Now that we’ve got the obligatory Brokeback Mountain references out of the way we can get down to business. I’ll start off by saying that I’ve got NO PROBLEM with XM Radio’s service. In fact I love it. I’m getting rid of it for no reason other than I no longer listen to it. Let me explain.
About a year or so ago, I bought a Nissan Pathfinder that came equipped from the factory with XM Radio. I was in Heaven. I was previously a Sirius subscriber so I canceled that and activated my XM subscription after my initial trial period ended. So life was great for about 9 months or so until gas prices went through the roof. My wife drives an Audi A4 Turbo that gets about 25 miles to the gallon and the truck was getting aroud 16 or so. I had weeks where I was putting over $100 a week into the gas tank and something had to change. So… I gave her the truck and I starting driving the Audi. Incidentally as of this writing, I’m still driving the Audi even though gas prices have come back down. Turns out that it makes much more sense to have two car seats in the SUV rather than the much smaller sedan. Who knew?!?!
So of course the Audi has no XM in it and I’m a big iPod guy anyhow so I just started listening to podcasts on the way to and from work. If you’ve got children (or have ever been around one for more than 12 seconds) you know that the only thing you’re listening to when they’re in the car is THEM. So I’m not listening to XM cause I don’t have it in my vehicle and she’s not listening to XM cause she’s listening to the boys. It took me about 4 months to figure it out but it’s time to cancel.
Being an IT geek, the first thing I do is head to the XM website (http://www.xmradio.com/) and see if I can just take care of it there: no dice. I went through just about every page of the site including the “My Account” section and the best I could find was a sentence that told me to call customer service (800-967-2346) to cancel. Yesterday afternoon during my lunch hour (which I happened to be eating at my desk) I decided to make the call. After being on hold for 14 minutes and 54 seconds I was finally connected to a human being. I know how long it was because she asked me if I’d been holding long and I looked at the display on my phone and told her hold long I’d been waiting. I of course had to go through the prerequisite “why are you canceling” questions as well as the “I can give you 3 months for free” offers. I continued to say “no, I’d like to cancel” and I think I finally got through to her that it was nothing against her personally but that I was no longer interested in the service.
I had my account pre-paid by the quarter. Of course I can’t get a credit for this amount so I’ve got to wait until April 15th, 2009 for my service to be turned off. I’ve been assured on multiple occasions that there would be “no further billing activity” past this date. I wait with a somewhat less than enthusiastic outlook but time will tell. I figured I’d be smart and go into the XM site and clear out my credit card information to ensure “no further billing activity”. No luck there either. The site just gives a message that you HAVE to have a credit card on file and it won’t accept a fake number.
So, until April 15th stay tuned. I’m hoping that this is the last of this but you can be sure that I’ll let you know if it’s not.