XM Radio Keeps Billing After Customer Pays In Full, Shuts Him Off For Non-Payment

XM Radio has their head in the clouds. They accepted payment in full for a year’s subscription from Pete, then kept billing him. Eventually they shut him off for non-payment, and now refuse to refund his money. Pete writes:

I hope you will print my letter on your site. I had some billing trouble with XM Radio. I paid a year’s subscription in full. XM acknowledged that I paid my bill in full, but they kept turning off my service for non-payment. They also raised my subscription rate 2 months after I signed up and paid. They then indicated that they would refund my year’s subscription when I complained loudly enough. They reneged on the refund. They also did not follow through on getting the billing issue clarified. As I received no help at all, I sent the following letter to the management team and the head of the Customer Service Division. I have not received so much as a form letter in response. I guess they have been too busy discussing merger strategies and keeping Bob Dylan happy…

Sure, Pete. We’ll print your letter. Read the letter Pete send to XM Radio, inside.

Pete writes (to XM Radio):


XM Radio
Mr. Joe Zarella
1500 Eckington Place, NE
Washington, DC 20002

Re: Account # 1-xxxxxxxx

Dear Mr. Zarella,

My wife and I purchased a vehicle this past year in which your Service was provided on a 3 month trial. Very happy with it, we signed up for a year of service. I paid by credit card over the phone in the amount of $144.48. August arrived and my wife paid an additional $11+ on a bill sent by XM. I then received a bill in the amount of $144.48 in September. I called XM and your customer service indicated it was a mistake and that it can be ignored, which I did. I then got another bill in the amount of $72.24 in October. I again called your company, who said (again) that I should ignore this bill. November came, and because I did not pay the $72.24 bill, my service was canceled. I called back to get the service turned and to get to the bottom of the issue. Your representative indicated that I will not receive any more bills and he would reinstate the service. Well, he did not reinstate the service, and I had to call back a couple of days later to again get my radio turned on (wherein they first pointed out that I needed to make payment). I received another bill for $72 in November. I called back to 1-800-XM-Radio, the representative (William Gorhm) and his supervisor (Tony Bennison) indicated that I can be assured that I would not be responsible for the bill and that he would somehow red flag this issue and that I should ignore. Finally, I received a bill over this past December weekend in the amount of $72.24 and a note that my service was scheduled to be canceled for non payment. Frustrated by the lack of attention, not to mention a concern that personal credit issues may arise, I canceled my subscription December 16th.

I find it inane that I paid up front for the year subscription, but was later told I was not charged the correct amount. When I order from Amazon or Eddie Bauer, if there is an error, it is the company’s fault, not mine-and they certainly do not come back and say “well, we meant to charge you this much…”. The rep told me the total cost of the service and I paid I was told the charge was. I believe you owe me the $11 that was paid in August. I should not have to pay for your training issues…

More importantly, I paid for a year of service, I always explained to your reps, and yet I continued to be billed, and finally had service canceled because of non payment. Yet, every time I talked to someone, and transferred to a manager, there was never any hand-off, no background provided, just an attitude that it is “not really my problem”. So I had to explain the situation again and again and again.

All your representatives were very clearly following the company line in that they would not (could not?) go “outside the box” and resolve my recurring billing, but it was clear that there was no clear standards for my issue, only the ability to transfer me to another department. I spoke with Simon Matty (1-800-528-5959 x47278) on 12/16/06, he indicated that XM would refund my entire subscription fee. I agreed that this seemed like the right thing to do, and he transferred me to the department that closes accounts (he indicated he would warm transfer and make them aware of our conversation-he didn’t’). They (Retention Department), it turns out, were not willing to do anything for me short canceling my service (all the while telling me how they were willing to “waive” any penalty for cancellation). I asked the supervisor (Tracy N Morgan) to call Mr. Matty, she refused and said that she could did not have the ability to make outbound calls! It is now clear that Simon Matty transferred me simply to put me off, and that Ms. Morgan did not have the ability, resources, or the interest to do the right thing.

The bottom line is this. Since I have become a subscriber (and paid in full), I have received a bill from you for the last 6 months. I have had my service cut off. I have been billed a new rate after I had paid in full. Finally, I was told I was going to receive a full refund by your representative, but another rep said that was not possible. Your company has not followed through on anything it said it would. I would like you to refund my subscription in full, as your representative indicated you would.

I have had both Sirius and XM Radio, and prefer your programming over theirs. It is too bad that I have this vehicle and that the satellite radio is going to go unused ( I drive 100 miles a day). I am aware that there are much more important issues in life than having commercial free radio. I would think, however, that in the life of a company, the most important issue is a happy and satisfied customer-a customer who sees the value of your product. It is clear that your company doesn’t understand this.


Pete A

Acct #1-xxxxxxxx

Maumee, OH 43537

email address


cc: Mr. Nate Davis

Sounds like XM has some work to do. —MEGHANN MARCO
(Photo: Kables)