XM Satellite Radio Complaint - Misinformation And Customer Disservice
On 8/10/2008 I called XM Radio to deactivate a Skyfi2 radio that was stolen the
night before. I figured I would also cancel my account as I didn’t want to spend
the hundred bucks or so I thought it would cost for another one. I was told the
radio would be deactivated right away but when I said to cancel the account I was
put on hold then offered a XM EZ radio for $9.99 plus shipping which had to paid
up front with a credit card. I agreed provided that it did not require any additional
wiring to what was already in the car. (my XM antenna and a feed to the cigarette
lighter for power)
The Skyfi2 broadcasts directly to an open FM frequency as is. This worked for me
for the last couple of years. I heard from different people about different units needing more setup.
I was assured after another hold that I would be “good to go with what’s in the
vehicle” when I received the radio.
8/11- I get an email that the order was shipped. The total was $21.91. (11.92 for
8/19 – The XM EZ was delivered. In the box there was a packing slip that
mentioned a SURE CONNECT included with the radio. I figured it was sent in error
as the instructions in the manual didn’t mention it. I plugged the antenna in and attached the power cord and plugged it into the cigarette lighter. I tuned it to the same frequency I had been using for the Skyfi2 that I knew was ok and it didn’t work. (I was told it would already be activated) It wasn’t. I called SHOP XM to activate the radio.
While sitting in my car and on the phone with XM, I could see it
activate and get the stations but it wasn’t broadcasting to the radio. After being put on hold a number of times, while she kept checking who knows what, the
rare someone who actually knew something about the equipment must have told
her that the XM EZ (you guessed it!) needed to have the SURE CONNECT
I told her at now the 1 hour 8 minute mark, that this was useless to me
and unacceptable and I wanted to return it, get my money back and CANCEL my
account. She was already painfully aware that I was told before I accepted this
model, I wouldn’t need a SURE CONNECT . ( I guess whoever packed the box must
have had one in their car!) After another attempt at putting me on hold, I said no I wanted to CANCEL my account and send back the radio. After some muffled back round conversation, she said she could transfer me to someone who would issue me an RMA number (for excepted returns UPS) but also to offer me a better deal.
The new woman she transferred me to (how come you never get cut off when
they are trying to sell you something else!) gave me an option of getting an XM
Skyfi3 THAT WOULD NOT NEED ANY ADDITIONAL WIRING. (sound familiar?) I
asked her twice to make absolutely sure this model did not require a SURE
CONNECT as I didn’t want to waste any more time on this. ( my wife heard me as I
was now in the house)
She assured me that I only needed to connect the antenna already there and plug
in the power to the lighter and then activate it. She told me the radio would be
$49.99 plus an activation fee of $14.99 which would be credited back to me and
$20.97 for 3 months of XM in advance which would be credited back also “for
what you have gone through and your patience”. She said this had to be paid up
front with a credit card after I agree to XM radio for 12 months, and early
cancellation fee. At this time I asked one final time about the SURE CONNECT
because as I’ve said I didn’t want to go through this again. The elapsed phone time at this point was somewhere past 2 hours.
At this point I agreed, asked for all this to be documented in an email to me. She said my RMA# for the return of XM EZ (remember that? Seems like years passed!) will be emailed and when they get it into the warehouse I will be credited with that also.
Later that night I received an email detailing the charges with another shipping
charge, now only $9.60 (I guess I earned a preferred rate) but this has tax
included of $6.02. Go figure. The total is 101.57. The email has no mention of any agreement or a verification that the Skyfi3 doesn’t require a SURE CONNECT.
There is a second email with the RMA# and instructions for returning the XM EZ.
The Skyfi3 was shipped the next day and I received it on 8/28. At this point I
figured they weren’t bad people just incompetent and ignorant about what they
are selling people.
On 8/29 I installed it and called XM to activate it and was told I would get a signal in 10 or 20 minutes. I went out in the car and was running errands all evening. While out I noticed it was activated but when I tuned to the frequency I use for XM it wasn’t coming through the car’s radio. When I got home I stayed in the car while I called XM and was continuously told to try another frequency. In my haste to install the radio I didn’t inspect ALL of the contents in the box. While I was on one of my 10 minute “holds”, I noticed (now your catching on!) a SURE CONNECT!!!!!
I asked the girl to please find out if this was needed. She had no idea what a SURE CONNECT was.
I said to transfer me to the area that handles returns. I am done, I want to return this and CANCEL my account. (there is that word again that triggers all sorts of weird behavior) Now I was being stalled so she could find a number that I could call. I soon found out why. When my watch struck 11PM EST she had no problem transferring me to that department. The message was that they close at 11pm.
8/30 The next day first thing, I call SHOP XM and go through everything again
with a new representative who kept saying she couldn’t let me return a radio unless it was defective. I said the person who sent it to me was defective not the radio. She offered me another Skyfi3 to replace the one I had. When I got off the floor and stopped laughing, I explained to her for the seventh time that I was sent this in error. It was not what I agreed to. She asked me if there was anything ELSE I can help you with?
I said what do you mean ELSE? I haven’t been helped yet in the last 2 weeks.
Please put your supervisor on or someone that has the authority to undo all this
nonsense. I must say though, she did have the routine down pat. She kept saying that it should work if you use the same frequency as your radio. At this point I knew that it’s not that they don’t know their product as much as they are trained to do as instructed by the company. All those people in a
company can’t all be incompetent.
Now I get her supervisor- Philip- I believe. He said he has heard everything and I don’t have to re-explain. This is going to be hard to type but Phil tells me I will have to use a SURE CONNECT with this model radio. He asks me why I refuse to add this wiring. I give him my reasons even though I didn’t feel I needed to and then he says well you were UPGRADED to a better radio. My cost was UPGRADED too. You are forgetting that I didn’t want this. He insinuates that I was aware of what the requirements were. At that point I said “Why on earth would I send back one XM EZ radio for the same reason which XM accepted because I have the RMA to prove it then let you send me a radio that just cost me 5 times as much with the same requirement that is not acceptable to me. That makes no sense”. He couldn’t answer that.
At this point he said sorry all sales are final. You agreed to the terms. I said I didn’t agree to something I didn’t want. The agreement was based on misinformation that I took in good faith. Such an agreement would have to be unenforceable. I said I wanted to close my account and I would take further action to get my money back. He brazenly said “yeah we get a lot of that”. I told him “I’ll bet you do”. He said there would be an early cancellation fee of $100.
By the way, the transfer to the cancellation department never went through. “if
you’d like to make a call...”
Now I will try to find an upper management person to send a letter to, for a
chance to make this right before I take this to claims court. I would welcome any and all help in this matter. In return I would my best to insure that this does not happen to anyone else. I should have cancelled my account in the first place instead of being a victim of what appears to be fraud.