Top critical review
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Amazon gets an A - SiriusXM gets an F
on September 14, 2012
I bought my first Sirius Radio back in 2003 on a lifetime subscription. That was when you made one payment and counted the number of months it would take to break even in the event Sirius didn't make it. Which was at that time questionable. Sirius says you can transfer a subscription up to three times to a different/newer radio for a transfer fee of $75 each time. I've been a subscriber with two radios - one for 9 years the other for 7 years. All was well until......
I purchased a Starmate 8 from Amazon, without issue, and it arrived as promised. It took me a couple of hours to uninstall my old unit from my truck and install the new one. The activation of the new radio, required hours on the phone with Sirius' call center in India. I was disconnected twice and killed the battery on one phone trying to get the transfer done. It was the same each time I called; "I need to transfer you to a specialist", "I need to check other resources", "where did you buy the radio", etc.. Very cheery but not helpful. The radio was finally activated and I was told the transfer fee would be on my credit card. A week later the new radio died.
Back to speaking for hours (literally) and was told my radio was defective and would need to be replaced and I could buy one from them and they could make a better deal, never mind Amazon.
Amazon performed beautifully. On a Saturday they sent a new radio at no cost that got to me on Monday. Plus a PP return label for the broken one. I have nothing but praise for the service reps at amazon. And the whole transaction took maybe 5 minutes.
Back to hours on the phone with Sirius to activate the new one. That would require another $75 transfer fee since it was "technically" a new radio. Never mind the defective one. Because it wasn't purchased through them. Didn't matter that it was factory built brand new in a factory sealed box. I once again struggled with Sirius on the activation and now fees. They waived an additional $15 fee. For unknown reasons the first radio was activated in "trial" status. Which was good news because the $75 transfer fee was never made (their mistake - my luck). The last thing I was told was that the second radio was activated and that a $75 transfer fee had been completed. And all was good.
I called Amazon's customer service and told them my story. They were sympathetic and very helpful. What a contrast to Sirius. Listening to my story I was given the option to return the second radio for a refund or keep the radio. I decided to wait a day or two to decide whether to cancel both subscriptions and move on. Or leave it the way it was. Again - maybe 5 minutes of conversation.
Two days later the radio was deactivated for unknown reasons. Back to the hours long phone call(s) that included a dropped call and one "bad number" call (they gave me the number). Sirius couldn't tell me why my radio was deactivated. They couldn't tell me why I now have a new $350 bill due in a week and a half but agreed with me that the account on my other radio was prepaid for another year and that only $75 was due for the transfer fee. But that they couldn't activate the radio because they were experiencing system wide computer issues. The service rep was apologetic but asked me to call back tomorrow and start the process over again. I told the rep that I was not authorizing a credit card transaction of $350 and hope I don't have to fight that. But there was nothing she could do because of the computer problems.
I like the music streams that Sirius has but it's time for me to rethink satellite radio. Oh yeah, there aren't any other providers since Sirius purchased XM.
Love Amazon and their service policy. Not so much with SiriusXM. If you buy a satellite radio you better pray you don't have a problem and have to call them. And if you're not a believer in prayer.....I wish you good luck.
AFTERWORD - Waited til the next day. Again, I attempted to activate the radio with Sirius and again it would not activate. They elevated the status to "executive" and that someone "would call me in three to five days". After all of that I found that what they were really good at was canceling subscriptions. It took less than five minutes. I am supposed to receive a credit for what was left on my other radio. And not charged with a transfer fee. We'll see.