I have been a subscriber of your service since the end of 2002. Despite occasional cost increases, I've remained a loyal customer because I have enjoyed having uninterrupted access to music and entertainment while traveling and while at work. (Speaking of occasional cost increases, I have to say it's rather disappointing to have certain friends advise me that they have been paying less for SiriusXM than I have.)
A few weeks ago, my debit card had expired. It just so happens it is (was) the same card on file with your offices for automatic billing purposes. I was in no hurry to update the card information, because I have been on the fence about canceling your service. It didn't take long for phone calls to start coming in from your representatives requesting my updated card information. More than once, I advised them that I would not be providing my card information because I was considering canceling. On one occasion, the call disconnected -- not on my end, because I checked with my mobile phone service carrier. On another, the rep stated, more or less, "OK, we will call back at another time" and ended the call.
Friendly Tip -- If a customer has indicated they are thinking about leaving, try to make sure they don't, and give them a reason to stay.
Well, just a few moments ago, I took another call from one of your contracted call centers. (Let's be honest -- they are outsourced, aren't they? I have no issue with you doing that. Many other corporations do the same thing, but the language barriers, communication gaps, and overall poor call quality provided by whomever you chose are a bad reflection on your company.) Again, I had advised of my position -- I won't be providing updated card information because I'm thinking about canceling. (Actually, since my satellite radio is now on a preview channel, I guess I have canceled it, in a sense.)
I ended up getting transferred to your Cancellation Department (Hey - at last, progress!) where "Rachel" had taken my call. Believe it or not, I was actually somewhat optimistic at this point that I would be given a reason to remain a customer of yours. Those hopes were quickly dashed when an early part of the conversation went like this:
"Can you spell your first and last name for me, please?"
"Sure, first name C-H-R-I-S, last name P-U-T-T."
"Thank you, and may I have your name so I know how to address you?"
Anyway, I explained to "Rachel" that I had advised the previous rep that I had been thinking about canceling. "Rachel" then asked me to bear with her as she reviewed my account. Somewhere between 3-5 minutes later, she returned on the line and indicated that my account had a balance of $2,000.19!!!
You have to be freaking kidding me.
Let's think about this for a moment: If your offices had my debit card on file up until a few weeks ago, and payments were being processed automatically, then how could I have run up that kind of balance? And why in the world would you let someone with a $2,000 balance have an active subscription up until this past Saturday? Is it even possible for a single-user subscriber to rack up $2,000 in charges?!? I'm sure I don't need to expound how angry I was at hearing this.
So how was this resolved? I was placed on hold for approximately 8 minutes (By the way, the entire length of the phone call -- 21 minutes, 13 seconds -- it's a good thing I have unlimited calling!) and was advised by "Rachel" that there appeared to be an issue, which could be the result of their system receiving an upgrade/update/something or other, and that I would receive a call back in 7-10 business days.
At first, I thought the ghost of Mel Karmazin was behind all of this, but it occurred to me that he's not dead.
There is no polite term to describe this experience. Horrible. Unprofessional, Frustrating. Unacceptable. "Incompetence" doesn't sound right in this sequence, but it is appropriate.
The most obvious takeaway of this rant is -- Your Customer Service Is Horrible. But the one that's more important, and should really be taken to heart, is... I've Wanted To Remain A Customer Of Yours. That's what's most unfortunate. I began using your service at the end of 2002 and all I wanted in return was to be rewarded for my loyalty and given a reason to stay.
But you failed, and failed miserably.
When this bogus $2,000 issue is resolved in the next 7-10 business days (and it better, or bad P.R. for you will only be the beginning), I can't imagine any scenario where I'll be enjoying stations like SiriusXM Hair Nation, Ozzy's Boneyard, and SiriusXM 1st Wave anymore, because I'll have canceled you for good.