Wednesday, August 22, 2012

SiriusXM: Worst Customer Service EVER

SiriusXM has a great product. I got a 6 months free trial with my new car purchased in late 2010 and grew to love all the great music channels. I especially loved being able to hear music without the annoying barrage of commercials on “free” radio. My husband got a new car several months ago and also got the trial package and he loves the product too. We also have access on our computer.

The problem with SiriusXM, though, is that their customer service is the worst I have ever experienced. I used to think that because I spent almost 30 years in the field of customer service – 20 of those years in middle and upper management – that I was overly sensitive to customer service failures. But SiriusXM has proved to me time and time again that the problem is clearly theirs.

Anytime I have renewed or modified/added on to my SiriusXM service, SiriusXM screwed it up. That’s problem #1. Problem #2 is that their customer service people can only be described as incompetent. I just spend over 30 minutes on the phone with one who seemed incapable of understanding my problem, and then was completely incapable of resolving it. In fact, when he was unable to find the transaction I initiated a week before with another SiriusXM agent, he told me he was worried that my credit card had been compromised and told me to immediately contact my bank and credit card company. Nothing like having a clueless customer service rep warn you that the previous rep you spoke to may have been dishonest!

I contacted my bank who could clearly see a tiny pending transaction from SiriusXM which they felt was likely put through to verify the card. Why SiriusXM could not see this transaction or my order is beyond me. When I called SiriusXM back – I got a new customer service rep, of course – they seemed to start the whole thing over by NOT listening to my problem and parroting back to me information already on my account. At my wits end, I interrupted the rep and explained my problem, and, when he clearly sensed my growing frustration, immediately said he’d get his supervisor. A few short minutes later, this new agent was able to determine that they did have my order but it would not be processed until the date the trial ended on my husband’s new car. Why the first customer service agent could not see this is beyond me.

One of SiriusXM’s big problem is that it is evident they are outsourcing their customer service to a country – or countries - outside the U.S. and the communication barrier is great. And likely because of this issue, their agents seem to have a scripted manner of handling calls; when the call deviates from the script, the agent becomes confused and stymied in resolving the problem. They clearly have a case of “the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing” problem, too.

SiriusXM seems unwilling to do anything except provide minimal customer service and they company doesn’t seem to care how much they inconvenience their customers. But they’d better change fast. More people are getting smart phones and other methods of wireless access that allows for more music choices and more ways to get music. When my subscriptions run out, I am going to give a serious look to SiriusXM alternatives. This is that last time I want spend time in the hellish world of SiriusXM customer service!

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Living In A Presidential Election Battleground State

The motto for most people who live in a presidential election battleground state is “Stop the insanity!” The political ads are non-stop here in Ohio, and after a while, they all sound like noise. The worst ads are coming from the PACs, who seem to think that voters are stupid and won’t check out some of the outrageous claims they make. And while PACs each give themselves a moniker, it’s not like a candidate speaking out under his or her real name and holding themselves accountable. PACs, in my opinion, are the equivalent of an anonymous poster trolling on an internet forum or message board. I do understand the need for people who are not actually campaigning for election to have an outlet to voice their opinions, but many PACs seem very loose with the truth in many cases. Thankfully, there is which helps voters to sort out the lies from the truth.

Also, the internet and web sites such as YouTube provide an excellent vehicle to document past comments made by those currently seeking election. The current Republican and PAC ads attempt to place the blame on the current dismal economy and job market on President Obama. But in 2004, Mitt Romney had this to say about blaming a president for economic woes (excerpt from the video below):

"The people of America recognize that the slowdown in jobs that occurred during the early years of the Bush administration were the result of a perfect storm. And an effort by one candidate to somehow say, 'Oh, this recession and the slowdown in jobs was the result of somehow this president magically being elected' - people in America just dismiss that as being poppycock."

Using Romney’s logic from 2004, this voter sees Romney’s current placing of blame for the current economic woes on Obama as poppycock. Of course, since the term poppycock isn’t one used by most normal people, I’d rather call Romney’s claims ludicrous.

Living in a battleground state means a voter has to do more than just listen to the ads and respond emotionally. Here, one must take the initiative to check the facts and use tools like to get the real story. In fact, every resident of every state should consider their vote important enough – and their state critical enough – that they take the time to get the facts before casting a vote.

While those of us in battleground states get bombarded with attack ads multiple times a day, I for one consider myself lucky that many of these ads often expose the real candidate and what kind of elected official they would be.

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