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XM Radio: You Leave When We Say You Can

August 26, 2010


For those planning to cancel their XM Radio subscription here is some free advice. Gird your loins and do not be afraid to threaten legal action. I have enjoyed having XM Radio in our Saturn but with recent developments decided to cancel it to save a little more money each month.  I thought that the process would be straightforward, I was wrong.

Attempt #1: I logged onto their website and searched through the various pages for a way to cancel my subscription. Despite my best efforts I could not locate a way to cancel online and settled on calling them directly.

Attempt #2: I called 1-800-XM-RADIO and followed the prompts informing them that I wanted to cancel my subscription.  Eventually an operator answered the phone and asked me for my account number. My credit card is billed directly and I told him I did not know my account number. He told me to call back when I had it and promptly hung up. I was beyond angry and vowed that I would not pay XM Radio another dime.

Attempt #3: I dug around for my account number and called 1-800-XM-RADIO for a second time. I followed the prompts and was put on hold. There was no music in the background and it sounded like I had been transferred into cancellation limbo. After waiting for 5 minutes I hung up.

Attempt #4: My third call to 1-800-XM-RADIO. I hit the button to cancel my subscription and was promptly hung up on.  (At least I did not have to wait around for 5 minutes for the call to end.)

Attempt #5: I dialed 1-800-XM-RADIO for a fourth time and decided to take the stealth route. I hit “0” and was transferred to an operator. She asked for my account number and I told her I did not have it. Instead of hanging up on me she located it using my phone number. After telling her I wanted to cancel she told me she needed to transfer me to their cancellation department.  I expected to be hung-up on but instead someone named “Clark” answered the phone.

Clark : “So you want to cancel your subscription?”

Me: “Yes.”

Clark: “Why?”

Me: “I don’t want it anymore.”

(2 to 3 minute delay, voices in background)

Clark: “Okay. Let me open the cancellation screen.”

(5 minute delay, I can hear Clark breathing. It’s kind of gross.)

Me: “What’s going on there? Are you still there?”

Clark: “Looks like our system is down. You’ll have to call back later.”

Me: “Like hell it is. Stop screwing with me Clark. This is the 5th time I’ve tried to cancel my account, and I am not calling back. Your computers are not down. I am a lawyer (I went there), and if you do not cancel my subscription I will sue you and your company in small claims court. It’s your call.”

Clark: “There it goes, it’s working now.”

He also tried to get me to stay with them by offering 3 free months (It’s free he kept saying to which I responded, I want to cancel.). He was persistent but after a 40 minute ordeal I was free of XM Radio.

The cancellation process was torture and trying to communicate with this Clark was miserable. He slurred his words, was unresponsive and sounded like he was ignoring me to chat with his co-workers. Based upon my interactions with Clark I assume XM Radio staff’s their cancellation department with either drunks or unmotivated pot heads.

Once the ordeal was order I logged onto my American Express account and noticed they had charged me for an additional three months of service the day after my first telephone call to their offices. I flagged the charged and referred it for an investigation. I explained in the report XM Radio’s cancellation process and their less than honest business practices. 

This afternoon I received a letter that the charge had been removed pending the completion of the bill dispute.  I hope that others learn from my experience and I will never order XM Radio again.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. September 3, 2010 3:17 pm

    Wow, what a pain! I’m glad I read this though because I was thinking about canceling. Though, I may wait until my year is up then not renew. Maybe that will be easier.

  2. September 3, 2010 4:06 pm

    It was seriously the biggest pain in the butt. I would wait until the end of the year and then go from there.

    Another way I read about to cancel without going through this process is to remove your credit card information from your profile at I am not sure this would work or is even possible.

    Good luck!

  3. John Clark permalink
    September 3, 2010 5:01 pm

    When my father in law died more than 10 years ago, we called AT&T to cancel his cell service. They refused. Wanted a death certificate. Said it would mess up his credit. I said go ahead; he has nothing to fear.

    Just discovered your blog. Enjoyed the comments, particularly the restaurant reviews.

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