On February 27, 2009, I became a loyal Sirius XM listener. The service came with my 2008 Ford Mustang GT and the benefits of the subscription quickly became obvious when I would take road trips and (brilliantly!) no time was spent looking for local radio stations. In addition, Sirius came with Howard Stern who I would listen to off and on while growing up (when he would randomly appear in Florida markets – or when I would visit family in Washington, DC.)
Today, though, I cancelled my subscription because – quite simply – I ran out of patience.
Here’s the story:
As tends to happen from time to time, one of my credit cards expired and a new one (with updated info) got mailed out to me. When this happens in today’s day and age, it means hours being spent updating billing information for various things online. One of those things was my Sirius XM account.
I went to log in, but instead of getting the usual account info – it (the website) starting walking me through what seemed to be a new account set up. After circling through pages a few times, I came to the conclusion that Sirius XM must have updated their website/database. I decided to just plug in the info it was asking for and move on. A problem came about, though, when I went to put in my email info. It stated that my email address “has a problem even though it is a correctly formatted email address.”
The message gave a phone number, so I called. I got a costumer service rep who was very obviously NOT in the United States – and he seemed to be unable to explain the issue. Next, I took to the Internet: email and Twitter. Through a series of events, I finally spoke to a human based in North America and we talked about the problem. It seemed that there HAD been a changeover and the problem was slated to be fixed in a couple of months. As a courtesy, Sirius XM comp’d my wife’s radio enough credit to cover the time it should take to be fixed (her payment is month to month; mine is annually) so that I could log in and update my credit card later without interruption of service.
This made sense and seemed like a solid solution, so I thanked the rep and moved on.
A couple of months went by, and I tried to update the email address again. Still no luck. To be sure, I tried three (THREE!) different email addresses I have. My personal one, my old personal one, and my public one. NONE WORKED.
I called again. The suggestion I was given?
“You should create a new email address.”
As asinine as that answer is, it’s even MORE so due to that fact that I still get email from them (Sirius XM) sent to my personal address acknowledging that I am a subscriber. This happens on a fairly regular basis. As a matter of fact, here’s one I got this morning:
So there you have it.
Today I decided to check to see if things were fixed (months later) since my annual subscription renews tomorrow. I pulled up my account this morning and I was greeted by the same setup screens.
Email number one? Nope.
Email number two… my old one from almost twenty years ago? Still nope.
Email number three… my public one? Nope. Here’s the screen:
So I called to cancel using the number listed. I (again) got a customer service rep very obviously not on the North American continent. She apologized for the situation (as usual). In order to get me to stay she offered me 50% off my subscription for BOTH of my accounts (mine and my wife’s) if I stayed. My patience having been worn out at this point, so I passed on the offer. I thanked her and asked her to cancel my subscription.
“Okay,” she said. “Let me start processing your cancellation.”
Then she hung up.
I found the phone number for the main office in New York and explained the situation to the receptionist. She, in turn, transferred me to a call center in Canada that takes calls directly from the New York office. I explained my situation to the rep and she was polite, professional, and completely understood.
And she helped me cancel my account.
The amount of hours I have spent calling, sitting on hold, calling again, emailing, re-explaining, and even writing this blog post have finally exceeded the value of what I got from Sirius XM. I mean, who goes through this much trouble to GIVE someone money which is effectively what I have been trying to do?
So goodbye, Sirius XM. I will have to make due with my iPhone, streaming audio, iPod, and audiobooks. Maybe I’ll see if things are fixed again this time next year – but I refuse to pay money for a service that has taken this much of my time from me.