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.
Every quarterly billing cycle since the activation of the new radio, the original costs I was quoted and had agreed to doubled, and it was being debited from my bank card.
This billing cycle I was again double-billed and spent several hours on the phone with the customer care centers going through the same song and dance, with the same results: nothing resolved.
I dug into the Sirius-XM site and located the names of the Board of Directors as well as the names and email addresses of their media relations personnel.
I applied the email address formatting to the names of the Board of Directors and composed a pointed missive to this audience as well as to the Attorneys General of Florida and New York.
Though I never received an email back from anyone I had addressed, I did receive one from the Sirius-XM Corporate Customer Relations Department that day, asking me to call them at the telephone number they provided in the email.
The two ladies I spoke with in this department are the most helpful, courteous, and effective representatives of Sirius-XM one could ask for.
These ladies had access to both systems and quickly identified the source of the problem and immediately took steps to rectify it and issue the appropriate refunds covering the entire over-billing period of the last year. The Corporate Customer Relations personnel I spoke with can be reached at 1-888-635-5142 (Select Option 3) and at Relationssxmcrt@siriusxm.com.
Both ladies I spoke with are helpful and professional, characteristics I would not ascribe to those I spoke with at the customer care call centers.
The moral of the story is, don’t give up. Instead, climb higher up the chain until you reach the people who can and will address the issues you’ve been experiencing; and don’t be afraid to give the chain an attention-grabbing yank if you need to.