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Deplorable Customer Service Rep
By -

Each time you call to cancel they've got another pitch. I liked the Blue Collar Radio and thought for $4.99 a month I'd take it. One renewal left me agreeing a "home radio"... but with no speakers when it arrived? I complained and they sent me a docking station but my speakers didn't work with it. I hated the auto bill, called and the representative removed my account info. Thought the account would cancel after the promo period and it did not. I received an invoice I thought was marketing materials. I finally answered a call to say, "Stop calling me. I'm not purchasing another promo." I was met with you owe $31.22.

Pressed the option for billing. Told the representative I didn't agree to a renewal in fact when I called last time I specifically told the representative I did not want an auto renewal. I was met with "we're an auto renewal company"... WTF!! I asked for a supervisor and my call was transferred to "Katie". 1st class **!!! I can't believe this "Katie" is the last line of customer communication or any for that matter. Katie assured me there was nothing that could be done. Not even if the president of the company was standing right there with her.

I asked "Katie" for her manager and was told, "No. Go to the website and write us." I told "Katie" she could pull my last call where the representative from the Philippines assured me there was no auto renewal/bill. Katie informed me only a court subpoena could get the call pulled which is located at "corporate". Katie then proceeded to tell me again, "No" to a manager request, "No" to a call back from a manager then said "We're just going around in circles. Is there anything else I can help you with? If not we're done." Before she could disconnect me I said, "I'll call back and get someone else."

I got transferred to Mike when I called back. Not the warmest fella but he got down to business. I explained my experience with Katie and what was explained to me when I renewed the service. He read the notes on my account. BAM!!! He resolved the issue. Oh FYI, when they place your radio on "inactive" or "deactivate" it doesn't mean the account is closed. Who'd know that?

Sell me a "portable home radio" with no speakers. Don't mention it doesn't have speakers. Ugghhh. Worst of all "Katie". In this economy I don't want to wish anyone to lose their job, however Katie should lose her job - utterly useless, rude, unyielding, and unbending. My company notwithstanding, its people like Katie that we don't want on our front lines representing the firm. We all have work to do...

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XM Sirius Fraudulent Billing
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While reviewing my credit card statements, I noticed a monthly charge for XM radio and a quarterly charge. My account was being billed quarterly and my spouse had noticed the 2 previous charge card statements had a monthly XM radio charge also. She had assumed we were on a monthly payment plan. I assumed that one of the kid's cars had the XM radio package (we have 5 cars). It turned out we only have 1 XM radio account and that XMSIRIUS had added a stranger's account to our credit card.

We spent over 2 hours and talked to 7 people and 2 months later we still had not received any credit. Called in again (another hour) and discovered that the mystery person had his radio plan adjusted to a yearly bill (with a 3 month credit-yes the credit was from my charge card). So it was almost 3 months, 3 hours of calls, and 8 separate people and I still had the disputed charges on my credit card. It seems like the first few people you get when you call, just want to talk you into upgrading your plan.

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Too much talking by DJs
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XM Radio. My favorite stations are the 50s, 60s, and 70s. There was way too much talking by the DJs such as Cousin Brucie (evenings) and the morning guy. I called XM on numerous occasions, sent certified letters to the president of the company and a couple of board members, and made online complaints. I even called several times but the customer service reps said they could not do anything. No one ever responded to the complaints. I pay for XM for the music not to hear "has been DJs" talk about insignificant events (insignificant because most of the nation doesn't really care about the happenings in Smalltown USA) but to actually listen to the music I like.

These DJs carry on for several minutes at a time on a regular basis. Most of their "callers" are little children. This is my opinion but it seems odd that these DJs spend so much time with little children. How many children really like oldies? While I do not have any evidence to suggest any inappropriate actions of the DJs with children, I am concerned. There is an alternative called "Slacker Radio". I have an iPhone but I am concerned about "data charges". An AT&T lady told me that Slacker does use data when not using WiFi but a Slacker review said that it does not.

They do offer a radio for purchase and that undoubtedly would not incur data charges. I think I am going to give it a try. I will gladly pay to listen to my favorite music. I will not, however, pay to listen to DJs talk for than a few seconds at a time.

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Bait and Switch
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I've been a happy Sirius subscriber for 8 years. I've recently received a new company vehicle with an XM radio. I received a call from XM to activate my new radio at $77 for 1 year with the best of Sirius added. I jumped on this offer. When I turned on the radio the best of Sirius was not added. I checked my account online and found not only did I not have the BOS but the $77 was for a 6-month subscription. I got a hold of XM customer service, in India, and they had no authority to honor the sales pitch. This is clearly BAIT AND SWITCH tactics.

There seems to be no way to get ahold customer service in the U.S. It took longer to cancel my subscription than I was actually a member. Bottom line, this company has been merged for over 2 years now and they are still a separate company at the account level. There should be no Best of XM or Sirius. All packages should be the same. The consumer has been hurt by this merger.

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Beware Music Lovers, Don't Do It.
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Beware music lovers of XM Radio. Don't Get sucked in because it's almost impossible to get out or cancel your agreement. First of all it's great that they let you try it out when you buy or lease a new vehicle. But if you continue the service with them be sure to read the fine print in the owners package of information. It states that the service will automatically continue unless you call them to say you want to cancel.

What I'm saying is that you get a bill in the mail to renew your plan. You don't want to renew the plan so you toss the renewal application in the trash and everything is OK, right? WRONG. You have to call them or they will continue to charge your credit card. Now in the case where you have changed card companies closing one account and opening a new account they can't automatically charge you. However, they turn it over to their collections people and start to hound you.

If you ask them why they would charge you if you didn't renew your service they will tell you that they don't want to interrupt other customers service who forget and are paying late. They say this keeps XM from having to charge those late customers a reactivation fee in case there account is canceled. So in other words you are subsidizing the late paying customers by tossing that renewal in the recycle bin.

But wait, there's more. I drove a leased vehicle that had to be returned to the lease company by the end of December 2010. But last summer they sent me a special deal... 5 months for $20.00. I got sucked in and took the deal. But having prior knowledge of this company, I called in November and told the customer service representative that I no longer wanted to continue the service. Also I would be turning the vehicle in at the end of December anyway so why would I keep the service.

The representative told me there was no problem and that I didn't need to call them anyway because the special promotions was not subject to automatic renewals. OK fine, but I called and was sure I would not be charged. WRONG! In November, they started charging me which I didn't realize till after Xmas. Recently I have called my card company to protest the charges and also XM to cancel again (calling customer service can also be interesting, don't expect it to be quick and easy).

It's a shame that this is the only choice for music and news lovers. Remember that the two satellite companies merged, you don't have a choice. If you get sucked in because of a weak moment it's like making a deal with the devil. I can't see how these people can avoid a class action suit some day as they are desperately ripping people off to stay alive instead of providing great service and growing the business. I don't usually bother to write something like this, but I think I thought it might help someone else before they get into trouble. Good Luck!

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Lying Representative... They Should Be Ashamed of Themselves
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I have been a loyal and very satisfied customer of XM for several years. In July of 2009, I crashed my car, ruining my XM receiver. On August 10th, I called XM to cancel the account. After being transferred several times to several different representatives, I began talking to a woman about why I was cancelling. She explained that XM would be willing to supply me with a new radio and install it for just $10. However, I was looking forward to replacing my radio with an MP3 player so I hesitated to accept the deal.

She told me that I was already paid until Sept. 21 and that she would go ahead and refund the remaining amount but she wouldn't actually cancel my account for 30 days, in case I changed my mind. Sweet, I thought... Foolish me. She never explained that I would have to call back if I choice not to accept the deal so I didn't.

On Sept. 23, I saw my quarterly charge (for Oct. Nov. and Dec.) on my credit card statement so I immediately called XM... Put on hold... The first representative I talked to couldn't help me so she transferred me to someone else. On hold for a long time. He told me he could help me and put me on hold. When he came back, he said that my account was cancelled as of today meaning I had PAID for the service from Sept. 10 (30 days after the offer of 30 Free Days) to Sept. 23. even though I didn't even have an actual working radio and was already told that I was refunded that money!

I asked to talk to a manager. Put on hold. She was able to pull up the notes from the phone call conversation that I had with one of her reps in Aug. Apparently they don't record every conversation and apparently they don't write down everything you say and everything that they say. She didn't write down that she had offered me a free month so not only was I paying for the 10 days in September that I shouldn't have been, I was paying for the 30 days of "Free Service." She wouldn't refund my credit card, she would just credit my account for the $20. My account? What account, I just cancelled my account?

This is ridiculous and not a very nice way to run your business. They need to have a little more scrutiny over what their representatives say and/or represent to their customers and how the reps record it. I'm not mad about the $20 (well actually yes I am), I'm also mad that I was lied to and that a month later, the manager wouldn't acknowledge that one of her employees made a mistake and thus compensate me for her mistake. I just think it is a horrible way to treat a past/possible future customer.

I'm a manager, as well, and when it comes to dealing with unhappy customers who are going to stop recommending my company - the customer is ALWAYS right especially when it is over $20. I just wanted to give everyone a fair warning that you can't believe everything they say to you on the phone. It was a pretty unethical thing, or maybe just a simple mistake on the rep's part, to do.

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How to get your money back from XM when improperly charged
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I sent the following letter to XM Radio, requesting removal of a charge they applied that I did not authorize. Not only did I send it to the email address XM says to send to on their website (listercare@xmradio.com) but I looked up who the senior management was at XM/Sirius (CEO, COO, Sales/Mktg SVP, etc.) and found that the logic XM/Sirius uses in their email system is first letter of first name followed by entire last name and sent the letter to both @xmradio.com and @siriusradio.com for each name. The @xmradio.com emails were returned unsent but the @siriusradio.com went through!

This morning I received a call from XM Corporate indicating they got my email and completely removed the charge from my account and sent an email confirmation to me as proof (upon my request. I figured I'd post this to help the MANY people I see are having similar issues and feel there's no possible solution. Here's the letter I sent:

To Whom It May Concern:

Three years ago I signed up (over the phone) for a 3-year subscription for both of my cars (radio ID's: ** and **), paying in advance. My 3 year commitment expired and I was debating on whether to renew but had not decided yet. Today I received 2 invoices for $34.05, indicating a past due amount. I called your customer service to understand what the charge was for and was told that because I did not call to cancel my 3-year subscription, it automatically renewed and was shut off because of non-payment. I was told that it was my responsibility to go to your website to understand the terms and conditions which indicate I needed to call to cancel.

I am disputing the charge and would like it removed from my account and not sent to collection, in that I never signed nor agreed to an automatic renewal. I signed for a 3-year plan and expected that at the end of my commitment I would not have service if I did not renew. No different than a magazine subscription. I asked to get escalated to a supervisor (Will -employee #**), who told me that he was the farthest I could escalate to and that I should've gone on your website to be familiar with a term and condition that required me to physically call to cancel my subscription.

When I asked/told him how people would be expected to do that if they did not have internet or a working computer, he told me I/they would need to go to the library to access your website. When I asked for a call back from his manager, he told me it was unlikely I'd get a call. I am outraged that this has happened and planned to re-subscribe in due time but have serious doubt about it now learning that this is how you treat a customer who had faith to sign and pay for 3 years in advance. I would greatly appreciate it if you would acknowledge removal of this charge, in that I do not want to have to deal with collection disputes and other time consuming/costly effort to defend myself.

After Googling to see if there was anyone who had this same problem and how they got it resolved, I was appalled to find this is a BIG issue and not uncommon. Please prove them wrong and waive this charge. I hope this has been helpful to you! Good luck!

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Major Billing Scam
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For everyone that is having problems canceling service, email Joe **, Executive VP **. I know this is lengthy, but if you think it takes you a long time to read it, imagine how much time I have invested in it and it still isn't resolved! FOOD FOR THOUGHT: XM routinely ignores cancelation requests and then bullies people into paying $27.50 they don't owe just to get them to leave the consumer alone. If XM is doing this to 500 people a day and half of them pay just to make it go away, that is $6,875 a day, $48,125 a week, $208,542 a month and $2,502,500 a year. I think the actual number is much higher.

In November of 2006 I purchased a new car. It came with a trial of XM Satellite radio. At some point last summer, I was called by an XM Satellite rep trying to get me to renew or upgrade, I don't recall which. But I DO recall specifically requesting the service be canceled. I spoke to my SO and asked him if he ever used it. He did not. They offered to give us another one for his truck to keep the service. I declined. We again stated we just wanted to cancel the service.

They acknowledged that we were canceling the service and the call ended. Several weeks ago I began receiving automated calls. Twice I tried to return the call and was unable to get through. Finally, when I did get through and ask what company I had reached, they demanded my name. They told me I had reached a collection company and that XM Satellite had turned a bill for $27.50 over to them for collections. The bill, they stated, was generated for services from September to December of 2007.

I explained to "Jack ** at ext **" that I had canceled the service and did not owe any money. He gave me another number to call (800-967-2346). I called that number and spoke to Anthony. He stated that he would create a "collection dispute" and someone would be contacting me within 2-5 business days. As you can see, I started keeping notes since I had learned that your employees are not good at doing what they say they will do. I then received a message (on my voice mail) from someone whose name I could not understand, stating that they had "reviewed my account and that my contract clearly stated that I had to call XM to cancel".

I called the 800 again and spoke to "Chris". Chris was very attentive and after I explained the situation to him, he stated that my account would be credited the $27.50. He gave me a reference # of (deleted). He told me it could take up to 4-6 weeks for the collections department to stop calling. A few days later I received a voice mail from "Trena" (I think that is what she said her name was). She stated that she had reviewed the account and it would NOT be adjusted. That my contract clearly stated I had to make the call to XM. "Have you ever listened to these calls? If not, I have saved them and would love for you to hear them."

I called again and insisted on speaking to a supervisor who could settle this dispute. After repeatedly being put on hold (which I strongly suspect is in an effort to get the caller to give up and hang up) I was put through to "Ryan". After speaking with Ryan he stated that the account had "escalated" and he was transferring me to another department. The call was then cut off (BIG SURPRISE!). When I called back I spoke to "Camilla". She told me Ryan's notes stated that he told me he would investigate further and someone would call me back. Well, that is blatantly not true. I insisted on speaking to a manager.

Again, after being placed on hold multiple times, I was put through to "Martin". Martin continually said that the contract stated that I HAD TO CALL XM. I asked him if that meant that when a representative of XM called me and during that conversation agreed to cancel the service that I should believe that XM would not at that point cancel the service. He repeatedly went back to "your contract clearly states". I asked if this was a signed contract as I am unaware of a "contract". He refused to answer. I asked him to record the call.

I have forwarded this information to the FCC. For your own edification, you may wish to Google "XM Satellite complaints". I was horrified to see that this is routine business for your company. I would like to resolve this matter with no more effort on my part. If you or a representative who is able to resolve this matter would like to contact me next Tuesday or Wednesday you may reach me at (DELETED). WELL, WE'LL SEE IF THEY RESPOND.

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Poor Customer Service
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BOTHELL, WASHINGTON -- In response to a recently received XM correspondence asking me to extend my 3 mos. trial radio service on a newly purchased GM car, I called XM customer service approx. 1/30/08. That was my first mistake. Not wishing to make a difficult to correct online error, I thought telephone communication would be the wiser thing to do. And all seemingly went well. I booked 12 more mos. service at approx. $142 plus tax. I then saw an XM page that informed me I could have online service for free since I already had auto service. How cool can this be I thought; More tunes for the same money. So I called again the next day.

Spoke with another service rep. who was on the ball and advised me that since I had two cars with XM service - another GM car purchased 6/05 - I qualified for the $6.99/mo rate on the second car. So he saved me money. True. But the first service rep. had failed to catch this point and had, in effect, charged me more for the second car than he should have. The second service rep. also consolidated the two radios - 2 cars - under one account number. Once again, he's on the ball.

Finally we get to the online service issue. He directs me to a link that I can used to register for the online service. But I know from prior investigation that this linked page includes a billing information page that needs to be completed. If the online service is free because I already have paid auto service, why do I need to complete a billing info page? He offers to walk me through - he's a helpful, competent guy. I say "No, I'll try it myself. You've generously given me plenty of your time." That was my second mistake. I go to the link.

For more than an hour I try to negotiate it w/o having to complete the billing info page. No can do. I call back and speak with a third service rep. I explain my concerns about completing the billing info page. She has a note of hesitancy/uncertainty in her voice. "Go ahead and complete it", she says. Again I express my concerns. "No, that's OK", she says, still w/ hesitancy. Go ahead and fill it in. I do what I'm told; after all, she's the knowledgeable person. That was my third mistake. Knowing how these things tend to work, about an hour later I check my email.

Sure enough, there's a message confirming my online service order with the specification of a $7.99/mo plus tax service charge. Thought it was free, didn't you. Now reader, please note that of the three service reps. I had spoken to within a 24 hour period two had made mistakes that had the effects of charging me more money than I was supposed to be charged. I call back and explain the issue to a fourth service rep. - while gritting my teeth and explaining that I am trying, oh how I am trying, to control my irritation.

Well, at that time of evening they don't have staff that are authorized either to correct or cancel your service. They only have staff who are authorized to sell you service. Funny how that works. You'll have to call back tomorrow. I call back in the morning. I speak with what seems to be a more senior service rep. person: Very professional, very accommodating, very apologetic. After all, she's the person customers talk to when they're about to terminate service.

Consequently her principal responsibility is to hold on to booked business. She offers me service at a reduced rate etc., etc. Too late. I thoroughly enjoy the music in the car, no complaints whatsoever, but the jerked around factor has become too much. Maintain the radio service in the 05 Malibu - that person can't continue life w/o it -but "Cancel the service both in the new car and online" I tell her.

All I want is never to speak with XM again. So I have my new car, and I have approx. 6 more weeks of XM auto radio service. But that's it. Do I believe anyone of the several XM persons I spoke to was less than honest and eager to serve? Absolutely not. Every one of them, I believe, acted in accord with corporate process instructions and a genuine desire to do their job well and take care of the customer. But that brings us to the question of corporate process and the management/executive level mental giants who establish those processes.

Do I believe that any of those persons would ever create a process that they suspected might confuse and hamper the customer in such manner as to benefit the corporate bottom line? What do you think? Do I believe that those same persons care as much for the customer's informed benefit as they do for their own bonuses and promotions? What do you think? Do I think that those persons might skimp on employee training and customer service in order to increase the bottom line and thereby their own rewards? What do you think?

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How to Cancel XM Radio
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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 uncheck 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.

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XM Satellite Radio Rating:
Star Empty star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.0 out of 5, based on 1 ratings and
120 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
XM Satellite Radio
1500 Eckington Place NE
Washington, DC 20002-2194
866-962-2557 (ph)
202-380-4500 (fax)
www.xmradio.com
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