Only Sirius's CEO Knows Where The Extra Tape Is

Reader Hayden had to email the CEO of Sirius radio just to get them to ship him some replacement adhesive backing for his car radio. Every homebrewed solution he tried couldn’t get his Sirius radio to stick to his dashboard. When he called Sirius, he got bounced around between disconnections, robots, people who couldn’t speak English, a guy who insisted Sirius didn’t have stock any replacement tape. So Hayden kicked it straight to the man at the top with a nice cogent complaint letter, cc’d to us, various Sirius execs, the BBB, the Georgia Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, and some popular gadget blogs. Apparently that’s what it takes to get some replacement tape. His complaint letter, inside…

Mel Karmazin
Chief Executive Officer
Sirius Satellite Radio
1221 Avenue of the Americas, 36th Floor
New York, NY 10020
Phone: (212) 584-5100
Fax: (212) 584-5200

I have been a Sirius subscriber since December 2005. I added a second receiver to my subscription in 2007 (account # [redacted]).

I own two Sirius Stratus Dock & Play receivers (model# SV3TK1).

The adhesive backing that ships with these models that allows customers to mount the dock to their dashboard or windshield each failed within 1 – 3 months of my radio purchases.

I have tried every store-bought solution to re-affix my Sirius Stratus radios, including double-sided tape, crazy glue, and mounting putty. None have been effective.

I am unwilling to drill holes in my vehicle dashboards, affecting the resale value of my cars, to mount my Sirius radios, which I typically upgrade every 12 – 24 months.

I have been unable to enjoy my Sirius Stratus radios or my Sirius subscription for more than four months on one radio (ESN [redacted]) and two months on another (ESN [redacted]).

On April 14th, I contacted Sirius to inquire about shipping me a replacement adhesive backing. While the backing that shipped with my radios did fail within 1 -3 months, it did allow me to enjoy my Sirius Stratus radio and Sirius subscription in the mean time.

I contacted the Sirius sales department at 1-888-539-7474. The Hispanic female who answered my call was barely intelligible and I was unable to communicate to her exactly what I needed, even using words such as “tape”, “adhesive”, “backing”, and “vehicle mount”. Eventually I asked for the “parts department” and I was instructed to call 1-800-869-5187.

I called 1-800-869-5187 and dialed the prompt for technical support. The computer system asked me for my phone number, which I entered, but then the system prompted me to make a payment on my zero ($0) balance and gave me no other options. I dialed 0 several times and was able to reach a customer support representative, who placed me on hold and then I was disconnected.

I called 1-888-539-7474 back and was disconnected while holding for a representative.

I called 1-888-539-7474 a third time. Explaining exactly what I needed a third time, I was instructed to call 1-800-422-7142.

I called 1-800-422-7142 and spoke with Robert. He informed me that Sirius does not stock tape and even though the vehicle mount was included with my Sirius Stratus radios, it is not covered under warranty and could not be replaced.

This experience was very frustrating.

As a long-time Sirius subscriber, I would appreciate it if Sirius would kindly ship me two replacement adhesive backings for my Sirius Stratus Dock & Play radios, replace the vehicle dock part, or replace the radios completely. Please ship two of them to my home address below.

I also ask you to consider crediting my Sirius subscription service for the three months I have been unable to enjoy my Sirius Stratus radio or subscription due to your products defects and as a gesture of good will following my poor customer service experience.

As someone who regularly makes technology recommendations to friends and family, your response or lack thereof may impact whether or not I recommend Sirius satellite radio to them in the future, let alone maintain my subscription. Some of them CC’d on this email, in addition to popular consumer product and technology publications.

I look forward to your response by week’s end, Friday, April 18th. I can be reached on my cell phone at [redacted} or by email at [redacted].

Sincerely,

Hayden [redacted]
[contact info redacted]

CC:
James E. Meyer
President, Operations and Sales

Scott Greenstein
President, Entertainment and Sports

Jim Collins
Vice President, Corporate Communications

BBB of Metro NY Complaint # 6313789
Fax: (212) 477-4912

Georgia Governors Office of Consumer Affairs
Fax: (404) 651-9018

The Consumerist
tips@theconsumerist.com
Engadget
Gizmodo

The letter was a success. Two days later, two people from Sirius contacted Hayden. One overnighted him the replacement adhesive backing, for free. The other offered him 3-months free service.

Comments

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  1. jordy777 says:

    First bitches

  2. zentex says:

    the *tape* fails so he wants 3 months credit?

    I think he’s not ingenious enough to figure out work arounds for tape. He says he wont drill holes, but he’ll use KRAZY GLUE? Last I checked, krazy glue messed up the vinyl dash boards on cars. so much for resale value?

    This is not a case of a shopper biting back. This is more of a case of a shopper whining like a little girl until he gets his way.

  3. jordy777 says:

    And now… to my comment.

    While I am glad that Hayden was able to win this one, and Sirius did right by him, unfortunately, Sirius still comes out looking like a company I would rather not do business with. Why should anyone have to go to such lengths to solve a simple problem.

    If companies want to skimp on customer service and provide either 1) automated or 2) cheap untrained (maybe or maybe not outsourced) CSR’s, then I simply won’t do business with them.

  4. parvax says:

    Wow, thats awesome. Congratulations! But booo on Sirius for having such piss poor customer service.

  5. LetMeGetTheManager says:

    Is the puzzle piece pin really that necessary?

  6. rg says:

    What rock are these people crawling out from under? This guy says he has tried “every” retail solution to get his POS Sirius radio attached to his dash. Even super glue! I can only assume then that he also tried Gorilla Glue. So he’s got all kinds of glues and tape stuck to his dash now…but he doesn’t want to drill holes because he’s worried about resale. People that are worried about resale don’t glue things to the dash moron! Perhaps you could attach it with screws and let the radio go with the car when it’s time. But then, Sirius is not going to help resale either.

  7. nicless says:

    @jordy777: Yes, you are the first bitch indeed.

  8. Flymaster says:

    Also, some “automotive velcro” attached my XM radio just fine.

  9. mike says:

    @jordy777: Was that really necessary?

    @zentex: I kinda agree that this guy was whinning. However, he shouldn’t have gotten such poor service. Glue was over-kill. Should have done the “automotive velcro” that Flymaster suggested.

  10. Ben Popken says:

    @jordy777: Don’t do that.

  11. pinkbunnyslippers says:

    This guy’s a piece of work. I highly doubt he tried “every store bought solution” to try and affix his radio to his dash but okay – some auto-velcro would’ve been fine. That’s what they make it for.

    I’m sorry but this guy just comes across as a high-intensity complainer and not one who’s been “wronged” by lackluster customer service.

  12. Ben Popken says:

    @zentex: It’s for the tape and the runaround. He asks for the credit and gets it. How horrible!

  13. gamehendge2000 says:

    why is he trying so hard to get more of the tape that originally failed?

  14. Dools says:

    @LetMeGetTheManager: The puzzle piece is a symbol for autism awareness, a la the pink ribbon for breast cancer.

    I agree that it did seem a little whiny, but a victory for the consumer gained by whining is a victory nonetheless.

  15. @jordy777: why?
    Everybody agrees velcro would’ve been the way to go, including me. Glad he got 3 free months for his troubles though.

  16. Wonder if he changed the stations directly on the Sirius unit… all that button pushing could loosen a radio. He might have been better off getting a little remote control like we have for our XM radio… props to Sirius for finally straightening out things and helping a customer’s request.

  17. Geekybiker says:

    I had the same problem with my i-pass for the tollway. Nothing but the original stuff worked well. Fortunately they were able to ship me replacement strips without much hassle.

  18. Hoss says:

    This is way over the top. Emailing the CEO, various company execs, BBB, Governors Office AND several websites? Over tape? Would you dare emailing the head of your company over a routine annoyance in the office? An entertainment company is not in the business of making radios — why would anyone expect them to hire a person to dispense tape??

    Simple rules: (1) Don’t get bothered by the small stuff in life. (2) Save your ammo for when you really need it

  19. richcreamerybutter says:

    Would you dare emailing the head of your company over a routine annoyance in the office?

    You’re not paying for the privilege to work for your company.

  20. bethanyp07 says:

    WHOA WHOA WHOA!

    Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water on this one folks.

    I’ve been a Sirius subscriber since 2004. My husband and I love it. We have Sportster 4 THAT STILL WORKS AWESOMELY. We got an S50 that was a little kooky, but as soon as we contacted Sirius, they took care of it and sent out a new one. They’ve always been prompt and courteous to me, and have spoken excellent English.

    We almost never listen to terrestrial radio and have been overjoyed with the product so far. STERN RULES and so does KIDSTUFF!

    I dunno, I just have to stick up for them. Best thing since sliced bread, IMO.

  21. microbreak says:

    Okay…I’m going to have to step in for Sirius here.

    When my girlfriend’s car and mine were broken into and stolen last year we lost both of our stereos. I called Sirius just to put my subscriptions on hold until we could get new radios.

    For $1, (yes, one dollar), they sent me two new radios, a Sirius hat, a howard stern keychain, a $50 gift card to get free installation, and one direct line adapter.

    AND THEY DIDN’T DO ANYTHING WRONG!

    They have made me a subscriber for life because of this, so I hate seeing people say that they would not do business with them.

  22. bloodhound96 says:

    Nice that Sirus’s got back to him, and congrats for getting 3 months free. That being said, I refuse to believe that there is only one unique glue compound that will stick to the sirus radio unit. No way he tried everything.

  23. AD8BC says:

    Best mobile equipment mounting brackets, adhesive, etc: [www.pro-fit-intl.com] I use their mounts for my XM radio, my GPS, and my ham radio.

    Their 3M Adhesive Pad (example: their “Lo-Boy” mount [www.pro-fit-intl.com] but also available on lots of their mounts) sticks to dashboards very nicely and comes off with a hair dryer and a spoon and leaves hardly a mark. They also make some very nice mounts that are designed for specific vehicles and use existing screws in the dashboard to mount the bracket, looks very sharp and is very sturdy ([www.pro-fit-intl.com]).

    Their products are available on their website. Also, Crutchfield stocks some of their mounts, and another company that sells their mounts is usually represented at the Dayton Hamvention (May 16-18, Hara Arena, Trotwood (Dayton) Ohio).

  24. microbreak says:

    A common problem with adhesives is that they only work if the area is prepped well by cleaning the surface of all dust and debris prior to application. Perhaps this person’s application technique was shoddy.

    Also, as an alternative to adhesive and screws…try http://www.proclipusa.com

    They offer clip in, car-specific and device-specific mounts. They cost a little bit of money, but are well worth the price.

  25. sgodun says:

    Sirius customer service absolutely sucks in every measurable sense of the word. It would take me about a week to detail all of the problems and issues I’ve had with Sirius and my attempts to get Sirius to deal with them. Right now I’m STILL waiting for Sirius to tell me why I haven’t been able to activate a second radio. I figure on getting a response somewhere between today and November 2017.

  26. G-16 says:

    I bet this same person would complain about his shoe laces getting fraied after a year and asking for a new pair of shoes because he was not able to fully enjoy them.

  27. wakebrdrfrk says:

    I’ve contacted Sirius numerous times and have received a human being response with almost no trouble at all. I’ve had my unit replaced and new cig charger replaced with no problems at all. I think this is silly to go this far over tape.

  28. AD8BC says:

    @microbreak: Thanks! I didn’t know about them. You may have just solved a nagging problem for me!

  29. aeproberts says:

    I am normally all over the user complaints on this site, but this is a little insane. Go to Home Depot and buy some double sided tape. If it doesn’t work, try cleaning the dashboard first. It is not like Sirius is using some magic adhesive here.

  30. xkevin says:

    This guy is a tool and completely full of sh*t. He’s just too cheap to spend $5 on 3M automotive tape or too stupid to realize you have to clean the surface of your dash with alcohol to remove contaminants like dust and oils.

  31. Clumber says:

    @bethanyp07 – Ok, terrestrial radio… that is nothing but hysterical.

    I would love to become a Sirius subscriber… but dangnabit I want to be able to listen to MLB _and_ NFL. I don’t want to have to have 2 different units (which are now in theory from the same melded company) to listen to my favorite sports.

    Sirius – get MLB on there too and I’ll run, not walk, to the nearest dealer.
    AND I’ll even get my own attachment device to hook it up in my car!

  32. zentex says:

    @Ben Popken: I’m just saying, he claims because of “failed tape” he was unable to enjoy the product. THAT is crap.

    Should he have taken this issue to the top of the chain? hardly.

    Sirius should have re-iterated proper adhesive placement instructions (i.e. CLEAN first), go to Hardware store, spend $5 on 2.6 miles of industrial sticky-back velcro. re-apply…problem solved.

    I have some 3M industrial sticky-back velcro in one of my trucks that is still there after 8 years. At this point, I’m afraid to take it off.

    I don’t see the problem here other than a guy wanting something for nothing.

    Does this mean next time I buy a ballon with helium in it, once the ballon stops floating I should complain to the seller that they sold me a faulty product that I can no longer enjoy?

  33. ChuckECheese says:

    J-B Weld. The OP didn’t understand that Sirius doesn’t make the radios & accessories themselves, you know, the way Santa’s elves make Xmas gifts. The radios come from other companies, who guard the supply of tape. He could have called the manufacturer of his radio, or an aftermarket satellite radio place. XM had me contact Sylvania, the maker of my radio, when I needed a warranty fix. XM’s customer service is the total pits, and I wouldn’t really expect Sirius’ service to be any better.
    @Clumber: You haven’t lived until you’ve listened to a few rounds of golf on the radio.

  34. The Porkchop Express says:

    @LetMeGetTheManager: autism awareness.

  35. JustaConsumer says:

    Why do all the CEO’s look like douche bags?

  36. Lambasted says:

    I am all for standing up for yourself and not letting companies screw you over. But I’m sorry, this guy just looks like a smuck to me. It would be one thing if he was hassling over broken equipment or something expensive like that. But a letter to the Governor over some tape?! That is just ridiculous. I hope he is basking in the glory of his 15 minutes.

    RED ALERT everyone, if you deal with Sirius you might not get your tape!! Now get yourself out there and man the picket lines. We’ve got some protesting to do.

    Now I am reminded of the time when a grocery store clerk didn’t put my Coke in the bag. I got home all thirsty and ready for my refreshment and…what the?! No Coke! Not only was out $1.50 but I was still thirsty. Evil grocers.

    I am kicking myself now that I didn’t write the President over that one. Just let them pull that stunt again. I will get back into my car, use my $3.87/gallon gas, drive all the way back to the store, stand in the customer service line just salivating for the opportunity to give them a piece of my mind–and get my Coke. Then I will get back in my car, use my $3.87/gal gas, and 40 minutes later I will be back at home sipping on my $1.50 Coke. That’ll show those suckers that they can’t mess with me.

  37. microbreak says:

    @AD8BC:

    No problem… Glad to have helped!

  38. unklegwar says:

    Or he coulda hit the local craft store or office supply and gotten the same kind of tape.

    The radios are made by other companies (and the included contents are from them) I don’t think Sirius is a manufacturer of electronics.

  39. MPHinPgh says:

    @zentex: While I kinda agree with you, I think the point here is that the guy needed tape, and was (probably, maybe) willing to pay for it IF he could just GET it.

    Put a SKU in the damned system for car mounting kit, put a reasonable price ($4.99?) on it and make it available without having to go through the BS…

  40. floyderdc says:

    Not to nit-pick, but was it really important to say that the CSR he spoke to was Hispanic.

    “The Hispanic female who answered my call was barely intelligible and I was unable to communicate to her exactly what I needed, even using words such as “tape”, “adhesive”, “backing”, and “vehicle mount”. “

    While I thought bitching over tape was a little much I thought that this was a good complaint letter until I got to that.

  41. ChuckECheese says:

    @floyderdc: If the OP could not communicate with the CSR because the CSR did not speak the language that the customer did, then yes, it’s an issue. And he did say that the problem was a lack of intelligibility and basic vocabulary, not simply that she was Latina.

  42. AD8BC says:

    @floyderdc: Maybe she was difficult to understand, perhaps a lack of mastery of English?

  43. oakie says:

    @sgodun: “Sirius customer service absolutely sucks in every measurable sense of the word. It would take me about a week to detail all of the problems and issues I’ve had with Sirius and my attempts to get Sirius to deal with them. Right now I’m STILL waiting for Sirius to tell me why I haven’t been able to activate a second radio. I figure on getting a response somewhere between today and November 2017.”

    because you have a bad attitude and bad credit. get over yourself.

  44. nardo218 says:

    Bad Padfoot. Sit. Stay.

  45. Televiper says:

    I’d be surprised if any manufacturer made something like this available after market.

  46. glycolized says:

    I wonder if the guy is a cigarette smoker. I bet he is and never thoroughly cleaned the portion of dash where he was going to stick the tape. I think “failing in 1 – 3 months” means never was stuck well in the first place.

    Anyway, I think this guy comes off as a helpless douche. Suck it up and figure it out on your own, you baby. As many have said, that Velcro (especially Velcro “Industrial”, I think it is called) adhesive seems to bond pretty well after the first 24 hrs. Or how about suction cup thingies? A guy I work with has one on his personal vehicle, and one on his van and he carries the little radio back and forth.

    Man, I wish I worked at his governor’s office and got to write the pithy reply back to this guy.

  47. SJActress says:

    They didn’t “have” tape OR they didn’t “stock” tape.

    Let’s pick a verb, people…you can’t have both.

    Good post, though.

  48. Anonymous says:

    @glycolized:

    No, I am not a smoker and I cleaned the area with an alcohol prep prior to applying any adhesive I tried.

  49. Anonymous says:

    @floyderdc: I didn’t know where the representative was from or where she was based, but she had a very thick, indecipherable hispanic accent.

  50. theblackdog says:

    I will defend Sirius here by saying that every time I have called in with a customer service issue, they have always fixed it in a decent amount of time, including when I had to cancel a radio order.

    The only annoying thing is occasionally their sales bot likes to call me and remind me that I had canceled my second radio and they would like to offer me a special rate to come back. My ex can get his own fucking subscription, he does not need to be on my account anymore :-)