CALIFORNIA -- I received an email regarding my existing Sirius account. “For an extra $4.00 per month, plus fees and taxes, you can stream Sirius radio everywhere, your phone, your computer…” Sounds great right?! Wrong! The fees and taxes add up to $15.99 per month! That puts the extra $4.00 per month to a whopping $19.99 per month, which comes to an extra $239.88 per year added to my already $208.00 per year for my regular subscription. What a scam!!
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- I've been a customer of Sirius for about 6 months now. I just thought I would take a moment to share my opinion of their product and service for anyone considering satellite radio. First off, be aware that the portable car kits do require some sort of installation even if they are not replacing your internal car stereo. I had to do some pretty neat wiring tricks to hide the power line from the antenna (a magnet that you stick on your car roof) to a power source (cig lighter outlet). Then you also have a power line from the actual radio as well. So for my radio (XAct) I needed two power outlets available.
I believe if you get the internal kits (that completely replace your car stereo), you won't have this wire problem. However you will need to probably get it professionally installed, unless you know what you are doing. Moving on to the service/programming. I personally love the programming. Since January when I installed it, I have not once ever listened to the regular radio! I find it fun surfing the tons of channels for with my little remote control, kind of like surfing on a TV. The radio devices themselves usually give you good information about the genre, artist and title.
On most radios you can even browse what songs or artists are playing at that time on other channels before switching the channel, which is cool. Mine has a built-in "pause" feature as well that lets me stop the programming if I get a call or something and it will start recording. When I unpause, it plays back where I left off. Very cool. However, be warned that if you car power outlets don't stay on when you turn you car off (mine don't, a Toyota) then if you use this feature and turn your car off, it won't remember or record what you were listening to.
Moving on the performance of the service. I had a little trouble in the beginning with mine. My reception using the built-in FM transmitter was shoddy. I couldn't turn it up very loud without being overwhelmed by static. Come to find out, my radio had come with a factory setting of the "internal" volume of the device set to full-blast. This was causing the output to be less than desirable.
After turning down the internal volume of the radio the sound was 100 times better and I've enjoyed it thoroughly since. My only real complaint about the service is the reception is definitely touch around large downtown cities, going under bridges, or even a parking garage. I lose my signal in most of those situations. However, having great programming available to me when driving 5 hours across the state when previously I would lose all radio contact is great! So there are trade-offs.
Lastly is the price. I pay 12.99 a month. I think it is totally worth it if you do a lot of driving to work, or for a job. Satellite radio has made my commute much more enjoyable. They do offer a lifetime subscription for around $500, but I'm just not sure how well the company's financials and long term outlook are right now, so I've been holding off on that one. Also, the lifetime program does not cover replacement of your radio. If you were to buy a new radio, they charge you a $50 service fee to switch your lifetime membership to the new radio device. I may opt for this plan soon now that I've tested the service and love it. That's all I got for now. Hope you found this helpful.
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I would give a half star if offered. Sirius by far has the worst customer service of any company I have ever had the displeasure of dealing with. The average time on the phone is 30 minutes plus, for simple issues... such as turning off the wrong radio, activating the wrong radio, trying to blame a car dealership for Sirius errors. I would also love to talk with someone who has a decent understanding of the English language.
Some of their CS reps will hang up on you mid conversation... especially if the issue is above their pay grade, which almost certainly it is. My guess is that they work at Sirius because their intelligence level will not be sufficient to work in a fast food environment. I have 3 vehicles with Sirius... when their contracts run out, I will be 100% with Pandora. I am in hopes that finally Sirius will get enough competition to either put them out of business or at least make them aware of what real customer service is all about...
ATLANTA, GEORGIA -- I had a subscription and traded in my car... easy enough I was supposed to get a year free on my new car and then upgrade to a paid package. I spent hours on hold, they billed my old account, billed me for the free year, then credited my account, then set up the wrong service on my new car. They gave me a free upgrade, then took away the free upgrade. I had to make 5 or 6 different calls. Each new person had no idea because they "did not see the account notes." Now they are supposedly going to upgrade me to Premium and "auto-renew" next year. Any bets how badly they will screw that up? The government needs to break up their monopoly if they can't service the customers!!!
First, I'd like to start by saying I was previously and originally a Sirius subscriber since 2005 and finally cancelled my subscription in May 2011. I have never written a review on a product or service, but this time I'm so dissatisfied that I'm compelled to write a review. If this review does not turn you away from the service, then it has to be assumed that you are someone who needs to learn from experience.
I knew something was smelly about the merger/acquisition in 2008. I even called to voice my opinion, knowing that it probably wouldn't matter, but the prospect of another monopoly in the USA was, and still is, disgusting to me. They told me that the hotline provided for the voicing of opinions about the merger/acquisition was for shareholders only. No, I was never a shareholder, but I was a subscriber.
Without people like me, there would be no shareholders, yet my opinion doesn't count for anything. I welcome you to corporate America where the sole goal of a corporation is not customer satisfaction, but to satisfy its shareholders. What that means is turn the biggest profit margin possible without upsetting a majority of customers, yet now the merger/acquisition of Sirius and XM gave the emerging company a monopoly over satellite radio which all Americans should be against. A capitalist economy runs on pure competition, not monopolization of an industry.
Now the company is going through a lawsuit; surprise! The lawsuit against the company is because they raised subscription rates after the merger/acquisition even though part of that deal was an agreement NOT to raise subscription rates. Is that smelly enough for you? If not, continue reading about my personal experience.
So, in May 2011 I called to cancel my subscription to Sirius XM satellite radio. I was at work on lunch break, but I still had a half-hour left, so I decided to go ahead and quickly cancel my account. You should note this from my experience, that you cannot cancel your account through any other means than the phone. Like other reviewers have stated, you can set up your Sirius XM account in 5 minutes online, but cannot cancel it the same way. Ridiculous!
On this lunch break, the first time I called, they needed to transfer me to accounts. No big deal, a normal thing. After waiting on hold for about 5 minutes, a nice woman answered and began to assist me with my cancellation. She took my information and put me on hold to verify the information. While on hold my call was disconnected. The frustrating part is that when calling back, you have to go through the exact same process of being transferred to accounts and put on hold, etc.
I call again and get a man in accounts to whom I explained I was on my lunch break and running out of time because of the previous disconnection and the combined hold times of the two phone calls now. He rudely responded with “maybe you should call back when you have more time,” and then somehow the call was dropped. I'll let you figure that one out. A third call finally got me somewhere, I thought.
Today, July 9, 2011, I get a phone call from Sirius XM radio asking me how everything is and wanting to update my account information. I told him that I canceled and he sounded surprised. I verified my information with him and he said that my account was past due. OK, now I'm just angry. The auto-bill could not withdraw the payment which is why they wanted me to update my information. If you're thinking that they automatically set you up on auto-bill upon subscription by default, then you're thinking right. Of course they have the right to because they put it in the fine print of the agreement terms. Fortunately for me, they could not auto-bill my credit card because it was closed.
Anyhow, he put me through to accounts because he can see that there were notes from May explaining that I wanted to cancel the account because I no longer had the radio. Just like before, while on hold, my call got disconnected. It's really a great business model for a scam; only offer a way to cancel over the phone and keep disconnecting the customer in hopes to discourage them enough to forget about it.
When I called back later, I was not happy and I'm sure it was known on the other end of the line. I apologized for my initial tone and explained that I understood that it was not the fault of this person I was talking to and just wanted to cancel my account. I also asked for a manager's name and contact info just in case I got disconnected again and was told that he cannot give me that information because there were no managers or some real shady explanation that just upset me even more. So I now learned that there is almost no way of cancelling an account AND there is NO accountability!
Well, I got through to accounts successfully on this last call and am convinced that I got the most helpful person at Sirius XM radio. She immediately canceled my account and then had me login online to see that visually there were no charges or radios on my account anymore. This is my warning: use close consideration before subscribing to this service.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I received several emails from Sirius that they couldn't bill my credit card because it was expired. I didn't have an auto-renewal on the account and when I purchased the service, I paid for 3 years. Two years into the service they are saying they need to bill me to renew it, which was what the auto-renewal bill was for. I repeat I did not have an auto-renewal on the plan, I never agree to those terms.
Since I paid for three years and they were billing me at the two year mark I decided to cancel my service since I don't want to work with such a disreputable company. I called them to make sure they understood to cancel my service. The representative I got barely understood English but I tried to explain I wanted to cancel my service. Instead he insisted that he would give me 5 months for some price, I told him I had no interest in continuing the service. After quite an ordeal I thought he understood what I was saying. This was Feb 15th.
On March 19, after receiving several emails saying they were still trying to charge my credit card, I called them back to see why they haven't canceled my service. I waited 20 minute for a representative to answer. They said they were trying to bill me for the service and did I want to cancel the service. By this time I didn't even own the vehicle anymore and told them so. After the conversation they asked me what I wanted to do. Again trying to explain I didn't have the vehicle (and I wanted to active a new vehicle) and cancelled the service back in Feb they still were asking what I wanted to do.
I couldn't seem to get it across to the representative (again didn't understand English) that I didn't want the service, was not going to pay for the service on that vehicle and I didn't own the vehicle anymore. The representative then asked if I wanted to speak to a supervisor to cancel my service and I told them I definitely wanted to speak to them.
The supervisor got on the phone (after a 10 minute wait) and asked what they could do for me. I went through the whole scenario again and she asked me what I wanted to do. So I went through the whole thing again and still never seemed to get it across to her (she did not understand English any better than the others). The supervisor finally said let me transfer you to a supervisor to cancel your service and put me back on hold without even trying to understand what I was trying to say and that I wanted to activate a different vehicle. I waited on hold for another 20 minutes with no answer I finally hung up.
I still don't have resolution on the ordeal. I was actually calling to activate my new car as well as figure out what was going on with the vehicle that I no longer owned, but ended up with no resolution on the issue and no service on the new car. From my perspective Sirius is the worst ran company and the worst customer service I have ever had the unfortunate dealings with. Even trying to give them business they weren't able to understand what I was asking for or trying to explain.
PHOENIX, ARIZONA -- Oct. 2 - I called 'Listener Care' after they debited my checking account $149.65 AND a $65.00 charge. The first charge was an 'automatic' yearly renewal after our three-year paid up contract expired on our vehicle. The second charge was for an 'automatic' yearly renewal after a one year contract expired on our second vehicle. No notice, no bill, no renewal contract, nothing...they just helped themselves to our checking account and renewed both of our accounts.
While talking to a representative in 'Listener Care', I agreed to a second three-year contract of 'Mostly Music' on vehicle 1. The three-year charge minus what they had already deducted from our checking account left an agreed upon balance that was to be paid in three monthly installments, beginning on Dec. 7. The charge on our second vehicle ($65) was to be refunded as vehicle 2 was in storage and we did not want to renew the contract. They would have been advised of this if they had sent a renewal notice rather than just helping themselves to my checking account. This call took 45 minutes.
On 10-20 another charge was taken out of our account even though nothing was due until Dec. 7! I called and a representative promised to have straightened everything out. Again on 11-9 another Sirius XM charge was taken out of our account even though nothing was owed until Dec. 7. On 11-11, I called 'Listener Care' only to discover that someone there had changed us on Oct. 18 to a Lifetime contract and we now had a balance of $797.03! This was done without our permission and there were no notes on our account as to why or who changed our account.
When you call in, you must give several pieces of personal information in order to access your account. However, it seems someone (probably a Sirius representative that works on commission) easily accessed our account and charged us for a Lifetime contract! The representative kept quoting me 5 monthly payment amounts that did not equal the balance due. She couldn't figure out why the computer kept giving her a different balance than what was really owed. She promised me that she would review my account with her supervisor and call me back later that afternoon. This call took 35 minutes. She never called me back.
11-12: I called in and requested to talk to a supervisor. I received the runaround and I finally demanded to talk to a supervisor. Supervisor ** reviewed our account and because there were no notes on our account about us changing to a Lifetime contract, she believed me and said she was correcting our account and we agreed to the corrected balance. ** gave me a $54.11 credit for all my trouble. With the two additional debits on my account, we agreed to the unpaid balance.
11-22: I received a bill for over $400! I called and briefly explained that I was didn't want to talk to anyone except a Manager. I was put on hold for 35 minutes and then hung up on. I called back and demanded to talk to a Manager and told the representative NOT to put me on hold while she got me a Manager. I talked to Manager **. He could see from all the notes on our account that everyone had royally messed up. He worked and worked on our account and could not get it to reflect the credits due us. He then said he was closing out our account and opening a new one.
The new account reflected a balance due of $100, which I agreed was correct. ** said if I would pay it in full during our telephone call I would end up with a paid up three-year contract. I told him I WAS not paying another cent until the agreed upon due date. He then offered me a $50 credit for my trouble and if he could process the other $50 during the call I would owe nothing.
I agreed, he had me sign back in to my account to see that it carried a 00 balance, which I did. I had originally requested ** to call me back when he got our account straightened out and he informed me that they cannot make outgoing calls. I said if one of your employees has a heart attack are you telling me you can't dial 911? He said they could do that, but make no other outgoing calls. Therefore, I was forced to stay on that call for an hour until he straightened out our account.
12-3 I received two bills, one for $102.00 and one for $487.89 on two different accounts! I have now called in 9 times and had many, many long conversations with as many promises to correct our account and now two months later it has not been done. I have emailed 'Listener Care' and told them if I don't get a call from them by the end of the next working day (Dec. 5) I was cancelling my service and demanding a full refund. The moral of the story is that 'Listener Care' does not listen, nor do they care, nor do they do what they say they are going to do. DO NOT SUBSCRIBE TO SIRIUS XM RADIO!!!
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I only need Sirius so I can listen to Howard Stern. There are so many other options out there for music that Sirius is simply not needed. However, because I want to hear Howard every day, I am being held hostage by Sirius and am being nickled and dimed at every turn, then disappointed that the "upgrade to premium Internet service" is not working, all of the links to download the Blackberry app are dead, and unless you call their "Listener Care" Department, they don't tell you that the problem is on their end.
Currently, I'm paying for their so-called "Premium Internet Radio" and none of it works. After an hour and a half conversation last weekend and a half hour conversation with "Listener Care" today, I was told that if I'm not satisfied, I should just cancel my Internet radio subscription. As much as I would like to tell them to F-Off and cancel my subscription. I would have no way to hear Howard Stern.
So there you have it... I'm held hostage by Sirius because of one piece of exclusive programming that I like, that I pay a premium for, that they can't seem to get to work, and they do not appear to be in any hurry to fix it. They did offer a $10 credit to be applied to next year's renewal, but the money is not the issue, nor am I even certain I will stay a subscriber for another month, much less more than a year from now.
Three times a year when it's time to renew one of my three radios, I get invoices from Sirius, each with a $2 "Invoice Fee". Not sure why they feel it necessary to fleece us for $2 to send us their bill, but that's a perfect example of the way they operate.
This year I decided to do automatic renewal to avoid that made-up fee and get all three radios in line to be auto-renewed ONE TIME a year. I only wish their customer service and technical support were as efficient as their billing department. Their billing department is very good at taking my money, but their customer service and technical support seem to be absent (or at least the opposite of helpful) when I have had to call to complain.
To add insult to injury, after I renewed all three radios for a year each, I was informed that I no longer had Internet Radio available (a service that was previously included with my subscription), unless I paid an additional $3 a month for it. They touted that this cost would give me "near CD quality" audio and allow me to download and use their Blackberry App for listening from my smart phone.
So, after paying them $300+ for my three radios, I am now paying an additional $36 a year just to be able to hear Howard from my computer. Again, Internet radio service used to be included with the subscription, and now it's an up-charge.
After all of this, I still cannot listen via my Blackberry because they have made the app unavailable (all the links are dead), and their so-called "upgraded Internet radio console" won't play any content. If you can get by without Howard Stern, you do not need Sirius XM. Nearly all the rest of their content is available elsewhere, and usually for free.
They only care about your money regardless of how slick and relentless their advertising is. They couldn't care less if they have technical issues... they already have your money and are hoping you just blow it off and don't complain. If I could get Howard Stern some other way, cancelling this money-grubbing company would be a no-brainer. Avoid this company at all costs!
Thinking of subscribing to Sirius or becoming a shareholder? Here's what you're investing in: I've been a Sirius subscriber since 2004 and I promise you that their customer service is the absolute worst of ANY company I have experienced! Worse than any airline, worse than any healthcare provider, even worse than any insurance company! I buy a new car every other year, and the WORST part of that experience is getting the Sirius service changed from one car to the next.
I've had service that I paid for unexpectedly cancelled for no reason, only to have to call and wait on hold for 45 minutes to speak to someone in India who BARELY speaks English. I've been scolded by Sirius employees FOR HAVING TOO MANY ACCOUNTS! I'm not joking; I've been told “If you didn't have all these accounts, you wouldn't have these issues”. I'm so sorry I spend so much money with your company!
Today I attempted to log on to my account to avoid the whole call center situation, and my password no longer works! It's the same password that I've used since 2004, oh well. So I called in to the customer service center. I waited on hold for nine minutes with “music on hold” intermittent with a ladies voice coming on every couple of seconds urging me to use the website. Very frustrating. But now, for the last 36 minutes, I've been listening to dead air. The call is still connected; I assume I'm on hold, but no music, no annoying message, nothing!
I decided to Google “Sirius Customer Service” to see if there was another way to contact while I waited in the dead zone. Hundreds of consumer complaints popped up. I clicked on customer service scoreboard.com. I read several of the consumer complaints and then one of the employee responses.
This clears up a lot for me. I never thought to look at it from the call center employee's point of view. We should just relax, it's only money and time, something we Americans have way too much of anyway! They have WAY too many customers to possibly give a damn about one customer's issues! They have a job to do after all, just be patient! If you don't like it, you can just cancel. Wait, you need to speak to someone to do that and then they actually have to do what you ask them to do! If you don't like it, what are you going to do, listen to free radio? That's just crazy!
This is the worst company by far that I have ever had to deal with. Their customer service is in the toilet. I bought a Sirius Stiletto 100 just over a year ago using gift cards given to me by my son. After 6 months the record mode started to malfunction in that the show I was recording, the Howard Stern show, was coming in all scrambled when I recorded it. When I try to listen without recording the unit gets too hot when it is not in its dock and the battery burns out within 15 minutes of listening unless the unit is in the dock.
Anyhow, I called numerous times and spoke to Tech Support and complained about it over and over and they never connected me with Product Support or Customer Service for a replacement. Then when I called August 1 they finally connected me with someone in Product support who told me, sorry your warranty has just expired and we can't do anything about it. I explained that I had been calling on and off for about 6 months about all the problems I have been having and all they did was put me off until just after the warranty expired. They told me my calls were not in their records. What?? I know that I called all those times so where did the record of it go.
It does not surprise me though because the caliber of people they have working in their tech support and customer service levels are a joke. They are unprofessional and downright rude! When I explained to one supervisor, and I use the term loosely, that I could not afford the unit to begin with as I am a senior citizen on a fixed income she replied in a sarcastic voice that "Well, I would not have bought it in the first place if I were you but, OK." I did not even bother to explain to this dolt that my son gave me the gift cards so that I could get it but that I can't afford to lay out the money to buy a new one just because the one I already paid for is a lemon.
And why should I pay for a new one when the unit, that costs almost $300 new was malfunctioning from the start, not to mention the lousy customer service I am subjected to by being a customer of Sirius. Forget it! They are not worth the aggravation and stress involved. They keep you on hold for hours at a time only to get a customer service rep who is rude and arrogant and unwilling to help you.
If you ask to speak to a supervisor they tell you there is none available. If you insist on speaking to a supervisor they hang up on you. Then after a whole day of trying to get to a supervisor, when you finally get one, they are rude and arrogant as well. There is something wrong with this picture!