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!!
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!
What does it take to get Sirius Satellite Radio to provide Customer Service? I received a portable Sirius radio as a Christmas present, with docking stations for both my car and my home. I installed the radio antenna on the car exactly as specified in the instructions, but was never able to get the signal to come in clearly for more than 2 or 3 minutes. My in-home reception was even worse. I had initially signed up for a monthly subscription, to be charged to my credit card.
I responded to a survey re: my dissatisfaction with the radio and my comments were that it was absolutely a waste of time. Someone from customer care called but was unable to help me with the problem. She explained that the "lockout" might not be working, as there are several radio stations in my area (greater DC), but the process for determining whether that was the problem was so complicated that I did not want to take the time.
I was planning to cancel my subscription anyway, and then on April 6 my wallet was stolen (including the credit card to which the subscription was being charged). On April 29 I received an automated phone call from Sirius asking me to revise my credit card information. I pressed "0" to be connected with customer service, and after several minutes on hold I spoke with a very nice young woman who was completely unable to help me. She put me on hold four times so that I could be connected with the office that closes accounts - as she was apparently unable to do so - and ended up being cut off after I had waited on the line for 15 minutes.
I received subsequent phone calls over the next four weeks with the same result - no matter who I actually spoke with, they were not "able" to close an account. Each time I explained that the radio did not get good reception, and I was not planning to renew. Each time, I was transferred to another office but the call cut off after I had waited to talk with that office for several minutes.
Today, May 19, I received TWO calls from Sirius, and again was cut off while waiting to speak with someone to clear up the matter. I called back and was placed on hold for 12 minutes, then the call cut off. I called again and spoke to someone named "Brad" and I immediately asked to speak to a supervisor. He put me on hold for 5 minutes, and then the call cut off. I called yet again and spoke with "Mack," who put me on hold for 8 minutes after I said I wanted to cancel; then he came back on the line and told me that my account would be closed as of May 25. I then asked to speak with a supervisor, and after a 3-minute hold I spoke with someone named "Sulphy."
Sulphy immediately assumed he knew what my issues were, without giving me a chance to explain, but he did say that my account would be closed and that the charges that had accrued for April would be erased. He also said that I might still receive phone calls for a few days until the 'system catches up.'
I am tired of being harassed by these phone calls, and I am also incredulous that it took over FIVE WEEKS to reach a human being who had the ability to close my account. Are your 'customer service' staff not trained to provide the standard services for customers? Is there only one person who can do that among all of Sirius Radio's personnel?
If Sirius Radio's business model is to collect monthly fees from subscribers and then make it all but impossible for anyone to cancel the service, they have succeeded. But I'm wondering how long you can count on that for your revenue stream? I have thus far spent two hours either waiting on hold or explaining the situation to people who had no interest in my issue or ability to help me. I wonder how many other subscribers just give up in frustration and continue to pay the bill?
ORLANDO, FLORIDA -- My S-50 works fine in the car, but bring it into the house and you have about 1 minute of good sound then it comes in and out, then displays NO SIGNAL. So I call in and do the upgrade and check the device settings, antenna aiming option. It shows 3/4 for satellite, full bar for terrestrial, but it still displays NO SIGNAL. After 40 minutes on the phone with a service tech, they tell me it's the home kit that's bad, and they are sending me a new one. Problem solved right? Wrong.
The ticket was for Jul 16, it's August 9 and still no replacement has arrived. I call again, and after having to re-explain because no notes exist, the guy finds the notes then tells me that if the ticket was done right, there would be a warranty ticket, but there isn't one, so nothing was done! Nice!
Oh and I now have to call warranty at 866-257-7726 and I talk to Stephanie, who tells me their system cannot get notes from the Sirius side (they're just warranties) so I re-explain the story and the usual security questions again, only to find out the home kit is considered an accessory, and so it doesn't show on my account, so they can't warranty it! Very nice.
Well, they can but I must now dig up a receipt from Christmas and fax them at 812-258-4775 along with my name, address, a/c number and phone number on the account. ANYONE THINK THIS IS A JOKE YET? My girlfriend bought the whole system for me for Christmas, from wait for it...Sirius.com! Haha. But warranty isn't part of them, I'm told so I need to call 1-800-422-7142 and get a receipt.
I asked for a super, but was told everyone is on the same level at warranties and don't bother, it won't help speed things along. SO I call and get a nice guy Jeff, who after going through security etc again, and the story again, tells me to call, wait for it...1-800-422-7142 - the very same number. I'm laughing at my peon status in the customer service arena. Jeff didn't know why he was contacted or how the system got my call to him, but suggested I try again, and maybe I'll get E-commerce
So I muster up another call, get through, go through the usuals again, and get a way to view and print the original receipt, and write out all the extras needed and then fax to warranties! Oh but I am told to wait 2-3 business days and then follow up to see they received the fax. I'm calling now, 'cause I'm tickled about seeing if I can get the number to the number to the fax man or something like that.
Makes you wonder about how you could just shout to the world what a crappy company this is, and how much time you need to devote to getting SERVICE. Will someone please invent a mega loud speaker and tell the world to stay clear of Sirius? No commercials is great, as long as you have the time to make up for the missing commercials in phone calls!
My fiance bought me a Sirius S50 radio and a home kit for Christmas. There was a $100.00 rebate offer. I activated my service on 12/26/06 and Terri sent the rebate form in shortly thereafter. The terms of the rebate require:
"A subscription, paid by credit card (which may be combined with Sirius prepaid card), must be activated no later than 04/14/2007 and kept active for at least 60 consecutive days. Requires submission of receipt for combined purchase (either original or photocopy) for the purchase of the eligible Sirius hardware, the original UPC code from the hardware packaging, the electronic serial number of the receiver (either original cut from the box or photocopy) and a fully completed redemption form".
This was all sent in. Teri received an email on January 25, 2007 from Sirius stating that the rebate form was received, and another email that same day that the rebate was "processed". The terms and conditions on the rebate state the following:
Once the necessary documentation has been submitted, Sirius will verify that the required subscription has been activated and remains active for the required period and that the account is active and in good standing and mail a check for the appropriate amount to the name and address on the redemption form within 8 to 10 weeks. If rebate is not received within 10 weeks, check status at www.web-rebates.com/sirius or call Sirius at 1-888-539-SIRIUS.
The 60 days required was up on February 26, 2007. The check has STILL not been mailed or received. Terri sent several emails asking about the status of the rebate. She received one indicating that they needed the account information. Terri followed up again and got the following email:
" Dear Terri, Thank you again for contacting SIRIUS! We appreciate the time you have taken to email us regarding the current status of your rebate. We apologize for any inconvenience this has caused. We are here to help! Our records indicate that your rebate is stuck in the "required service period". We understand the frustration this has caused and we would like to submit your rebate for an override. In order for us to do this we need to verify the account that this receiver is on. Please reply with the following information:
Terri, thank you again for your patience regarding your rebate. We hope you receive it soon! We are committed to providing you with the best in customer care. If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact SIRIUS Customer Care. For your convenience, we are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at: 1-888-539-SIRIUS (7474). As well as by email at: www.sirius.com/customercare ".
I followed up since they wanted my information (the radio account) and was told that they "didn't have to do an override", and that it might take 4-6 more weeks for the check to be sent. I HIT THE ROOF! We have done everything asked of us. We have followed all the terms of the agreement. We have provided all of the necessary documentation, account numbers, credit card numbers, addresses, etc.
The customer care rep told me that "part of the problem is that the name and address on the rebate is different from the Sirius account". I mean, really; does this mean that you can't buy someone a radio as a gift?? Do you have to give the radio and the rebate as a gift?? I asked to speak to a supervisor and was put on hold and then told they were "really busy". Well, of course they are. Busy with more frustrated customers like Terri and me.
It has now been 13 1/2 weeks since I activated my service, and more than 12 weeks since Terri sent the rebate form in. The lesson here: Sirius knows only how to take money from customers. They are unable or unwilling to expedite resolution of customer care issues. It is unwise to buy Sirius radios as a gift. They tie everything to the radio account. Their rebate processing and support is non-existent. Good luck!