If you’ve never had SiriusXM satellite radio, you might not be familiar with their station “’40s on 4.” It’s exactly what it sounds like: songs from the first half of this century that your grandparents or great-grandparents might sing along with. You might assume that this sort of station wouldn’t be popular enough in 2014 to prompt a public outcry when it’s taken away. You would be wrong. [More]
Satellite radio wonder-twins Sirius and XM have been together for three years now. Customers often whine to us: why can’t we get multi-subscription discounts when they subscribe to both Sirius and XM. It’s all the same company, isn’t it? Offering discounts would have made too much sense, and was therefore impossible. Until now!
If you were signing up for a plan called the “Sirius Everything Plan,” don’t you think that it would include…well, everything? At least, all of the programming that new car owners get to sample with their trial subscription. When Chris renewed his SiriusXM subscription for his new car, nothing on the paperwork led him to believe that he wasn’t selecting a different subscription from what he already had. Yet he did. Because at Sirius, “everything” isn’t everything.
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.
Brian said last year a Sirius XM representative assured him his subscription wouldn’t automatically renew, but he found out recently that his account did auto-renew and he owes for the past year. The company won’t refund him and simply points out that its terms and conditions revealed his account would auto-renew.
Bruin likes XM satellite radio. Well, the service. Not the customer service. The confusion and incompetence that he encountered while trying to simply get the account permissions stream radio programs online was stunning. He lost his service, was charged an erroneous $480, and put him on endless holds. Until that one magical representative showed up who fixed everything and helped XM keep Bruin as a customer.
Olivia recently wrote in to share her story of success in sending an executive e-mail carpet bomb to Sirius/XM Sattelite Radio. She writes that the company has been billing her credit card for $44.79 every three months since the middle of 2008, even though her original subscription came from a gift card, and she never authorized payments from her credit card. Should she have noticed this? Yes. Should Sirius have billed her when she made it clear that they were not to charge her? Uh, no.
Paul reports that there’s good news and bad news as far as the merger of XM and Sirius satellite radio goes. The two companies have not decided to band together and operate as one scary monopolistic entity. The bad news is that the companies seem to be cooperating to confuse customers and turn them off of the idea of satellite radio entirely.
Next time your satellite radio goes on the fritz, use the following magic number to solve your Sirius XM problems…
Liberty Media, the owner of DirecTV, has swooped in at the last minute to save Sirius from certain bankruptcy. Liberty will invest a $530 million in the form of loans to the satellite radio company, $175 million of which will go to paying debt that comes due for Sirius today.
Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of Sirius-XM. Its continuing mission: to explore strange new anti-consumer practices. To seek out new revenue streams and crowd out new competitors. To boldly safeguard the dangerous monopoly granted last night by the FCC.
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…
If you have a serious Sirius radio issue and ground level customer service isn’t helping you out, escalate your call to the executive customer service line at 888-635-5142. Also, here are some email addresses and a mailing address for the CEO to send your missives off to:
What does the XM-Sirius satellite radio merger mean for XM customers? Well, according to one customer service rep, it means mean prices are going to roughly double in May. Here’s what she said to one of our tipsters:
This is strictly confidential, but all the paperwork is signed and ready to go, and XM has fully acquired Sirius Radio. Come May, there will be a substantial price increase for XM Radio, as it will, in June or so, host all the Sirius channels. It would be best to simply extend your XM plan as we will honor your current contract price per month before we begin hosting the Sirius stations.
The tipster said he believed she said the price was going to double. Perhaps the customer service rep just wanted to score a renewal, but if true, it would certainly at least be ironic considering when the DOJ approved the deal was they said, “the evidence did not show that the merger would enable the parties to profitably increase prices to satellite radio customers.” However, reader comments on this post and this post over at Orbitcast say this customer service rep is full of pure baloney.
The DOJ has approved a merger between Sirius and XM satellite radio, ruling that there wasn’t enough evidence to show that it would result in higher prices for consumers. We’ll see. [OrbitCast]
The FCC seeks public comment on proposed XM-Sirius merger. Namely, what might the common people think about repealing a 1997 FCC ordinance specifically forbidding such a merger…