Monday, March 22, 2010

Aggravation of the day.

Canceling XM radio.  This has been coming in stages.  Since my discovery of Pandora and the release of the new Android client for Slacker (that caches stations) - I've really got no use at all for my XM subscription.  A couple of months ago I turned off two of my three radios.  I logged into their online system and discovered that there is no way to do this without calling them. That call took about 20 minutes and resulted in 3 calls a day for two months straight - plus, numerous emails and junk postal mailings.  In case you are wondering how a geek handles this - I now have a "Pound Sand" group in my Google voice configuration that results in a no-ring transfer to a message playing the disconnected number tone twice and a message that says "please remove me from your calling list".  I do this for all annoying tele-marketers.  Very handy.

I kept the radio attached to my GPS activated thinking that I might use it in the car or on the bike.  Hasn't turned out that way.  I got another mailing from XM today that made me go look at my bank statements and realized that it was about time for them to charge me for another quarter.   I tried to log into my online account to verify and discovered that by turning off my other two radios it had somehow made my online account unmanageable.  What???

Shaking my head and steeling myself for another marathon, I called the customer service number on the XM webpage and was immediately transferred to on hold purgatory with the message that they were "experiencing higher than normal call volume"...  I hung up and called the number that they had been calling me from. (a sales number I'm guessing) and immediately got a real human.  Maybe everyone is canceling today and no one is subscribing.

I had to produce my telephone number so she could pull up the account and then verify all of my info for her including my name address and email.  Then repeated I wanted to cancel.  She asked me why and I told her.  Then she transferred me.  After a very reasonable hold (about a minute) I got another cheerful person on the line who asked me the exact same questions again.  Tried to sell me on a cheaper rate.  Made me hold for about a minute and then asked if she could to anything else.  At this point I asked if she could put me on a "no contact" list.  She said she would do that and I thanked her.  Not holding my breath.  I bet the calls start again.

The irritating parts:  1) When someone cancels your service, becoming a stalker is not a way to win them back.  2) Don't be a dick and offer me a better rate only when I am calling to cancel.  3) Do not ask your customer to give you a ton of info that you will not pass on to the next level.  This just pisses them off and makes them rant on their blogs and tell the bad customer service story to their friends...  (and not even link to you to boot)

It took almost 3 hours to get the first "We want you back" email. Two more today already. Sigh.

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