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Content Connections Interview with Roland Elgey

Dear XM: No Means No!

Xm Boy, this guy was right.  I finally decided to cancel my XM radio subscription and I had to jump through countless hoops over the past couple of hours. As the other blogger notes, there's no way to terminate the service via the XM website.  You have to do it on the phone.  And if you want to see just how screwed up XM is right now, call their 1-800 number and see how long it takes to talk to an actual human being.

I figured out a trick to help speed things up though.  I called earlier tonight and went through the phone menu options to cancel and gave up after spending almost 30 minutes on hold.  I grabbed dinner and came back for round two.  This time I chose the option to activate a phone, not cancel an account.  It was still a 10-15 minute wait but it did the trick...or so I reality, the fun was just beginning.

My first conversation was with a woman who spoke broken English and asked me to verify my name, phone number, address and account. She also wanted to know why I'm canceling and I told her it's because (a) there are too many commercials on the talk radio stations, (b) the music channels seem to be recycling the same stuff even more frequently than they did originally and (c) several channels are now deactivated over the weekend, including a few I used to listen to late at night on Fridays and Saturdays. 

She was courteous enough and said she needed to transfer me to a different department.  I asked her if I was going to be put on hold for awhile and she said "no" and that she'd be on the line with me.  In fact I wound up on hold again for another 7-8 minutes and she periodically checked in to see how I'm doing.

Next up, broken English-speaking woman #2.  She asked what she could do for me.  I asked her if she happened to speak at all to the first woman about my account.  She humbly acknowledged that yes, the first one told her I wanted to close the account.  She then asked me to verify all the things the first woman had me verify.  Frustrating, but at least it seemed like I was getting closer...

Representative #2 also kept telling me about all the great new services I can expect when the Sirius merger is complete.  I told her there's nothing she could say that would cause me to change my mind.  She decided she was up for the challenge and offered me 3 more months at $4.99/month.  I said no.  She chuckled and then changed the offer to 3 more months totally free.  Again I declined.  I think she finally realized she had met her match; after all, just how bad does a customer want to leave you when they turn down 3 free months?!

She said I'm paid up through September 18th.  It doesn't matter though as I've already packed up the receiver as well as all the cords and antennas and put it all in a drawer.  I seriously doubt I'll go back.  I finally realized I'm better served by the thousands of songs on my 80-Gig Zune.  Farewell, XM...


Donald Harribine

I am seriously thinking of canceling my XM account.
Reasons are too many commercials on talk shows and
repeated music on all channels. When will this
XMSirius merger get started for it's present customers.
When will be able to get the channels we specifically
want (ala carte) and when will we be able to get Best of Both.
Do we have to wait until April or May 2009 to get this
offer? If not I am considering canceling my account.

Please advise?

Donald Harribine

Joe Wikert

Hi Donald. Every XM customer has to decide what's best for them. In my case, I just couldn't justify paying another nickel for a subscription. I'll get more use out of my Zune and I'll probably listen a bit to local radio again (but not much!). I'm also not convinced the combined XM/Sirius operation will be any better than each was on their own. In this case, I think one plus one equals one.

Madison (Girl Arsonist) McGraw

Ah, my best mate has XM and it's so user unfriendly. He bought stock in it years ago and is now, of course, regretting it. It's no wonder their stock has tanked...esp. after hearing your story. Lately, I've had excellent customer service from Sprint and Verizon. Horrible w/Comcast (which is why we left).
Thanks for sharing.

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