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Please help guide me through the Freeview minefield (and help my parents love me!) :)

Andrew Mogford

Prominent Member
A few years ago, my parents asked for advice about freeview. They wanted a box which would get the freeview channels, record onto a hard disc, and would be upgradeable to get new channels in the future.

I am sure, at the time, I remember that you could do something called Top Up TV which gave you extra channels with a viewing card. So after some research I got them a Humax which did everything they asked.

This weekend, they asked me if I could arrange to get the viewing card so they could have their extra channels. I rang up Top Up TV, and they told me I couldn't do it and I had to buy one of their boxes. My parents hit the roof with me.

I explained that I was sure at the time they could have upgraded but I may well have been wrong so after them being upset with me I agreed to pay half the cost of a new box with them.

I rang up Top Up TV on Sunday and they told me we could get all the channels listed on their website including History, NGC and TCM which my parents wanted.

So once I had confirmed that we could get those channels we ordered a box.

It arrived today, we set it up - and it turns out even NOW we don't get these channels, only "one or two" programmes from each downloaded to the box overnight, and then you have no control. I spoke to them on the phone and they swore to me when selling it to me that the programmes were LIVE.

I now had a box that is technically not faulty - and they wont accept it back because they said they would not have told us the channels were as live. And my parents are even angrier with me now than they were before. :brickwall :(

My dad is in there yelling at me as they type saying that the only channel they get now that they didn't get before for their $9.99 a month is Dave :(

Obviously I am now stuck with a useless box (it was only 80 quid so hopefully I can sell it without too much loss), but what I want to know is

1. Was I wrong or could you originally get these extra channels with a card a few years ago. Top Up TV say you couldn't but I'm sure that's why I went for one with a card.

2. Does anyone subscribe to this Top Up TV anytime service and is it actually any good? What will my parents get for their money? When I rang them they said you aren't even guaranteed to get every episode of a series. You might only get one or two.

3. Does any freeview service offer these channels live or is it impossible? If it is impossible, do NGC and History channel appear on the BT Vision on demand service? If so, I am guessing that will be their best option due to the more comprehensive nature of it?

4. On the box it advertises series link - the option to record a whole series at the touch of a button. This was really important to my parents - yet we have just tried it and it doesn't seem to work. Will that come after the full 14 day download over night?

Or am I worrying about nothing and will they find this Top Up TV box full of wonderful programmes tomorrow when they get up?
 
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Matt_C

Distinguished Member
Good lord - if they were my parents, I'd remind them that I am not a TV service salesman and they got the best that was available at the time, and then get told to shut the :censored: up before getting a slap for stepping out of line!

How is it your fault that TUTV decided to change their minds a couple years ago about going down the "anytime" route instead of live channels?

Then how is it your fault that they lied to you down the phone? You can only base your descisions on the facts you are given!

I'd be telling them to shut the :censored: up and next time they want something, do it them :censored: selves!
 

AndyCob

Prominent Member
At the risk of being wrong I think if you ordered this over the phone you have the right under distance selling regulations to return it no questions asked inside of a week. Try googling distance selling or sales of goods act for details, then ring them back be polite be firm (if you let things become a shouting match youve already lost) tell them the product is not as it was described to you, you were told by their sales rep the channels were live, tell them to prove otherwise if they say they didn't (of course you better be right just in case they have a call reocrding that clearly shows the opposite, you have the right to ask for a copy of the call if it was recorded), it is not fit for the purpose you bought it for and you wish to return it under the distance selling regulations for a full refund and cancel your subsciption. They may go on about their terms and conditions not allowing this but as I understand it they can write what they like in their T&Cs it can't override the law which is the Sale of Goods Act. If all else fails ask for the name and details of where and to whom your solicitor should send the legal papers for the small claims court action you will be taking out against them, only costs £30-60 if you do the paperwork yourself and it is amazing how fast these things get resovled once legal letter heads start appearing particularly if they know htey are in the wrong.
 

Andrew Mogford

Prominent Member
LOL @ Matt.

Ok, I am slightly exaggerating for comedy effect. They are not overly happy though 'cause at the end of the day I told them £9.99 would get them all these extra channels and all they get is Dave.

The box actually came from ARGOS - it was the one TUTV recommended and it is ARGOS who say it can't be returned as it was a special offer in the reduced section.

Does anyone have any experience of exactly what gets downloaded to the box and if it is any good?
 

M2GX

Standard Member
does not matter what argos says if you bought it over the internet then you can send it back within 7 days with out any questions. If you picked it up in store then that's different. But if you still want to take it back just take it into the store and stand there making a fuss.
 

Suggers

Established Member
Parents are very demanding -

Have tried to explain to moth-in-law, that her transmitter, doesn't go live til 2012 - " but I'm 83? "

ps - cannot see one prog on your list that is worth 99p, let alone £9.99.

pps - Radio & books are fab - cos the pictures are better ?
Don't mean to sound fascetious - this analogue / digital thing is v. crap.
Just bought Pure dig tiny radio, to listen to R4, while out in the fields - no dig signal here !! ****** - FM signal is excellent
Gotta horrible feeling we're being conned.
Regards.
 

Mooly

Established Member
Hi,
At the risk I've missed something in all the above it seems the box is not as was described to you. That means you can return it under the sale of goods act.
Although you asked for advice from the manufacturer ? and bought at Argos, erm !!
Just explain this to the store manager, they don't bite generally :D Your goods are not as described by the manufacturer, it cannot get any clearer than that.
In my experience ( returning a 2.5 year old DVD recorder two weeks ago under said act ) Argos customer care is first class.
 
D

Deleted member 36193

Guest
2. Does anyone subscribe to this Top Up TV anytime service and is it actually any good? What will my parents get for their money? When I rang them they said you aren't even guaranteed to get every episode of a series. You might only get one or two.



4. On the box it advertises series link - the option to record a whole series at the touch of a button. This was really important to my parents - yet we have just tried it and it doesn't seem to work. Will that come after the full 14 day download over night?

Re 2. I tried it for free as part of my startup package and was really disappointed with THEIR selection of what extras to watch. Some bits were OK, but much of it was just rubbish-maybe linked to advertising revenues?
Re 4. Series link works after the box has finished setting itself up. If you get the 14 day listing, series link will work. Mine hasn't missed a recording through series link failure.

If it's the Thomson box, it should update to 2.99 firmware to be up to date.

If you could choose your own downloads (not just the channels they download their selections from), then maybe TUTV would be worth a go. But as you can't, and you don't get the option to watch those channels live, it'd be a ripoff at more than £1 a month IMO.

Take it back. Shout and scream. Stamp your feet. They WILL give in. As others have already posted, they've broken SOGA law.
My tip when buying items like this- go to Asda and buy it. Their no quibble policy is the best on the market.
 
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LV426

Administrator
Staff member
I suppose, though, that, if the "advice" came from a different source to the actual goods (i.e. it was TUTV that "advised" but Argos that sold the goods) then Argos are not guilty of misrepresentation and hence may not be liable for a return/refund.

Back to the original question - yes, TUTV was just an additional selection of channels when it initially launched; this "anytime" feature was a later change/addition.

PS. "Dave" isn't one of their subscription channels; that's part of Freeview.
 

Andrew Mogford

Prominent Member
So i've now discovered. Put their old box back in and they DO get Dave. However, they don't get UKTV Gold which they did get on The Thompson. That alone might have been enough to get them to decide to keep with it, if it wasn't for the fact that it's only on for four hours in the evening......

I'm now turning this into a BT Vision question - even though I do have a BT vision box it's up in the attic so easier to ask someone who has it. Is their much NGC and History channel content on BT Vision download service? I take it you dont get the channels live on that box either?

Do you get UKTV Gold on Vision, and if so all day or just in the evenings?

Thanks!
 

Andrew Mogford

Prominent Member
Just a little update.

ARGOS gave full refund as they had forgot to put on receipt - NO RETURNS ALLOWED (although they meant to apparently).

TUTV cancelled contract but refused to refund £20 for connection fee. I consider we've got away with it lightly and would warn anyone considering this to consider ver carefully what they get for their money.
 

JeffD

Prominent Member
I am sure, at the time, I remember that you could do something called Top Up TV which gave you extra channels with a viewing card. So after some research I got them a Humax which did everything they asked.
When Top Up TV launched it was live channels which needed a viewing card that could be used in any box with a card slot, but from what I remember they rented unused MUX space off CH4 then when CH4 wanted to launch E4, E4+1 and MORE4 on Freeview they took the space back so Top Up TV was force into the overnight download service it is now for which you need the special box.
 

hen

Established Member
Hi, we had a very similar problem to yours with TUTV this was 18 months ago. We had the box direct from TUTV with a promise we could see Eurosport live. Well we could, what they did'nt say was that it was only live from about 7.30am till 10am. and at the time they were not downloading any programmes. We asked for a refund on the box, in view of what we had been told, they would not give us a refund on the box because we had broken the contract with them. So we cancelled the direct debit, and before we realised they had locked the boxes harddrive, so we could'nt use it as a recorder. So one useless box and a stand off.
 

black_thunder

Standard Member
Hi, we had a very similar problem to yours with TUTV this was 18 months ago. We had the box direct from TUTV with a promise we could see Eurosport live. Well we could, what they did'nt say was that it was only live from about 7.30am till 10am. and at the time they were not downloading any programmes. We asked for a refund on the box, in view of what we had been told, they would not give us a refund on the box because we had broken the contract with them. So we cancelled the direct debit, and before we realised they had locked the boxes harddrive, so we could'nt use it as a recorder. So one useless box and a stand off.

If you genuinely are at a "stand off" with TUTV, then simply issue a County Court Summons against TUTV for the entire cost of the box, AND the total cost of any supscriptions and connection charges. You will get your money back.
 

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