Like the other 19.5 million-plus subscribers to Sirius-XM, I enjoy commercial-free radio and have since 2002 when I purchased my first XM Radio.
The variety of offerings in their lineup and the outstanding audio quality were what hooked me the first time I listened.
Since then, XM and its only competitor Sirius have combined into the monopolistic Sirius-XM Radio.
Along with the good parts of the separate companies came the bad parts of the conglomeration.
To the dismay and consternation of many subscribers of Sirius-XM Radio, the company continues to use two separate customer management systems as well as two separate billing systems.
This in and of itself is not that big of a deal. Many merged corporations maintain multiple and redundant systems, like Home Depot, which until recently maintained three point-of-sale systems.
However, most corporations implement middleware that integrates the multiple systems into a unified system presenting a holistic interface to their customers and their customer service personnel alike.
Unfortunately, Sirius-XM is not one of those corporations, and as a result, any customer with billing issues that cross both systems quickly learns that the customer care call centers are incapable of rectifying their issues.
I have been in the throes of such a dilemma, which has taken over a year to resolve.
Like everyone else, I had been calling the customer care numbers seeking relief, only to find myself placed on hold repeatedly and transferred from agent to agent while attempting to explain my particular billing issue to call center agents who didn't possess the ability to research the issues across the separated systems, a pertinent fact not shared with customers during the calls.
In my case, my first account was with XM Radio, where I never experienced a problem of any type, billing or otherwise.
After the merger which created Sirius-XM, I continued to enjoy a trouble-free experience until I purchased a new car with a built-in Sirius-enabled radio.
I called the customer care number to activate the new radio and deactivate the older XM add-on radio. All appeared to go smoothly during the call, but little did I know the trouble I had purchased for myself.