Cancelling XM Radio Like Teaching Molasses To Flow Uphill

Here’s a video of an aggrieved Opie and Anthony fan trying to verify that his XM radio account was canceled. First the rep starts out saying the account is canceled, then he says it’s suspended, then he says it’s canceled.

CUSTOMER: They begin with different letters, they sound completely different.
XM: I am now changing the words that I use.

Part of the problem seems to be the rep’s command of English. He says grammatically correct sentences, but they have no logical flow. This was the subscriber’s fourth call, and while it looks like another strikeout, an update he posted to his YouTube description indicates that the next morning his account was finally canceled. Unleash the streamers. — BEN POPKEN

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  1. mantari says:

    I want to watch this, but it is too painful to keep listening to.

  2. ElPresidente408 says:

    I wonder if they were letting him have the service for the remaining months of the billing cycle? Sometimes companies let you continue using their service so long as you paid for that month. Then they cancel you at the end of that month.

  3. tourpro says:

    It would be more fun to watch him chug that beer.

  4. DojiStar says:

    The belief is that XM is trying to retain as many account until after May 25th. There were several reports that XM was suspending peoples accounts until May 26th, at which point XM would then cancel it, ending their service.

    The importance of May 25th?? The stockholders meetings. XM was trying to avoid having to explain massive losses of accounts.

    But the estimates of losses I have heard are about 20,000-40,000. But with 5-6,000,000 subs, 40K really isn’t much.

    Then in a month when all those people who cancelled come back and get hit with a $15 activation fee, XM will end up on top.

    If you were smart, you would have called and cancelled and took the 6 months free service they were handing out.

  5. gwong says:

    Holding onto accounts so they still show up in the corporate ledger for the stockholders meeting? Sounds like XM’s cooking the books.

  6. IshmealMathers says:

    Maybe its too many cups of coffee, but I think I get what the Tech is saying.

    The customer is removed from the billing part of XM. But its kind like AOL, his data/account is stored for the “just in case” when he comes back. It’s ones and zeros, thrown onto a database somewhere. No need at all for any effort on their (XM) part. Now the customer has a good, and more telling, point about not being counted. How many customers a company can claim to have helps seem more attractive to investors.

  7. Dibbler says:

    @mantari: I agree. He was just trying to make the call sound interesting but was leaning further towards painful than anything like interesting or entertaining. %)

  8. ExGC says:

    It’s a nice theory, but there’s no cooking of the books. If the number of cancellations became material, they’d be forced to disclose the actual number (and there’s no way that less than 2% or 3% is material). If not, they won’t release any numbers until the end of the quarter – June 30 – and until then, if asked, they will say that they don’t comment on those sort of metrics between periods. There are no books to cook until June 30.

  9. styckx says:

    This was my forth attempt to cancel. There is a log of the events that happened along with a video of my third phone call where I was told my account is still “active”.

    They are suspending accounts instead of flat out canceling them to pad their books and not have to count massive subscriber loss before the investors meeting on the 25th.

  10. ncboxer says:

    I could use that beer about now- it looks like a Yuengling.

  11. 44 in a Row says:

    In other news, there’s apparently a huge technical problem hitting XM right now. No confirmation on specifics, but people are reporting that one of the satellites and the entire national repeater network is completely down.

  12. Pupator says:

    That makes sense (about the technical problem) – my service so far today has been terrible.

  13. drduran says:

    I have an XM Radio that my sister stopped using because she got a new car with built-in XM, she changed over the account to the new radio and hasn’t paid for the old radio for over a year, but it still works, I have it in my 4Runner right now, all the channels work even tho no one’s paid for it for over a year.

  14. ATTSlave says:

    @drduran: Are you sure she didn’t pay for several years up front? On a related note I took 3 months of free service to keep my XM but I pay a year at a clip it’s just added to the end of my year I paid for right?

  15. drduran says:

    @ATTSlave: nope, she’s broke like me, no way she could afford a year at a time. and like i said she switched her account over to the new radio when she got it.

  16. vampired says:

    You cannot expect a public company to remove all traces of your existance, thus removing your name and address. There are compliance issues that require all public companies to keep complete records of all transactions and all files for 7 years.

  17. Hello_Newman says:

    The same thing happened tonight, I called to cancel one of the XM receivers since I sold the car last month. Andrei Price, the rep said it would cancel only on May 25th and when I called him on it and said to cancel it now, wouldn’t explain further. Also he says the supervisors are all busy doing other things and customers are not allowed to talk to them.
    So then the script and questions and all the other things they say to try to keep you from canceling came in. I told the guy I would cancel my whole XM account if he tried to upsell or started asking me one more questionnaire. He kept on at it and I canceled my account, screw them.
    The customer service is a nightmare, they don’t allow you to cancel online, all you can do is upgrade to a bigger package.
    I did record the whole thing on my USBBlast voice recorder, and will be burning it to a CD to send in with a complaint. This place sucks, and they train their employees to go into zombie mode reading scripts. That May 25th date sticks out, they will try to keep your tuner on until then even if you cancel, and it’s too much of a coincidence that they do it to everyone. He lied and said that was the one year anniversary date and was prepaid til then. When I asked about a credit to the other tuner or refund he almost panicked.
    Most of their channels have commercials, so it’s not like it’s commercial free, and with 120+ channels you’re only going to listen to 2-3 of them anyway. Also the fact that the channels sound really “dead” with no live DJ like local stations.