SiriusXM is accused of "trapping consumers" by not making it easy to cancel subscriptions

SiriusXM is accused of "trapping consumers" by not making it easy to cancel subscriptions
Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wanted to cancel a subscription before the deadline so that you wouldn't have to pay for the next month's service? What often happens is that the directions explaining how to cancel a current subscription can't be found and there is no way to get in touch with the company. And you end up paying monthly for something you don't want and/or don't use.

SiriusXM is accused of "trapping subscribers" who want to cancel their subscriptions

According to Variety, New York Attorney General Letitia James has filed a lawsuit against radio and audio streamer SiriusXM. Check out this phrase that James uses to describe what SiriusXM allegedly did. She accused the company of "trapping consumers" in paid subscriptions by "maintaining deliberately long and burdensome cancellation processes." If you've ever been in this situation, you'll understand how apt those words are.

Canceling a free trial or a paid subscription shouldn't require the consumer to get on his knees to plead his case with the company. Yet, James wrote in the complaint that SiriusXM "forces its subscribers to call or chat online with an agent to cancel a subscription, then deliberately draws out those interactions as part of its strategy to prevent subscribers from canceling."

The court filing states that SiriusXM violated both state and federal laws by not offering subscribers a "simple, timely and easy to use" process to cancel a subscription. Additionally, James' office said that SiriusXM used fraudulent and deceptive actions to mislead subscribers who wanted to cancel their subscriptions.

The lawsuit says that "When customers decline the offers, agents are trained not to take 'no' for an answer and to keep bombarding customers with questions or offers until they either relent or become frustrated." SiriusXM data cited by the court filing shows that it takes 11.5 minutes for a customer to cancel a subscription over the phone and 30 minutes to cancel online. In one situation mentioned in the complaint, a SiriusXM agent kept a subscriber in a chat for 40 minutes " even though the subscriber made repeated requests clearly asking to cancel his subscription.

Recommended Stories
The court documents go into further detail. "Sirius’s strategy for frustrating cancellations includes forcing most subscribers to interact with a live customer service agent, even though Sirius has the ability to process cancellations without the involvement of live agents. Sirius trains its agents to put subscribers through a lengthy, six-part script, and to refuse cancellation until either the agent reaches the end of the script, or the subscriber’s frustration reaches a point that they become openly agitated by the process—or give up altogether."

"As part of its cancellation process, Sirius requires its live agents to present a series of renewal offers to retain the consumer as a subscriber. But when a consumer declines an offer, or refuses to hear further offers, Sirius instructs its agents not to take 'no' for an answer. Instead, agents are instructed to think of every 'no' simply as a request for more information!—and to press forward until the consumer accepts an offer or abandons the cancellation effort, hounding them with additional questions and information."

The lawsuit demands that SiriusXM make "full monetary restitution"

In a statement, James said, "Having to endure a lengthy and frustrating process to cancel a subscription is a stressful burden no one looks forward to, and when companies make it hard to cancel subscriptions, it’s illegal. SiriusXM responded by saying, "Like a number of consumer businesses, we offer a variety of options for customers to sign up for or cancel their SiriusXM subscription and, upon receiving and reviewing the complaint, we intend to vigorously defend against these baseless allegations that grossly mischaracterize SiriusXM’s practices."

The lawsuit seeks to force SiriusXM "to make full monetary restitution and pay damages to all aggrieved consumers, known and unknown" and to disgorge all profits generated by the fraudulent, illegal, and deceptive actions. The suit seeks to impose a $5,000 fine for each violation of New York State law prohibiting deceptive acts and practices.

SiriusXM has approximately 34 million subscribers with nearly 2 million of them living in the state of New York.

Recommended Stories

Loading Comments...
FCC OKs Cingular\'s purchase of AT&T Wireless