Sirius Xm Radio - Don't complain... play their game!
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.