Zipcar Drops XM

To be perfectly clear, this has nothing to do with the recent Opie and Anthony dust-up. That being said, it suddenly seemed relevant to the future of satellite radio, so we thought we’d post the news. Again, they already canceled. It’s not over Opie and Anthony. Ok, on to the news.

On May 1st, Zipcar a car sharing/rental service that provides over 2,500 cars to 90,000 members, sent out an email to those members informing them that ZipCar was parting ways with XM radio. The email begins:

Sometimes if you love something, you just have to set it free. So, even though we know that so many of you love XM’s tuneage and ad-free format, we’ve made the difficult decision to break ties with XM while things get sorted out in the satellite radio industry (there’s serious talk of XM and Sirius merging). But rest assured, we’re checking out new ways to make your Ziptrips just as rockin’ (or jazzin’, or, well, you get the picture) as always.

The partnership first formed in 2005, and was newsworthy enough to deserve a Reuters piece and was covered by our sister-blog Jalopnik.
Although the email clearly states that Zipcar is unwilling to continue the relationship due to the merger-o-rama, Zipcar told the Boston Herald that it was simply the end of their contract. Huh?

It’s not fun to be XM radio these days, between the loss of a high profile 2,500 subscription account, and all this excellent publicity, the stockholder’s meeting should be fun. Read Zipcar’s XM radio breakup email inside.

Zipcar writes:

Sometimes if you love something, you just have to set it free. So, even though we know that so many of you love XM’s tuneage and ad-free format, we’ve made the difficult decision to break ties with XM while things get sorted out in the satellite radio industry (there’s serious talk of XM and Sirius merging). But rest assured, we’re checking out new ways to make your Ziptrips just as rockin’ (or jazzin’, or, well, you get the picture) as always.

As we say goodbye to our partner, we’ll be removing the XM radios from all our Zipcars. This process will take a couple of months, and XM will continue to work in our cars in the meantime. If your car has it… turn it on and enjoy. To see if your Zipcar still has XM, check the vehicle details on our website when you make a reservation.

We don’t want to leave you hanging without the music that you’ve come to know and love. You can still groove and sing out loud after the XM radios are gone from our Zipcars. Need it? Must have it? Love it too much? XM is giving Zipsters access to some solid deals through a unique set of friends and family discounts. If interested, find the deal that works for you and follow the simple instructions. Just go to http://partners.xmradio.com and enter access code XMZIPXM05 to check ‘em out.

PS. The XM radios that come out of our Zipcars can’t be reused but will be recycled in an earth friendly manner.

Thanks for your understanding… happy Zipping.

Peter Demers Director, Member Services

Zipcar will drop XM radio from its autos [Boston Herald]
XM Inks Deal with Zipcar [Jalopnik]
(Photo: miss_rogue)

Comments

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  1. Franklin Comes Alive! says:

    The satellite radio industry is in deep doo-doo. When this merger doesn’t go through (which I don’t think it will), I could easily see both Sirius and XM going under.

  2. BStu says:

    I’m guessing that what this means is that their contract was up and Zipcar wasn’t comfortable re-upping given the uncertainty with the impending merger. Which is not a good sign for either XM or Sirius, I would imagine.

    I’m a touch disappointed as I always liked getting the XM radio when my girlfriend rented a Zipcar. But at the same time I generally found the service underwhelming and didn’t live up to its hype.

    Maybe Zipcar can install iPod docks in their cars. Probably plenty of people interested in choosing their music experience.

  3. rmz says:

    @BStu: Exactly. Ever since I started using my iPod in my car (either by a car stereo that supports it directly, or via an FM transmitter) I’ve never had even the slightest desire to pay for something like XM. My own music is commercial-free, always what I want to hear, and has no monthly fees! :D

  4. joeblevins says:

    Now I am going to video myself crushing my ZIPCAR and putting it on YouTube…

  5. Islingtonian says:

    to be fair, they made this announcement a while ago, long before they discontinued service on may 1…or is it just hating on XM day?

  6. malarkey21 says:

    Zipcar had better call XM and verify that their subscription has been canceled. There is a nasty rumor spreading that in 6 months from now their credit card bill will be charged for 2500 subscriptions.

    I would hate to be the CSR on the phone when I Zipcar says “Um, 6 months ago I canceled my account and today opened my credit card bill and I got charged for 2500 subscriptions. Can you please refund my card, and really cancel my subscriptions?”

    “Uh, I think I’m going to need a managers approval. Please hold.”

  7. Foxtrot-Yankee says:

    @Islingtonian:

    …is it just hating on XM day?

    No. This is hating on XM month. The month ends early if they stop punishing their subscribers.

  8. gopher646 says:

    I love Zipcar, but could do without the XM. No big loss here.

  9. I use Flexcar, its cheaper.

    Probably because they don’t have useless stuff like XM in their cars.

  10. Orbitcast says:

    This was proven to be debunked a while ago:
    http://www.orbitcast.com/archives/zipcar-drops-xm-and-the-

    Zipcar was being, um, “creative” in that letter. XM was actually the one who dropped Zipcar. It has nothing to do with the merger.

  11. leftistcoast says:

    I got the email telling me they were parting ways a few weeks ago and instantly called b.s. on their ‘merger’ excuse. Especially considering with the same breath, they offered ‘Zipster discounts’ on XM Radios. Not exactly confidence inducing when a vendor you patronize quits a service because of a speculative merger and at the same time extends discounts on said vendor’s products at the same time. I like Zipcar a great deal but someone was clearly asleep at the wheel when they drafted and hit said on that email.

    For the record, it also bummed me out. I looked forward to listening to new music and buying the music when I got home from my Zipcar excursions…

  12. BStu says:

    I don’t think a “He said, she said” between spokespeople qualifies as “debunking” the story. Besides, it doesn’t make sense. Someone who is selling something rarely refuses money for their service. If Zipcar wasn’t happy with the terms offered, that’s still Zipcar dropping XM. Not the other way around even if XM wants to save face by claiming the break-up was all their idea.

  13. MusicLand says:

    This isn’t a good sign for the merger and I’m quite glad. I’ve been working with the national association of broadcasters for awhile now and I can’t tell you how bad this merger will be for consumers of audio entertainment. A single satellite provider would be able to artificially deflate local advertising rates and hurt local programming in the process. I’m hoping our government officials will realize that the two companies will best serve the public by remaining separate from each other.