XM Satellite Radio Complaint - Unethical Billing and Hard to Cancel Service
To Whom It May Concern:
The intent of this letter is to express my anger and concerns involving XM Radio’s engagement in improper selling practices and unethical business practices. I have repeatedly tried to resolve this issue with XM since April 2007 as you will see in my documentation included within this letter.
While attending the Live Your Best Life 2006 event in Boston, I visited the XM radio booth and purchased a radio and boom box from XM. At that time I paid to activate the XM service and was told that my credit card would be placed on file for renewal. Initially I used the service. However, over a period of time I realized that my limited use of the service did not warrant the price it cost. So in April 2007, I e-mailed XM radio to request that my service not be renewed. I received an e-mail response from XM stating I had to call them to cancel--a letter does not suffice. So, on April 30, 2007, I placed a call to XM Radio’s customer service and requested that my credit card be taken off file and that my membership not be renewed at the end of the service period. The representative with whom I spoke informed me that my service had just been renewed on April 16, 2007. Additionally, I was informed that I would NOT receive a reimbursement of the payment which had just been made to XM for this service. So I again asked the representative to take my credit card off file because I would not be renewing my account when the 3 months was concluded.
My subscription to XM radio expired on July 16, 2007. I know this date only because it has been repeated to me on the numerous calls I’ve made to customer service. Since I had not been using the XM radio, I did not realize that the service was being continued and I did NOT receive an invoice for the additional service until mid-August. I discarded the first invoice I received because I did not intend to renew and had made that known to XM Radio during my call on April 30, 2007.
In October 2007 I received a bill from XM Radio for the amount of $28.52. Again, I discarded this notice because I mistakenly thought it was a bill to renew. On October 14, 2007 I received notification from CCA that my account had been placed in collections. Immediately, I called CCA and tried to explain that I had not renewed my service. They steadfastly refused to listen to my explanation and told me that I would need to call XM Radio. I called customer service at XM Radio to try and resolve this issue. I was told that the $28.52 was a prorated bill for the service I had received since July 16, 2007 when my subscription had expired and September 14, 2007 when my service had finally been cancelled by XM Radio. While speaking with the representative, he acknowledged that there were notes in the account that I had called nearly a year earlier on the date in my notes, but there were nothing on the account that I requested it be closed. I insisted this was a clerical error on their part, but was told that was not possible.
Notices and calls from CCA continued to provide harassment on behalf of XM Radio. On October 24, 2007 I received another call from CCA and was told very nastily that I DID owe the money and they were authorized to collect it for XM Radio. Immediately following this call, I once again called XM Radio customer service on October 24, 2007. I was connected with a representative named Eric. After repeated attempts to resolve this bill, Eric told me that I owed this bill because I had not called in to suspend my service on July 16, 2007. Therefore they had continued to provide the service and I was responsible for payment.
It is astounding that a business, ANY business, would engage in such unethical business practices that basically try to make a consumer pay for services that they did not request or for which payment was not remitted to renew. To continue to provide a service for two months of what would have been a three month subscription when they have not received payment and have been informed of my wishes to not renew in April 2007 AND expect me to take responsibility for the pro-rated payment is ridiculous. So when Eric, the customer representative, told me on October 24, 2007 that I owed this amount and there was nothing he could do additionally, I asked to speak to his supervisor. Eric then told me that his supervisor was busy. I said I would wait and he put me on hold. After being on hold for 10 minutes or so, I am greeted by another representative named Ian who is not a supervisor but who informs me that my call must have been “re-routed” to her by accident. At that point I am supposed to go through all of the information once again. Pitiful!!!!
Ian tells me that she will submit this report and I will be contacted within 2-3 days. I never received any correspondence as follow-up. On November 6, 2007 I was contacted once again by CCA and spoke to a representative named Kelly. This process is just repeated over again with additional harassment to try and make me submit the payment. After that phone call with CCA, I called XM Radio once again. This time I spoke with a representative named Sue. Finally, after reiterating this story for the hundredth time, I am put on hold and when Sue comes back on the phone she tells me that she has discussed this with her supervisor and a credit for $28.52 has been applied to my account. I express my thanks to Sue and commend her for being the first decent person to handle one of my calls at XM Radio. Finally, I believe the issue has been resolved.
So imagine my surprise when I receive another call from CCA on November 14, 2007 from a representative named Helen Summers. I tried to tell Helen that I was not in collections because I’d spoken with XM on November 6th and Sue had applied a credit to my account. Helen proceeded to tell me I was wrong and came perilously close to calling me an outright liar. I expressed to her that this is ridiculous and most definitely harassment. I asked her to do a three-way phone call to XM and she adamantly refused. So I immediately call XM Radio after being insulted and harassed by Helen. My call is answered by a representative named Angel. Angel tells me that I do indeed owe $28.52 and that it has not been taken care of by Sue. I asked to speak to her supervisor. Guess what? I was put on hold and suddenly for the second time, my call was mysteriously re-routed to Evelyn who had to hear my entire story once again.
Evelyn told me that she researched the records and my report showed that an amount of $28.52 had been credited to my account but that it would not go on the past due amount of $28.52. It would only go towards new service because the representative who issued the credit shouldn’t have issued it. Needless to say, I am completely dumbfounded by this news. How can an amount be credited to an account that is not active and which has a balance of $28.52 and not have a balance of zero? Evelyn says that she doesn’t understand all of it either and that she will open a new report for me for which I should receive an answer within the week.
Yesterday, November 16, 2007, I received a call which was recorded on my home answering machine from Jamie. Jamie’s message says that my report had been reviewed. He acknowledged that there were notes in the account that I had called in April 2007 and numerous times since, but there were nothing on the account that I requested it be closed. Therefore I was responsible for the $28.52 and he proceeded to thank me for using XM Radio and expressed sentiments that he hoped I would have a great day.
So, this letter serves as documentation of the events that have occurred and as a written notice that I have gone above and beyond the call of duty as a consumer to resolve this issue. I am furious that XM Radio has continuously refused to accept blame for this situation and deny that I have provided sufficient information. The amount of $28.52 is a small amount and I imagine that most people would have given up and paid it by now. However, I can assure the company that while I am perfectly capable of paying the amount, I will not. It is a matter of principle. I do not owe the money. Ethical business practices do not include creating false charges and then harassing customers who refuse to pay these bogus charges.
You have until November 21, 2007 to respond and resolve this issue. By resolution I expect a written letter stating that my account has been cleared. Also, I expect an apology to be included within this letter for the deplorable practices and harassment of XM as a company. This is a huge disappointment in a company that had been one of the sponsors for the Oprah event and who hosts the Gayle King talk show. I feel confident that Oprah would not be pleased with your shady deals. In the meantime, copies of this letter will be forwarded to the agencies initially listed in this letter.