ED Magedson – Founder
SIRIUS XM SATELLITE RADIOwww.xmradio.com Internet United States of America
I first purchased an XM unit in 2005. I do alot of driving, so I LOVED having a wide variety of programming, with no commercials, for a fair $12 per month with no hidden, ridiculous extra fees.
I also enjoyed that the online service was free with my subscription, and that I could listen at work without an additional fee.
XM merged with SIRIUS a few months back. It was QUITE apparent to me that the goal was to rid themselves of each other's competition, deprive the consumer of the benefits of choice, and increase their fees.
Customer service has, of course, been outsourced. In 2005, I could call with any issue and get through to a knowledgeable person fairly quickly. Now, I have to go through multiple levels of automated hell before I get to a person.
When I do reach a person, I might as well be talking to my dog. Well, I guess it's a bit worse, because my dog usually understands what I'm trying to accomplish with the communication.
They have now instituted an "activation fee" for new or reactivating customers, and added in some strange "music use" fee of $2 per month. I understand that $2 per month isn't much, but if you're going to raise your fee, just raise your fee! Don't insult my intelligence!
After I recently made a surprisingly large payment to get my unit reactivated following a few months off, the CSR asks me which credit or debt card I would like to place on the account for future billing. I told him none. I don't use credit cards. And I never do recurrent billing plans, because I might as well be handing over checkbook full of blank, signed checks.
This was never a problem before. But the CSR says that now, without a credit or debit card, they don't have a way to bill me and therefore I can't have an account. I thought that's odd, you guys used to send me bills in the mail. In fact, I'm pretty sure I was notified of my past-due balance via this ingenious method.
So, after actually having to speak with his supervisor, he says the "last resort" (yes, he actually said that) would be to send me monthly invoices. Wow! Bills in the mail that take a conscious effort to pay! Am I the only one that remembers this concept?
So I'm all set to have the unit reactivated. This process requires that you leave your radio on for 20 minutes so that the antenna can receive the activation signal.
20 minutes goes by and I still only have the "preview" channel. I call customer service again and have another signal sent. 45 minutes goes by and still only the preview channel. I call again and ask for technical support. I explain my problem. I am told that there must be a problem with my antenna.
Well, common sense dictates that my antenna is working just fine if I'm receiving the preview channel. I try to explain this concept to the "technician" to no avail. I finally give up and ask her to just send the signal again so I can give it a third try. Then she actually had the gall to ask me if I would like to upgrade my programming package! Why would I want to pay extra for more of NOTHING!
After about a half hour I've got my channels. Mind you, I had to leave my car running for about two hours. But after a full afternoon of headaches, everything is finally working so I'm happy.
Until today, when I'm at my desk and want to listen online. Lo and behold, the part of the service that used to be free now costs $3 per month.
But wait! There's more! I guess that, since I won't sign on for recurrent billing, I'm not actually considered a "current subscriber," so I actually have to pay the full subscription fee to listen online!
Long story short (I guess it's actually kind of late for that): what cost $12 per month four years ago would now, if I were to pay it, cost me $29 per month. Plus, there are FAR more commercials than there used to be.
Remember when they advertised it as "commercial free," then changed that to "commercial free music" (which was a euphamism for "the talk channels are no longer commercial free"). Now the talk channels have just as many commercials as any regular radio station, and I think the music channels have some commercials too.
The funny thing is I only listen to one channel (XM 202, Sirius 197). The best thing about this channel, four years ago, was the complete lack of restriction by the FCC or XM management. They didn't even have to worry about offending advertisers. There's still no FCC restriction, but company management severely restricts creativity now that there are advertisers, and Oprah, to worry about.
If they didn't have Ron & Fez, I would trash my XM and go back to NPR. I used to tell people that my XM unit was my smartest purchase ever. My advice now: don't bother with sattelite radio unless you do a lot of driving or are looking for a particular channel/show.
I hope you all enjoyed my long-winded diatribe.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/22/2009 08:54 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/sirius-xm-satellite-radio/internet/sirius-xm-satellite-radio-xm-this-company-is-going-downhill-fast-internet-498627. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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