Thursday, May 12, 2016

"I'm Trucking Sirius"

I've got SiriusXM radio. I've had it for a couple years now. I drive around all day listening to "the devil's music". High intensity rock and metal keeps me going on the road. I've been quite happy with them Sirius folks. 
But then things went a little sideways with them recently. I've been told that when I get irritated I can be a little condescending and snarky. And I was definitely irritated the other day so bare with me here. Let's start at the beginning and fast forward to today. 

(Scooby-Doo style flashback here): back when I first got Sirius I just bought one of those portable plug and play type deals. The Onyx, I think it was. I set it all up, ran the antenna wire outside and ran the aux cable to my stereo and called to set up my subscription. All was right with the world. 
Around November last year the wires started fraying for the power cord. But I didn't realize that right away. I just knew the power would come and go. So the portable docking station broke from being slammed violently into my dash repeatedly one day as I hurled obscenities. Ok, that part might've been my fault but I hate having my music interrupted.

December last year I decided just to buy a whole new stereo that had Sirius built in. By "built in" they meant I needed to by an adaptor for the back and a good antenna for outside. Ok. More stuff bought, no big deal. All set up and ready to go. 
I call in, deactivate the old radio and activate the new one. Woohoo! I'm in business now! 

Flash forward to today now. Stay with me; I know time travel can be disorienting but I've got faith in you. Space/time travel sickness bags are located 10 minutes behind you, though, if you need them. 
So today I call because I notice I've been paying twice what my subscription costs. Oh, it's because I apparently have 2 radios I'm paying for. Well how the hell did THAT happen?! 

So I end up on the phone with Art, an apparently entry level customer service drone. Here's the best account I can recall of the conversation as retold to me by my roommate who happened to be listening:

Art: well, sir, would you like to deactivate one device at this time?

Me: no. I'd like to deactivate it 5 months ago like I called in THEN to do. 

A: ok. And what else can I do for you?

M: well, we need to figure out what to do about the fact I've been overcharged for the last 5 months. 

A: let me check with my supervisor. (There's a 2 minute pause) yes, sir. We can refund you the overcharge for this month. 

M: excellent news, compadre. So what do we do about the other 4 months I was overcharged? Are they working on that? 

A: we can only refund one month, sir. We do understand you've been overcharged by $55 so we'd like to offer you 4 months for free. 

M: sweet! That'll work just fine for me. So how's that work, I just kick back and wait until the end of September to start paying again? 

A: you pay $41 today and that covers you for the next 6 months. 

M: wait. What?! Help me out here, Art. You just said you guys essentially owe me $55 and for the low low price of $41 MORE dollars I'll get service for free for another 4 months. You seem reasonably not stupid so riddle me this: how is me paying you MORE money "free"?

A: well, sir, you'd only be paying for 2 months and the other 4 are free. I think it's actually a pretty good deal. 

M: Art, your English is really good so I'm assuming you've got a good handle on the language. So I'm curious how you think me paying the $55 I've already paid plus another $41 seems like "a good deal". Maybe it's this new common core math tripping me up but by my calculations that's $96 I'll have paid for 6 months of service I'm supposed to be paying $18 for now. 
So, my understanding of the word "free" is that if I pay anything above, say ZERO, then it's not "free". See, where I come from "free" means gratis, at no charge, zero cost. You following me, Sparky? I reject your idea of "free".  Just refund me what you've overcharged me and we can start over. 

A: if we refund you the $55 then we won't be able to offer you this special. Besides, it was your responsibility to catch this on your bill months ago. 

M: I tried to be responsible by calling you guys in December. Good grief, I didn't call Time Warner to cancel my Sirius subscription. I called you guys thinking, I don't know, that maybe you guys would cancel my subscription; not double charge me.

A: and that's why we're trying to offer you this special. 

M: the one where I pay you guys more money  instead of getting a refund like I'm some retard. Right. So I'll tell ya what, we've clearly reached a point where we are miscommunicating. So this is the part where I ask for your supervisor and you tell me your supervisor won't do anything different. Then you and I bicker back and forth and I ultimately work my way up the ladder to someone who can. What say we skip all that aggravation and I just talk to the floor manager now? 

A: hold please. 

Then I get a supervisor named Sarah. Nice lady. She saw documentation where I called in to cancel the old subscription, agreed that I should just get the next 4 months at no charge and updated the system. So now I won't get a bill until November since she felt I should get a little extra time for my inconvenience and frustration. 
I'm still a satisfied customer who gets to continue getting his Nonpoint and Avatar fix. All it took was some polite communication with the nice folks at Sirius.