Unable to get free 30 day trial, poor support

I just got a Tablo and was going to buy the lifetime membership, but figured I would start with the free 30 day trial that was being offered. But going through the process, the only options it gave me was a monthly subscription, yearly, or lifetime. I thought maybe I would automatically get the free trial first, so I just selected the monthly option and completed the process. Never again did it mention the free trial, but it went ahead and charged me.

I thought this might be a simple mistake, so I emailed support. The next day, I got a response back stating that the trial should activate once I started using the Tablo on my home network - and that my ticket was closed. The Tablo was already being used on my network, so I checked my online account and it didn’t mention anything about a trial, just the date I was first charged…

I replied back stating I had already started using it and the charge hadn’t come off my credit card statement. A couple of days have gone by and still no response to that.

I’ve also been trying to log in to view the support ticket, but it keeps telling me my password is invalid. I only use one password so I know it’s correct, but anyway I tried resetting my password. When I enter my email to reset my password, it simply says “you cannot reset your password”.

I finally tried to call their support line today before they closed but was sent straight to voicemail, even though I called during their business hours.

Has anyone else had this much trouble getting started? I’m thinking if this is the kind of support I’m going to get if I need help, I don’t want to go any further and will return this before it’s too late.

Once you start paying, the free trial is over. But hopefully you can get a refund because of the mistake.

You can’t look at your support tickets online, which is why you received an invalid password message. That is for internal use only. Communication is through emails on tickets.

Tablo Support usually does a good job, but you do have to be patient.

Ah, confusing since in Gmail I see a big link to view the ticket, but then can’t.

Hopefully they will contact me about a refund, but too bad it couldn’t have been simpler from the beginning.

I did the same mistake they gave me 30 days free. Not a refund.

As a new user I can state the trial starts immediately upon completing the setup process. No action was needed to activate the trial. I did the setup on a browser on a iMac. Once I went to the settings page inside the mytablo app it showed the number of days remaining in the trial and also told me that if I started a subscription the trial would end.

Apparently this method confuses some folks and maybe Tablo needs to make the subscription link display an error message or additional warning when someone tried to subscribe while the trial is active.

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Was the Tablo a refurbished model?
I’m thinking the free trial subscription is linked to the unit’s MAC address, so if someone else already used it, the trial would be gone.

I purchased a refurbished tablo and have been using it for a little over a week. It came with the 30 free trial of the guide.

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Refurbished is not “used”. It means that the unit has been restored to factory spec. It could have been a return that was never used. It could be a used item returned within the return period. So, buying refurb, is usually like buying new as far as the user experience goes.

According to Tablo:

What does ‘refurbished’ mean?

Refurbished Tablo DVRs are restored to a like-new state at Tablo HQ. They are verified to work properly and include all parts and accessories (original or comparable substitutes) and include the 30 day trial of our guide data subscription. External packaging may show some wear and tear. All refurbished DVRs sold by Tablo are covered by Tablo’s 12 month warranty policy but are NOT eligible for Tablo’s 30 day return policy which is standard on new units.

"Refurbished Units
Refurbished Tablo OTA DVRs are lovingly restored to a like-new state at TabloHQ. All DVRs are tested and include all parts and accessories. These units are covered by Tablo’s 12 month warranty policy but are NOT eligible for Tablo’s 30-day return policy which is standard on all new units. To learn more about refurbished Tablo units, please see our store policies page. …Tablo includes a 30 day trial of our EPG subscription. "

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It was not refurbished. It was brand new.

Either way, the 30 Free Trial starts when you complete setup. That was my experience.

Either way, I guess the bigger issue for me is the support. The free trial is obviously somewhat confusing, but it seems like this would be super easy to fix once I’ve voiced a complaint. Yet it’s been a week and I’ve heard nothing. You would think a new company that’s trying to make it would have decent support and would want to work hard to keep new customers.

Sorry to hear you’re having a bad experience with getting a subscription trial.

Is there anything we can attempt to help you resolve? Any setup issues? Any playback issues?

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Thanks, but the Tablo itself is working fine.

Don’t mean to sound whiny about the subscription, but I was just trying to figure out if I should invest more in this company by buying the lifetime subscription. My original question was asked trying to get a feel for whether or not other people had had bad experiences dealing with the company.

Nuvyyo is certainly the scrappy newcomer into the Tivo dominated space. IMHO, the bigget boon came when Aereo was shot down by the content producers (via the hands of the SCOTUS). Tablo gives you essentially everything Aereo did, plus added flexibility and ability to stream to more devices.

Perfect out the door? No. But very responsive compared to much of their competition. Or maybe some people would like to brag on Tivo or Silicon Dust?

My first 2-tuner Tablo had some problems, but the replacement unit has been rock solid.

Have there been regresssion in the end device apps? Yes, sometimes. And it’s weird because in most cases the regressions wouldn’t have even come if people could have put up with a fully functional but not so pretty UI (sigh). But even the warts of the newer apps get fixed over time.

I remember when the Roku app was having problems (would stop playing and take you back to the main screen randomly)… of course back then all the Nexus owers told us about their golden platform from on high and how the heavens blessed it and sent it to earth… then Google (as they ALWAYS do) deprecated the platform. Of course the FireTV folks heralded their platform as the ONLY appropriate way to use the Tablo, and now, their app is having problems and they are ready to surround Nuvyyo carrying torches and “Not my DVR” signs. But this will pass as Nuvyyo addresses the problem (and indeed, I think it is passing right now… just don’t expect a flood of gratitude from the masses).

What I’m trying to say is that this scrappy newcomer takes support very seriously. Yes, they make mistakes, but they really really want to fix the mistakes and yet still attempt to push the platform forward.

I recommend the Tablo TV device, because of their scrappy support!!

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So, here’s how this works:

The Tablo’s 30 day free trial period is activated as soon as you set the Tablo and begin using it on your home network.

You can confirm this by navigating to any of the Tablo mobile apps (or the web app at http://my.tablotv.com/) and navigating to Settings > Subscription.

Until your trial period expires, (or is near expiration) there’s no need to register for an account and purchase a subscription at https://account.tablotv.com/. If you register early, your subscription we be billed and start immediately.

The above is noted on the subscription selection page, shown below:

@tclark333 I’ve sent over a note - we’re happy to cancel and refund your subscription and let the trial period take over if you like.

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Got this fixed - thank you!!

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I enjoy the Tablo quite a bit, despite some quibbles with the apps (I’ll mention those later), but…

This is a very annoying free trial model for the following reason: I forgot to subscribe before my trial ended on a Friday, and despite having a few live shows scheduled to record on the Sunday immediately afterward, I sat down on Monday to watch them but nothing had been recorded all weekend.

I was completely confused and assumed the Tablo had broken. It took me a while to figure out what the problem was, and of course, by then it was too late to do anything about the missed recordings. They were the three major network political shows, and something big had just happened with the president that I was looking forward all week to hearing more about (I think he had just fired James Comey).

I was extremely annoyed because: A) the shows I wanted are broadcast at the same time every Sunday… and B) the Tablo keeps 2 weeks of its future program guide so technically it “knew” when the shows were on for two weeks after my trial ended, yet it immediately stopped recording everything I had scheduled.

I understand that the guide is required for the Tablo to record scheduled shows, but I didn’t realize every single program would just suddenly stop recording at the end of the trial… especially when there should technically be a 2 week “grace period” that the Tablo could keep recording anything that was already downloaded in the 14 days of programming at the point the trial ended. And, the company could send emails a couple days in advance to warn what will happen if you don’t subscribe.

Now, the fact that I missed live broadcasts that would never be shown again was annoying enough… But after I paid to restart my subscription, my scheduled programs did not resume recording. Turns out, when my trial ended, the Tablo just “forgot” it might need to start recording my programs again. They were all still listed as “Scheduled” but weren’t actually recording, and it was surely for the same reason they abruptly stopped at the end of my trial.

So, I had to tediously go through my Schedule, delete every single existing item one at a time (and f@#k is that annoying), then find and add them again from the guide. I was not a happy camper.

All of this hassle could be avoided by emailing or popping up warnings that your shows are about to suddenly stop recording (and your schedule will be trashed too), or allowing you to subscribe before the trial ends without cheating you out of the rest of the free 30 days. I honestly can’t think of any other free trial that charges you immediately upon subscribing and cancels the remainder of your free trial period.

.

Now, as far as the apps… the Roku app is my favorite, since it can display recordings in the order that they were recorded (today on top, yesterday below that, etc) but my Roku’s take far too long to navigate the menus. Every button press takes 3 to 5 seconds to respond, and if you press the wrong button, you’ve got to wait another 3 to 5 seconds to go back to where you started. And there REALLY needs to be a quick way to delete programs - both from the main “Recordings” menu AND while you’re actually watching the thing you want to delete. Most of the time when I finish a show, I want to delete it immediately… not press Back to wait 5 seconds for the episode synopsis to load, then press Left to highlight Delete, then press OK, then press OK again on the confirmation, then wait 5 more seconds for the Recordings menu to load. Lord, that is extremely tedious for what should be a simple task!

The iOS and XBox menus are much faster (although just as tedious) - but inexplicably there’s no chronological Recordings list. The only option is to look at everything grouped by show, then drill down to particular seasons and episodes. Since I imagine the Tablo starts freeing space by deleting the oldest recordings, it’s bizarre not to have a chronological listing option.

Annnnd, I’m done.

Fair points @jbdub82, I’ve posted about some of them myself. I think within technical limitations they may between platforms one of the biggest improvements that could be made right now is feature parity between all of the various platform apps. I too sometimes like the flexibility to list recordings (or upcoming scheduled recordings) by date and the Roku app has the options, Android/Android TV app doesn’t.

It does also seem like the easiest solution to your subscription woes would be an automated e-mail a few days before the trial expires. That seems sufficient to me and is what most other subscription services do. At that point if you have reminded the user it’s up to them to take the next action. Although maybe changes could occur to address the other things you encountered as a result of the subscription expiring, the quickest, easy solution is a reminder e-mail.

While waiting for the Tablo apps to mature a bit and at least attain feature parity, we primarily use Plex for playback since we also use the Sync functionality with regularity.

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