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it’s the principle

February 6, 2013

“It’s easier to pay Sirius XM than to try to cancel the service. Trust me.”

This from my husband. The same guy who tries to reuse matches because he doesn’t want to waste them. (I’m all for recycling….but matches? Really?)

Anyway, I was annoyed. Of course. Because while $15/month might not seem like a lot, over 12 months that equates to $180. And multiply that by two because I’m paying for my mom’s service as well.

So $360 for patchy broadcasting and even worse customer service? I mean, I love my “90’s on 9,” but not that much.

No great pictures of the past weekend because shortly after this rousing game of "Headbanz"...

No great pictures of the past weekend because shortly after this rousing game of “Hedbandz”…

So on Saturday I decided to cancel my service. Sure I had no idea what my XM subscription number was. This because Sirius refused to communicate with me, with the exception of charging my card at random intervals. But I was determined anyway, mostly because I was going to prove that Ali was wrong.

Here’s how the call went:

  • After just an 8 minute wait I was talking to a real, live person. I knew Ali had been exaggerating!
  • The real, live person apologized for the wait, for the bad service, for not sending me a bill, and for charging me too much.
  • I gloated at Ali. And then asked the representative to cancel my service.
  • She offered me a whole year at 50% off. I declined and asked her to cancel my service again.
  • She offered me a whole year at 75% off. I declined and begged her to cancel my service.
  • She offered me 5 months at $5 per month. I told her she could offer me the service for free and I still wouldn’t want it.
  • She asked me to hold for a second while she processed my cancellation.
  • And then she hung up on me.
Maya started throwing up like it was her job.

…Maya came down with the flu. Ali wanted to give her Tylenol but I ignored him (as usual). Instead I gave her books, the iPad, full reign of the TV, and sparkling water to get her to stop throwing up. And within 24 hours she was over it!

The worst part of this entire scenario wasn’t that I had to call back and start from scratch. And it wasn’t that I had to tell my mom that I also cancelled her service because I was THAT mad.

No, the worst part was that Ali was right. He was right.

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94 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2013 1:31 am

    I am getting the flu too- Tab, books and full control of TV for me too! Who needs medication when you have these three things. Although I would like my mum around too! Lucky Maya!

    • February 6, 2013 7:12 pm

      Tab! Like Tab, Tab Cola, what a beautiful drink?

      That commercial will forever be with me….

  2. February 6, 2013 4:33 am

    I have had one similar experience too – but it was a few years ago and related to cancelling a phone contact after its committed time had expired. I’d like to think that since then such unprofessional behaviour – from those who we trust to provide us with quality service – has improved. In the UK, it’s become part of data protection law to have every call recorded by corporate businesses now matter how big or small they are – and upon customer request that recording of the phone call can be requested if a dispute arises.

    • February 6, 2013 7:13 pm

      Every call? That is really impressive…I can’t imagine the archives?

      • February 7, 2013 6:11 am

        Yes every call, and that is no exaggeration. It’s become part and parcel of call centres. I guess they do rules to suggest that an archive can only be for so many number of years – but thanks to clever compressions methods as enabled storage space to be cheap.

      • February 7, 2013 7:17 am

        “Clever compression methods”…I love it! Ali would be proud.

      • February 7, 2013 7:25 am

        I do have a scientific background – although now I run riot in the Program/Project Management profession – but scientific/IT is in my blood.

  3. February 6, 2013 5:05 am

    This is why I still have a credit card I never use and a tanning package at my gym that I use maybe once every other month. With the tanning thing, they require a letter that is sent certified in the mail. IN THE MAIL. Like… I can’t just walk to the front desk and say “cancel it”. What?

    • February 6, 2013 7:14 pm

      The whole certified letter thing? That’s the reason they make money, right? I’m so annoyed for you.

  4. February 6, 2013 5:32 am

    This made me think of that Friends episode — “I wanna quit the gym!!!!!”
    Glad Miss Maya is feeling better!

    • February 6, 2013 7:14 pm

      I didn’t see that episode but I suddenly really miss “Friends.”

    • February 6, 2013 9:07 pm

      I was thinking of the same episode! And they end up getting a joint account at the bank too. About Sirius, Ameena, we had the same problem and settled for the five months for $5. When we are done, my husband is dead set on cancelling it. Good luck to him!

      • February 7, 2013 7:09 pm

        Good luck to him is right…it’s a vicious circle. They’ll just offer him another 5 months at $5!

  5. seana permalink
    February 6, 2013 6:02 am

    I’m with Ali on this one. My husband lost his credit card last Friday (and tried to blame me for it none the less-I am absolved from being the offender, it was found at his bank, not mine). Needless to say I cancelled it. We were trying to think if anything is automatically charged to it. His Sirius, not mine came to mind. He told me to call Sirius and give them the new card #. I said no. Been there, done that. I refuse to call them. He’s on his own with this one. He thinks I exaggerate. He will soon learn the truth :)

    • February 6, 2013 7:16 pm

      I just read this to Ali and we had a laugh. Not that it’s funny but still, we had to laugh.

      Your poo husband…he certainly will learn the truth soon!

      • seana permalink
        February 12, 2013 1:20 pm

        No poor husband. I am a sucker. He called me from work today and asked if I would take care of Sirius. I don’t work so I was guilted into saying yes Dear. I will wait for their scathing email to say our credit card is invalid and take it from there. Hopefully,I won’t have to call.

      • February 12, 2013 3:41 pm

        Crossing my fingers for you my friend!!

  6. February 6, 2013 6:24 am

    Whenever Vishnu ends up being right, he makes me say it a million times! I HATE IT!!!

    • February 6, 2013 7:16 pm

      Ali recorded me saying it once. He plays it for other people. He thinks it’s hysterical.

  7. February 6, 2013 6:43 am

    Having to deal with any kind of utility account can be such a challenge these days. At least you got through to a real person – seems like every time I call, I can’t ever get past the automated dingy trying to solve my problems.

    Sorry Maya was sick – I’ll have to purchase an iPad for the next time Puke Fest rolls into town. ;)

    Oh, and Chris is right about 99.9% of the time if that makes you feel any better. I’ve come to accept it.

    • February 6, 2013 7:17 pm

      Heather…you just have to keep saying “operator” or “agent” and if you hit “0” enough times someone will eventually come on!

  8. February 6, 2013 7:09 am

    That is the worst! I totally would have just been a sucker and gone for one of the cheaper prices. I’m the reason these people think they can get away with such deplorable behavior. I hate myself right now.

    • February 6, 2013 7:17 pm

      Just the fact that I’d have to call after 5 months to cancel made me rethink the amazing $5 a month deal..I couldn’t do it!

  9. February 6, 2013 7:39 am

    Oh it is so HARD when they’re right! ;-) But yes, I would have had to cancel the service at all costs.

    Once we got ripped off by nearly $1000 on an Internet travel thing and I kept calling and calling ask the people how they could sleep at night and things like that. They finally started hanging up on me too.

    And my husband told me to let it go because vindictiveness is not a pretty sight in me.

    • February 6, 2013 7:20 pm

      “Internet travel thing” sounds very shady. So sorry Jennie…I too am working on my vindictiveness.

  10. February 6, 2013 8:21 am

    lol I exactly know how you are feeling because I just lost my war over a name of an actor. Silly I know but its hard to accept it. I hate when some companies requires you to do recurring payment – and almost always there is some problem with it. I am glad that it was only 8 minutes to talk to a real person. Try Time Warner- you will be lucky to hear from a real person. I m glad Maya is feeling better.

    • February 6, 2013 7:24 pm

      I’ve heard that Time Warner is one of the worst. I am SO lucky not to have had that experience!

  11. Lydia permalink
    February 6, 2013 8:24 am

    Haha.. well at least it’s only this one time he’s right. The rest of the time he is not… :-)
    I’m glad Maya is feeling better now (see.. you’re right again about not giving her Tylenol, per Ali’s suggestion). Winning! :-)

  12. February 6, 2013 9:45 am

    Sirius prefers not to really exist unless the music is coming out of your radio and they are getting your money. I don’t have it but I was with my sister and called for her once and we were on hold forever!!!! It’s easier to pay then to cancel-too funny!! Sorry the husband was right!!

    • February 6, 2013 7:25 pm

      So it’s not just us with the Sirius issues? Makes me feel sad for you but I definitely feel a bit better it’s not just us.

  13. February 6, 2013 10:41 am

    And to think, I was actually considering getting Sirius. Guess I’ll just continue listening to the three songs I have on my iPhone. Oh, and I want to hear more about this Hedbandz game :)

    • February 6, 2013 7:54 pm

      So glad I could save you from Sirius! Definitely invest in Headbandz instead…it’s better (and cheaper!) entertainment.

  14. February 6, 2013 10:44 am

    Well, at least you had your short hold time victory at the beginning, so it’s not a TOTAL loss for you, right? I hope you strutted around your house after this acting like the whole experience was a walk in the park…you know, so as to not give him the satisfaction of being right. ;)

    • February 6, 2013 7:55 pm

      Sad to say that it was basically a total loss. Because when I had to call back? The wait time doubled!

  15. February 6, 2013 10:56 am

    Oh Ameena, I totally know what you mean. When I got a new car, it came with a free 6-month subscription to SiriusXM. So of course, I took up the offer and enjoyed Satellite Radio for the few minutes per day that I was actually in the car. And then, at the end of six months, I tried to cancel.

    And yes, the customer service rep hung up on me several times, too, and I kept calling back because I’m apparently a glutton for punishment. I finally was able to get a hold of someone who was able to cancel my service without hanging up the phone.

    Then next month, I see a charge to my credit card. I’m furious by then and I call them to say that I had canceled on (this date)… and they respond with, “You never canceled your subscription.” Are you serious? I insist that I had canceled (and provided them with the name of the service rep and the cancellation date and confirmation number), and they still claim that they have no record of it.

    Finally, I threatened to sue. That worked!

    • February 6, 2013 7:56 pm

      How do they get away with this? How absurd! I’m so sorry you had to deal with this … you had it 10 X worse than me.

      Next time this happens (hopefully it never will!) remember you contact your credit card company and dispute the charge.

  16. February 6, 2013 11:14 am

    Oh, I laughed out loud at the Hedbandz photo. Dudette got the Disney cartoons version for Christmas and we’ve played it more than I would have dreamed possible. I can’t stand it. :)

    I’m sorry Maya came down with the flu and hope it doesn’t get passed around the family. I’m more sorry that Ali was proven right. Ugh.

    • February 6, 2013 7:57 pm

      Maya has the Disney version, which I have thus far avoided. I’m okay with the grown up version though…it’s actually fun!

  17. February 6, 2013 11:49 am

    Ugh, I hate dealing with customer service. The internet service at my old apartment was awful and anytime you tried to call you were on hold for no less than 20 minutes.

    • February 6, 2013 7:57 pm

      How do they get away with this? Was there no other option for internet in your area?

      • February 7, 2013 6:23 am

        My building had you go through this one service. I’m not entirely sure if you could have gone a different route.

  18. February 6, 2013 11:58 am

    ha! my parents just cancelled theirs and it was off in like 2 days! you guys must be a valued customer over there ;) p.s. feel better maya!

    • February 6, 2013 7:58 pm

      I’d hate to see what an non-valued customer is treated like!!

  19. February 6, 2013 12:20 pm

    Oh that is the worst way possible to spend your time.

    I always know my husband is right about matters, that’s why I married him , to save myself so much time :) I just do what he says and thankfully he’s smart.

    Here’s hoping this coming weekend will be fun!

    • February 6, 2013 8:26 pm

      You are such a good wife…I need some lessons from you.

  20. February 6, 2013 1:03 pm

    I thought I would like the XM in my car more, but not really. But now I am dreading canceling it! I need to go see when my contract is up, thanks for the warning!

    • February 6, 2013 8:27 pm

      I thought I would like it more too but now that I learned how to connect Pandora I am okay without XM.

  21. February 6, 2013 1:31 pm

    I hate customer service like that. And, then when I get angry, they talk to me like I’m irrational. I’m always the one cancelling service too.

    • February 6, 2013 8:28 pm

      I totally get irrational too…I get all worked up and can’t help myself.

  22. February 6, 2013 2:50 pm

    That is terrible. Well, at least it’s cancelled. I see a splurge shopping trip for you and the $360 you saved! Hope Maya is feeling better.

    • February 6, 2013 8:28 pm

      Maya is feeling better…I, on the other hand, am coming down with something. :(

  23. February 6, 2013 4:50 pm

    At least you got it cancelled!
    Hope maya is all well!

    Katie

  24. February 6, 2013 8:33 pm

    Never signed up for Sirius, but my friend loves it only because of Howard Stern. It’s so annoying how these guys just randomly charge you and all of a sudden you are paying higher bills. I’m glad Maya is feeling better… your place looks so clean, love the way you’ve decorated. :-)

    • February 8, 2013 9:44 am

      Thanks Nisha…I just redecorated the living room. Out with the old. :)

  25. February 6, 2013 9:39 pm

    OMG Sirius sounds like such a nightmare- companies like that are so sneaky…rather than improve on the service to retain customers, they just make it more difficult to end it! I tried to cancel a magazine subscription a few months back and because doing it via the company was a pain in the you know where, I just went straight to my bank and cancelled my direct debit with the company.

    • February 8, 2013 9:45 am

      So true! I remember AOL used to be like that and now they have pretty much disappeared. I believe Sirius is following their business model…

  26. February 6, 2013 9:40 pm

    Your post makes me very glad I never signed up even though it was free for three months with my new car. Fortunately my car salesperson warned me they would be annoying trying to sign me up (six months later they still called)!

    • February 8, 2013 9:46 am

      Your salesperson is very wise…wish mine had been as helpful!

  27. February 7, 2013 12:33 am

    Yes, it happens. Companies like that are criminal, seriously. I love the looks of your house. I love the pictures of Maya, and I love that game!!!!! I win at that game!!!!!! Hahahahaha

    Love,

    Shauna xoxoxoxxoxo

    • February 8, 2013 9:47 am

      I’m pretty terrible at Headbandz but it is fun!

      Thanks for the comment and the compliments Shauna!

  28. February 7, 2013 6:21 am

    Sometimes they’re right. I’m glad to know this about Sirius XM. I won’t ever consider it because I hate bad customer service. I already have enough of it in my life. ;-) Have a great day, Ameena!

    • February 8, 2013 9:47 am

      I’m glad I’ve discouraged at least a few people from signing on! This blog has many benefits. :)

  29. February 7, 2013 8:26 am

    I hope Maya is feeling better now.

    I hate it when the customer service reps try to convince me to continue their service. All I keep thinking in my mind-I have taken the trouble to call you to cancel my service not because I have extra time lying around or because I love your haggling skills. Just cancel and let me move on…frustrating!

    • February 8, 2013 9:48 am

      So so true. I do think that certain people (my brother for example) will call and say he’s cancelling but then only does it to get a better deal. It’s all a game, right? Frustrating is right.

  30. February 7, 2013 12:06 pm

    I hate bad customer service! I called our electric company yesterday and asked them to explain why our bill was 6x the normal amount and their response was “its what the meter says, you must pay or we will turn off your electric” — It’s like we have no choice!

    • February 8, 2013 9:48 am

      I guess with electricity there is no choice. At least Sirius XM isn’t imperative, right? Thank God for that.

  31. February 7, 2013 12:57 pm

    Ouch! I know how it hurts when they are right :( I hear you Girl, I do.
    Proud of you for staying away from Tylenol and STILL getting Maya back to health YaY !!

    • February 8, 2013 9:49 am

      Are you anti-medicine as well? So glad that someone doesn’t think I’m crazy in that respect!

      • February 10, 2013 7:34 pm

        Totally! & My husband loves to bring me pills by the handful for any ‘pain’! I promptly return them unless it becomes unbearable. I believe in giving the immune system a fair chance before popping in a bunch of chemicals. Ditto for the kids.

  32. February 7, 2013 3:19 pm

    Honestly, I’ve kept things just because it’s easier than cancelling them. Onstar for example. I think it’s great and all, but I don’t need it. However, I also don’t have the energy to push that little button on my rearview mirror, and ask someone to cancel my service. So I keep it, and my visa gets a little sadder every month.

    • February 8, 2013 9:50 am

      I have no experience with Onstar…is their customer service a nightmare as well? I must say their commercials are pretty well done! And I usually don’t like commercials!

  33. February 8, 2013 11:45 am

    not really.. all companies to that.. and i have had lines getting dropped several times.. and not just for service cancellations.. sometimes they are not hang ups but actual line drops. In fact I once had the guy call me back after the line dropped.. but those are rare cases..

    • February 10, 2013 12:16 pm

      If someone called me back after they “accidentally hung up on me” I’d probably drop dead from shock!

  34. February 8, 2013 1:24 pm

    How about (very radical and not very convenient for YOU, but if you have had enough…) calling your bank and telling them you lost the card? Once you get the new card, they wouldn’t be able to charge the old one. They’ll be calling you then, trying to update the info.

    • February 10, 2013 12:17 pm

      Such a good idea and having Amex interefere would have been my next move…they are usually good about this kind of stuff!

  35. February 8, 2013 2:40 pm

    Oh man, whatever happened to good customer service!

  36. February 9, 2013 2:31 am

    I’m going to try your ‘flu’ technique next time, sounds like a winner!

    • February 10, 2013 12:18 pm

      The iPad, along with 10 drops of grapeseed extract in water 2 X a day, really works miracles. :)

  37. February 10, 2013 3:21 am

    Just reading your story made me turn mad about that subscription provider!!!! But yes, somebody else being right is always the worst part, especially when it’s your partner :P

    • February 10, 2013 12:20 pm

      I hope you never have to experience XM…or being wrong! :)

  38. February 10, 2013 4:12 am

    I feel your pain – in the UK I find almost all call centres are like that. You just cannot get them to do anything that results in a cancelled service – or if you want them to fix something that is their fault! I did enjoy reading some of the comments here though – especially the ones about how annoying it is when husbands get it right! In my household this does not happen very often…

    • February 10, 2013 12:20 pm

      It doesn’t happen often here either…I assure you!

      PS: Wouldn’t care how annoying the call centres in UK are if I could live there!

  39. February 10, 2013 8:32 am

    HE WAS RIGHT! Go Ali. And how annoying about the cancellation mess.

    • February 10, 2013 12:21 pm

      “Go Ali.” He’s thrilled someone is on his side! :)

  40. February 11, 2013 7:51 am

    I tried to cancel AOL after a million years of being charged (I had no idea) and it was nearly impossible to do. I love my coffee house not sure I could cancel my xm. Try that station if you still have it. And tylenol, I now have tylenol guilt. I do give dye-free to my kids.

    • February 13, 2013 9:40 am

      You need me to audit your credit card statements my friend…years of being charged? Insane!!

  41. February 12, 2013 9:20 pm

    This happened to me once with a blog hosting service. And they STILL kept billing me. Eventually I had to have credit card company refuse payment. Such a pain! And, I
    Just hate it when husbands are right. Hate it.

    • February 13, 2013 9:41 am

      I’m glad your credit card could intervene…how annoyed you must have been to resort to that!

  42. February 12, 2013 11:04 pm

    I. am. not. that. patient. May the force be with you….

    and some of my favorite days growing up were sick days with just me and my mom and my only priority HEALING. You two obviously have this great bond.

    • February 13, 2013 9:42 am

      I don’t think Maya has fun being at home, sick…I don’t let her do anything fun!

      Your mom sounds great. :) I should take a lesson…

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