How to Cancel XM Radio
So, you've decided XM and you just don't get along anymore, eh? Time to move on. Perhaps you've received a notice in the mail from XM, letting you know that your contract is about to end. Perhaps your account is set to auto-renew. Time to cancel it before they charge your credit card.
So you log onto the XM website, and go into Online Account Management. You should be able to just un-check a box or something, and that should take care of it, right? You click on the Radio(s) and Subscriptions tab, and a little message appears: "We are in the process of updating your account. Certain features will be inaccessible for the next 10 minutes. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause." Sounds reasonable. They must be doing some system maintenance.
You'll find, though, that this message appears not only ten minutes later, but ten hours later. The fact is, you're not going to be able to access that check box and cancel your account. So you try to use the venerable online contact form. It's not easy to find, but there is one.
You fill it out, stating clearly "Here is my account number, my radio id, my name, my address, my phone number. Please cancel my account right now."
If you walk away now, thinking you've accomplished your task, you're making a big mistake. XM has an unstated policy that cancellations must be done OVER the PHONE. Letters? Nope, not good enough. Email? It's ignored. And as you found out, the online account management doesn't work.
So you call 1-800-967-2346. A computer answers and insists that you speak your responses. You state "Account Management" as prompted, and then provide your zip code. The computer already knows your phone number, using caller id. It tells you it is accessing your account. It gives you a list of choices, one of which is "Cancel". You say "Cancel" and the computer says please hold, while it goes off to find a human being to talk to you. At this point, you may find yourself on hold for a very long time. There will be no intermittent message, such as, "Thank you for holding, we'll be right with you". You'll possibly think they have hung up, prompting you to do the same. You may give up at this point. Don't. There is a way to cancel, I promise. Just hang in there.
Or, instead of being put on hold, a person answers, asks you to identify yourself (the computer hasn't shared this information with him, sadly), and asks what he/she can do for you. You say, Cancel my account. A few seconds later, the line goes dead. (This happened to me twice. Coincidence? You decide.)
So finally it dawns on you that your account has been flagged, somewhere in the bowels of the XM customer service system. A little flag has been set to alert XM that you are trying to cancel your account. It's possible that the flag was set as your contract termination date approached. Any attempt you make to contact XM will be thwarted, due to this flag. They know what you're trying to do, and they're not going to make it easy.
All right, you say, so how DO I cancel XM radio?? Try this: call the 800 number. AS SOON AS THE COMPUTER BEGINS TO TALK, hit the zero key on your phone. The computer goes off to find a human being. At this point, XM does not know who you are. (They could, since they do have your phone number, but you haven't "logged in" by giving it your zip code, so you are anonymous at this point.) You get a customer service rep. His/her job is to figure out just what you're up to. Once you tell him/her you're trying to cancel, he/she connects you with someone in a faraway land, who seems to be having dinner with manner noisy people at the table. It's very hard to hear her, but hang in there. You're almost done.
When she asks why you're canceling, say you don't listen to XM much, so it's not worth paying for. She will try to sell you on various discounted plans. Say, "No, I want to cancel." She will say, okay, we will let you have XM for free for three months, but you'll have to call us back to cancel in three months. You say, "No, I want to cancel right now."
Just keep repeating the "I want to cancel" mantra, and eventually they will cancel your account.
Are you done? Not yet! This is where we separate the men from the boys. You will need to make sure they turn your access off. VERY important. If you are still receiving XM's signal, even if you don't want it, they have the right to claim you are using the service and they can bill you for it. But they can't do that, I hear you say. I told them to cancel the account! Oh really? Did you get that in writing? Of course not - they forced you to communicate via phone. They ignored your emails. They don't accept letters.
So what do you do now? Call them back and hope that they finally cancel, is all. I've kind of misled you. There really is no sure-fire way to cancel XM radio. Once you've signed up, you are at their mercy, until THEY decide to let YOU go.