Buz uses his credit union’s bill pay service to pay all of his bills. Normally, this works out pretty well for him: none of the companies he regularly sends money to have a problem with it. Trying to pay for his satellite radio with anything but a credit or debit card just results in invoicing fees and frustration.
I’ve been trying to do something you would think would be simple: pay SiriusXM via my online banking bill payer system just like I pay every other utility and reoccurring service. Alas, every time I try to set up online bill paying with them I end up in a half hour conversation with unhelpful customer service reps who opaquely explains why we can’t get there from here. Though they won’t come out and say it I’ve come away from the experience suspecting they only accept credit/debit cards because they want to charge what they want, when they want without any pesky customers doing anything silly like gumming up their cash flow.
This has been an ongoing issue. When I first got XM I’d buy a year or two package at at time and hence wouldn’t deal with this foolishness. When XM and Sirius merged, however, I heard the new company was in some financial difficulty so I no longer wanted to pay ahead for a service that might not be there tomorrow, particularly as they were throwing absurd amounts of money at some of their on air talent in a manner that seemed to beckon insolvency. As such I converted to a monthly plan that I set up to be serviced via my online bill payer.
Worked well for a month or two, but then lo and behold the debit card I use to charge my annual subscription to began to be charged for my monthly subscription. Wasn’t horribly concerned, though I did try to go online and convert back to my bill payer system, only to find that choice was unavailable. You had to select either a credit card to give them or nothing at all.
I’m a slow to boil kind of guy so I put this on the back burner and let it slide for quite a few months. My debit card expired last December, which inspired SiriusXM to start pestering me for my new debit card information. I used the occasion instead to try to set up online bill paying. Several phone calls and circular dances later, all I’ve managed to do is to get invoiced twice, with the latest invoice including a $2.00 invoicing charge. Perturbed by that invoicing charge I again called SiriusXM today and attempted to get the CSR to provide me with a way to pay them that did not involve a credit card they could charge as they please, and did not require a monthly invoicing charge. After several fruitless laps around that track–one leg of which involved the CSR telling me I had to have my bank contact them to set up online payment–I asked to speak to a supervisor. The call dropped, instead.
Most companies I deal with try to make it easy to give them money in the way most convenient to me. From my local sanitary district to my satellite TV dish they all accept payments from my credit union’s bill payer system. SiriusXM is the only exception and they are unable to provide a cogent explanation as to why they refuse to accept online bill payments. Having noted other reports on the Consumerist site about zombie charges made against former SiriusXM customers all I can conclude is that the company has some business reason to stick its hand in its customer’s pocket as it best suits them unlike most other businesses that allow customers to remit payment as they darn well please. I am unable to shake the feeling that SiriusXM’s willingness to alienate today’s customer to collect today’s payment does not bode well for their long term viability.
Maybe you really can’t get there from here. If anyone can help, it’s these peeps at executive customer service. Good luck.