XM Satellite Radio Complaint - Slam Billing Practices
I received a promotional e-mail from General Motors advising me that I was eligible for a special 3 month trial of my XM Satellite Radio at a special rate of $4.99/month for "XM Everything" service for 3 months. The offer also stated that there would be no "reactivation fees". The e-mail provided a link to the XM site where I could sign up on-line. The link worked but the site did not accept my Radio ID code as valid. So I called 800 XM RADIO to order the service. The representative kept trying to get to me sign up for a one-year plan. I told him that I just wanted the trial program. Finally he agreed, and said that I would be billed the $4.99 per month to my credit card. He told me that the service would begin when I turned on my XM Radio and went through the "updating" process, something I tried to do every day for a week. The service never activated. Then I received a credit card charge for $35.03 from XM Radio! I called and told them that the service did not work and that I did not authorize a charge for $35.03 - only the $4.99. I further stated that I wanted to cancel the never delivered service and get a refund for the incorrect charge of $35.03.
Several days later, I received a voice mail message from the "Escalation Dept." at XM Radio advising me that they were issuing a refund to my Credit Card for $12.03. When I called to request the full refund, I was informed that the "Billing Dept." has determined that all I was entitled to was $12.03. They said that this was because I was never signed up for the $4.99 rate, I was signed up for $6.99 rate and there was an activation charge of $14.95 (non-refundable). I told then that I was never informed of such an "activation" charge and that I did not authorize the charge, nor a monthly charge of $6.99. I was told that there was nothing that could be done, the "Billing Dept." would not authorize any further refund. I asked for a supervisor and was put on hold for over 45 minutes. I finally spoke to a supervisor (Tracey Ann) who told me that she would investigate the issue and call me back within 30 minutes. I am not holding my breath.
The bottom line: Unless you are truly committed to a long term relationship with XM - stay away and do not accept their "Trial Programs" which mimic the very worst of bait & switch tactics and slam billing practices of other unscrupulous sales outfits.