Matawan, New Jersey
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People, people!

Complaining about companies that engage in deceptive practices won't help you after the fact (but thanks for sharing, so those of us who might otherwise have been unaware are brought into the loop.) The answer is to fight fire with fire--which is to say, you gotta deal with them in a MORE deceptive way than they coming at it to you. I've got just the way--pay with a Prepaid Visa or Mastercard Debit Card.

I'll give full disclosure--I have not gone through the process of purchasing a car that comes installed with a Sirius radio--so I'm not completely certain of how personal information about you gets handed over to Sirius. All new cars with Sirius radios come with some length of "free service". Opt out of allowing the dealer to turn over your personal information to them (they can't FORCE you to sign up for service). I assumed the lease of my current car 14 months after the original lessee took delivery of it. He had prepaid 18 months, so I had 4 months of service on his dime before it simply "shut off" (they had no idea he transferred the lease to me).

When that happened, I called up to get service in "my" name, but only after I researched what best deals were being had by other smart, informed listeners--which is about $25 for six months of service, not including the mandated royalty fees and taxes (which adds a couple bucks a month). Four bucks a month is A LOT better than $14.95. (See: http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/hot-deals/929342/)

Of course, its their game to get you "signed back up" for a rock bottom rate, then have you make it up when the full rate goes into effect at renewal. But out-deceiving them means not putting yourself in a position to let that happen. You see, the beauty of using a prepaid Visa/Mastercard is the ability to register it any way you like. You simply go to the support website of whatever card you purchase and enter your card's account information. You're then prompted for your registration information. DON'T USE YOUR REAL INFORMATION. Unlike signing up for say, cable or dish service where the cable or dish company HAS to know where you live, all Sirus needs is your radio's ESN to activate/deactivate service. Sirius makes the assumption you're providing them with your actual name/address/credit card information. The assumption is validated when the card information you provided "clears"--they'll put through the full amount for whatever rate/term you come to an agreement upon and it'll validate because the account will have sufficient funds to cover that charge. What you won't tell them is that's about all that card is ever going to cover! Just before than 5, 6, 12 month term expires, their billing system will attempt--and keep attempting--to put a charge through for the full rate. If you provided them with an email address you actually use/check regularly, you'll most definitely here from them. You be barraged with emails--first warning you that you're about to lose service... and should you do nothing, they'll change to "how sorry we were we had to cut off service".

By going this route, you put YOU in the drivers seat--not them. YOU dictate (or not--don't be afraid to "walk away") the terms you'll settle for and pay to continue for another finite term--because if they don't, they'll be losing you as a customer. They don't really know you... they just think they know you. But if you never give them your real name and an actual credit card that the can put through whatever charges they feel like, they're at YOUR mercy.

These days, prepaid Visa/Mastercard/AMEX cards are available EVERYWHERE. Every gas station, grocery store, drug store, Lowes/HomeDepot, mom & pop shop--they all sell them. And yes, they all come with some kind of "activation fee"--for $2.95 or so up to $7.95 or $8.95--a cost anyone who's been put through the *** a company like Sirius put customers through billing them full one year in advance renewal, like it or not. But if you time it right, about every other month, Staples offers a deal where you can end making a little money purchasing prepaid Visa/Mastercard debit cards--in exchange for buying two or three them (i.e. a $100 and $200 prepaid Visa/MCs with $5.95 & $6.95 activation fees--for a total of $12.90, they'll send you a $20.00 prepaid Visa Rebate card--essentially you're making a little over $7 on the deal.

I'll end this on further disclosure--I'm not an attorney and cannot speak to the extent this crosses any legal boundaries. To me, it seems the most serious allegation one could make is fraud--misrepresentation of your real identity for financial gain. I don't think it holds water as this is not some method to elicit receiving Sirius service without paying for it. I have no problem at all paying to get service--I simply want it at the lowest price they're willing to offer it and I want the opportunity to "renegotiate" the terms at each term's conclusion--not accept their jacked up "sucker" rate. I've been doing this for four years now and not once have they ever taken to scolding/berating/threatening etc. me. What it boils down to is they have a business model that obviously works for them--one that may make for some rather irate/disgruntled customers, like those of you expressing what you think here--but they're are going to be a few angry/pissed off customers just as they're going to be a few who informed customers like myself who play them back at their own game. They couldn't sustain their business if most of their customers fell into either of these two groups. Most of their customers likely don't even look at the details of their credit card bills--and simply pay any charges put through by companies like Sirius.

If you actually read through all this, now have all you need to know to go from a "pissed off" customer to "getting the best deal" customer.

Reason of review: Fair pricing.

I liked: Howard stern, 25 dollars for six months.

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TheGrammarNazi
#1340787

Buddy, a digital spelling & grammar check takes about 5 seconds, maybe a minute or two performing it manually.

"I've got just the way"

"but *they're are* going to be a few angry/pissed off customers"

& for criminy sake, don't use dashes in lieu of commas!

Anonymous

you still have to register a credit card with them - even with a Sirius XM gift card. I think all those post saying to go to best buy & get one is from Sirius xm employees.

What i find most deceptive is a company that advertises free trials as " No Obligation, No Credit Card Required" but require a Credit Card to sign up for the free trial...

You are incorrect
to Anonymous San Francisco, California, United States #1327253

You don't have to register a credit card with them.You can get invoice billing.

I am not a Sirius XM employee, and I've been doing what some of those posts have written for years.

With your statement about the free trials: when I first bought my car, I had 3 months of Sirius XM Select package. I didn't have to give my credit card. After the trial was completed, I let it lapse, and then when I received an e-mail for 6 months for $25.00, I took it, and paid with a check in the mail, for the first time. I was charged $2.00 extra, for only that time.

Then, the dealer told me to go to Radio Shack (you can't go here anymore) or Best Buy to get the gift card, and that's what I've been doing since then.

To keep receiving the discount you have to call before they re-charge you at going rates.And I keep using the gift card.

Anonymous
to Anonymous #1353046

You are incorrect.You don't need a credit card.

They charge you a $2.00 invoice fee. I'm not a Sirius XM employee.

I do it all the time.

They waive the fee if you renew about a month before the due date.

But, believe what you want.

Brian D
#1277816

Hello:

The Sirius website states that new subscribers must use a credit card for payment. I'm all for using a BestBuy gift certificate; but is Sirius flexible on "first payment" options?

BestPostYet
to Brian D Intercourse, Pennsylvania, United States #1315083

When you set up your account, you can ask for paper billing, which has a $2.00 fee. When it comes time to renew, you can use a Sirius XM Gift Card, and not pay the fee if you re-subscribe about a month before it's due.

bruce
#1276597

I signed up for the 6 month special as well, using what is called a Virtual Account Number or a Shop Safe Card Number (depends on your bank) They can not put through additional charges once that number is used. It also keeps your real credit card number safe.

BestPostYet
to bruce Intercourse, Pennsylvania, United States #1315077

Just like using a Sirius XM Gift Card, your system is also very good, and a bit more convenient. Thanks!

Anonymous
Washington Township, Michigan, United States #1258395

Wow....seems to be a lot of idiots out there commenting.And then there are those people who apparently didn't read the entire post.

Sirius does NOT need to know where you live or what your address is.

Why would they? To think they do is sheer stupidity.

Paying for service with a pre-paid Visa or MasterCard is actually genius. I don't want a company automatically billing my card for inflated services.

Doing it this way will stop automatic renewal.

So, perhaps the rest of you have no problems with Sirius business practices, but I do.Keep being suckers, whatever

Cl***icVinylIsBest
to Anonymous Sugar Land, Texas, United States #1260933

You are incorrect about Sirius not needing your address.Your radio has an ESN that is associated with your name and the radio.

If you buy a car with a built in Sirius radio, then Sirius will know who you are, because the dealer reports it to Sirius XM when you buy the car. Sirius will find out what they need about you as soon as you give them the radio's ESN.

Next, they WILL automatically bill you...this cannot be stopped unless YOU CALL to cancel. The first question they ask you for is your name and address.

Giving them wrong information is fraudulent.

I do have a problem with their billing practices, but you can get around it by renegotiating a deal about a month before the service renews.Also, using a Sirius XM Gift card that you can buy from Best Buy will not cost you extra money, like a pre-paid Visa will.

The person who posted this is trying to get around the system in a fraudulent manner

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