Cancelling Sirius Account: Easy, Stopping Sirius False Billings: Hard

John Christophy purchased a new VW in 2008 which – like most new cars – came with a three month free subscription to Sirius.

John, who lives in Eastern Connecticut, liked listening to the satellite radio so when the three months ended, he signed up for a year and paid in advance.

He then ended his subscription, but not as far as Sirius was concerned.

John is one of thousands of XM-Sirius (now jointly owned) customers who have fallen victim to customer service which many kindly call sloppy, others call fraudulent.

The Better Business Bureau – which still gives the New York City-based company an A+ rating – says it has received 7,685 complaints against the company in the past three years.

From Sept. 20 through the 27th, the BBB received 48 complaints against XM-Sirius.

“Complaints filed with the BBB allege that this firm has overcharged consumer’s accounts and incorrectly billed consumers for various services. Consumers report having difficulty resolving these problems with customer service,” the BBB said on its site.

I wonder what the company has to do to receive an F rating.

The Connecticut Attorney General’s office has received 109 complaints in the past year, of which it says about 40 percent have been resolved.

“The Office of the Attorney General continues to participate in a multistate investigation into Sirius XM’s business practices.  The investigation remains active and ongoing,” Attorney General spokeswoman Susan Kinsman said Friday.

Connecticut, Arizona, Ohio, Tennessee, Vermont and the District of Columbia launched their joint investigation in 2010.

The disclosure of the investigation was made by XM-Sirius in financial filings which said that the investigation was focusing on “certain of our consumer practices. The investigation focuses on our practices relating to the cancellation of subscriptions; automatic renewal of subscriptions; charging, billing, collecting, and refunding or crediting of payments from consumers; and soliciting customers.”

The company also disclosed then that a “separate investigation into our consumer-related practices is being conducted by the Attorney General of the State of Florida. In addition, in September 2010, the Attorney General of the State of Missouri commenced an action against us regarding our telemarketing practices to residents of the State of Missouri.”

Christophy complained to me that he recently started receiving telephone calls from the company informing him that his subscription is still active and he must pay his $186 tab.

“I never authorized them to re-activate the radio,” he wrote me. “They do not have a valid card number for me. I want to have them stop calling me and cancel the activation that I never authorized. I do not think that I should have to argue about this with them with their customer service staff.

I contacted Patrick Reilly, Senior Vice President, Communications SiriusXM, who in the past had corrected all the issues of customers I had sent him, and he asked his customer service department to look into the complaint.

Within 24 hours Christophy received a phone call from the company, agreeing that it had made an error.

Christophy’s account was cleared and he was offered either $25 for a half year service or one year at half price.

Reilly declined to comment on the complaints against his company, but said he would have any complaint I received investigated.

“We attempt to comply with all federal and state consumer laws, including laws applicable to billing continuous subscriptions. Subscribers are the lifeblood of our business.  We also make considerable efforts to address complaints and concerns of our subscribers,” he had said previously on other consumer complaint issues.

If you are being improperly charged by XM or Sirius let me know and we will take Reilly up on his commitment to handle consumer complaints.

Similar Posts:


32 Comments on "Cancelling Sirius Account: Easy, Stopping Sirius False Billings: Hard"

  1. I never had a problem , I have cancelled and I continued the service when I wanted it .

    • I am very unhappy with them trying to extend my service when I signed up for 6 months “ONLY”—-They let it run over the time and billed me $6.87…Not really any amount to get upset about, but it was bullshit…I sais SIX MONTHS—Not any more…What a farce…I now have it rectified,but never ever again will I subscribe to their service..

    • I just got through a very frustrating call with Sirius. I had called (as required) to tell them not to continue my service when it expires and, instead, they put me on automatic renewal and I started getting monthly bills! They noted the date I had called to cancel but, instead of their records saying I wanted to cancel, they said I wanted to continue the service! What terrible customer service!

  2. You are obviously in the minority, sir!

  3. Thank you for your site. I sent this to my friend and he said he had trouble with Sirius months ago with double billing and credit for the bill he paid. He said they would not let him close his account and kept offering him services of some sort. I believe he straighten this out but he said it real pain. You provide needed news on frauds and dishonest businesses. Thanks again.

  4. Reading your column in the Sunday, New Haven Register, made my day and gave me some hope for problem that has nagged me, apparently, like so many others.
    I enrolled for a prepaid three year subscription to XM radio. Near the end of the subscription I was solicited to renew. I declined, letting the company know I did not find the cost worth the value for our family. I took the radio and put it away and thought that was the end of it. I was not too worried about XM charging my credit card because it had expired during the period covered by the prepaid contract. That was my error, not checking closely to see how Amex processed the charge to a replacement card.

    My parents, added XM when they purchased their car and were satisfied subscribers. This gave me a thought when I was stymied for a gift for them. I contacted XM and to inquire about buying them an extension. They informed me I still had time on my contract. I said there must be some mistake because my contract had expired and I chose not to renew. I followed up with XM and American Express until both wore me down.
    If you can help me to right this wrong I would be willing to go thru whatever steps you suggest. I was equally appalled that AMEX would process a payment I had not authorized. They were not willing to investigate because the time was greater than 6 months.
    XM might have a product whose sounds are satisfying, however their business practice in my case was sneaky and underhanded. I asked why I never received a receipt for this unauthorized charge and they would not acknowledge why I did not receive one.

    Thank you for any help you may be.

  5. The Better Business Bureau will give anyone an A+ rating as long as they pay a nice fee. This has been shown to be how they operate throughout the country & has been revealed in numerous investigative news reports. The only way a business receives an F rating is not pay the fee.

  6. I cancelled my credit card that was on file with XM and have been paying online. For throats 3 years I have paid the bill in full as printed by XM. Then I get notices of his urgent I need to contact XM because I have not paid and they can not access my card. Everyone I talk to is outside if the US. I point out that this extortion practice is unacceptable in the US and that these extra fees should of been included in the bill which is paid in full. After a lot of screaming on my part and my demands to speak to someone in the US (which they refuse to do), they come back with we will wave it this time (it has been 3 years running). I won’t renew again after reading other complaints, XM is not worth the bs.

  7. I have a free trial that is coming to an end soon and i would like to keep the service of course without giving them any of my personal info i would send in a payment via money order once a month, my question is after reading all of this should i just let the service go and use my slacker radio on my blackberry cause it really sounds to me that not one customer has had a good experience with this business please reply.

  8. Sirius should take care of this issue. I ran a search on the complaints they are getting via google and a lot has come up: most of them are about billing! Fraud is really prevalent and to think that the contact center for this is located onshore is just surprising.

  9. With XM radio obsorbed by Sirius there is now no satellite radio competition so Sirius pretty much runs their show the way they want. How they get with all these anti-trust issues is beyound me. With all the complaints and nothing being done I suppose they have somone important in their pockets to keep the Feds off their back (so what’s new). DO NOT give Sirius your credit card for billing. I subscribed by credit card for 1 year. In that time my credit card was replaced with a new card due to possible compromised card number# issues. Because you MUST sign up for auto renewal if you are using a credit card you will automatically be charged at the end of your contract period for the next year even if you don’t want service. In my case because my credit card was not current, and expired on their records, they could not charge me for the next year. I got an email reminding me it was time to renew. I did not want to renew so I set the email aside. Received more emails and finially called (spent 30 min on phone being sent around 3 people trying to talk me into renewing with all those freebies (6 mos free if I signed up for another year…problem is they’d have my credit card number again, so I said no. Then I was told I owed $8.63 because they supplied service for about 2 weeks beyond my contract period even though they couldn’t bill me, I’d have to pay for that service. I knew a company like this would ruin my credit or send me to collections if I didn’t pay so I agreed Not wanting to give them my credit card number ever again, I requested a paper bill for $8.63, received the bill post dated to the expiration date of my previous contract. So I just received a bill for 2 weeks service over my contract period and I was already late with my payment! Not wanting my credit to show a late payment, I called again to request another bill that will get to me before the due date. After all that I guess they figured it wasn’t worth the $8.63 and “adjusted” my account with no money due. How nice of them! I suspect my credit report will still show a late payment. Be careful with these people,they have a VERY explicit, detailed contract so READ IT! If you don’t follow the contract..they got you and won’t let you off with one day’s service that isn’t paid for even though they choose to not cut off your service when your contract expires, sending you to collections or ruining your credit over their unethical billing practices. I’ll dust off my 6 transistor radio with the 9 volt battery to listen to in my car before I give them one more penny of my money ever again! It’s only a matter of time before there will be a class action lawsuit forcing them to change the way they do business. Until then I leave you with one thought…”BUYER BEWARE!”

  10. I experienced the same “shifty” practices by SiriusXM. I contacted their company in September 2012 to cancel my subscription and the pushy CSR that I spoke to indicated I was eligible for an extra 2 months, free of charge. Again, I indicated I was not interested, however, they continued the service for free..Supposedly. I recieved a paper bill showing I owed over $38 for a service that I did not authorize. I contacted again, yesterday, and had to hold for over 30 minutes before being connected to a CSR. She explained to me that even though I had called to cancel in September, since I was recieving a “trial period” it was up to me to call to cancel. What? This does not even make sense. She agreed to waive my back balance but only after she offered me 6 free months. Not interested. I don’t understand how they continue to be in business. Also, their website is confusing and of course, you cannot cancel your subscription via online! I would agree with the other person who indicated, “buyer beware!”

  11. This has been an on going problem for me ever since the merger between Sirius and XM. Iv’e been billed for the use of equipment that hasn’t been active for years.The CSR’s are told to throw you a bone by giving you an extra couple of months hear and some free equipment there. I finally got feed up enough that i cancelled the service all together.
    Today,6 months after dropping service, to my suprise there is $186.12 missing from my bank account.
    I guess i’ll be on the phone getting passed around from Rep to Rep tonight.
    Thanks Sirius!! Just what i wanted to do with my evening.

  12. barbara felgate | February 6, 2013 at 5:52 pm |

    I have the radio service and I love it. I was recently contacted because I owed them a small amount of money. I disputed this and read to her the agreement which was less than the amount she quoted me. She said that they would forgive the amount. Apparently they can not own to their errors as I offered to email them a copy of the agreement. I also pointed out to them that the offer of $4.99 a month is not $24.99 for five months but rather $24.95. She did not want to hear it.

  13. Tomas toughman | March 23, 2013 at 4:40 pm |

    Service came with my car for one yr. Second yr I paid by check after reading so many horror stories. It then got weird I canceled my script got a bill for 30.48.
    I called to complain it was done after my January due date. They told me I just moved it to invoice not a cancellation. My new bill is 35.68. I told them politely- ok not that politely- that I’m not paying anything , period. Was sent to cancel script dept. They told me to pay the 35– and its canceled. I told her very curtly NO. Cancel it and its over , period. I’m not paying a nickel. I never authorized it and I called to cancel it. She said can you pay half….I said NO- not half not a quarter not a eighth not a plug nickel. She then canceled it and left the radio on until April. – A week or so longer. If I get another bill I will have my attorney print them a nice letter and i’ll contact my local representative. They are crooked , period plus the service sucks in my area always going off and on.

  14. My debit card expired so I received a bill – got online paid it – got another NASTY letter that it was past due. All this time I thought I had ONE account, with two radio’s receiving a discount on the 2nd radio. I just found out, we have been paying on two individual radios – no discount – and billed two different times. My fault for not noticing it was coming out of my account more often than it should. We were on the phone with their lousy customer service, even talking with a supervisor for 49 minutes. I asked for her manager and she told me she could not tell me that. But they would combine the radio’s and give me 30% off the 2nd radio. I told her they owed me money for the last 2 1/2 years that I’ve paid full price for two radios. She told me to produce it in writing-really? It’s all done over the phone – I have nothing in writing. I kept telling her they owed me money! It was a nightmare and they need to be stopped!

  15. Daniel Gottlieb | November 5, 2013 at 4:34 pm |

    How can I get on your list of complaints to be resolved!??!?!

  16. I ran into a similar problem. I had a radio die last August 2013, so I bought a new one, canceled the old non-working radio, and paid an annual subscription for the new radio.

    But they kept charging every month for the dead/canceled radio. It has taken 6 months so far, and I still haven’t gotten them to stop charging me despite having the confirmation # for the canceled service.

    I’m not sure what to do. I already contacted the BBB, but all they do is send automated responses. They don’t seem to actually follow up on any complaints. Next step I suppose is the State Attorneys General of NY.

  17. Alison Caffey | April 5, 2014 at 2:53 pm |

    I also received a free 6 month subscription with my new vehicle. I enjoyed the satellite and did an annual renewal for about 3 years. Even gave a relative an annual renewal for Christmas when her subscription ended. Due to the fact that every year the cost of my subscription increased, it finally was out of my price range. I received my renewal information and three weeks prior to my auto renewal, I called the “Customer listener care” # as explained in the terms, to cancel. The agent was trained to make many offers and being the nice person I am I listened, but thought I made myself clear that I did not want to renew or take advantage of any promotions she was offering. Done deal, right? Imagine my surprise when Sirius hit my bank account for the subscription amount when I really could not afford it. Spending over an hour on the phone, being passed from this agent to another supervisor, I was told it would take 7-10 days to put the money back into my account. And the topper is once you give them a debit card, even it you’ve had another issued, they will still draft the account attached to that card. At this point my financial institution has provisionally returned the funds pending investigation. I have filed complaints with my state’s AG and the FTC. After reading these other comments, I may be in for a long battle for a service I no longer want. They have lost me forever! I will not be back. Is there no Class Action lawsuit against Sirius’ shady practices?

  18. Same story as about.. New Car.. Free Service.. offered 5 months for $20.00 bucks said ok….they keep calling wanting me to renew. I said no. They turned off the radio. Since then hit my debit card 3 times (without me noticing (my bad) for over $200.00… After the radio was turned off it was turned back on without my permission.. and I never even new it..Horrible company to deal with.. I called to complains the the woman was reading for a script.. all the other plans they have to offer.. they don’t listen.. I DON’T WANT YOUR SERVICE ANY LONGER…..True scum these people are.. low lifes.

  19. I was contacted by a Rep because my credit card number had changed and I owed them $10. My radio was turned off a week prior and I did not want to renew. I spoke to a ridiculous Indian woman that was very pushy but I paid them the $10 and was under the impression that everything was fine at this point. My radio never came back on or anything. I look at my credit card statement one day, and realize that I was getting billed for the past 8 months. I call and am told that it is my fault for not updating my radio. That the service is provided but I was not using it. I say I think not I want to speak to a manager. I am on hold for one hour and never get anyone.

  20. Julee Cormier | July 12, 2015 at 6:51 pm |

    they cancelled my subscription because they had it mixed up with someone else’s but I had no clue of this because my radio was still working. After calling to make sure my husband’s account was off since he bought a new truck and I find out about my own account. So the lady said she would wave the deactivation fee to have it turned back on. I told her it never went off, never mind I’ve decided not to keep it. Thought that was the end of it until 2 days later when they finally stopped the service but now all it does is keep saying acquiring signal and I can’t even use my FM or CD player because after exactly 10 seconds it just switches back to the satellite and even turning the whole unit off doesn’t work either it comes back on in 10 seconds! I called them and they said it’s an issue for the dealer. Well I don’t think so! I think they screwed something up when deactivating my service! I’m so sick with this!

  21. Cheryl A. Weishaupt | March 14, 2016 at 11:38 am |

    Unauthorized charge of $51.22 by Sirius Radio on my Visa account. I have been holding on the line for their customer service now for 16 minutes…. I want to tell them I don’t want Sirius Radio anymore!

  22. I’ve had service for 4 years. Called to cancel because I don’t use it anymore and want to save the money. You cannot cancel from the website. You have to call them. They offered me 3 different incentives to stay, which I declined. Then they put me on hold for 3 minutes. Came back and said they are almost done with the cancellation. Then put me on hold for another 5 minutes. I suspect I will get a cancellation and not get billing errors but they sure make it a hassle to cancel. Total 21 minutes on the call.

  23. Pamela Houston | June 5, 2016 at 7:37 pm |

    I recently had a serious medical condition which caused me to tighten my finances to better afford my rising medical costs. Needless to say XM radio did not make the cut. I spoke with two different representatives that called me trying to renew my service and explained both that I no longer wanted the service. Both claimed they would note the account but only the second voiced that she would not cancel the service and that I had to call another number to do so. I explained my concern and asked that she transfer the call and/or submit the cancellation. Annoyingly she was not able to do either but gave me a number to call to cancel myself. I called the number only to be placed on hold and eventually hung up without speaking to a person.
    Prior to this experience I was the biggest XM fan. I have renewed service more than once and on multiple vehicles. Today I am pondering on whether to ever consider being their customer again. By the way, as of this complaint, I have still not been able to cancel.

  24. No Name Given | June 24, 2016 at 9:00 pm |

    we had the same problem I was over charged – they put me on hold, they want me to pay the bill, they see a balance. they kept hanging up on me when I would say BBB or that I wanted to cancel. Eventually one lady stayed on the line told me I owed $108 dollars for the service but I could cancel for the days I had listened to the radio – I would add I didn’t even know we still had the service on our car any more. Turned out what I now owed was $1.79 for one days service. We will see if they charge more or keep trying to repeat the renewal. I will tell you the women in the Philippines are highly trained in how to answer these tricky calls and how to avoid direct answers. Talk about SLEEZE

  25. mark englebrecht | September 28, 2016 at 7:10 pm |

    got a charge of $102.15, called and was told it was for 1 month told them to cancel, but was transferred to 5 different people, who kept trying to offer discounts to stay I told all of them I cancel this account, they just kept trying line after line to keep me I told them I would call my Bank Bank of America to cancel. Bank gave Sirius the amount after Sirius lied and said I never cancelled.Never do business with these crooks!

  26. Edward Morgan | October 4, 2016 at 10:57 am |

    I call Sirusxm this morning to cancel my subscription and the person on the phone refused to cancel the service. I am ready to file a class action lawsuit. THIS IS OUTRAGEOUS.

  27. Troy Knight | October 26, 2016 at 5:54 am |

    On 10-19-2016 Sirius xm charged my new debit card $233.87 I did not give them my new debit card number I would like to know how they got my card number I need a lawyer please I am unable to pay my bills coming at end of the month I have tried to cancel they keep charging me I get new card with new card number and now they hack my card number and charge me please help I’m getting raped by them I am gone to my bank as soon as they open to see if they can find out how they got my card number without me giving it to them I am going to the police to file charges for theft right after I leave my bank I need a lawyer to help me with suing them they hurt me bad and they need to be punished for wear and tear on my vehicle gas used time lost for having to drive to bank and police and simply having to starve myself in hopes I can pay my bills this month My phone number is 713-721-2829 name is Troy

    • Sonny Burnett | November 30, 2016 at 10:43 am |

      Get a job and you’ll be able to pay your bills like an adult, Snowflake. I’m sure you have the latest and greatest phone though, don’t ya?!?

  28. S. A.. LEWIS | October 26, 2016 at 4:38 pm |

    OMG I’m glad I am not alone. I found this site looking for answers. SirusXM needs to stop these billing practices. I called and backed up my cancellation back on 8-17-16 with an email. It is now October 26, 2016 and in the last two weeks I received (8) eight emails demanding payment for service. WTH? No use to mean NO, you know! If someone has a email address for ANY of the CEOs and the like, please provide it. I would not have any issues forwarding to them my replies.

Comments are closed.