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me and XM

if you read my previous entry, then you might have realized that lately I've been up to the neck in consumer frustration. Some of it was still milling around, unfortunately for the next person, in this case XM Radio customer service. Note* don't read this entry if you dislike tales of consumer strife.

As part of the ongoing saga of new vehicle ownership, I had to transfer my XM subscription from my old vehicle to the new one. So two things to know: Firstly, I really like XM radio. Secondly, I am never rude to customer service no matter how shitty they treat me because I am an adult. If I am angry, I'm going to try to express it in a mature manner.

Now, on to the story. The background to the story is that I sold my old car which had integrated XM radio and accidentally bought a new vehicle which did not have integrated XM radio (please see the previous entry if you like more info). While pending resolution of that issue, I decided to remove service on my old radio because I wasn't going to pay for someone else to listen to XM. When I called XM, I spoke to a nice rep who told me that I would have to cancel my account since I had no radio or buy a new radio, and wasn't I lucky that they were having a sale and I could buy a radio for just $19.99! I told her I'd think about it and meanwhile, please cancel my account since I wasn't allowed to freeze it. She immediately connected me to the account cancellation/retention department who offered to send me a radio for free if I just please please please did not cancel my account. So I said ok fine, send me one.. worst case, I'll actually use it.

Now, as of today, I got an integrated XM radio installed in my vehicle. Yay! So I called XM to activate it on my account. At which point I was connected to Fred (note* this is his "real" name. and I mean real like Dolly Parton's hoo-hoos). Fred was the most robotic and inefficient customer service rep I have ever encountered.

From the start, I explained myself very simply. I sold my old car with an XM radio, I have a new car with XM radio. Please transfer service.

At this point, everything went downhill. Fred was unable to locate my account information based on my name or any information I provided. I finally had to dig up the paper work on my account and provide it. Then Fred informed me that in order to activate the new radio, I would need a line of service and luckily XM had some great packages to offer me. ??? No, Fred. I already have an account, use it please.

Then Fred said that my existing account would not work and I needed another one. Again, I explained myself. I had a car with integrated XM, I now had a new vehicle with XM, how would it not work? Then Fred told me that the existing account already had a radio on it. Really?? Do I care?? Remove the old radio Fred. Then Fred asks me to confirm what the old radio ID is.

At this point I knew it was past time to hang up and call back to get a different customer service rep. But I am a masochist. I continue. After going back to the paperwork, I confirm that the radio ID must belong to the XM radio that the previous rep was sending me for free. Again, I request, remove the existing radio ID, please use the new one I provided.

Ok. Says Fred. OK. but before I can rejoice (finally), Fred informs me there will be a transfer fee.

No, I say. I am already paying a monthly fee. Are you trying to lose customers? (probably the worst thing I said during the entire call). I am not willing to pay this fee. Is this necessary?

Fred says, "Yes ma'am. It is the transfer fee". So I tell him, fine... Cancel My Account. I am not doing this anymore.

and he says, "Yes ma'am. One moment please". And for a minute I am actually concerned that I might have to renegotiate an account with XM. A thought which isn't so bad because I hear there are some mighty good deals to be had.

but, no. Fred comes back. He can waive the fee. fan-fucking-tastic. Do it Fred, give me service. At which point Fred tells me a bunch of pointless stuff like, 'turn on the radio', 'make sure the antenna is pointed at the sky', 'this may take a few minutes', 'you can visit our website'...

and then, he concludes by telling me that I will be getting an e-mail survey and he would appreciate it if I would respond and talk about how he resolved my problems. I was amazed, "sure, I'll do that".

"Again, my name is Fred. Thank you for choosing XM."

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