Tablo palmed off on you for a new one, is reason enough to send it back. As far as I am concerned, Tablo is only good as a recorder of TV content for my PLEX sever. And half of that is due to CycleJ’s Tablo Ripper. I seldom attempt to use it for anything else, for risk of being disappointed.


Why would anyone with a DVR even consider watching live TV?

1 Like

Sporting events, award shows, and election coverage are some instances where live TV is preferred.

I record em all. Especially (yawn) election returns. The price of sitting thru commercials which account for up to 25% of viewing time is way too high for up to the minute coverage.
What a blessing it was to FF past some 3 hours of live Oscar nonsense to get to the nitty gritty. Hoorah for the likes of Tablo.

@Xanichee - Hrm… Amazon isn’t supposed to be providing any ‘open box’ units directly. The only refurbished units available via the Amazon website are sold directly from us. I wonder if you purchased on Amazon from a random 3rd party (you’ll see this as ‘other sellers’).

Support will be happy to get your trial going with a proof of purchase though if you’re game to move forward with the discounted unit.

He He He. Amazon may be “bending the rules” or just flat out ignoring the open-box thing. I ordered a Tablo last month – a 4-tuner – listed as “New” and being sold directly by Amazon. I received it, set it up, and was not given the option of a 30-day free trial on the guide. I sent a support email to Tablo and asked why not. It was the Tablo support people (person?) who contacted Amazon and discovered they had sent me an open-box Tablo.

I immediately contacted Amazon and was given profuse apologies. Instead of a 30% cut in price, Amazon let me return the open box Tablo and they sent me one which apparently was truly “New” – at least it passed the 30-day free guide test. I suspect I did this just before Amazon ran out of the new Tablos. If it had happened a few days later they may have just offered me something like the 30% off mentioned above.


Amazon loves to send open box items as new, this isn’t a new policy. At least once per year, I receive an electronic item ordered as “new” when it is in fact open box.

A few months ago, I ordered a 2nd NVIDIA Shield, sold by Amazon, and it came with a 64gb micro sd card inserted and already set up with someone else’s account.

Likely they get a lot of returns and they are trying to save costs associated with marking items down as open-box.

Thanks everyone for your input!

My purchase was from Amazon LLC. I ordered in late February, but had to wait a week for the unit to come back in stock.

I ended up taking the 30% refund from Amazon. As Gary said, the Amazon customer service rep was apologetic and very willing to issue a refund or exchange the device. I didn’t do an exchange because when I looked up the Tablo again with Amazon LLC as the seller, the 2-Tuner was again out of stock. Instead, they were displaying the 2-tuner model from a third party for $50 more than what I paid. I’m assuming I would have had to wait a while for it to come back in stock with Amazon LLC.

I also heard back from Tablo customer service (David). They confirmed that my Tablo had been used and reset the 30 day trial subscription.

So all-in-all things worked out and I’m reasonable satisfied with the purchase and set-up.

As for using the Tablo itself… I can see it is still a little rough around the edges. I’m using the Roku 3 and Android apps. The interaction with the Tablo via the Roku is a little sluggish. The interface could definitely use some polish and speed… I’d like to be able to browse channels without losing what I’m currently watching, ie send it to the background and let the channel selector float over top of the picture). I’m hopeful the product will evolve over time.

My original choice was the Tivo OTA, but the fact the Tivo had to be connected to the tv was a problem for me. I need the OTA antenna to be upstairs to get a decent signal… so the OTA DVR had to be upstairs too. I connect the Tablo to my router downstairs via a Powerline network adapters. So no wires to run. No sketchy wifi. The Tablo just fit my needs better than the Tivo.

Thanks again,


In our case, they’re supposed to take all returned Tablos and send them to our warehouse and then on to Tablo HQ where they get lovingly refurbished.

However, some dude making minimum wage in the Amazon Warehouse probably doesn’t care as much as he should about processes and will sometimes throw it back into the pile of ‘new’.

How can you tell if you received a previously used one or in fact a new one.

Im asking cause mine came with no seal or tape on the box i find that strange.


There isn’t a seal on the factory Tablo box…so that is not an indicator.
The thing most people have reported is that the free guide trial is already used…besides that, unless the unit is cosmetically abused, I don’t think you can tell.

The packaging on mine also looked a bit rough. There was no setup instructions. Just a box, a Tablo device in a worn plastic bag, a power cord, and maybe a ethernet cable… I can’t remember.

I knew my Tablo was used because there were entries in the Recorded section: Tosh.0, Nascar, Big Bang Theory, and a few other shows. But since I literally just plugged the Tablo in and got it running, I knew this section should be empty. Also you are supposed to set up a free 30 day trial for the channel guide you see in the Live TV section, but mine wasn’t pulling in the guide details and images that are part of that subscription. In the Tablo Setting section there was only a link to go pay for a subscription on the Tablo website. It was confusing because the was no explicit message saying “Your trial subscription has expired.” The Roku UI was a bit slow and clunky, so I wasn’t sure if I had missed something at first.

You could email Tablo customer service and give them the Serial Number and MAC from the box. They should be able to tell you if it has been activated before.

This is something EBay sellers do on a daily basis. They are even permitted to list a returned item as new in the heading with some nonsensical disclaimer such as “new other”.
An open box item is used without equivocation since the buyer has no way of knowing whether the item has been used, abused, modified, etc. The nomenclature “open box” is bogus and should only be sold as “used” with appropriate discounting.
Factory refurbished is a legitimate option but the catch here is WHICH FACTORY? The designation may refer to the original manufacturer but that is not necessarily the case unless specifically stated. Also most refurbished electronic gear is sold with a limited rather than the original warranty, IE 90 days Instead of a year. I believe Tablo refurbished units are sold with the full original warranty. That represents a vote of confidence from them which passes on to the buyer.
It appears third party sellers on Amazon have stolen a page from Ebay - beware.
To make matters worse It appears this practice is not limited to third party sellers but to Amazon itself. What began from humble beginnings as a customer oriented book seller has evolved into a Walmart style mega monster.

In light of the complaints re used Tablos it’s time to reassure your customers by implementing tamper proof seals on packaging and sealed bags on the actual unit.
It can sometimes be perplexing enough to set things up without the unexpected complication of dealing with a previously used unit.

It wasn’t third party. Like I said, shipped and sold by Amazon.

That’s a bad trend. Another is steadily increasing their free shipping minimum order requirement from $25 to $35 to $49. This seems to be connected to their hard sell of Prime which offers free shipping. It’s the greedy economics of trying to sell the horse when all you really need is a bag of manure - think cable TV.
Fortunately horseshit is plentiful. On the other hand it’s not just limited to fertilizer.