Well, the day has come. For months on end I’ve been heralding how great Sirius XM satellite radio is and how I’ve never had a problem with them. I’ve been a happy subscriber for a few years now and I love it – from the Howard Stern channels to the news stations to the commercial-free music, Sirius XM is the best, period.
And I’ve never had a problem with them, until this past weekend…here’s the story.
As a subscriber, I’m on their e-mail list – which I like because it lets me know what’s going on in the company (I also like this from a shareholder’s point of view, as I own a few thousand shares of Sirius XM). Generally, I get these e-mails and delete them after giving them a brief scan. However, over the past weekend an e-mail came in that had the following image in it:
I took a look at this image and thought to myself, “I have a few bucks laying around, why not get a newer version of the Sportster?” My current model is the Sportster Replay, which is so old that it is no longer in production. Plus, the Replay wasn’t made with the new “universal docking” ability so I can’t buy an at-home radio or at-home kit to play my radio in the house (which is unnecessary anyway, since I have Sirius XM internet radio).
Anyway, I click on the link and go through the process of ordering on Sirius XM‘s website. It was actually an easy process…until I wound up at the payment information. Now, before I go into this part of the process, let’s remember that even though I’m a huge cheerleader for Sirius XM, I’m aware of the fact that they have a problem with revenue and that they need to raise money anyway possible (which is likely why this e-mail was sent in the first place).
I entered my credit card information on the website and I received an error message. The internet said that something was wrong with the information that I entered, so I looked over my credit card information and it was perfect. Hmmm… Time to get on the phone.
There was a surprisingly short wait time before I spoke with a gentleman whose accent made his “assistance” almost useless. However, to his great credit (and to my great desire to buy an upgraded radio), he and I worked with each other somewhat well. I told him my problem…and he immediately went to the script. I could write an entire “Unnecessary Complications” entry (or a series of entries) about how I HATE when the telephone service representatives jump right to the script, but I digress.
The gentleman took my credit card information from me over the phone and tried to process the purchase – he received the same error message. At this point, he said it would be best to try all over again and delete the two previous attempts at purchasing the radio. I agreed – seems logical, right? As the guy is going through the steps of ordering the radio he keeps saying, “Yeah!” and “Okay!” and each time he says this I say, “Okay, did the purchase go through?” And he kept saying, “No.” Seemed a little weird to me that he would be so damn happy on the phone with his exclamations when a frustrated customer is on the line…
We get to the point where I have to give him my credit card information again, which I did. He gets the same error message and says, “Well, I don’t know what the problem is, sir.” At this point I felt like saying to him, “You don’t know what the problem is?! It’s your job to know what the problem is! And if it’s not your job then it’s the job of your superior so put his ass on the phone, damn it!” However, I understand that he’s just a worker bee and that he shouldn’t be verbally destroyed for the sins of his organization. I ask what I should do and he says that I should try the request again tomorrow and maybe use a different card. Fine – it’s an annoying way to end my call, but whatever. Before I hang up, the guy tells me that he’s deleting all of the purchase requests, which I appreciated.
The next morning I wake up and I go through the process of trying to order again. The internet asks me for my credit card information so I try to use a different one. The same error message comes up. I look at my phone and I hear a voice in my head say, “No, damn it!” Instead of making the phone call, I clicked around my online account and found out that while the gentleman on the phone suggested that he deleted my previous attempts at purchasing this radio, all of the purchase attempts were still listed on my account.
At that point, defeated by an inept customer relations department at Sirius XM, I gave up my attempt to buy a new radio. Hey, Sirius XM, listen up! A long-time customer who is currently on a long-time subscription and who is also a shareholder just tried to give you money for a new radio! And your inept website and unhelpful customer relations department failed! I tried to give you money – you NEED money – and you failed!
It’s a good thing that I love the content that Sirius XM provides or I’d cancel in a heartbeat. However, other than the obvious links on this blog, I may not be heralding how great of a radio service this to people that I talk to in my daily life any more. It’s a shame, but I believe that inept service providers have to pay some type of price and Sirius XM is losing my word of mouth advertising from this mess. Way to go.