SeriusXM Question

jnmeade

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Jim Meade
15 or so years ago, I subscribed to SeriousXM mainly for the GArmin 496. At that time, it was very difficult to terminate their service. However, with new avionics I finally did get away from them.
Today, I went on their site to see what it would cost to sign up again. 2 vehicles, several TVs, several smart devices.
They would never give me and answer. I assume that most of the time I was with some scripted tool, not a human. They wanted my Radio ID, or the VIN, or my name.
For goodness sake, SeriusXM, I just want a quote on the price for your service.
Is my experience typical? At this point, my inclination is to forget them. What is my interest? I'm thinking of dropping DIsh and I do listen a lot on one or two of the audio channels that originate with Serius XM.
 
I recently purchased a vehicle with a 90 day "try it & you'll buy it" offer from SiriusXM. I have many other methods to listen to the music I prefer so I never bothered with them. But they obviously received my home address, email, & phone number from the dealership as they have continually bombarded me with offers.

I like Mondays as that is the day the sanitation truck comes to take away the garbage. Right across the road is the maibox. As I walk away from checking the mail I get to drop most of it, unopened, into the can for the man to take it to the landfill. SiriusXM is one of the worst for hounding people to become customers that I've experienced for quite some time.

I just wish that the tree huggers knew how many trees those folks waste every year by their inability to take "no" for an answer. o_O
 
SiriusXM is one of the worst for hounding people to become customers that I've experienced for quite some time.
Almost as bad as CAF begging for more money. SXM at least eventually gave up (until I bought another vehicle…)
 
i subscribe for six months every couple of years so I can update my Spotify playlist. I refuse to give them a credit card because even though they said they’d keep no record of the number, they charged my wife for two additional subscriptions for her one radio at 3-month intervals. I have them bill me, and I send a check.

Of course, the time before last, when I called to tell them I wasn’t going to renew, they terminated my service immediately. It took a a few calls over about four months to get them to cut me a check for about $1.00.

Overall, just not a business that I trust, but unless anybody knows a good resource for blues music playlist ideas, I’m kind of stuck dealing with them periodically.
 
I'm surprised SXM is still a profitable company anymore. Once streaming services and unlimited cell phone data plans have become the norm, SXM has lost most of its customer base. Aviation is still a segment they do well in, but with ADS-B info and other satellite services being more competitive, I'd not put my eggs in the SXM basket.

I killed off their automotive subscriptions 6 or 7 years ago. Poor audio quality compared to Spotify/Tidal, and signal degradation in urban areas with tall buildings. Can't think of a reason to keep them around unless I was going far out to sea, or in the air making cell phone reception problematic.
 
Had to write a filter rule on my email to deal with them. Bought a used vehicle back in July and have been offered enough free trials to last more than a year so far.
 
Here's SiriusXM in a nutshell. This was the radio product. I had a weather subscription for my GPSMap 376 (Marine) but stopped that almost 13 years ago.

Once upon a time, there was this little renewal dance...
1. You subscribe at a reduced rate.​
2. Renewals are automatic at full price.​
3. They notify you of the renewal in advance.​
4. You threaten to cancel and the offer you a new deal. (This has to be done by phone. No way to cancel online; even their chat people don't have that authority.​
5. Rinse and repeat every 6 months.​

They got wise to their customers getting wise to the dance, so they stopped doing #3. Yep no notification so you can take care of it. Now* they just renew at full price figuring that you might not notice the suddenly larger charge on your account and, if you do, not to be bothered by it.

Before I stopped completely, I started using privacy.com for my renewals, canceling the virtual card right after the new subscription was paid. I remember reading that there was something in the T&C prohibiting that, but since they kept saying that their auto-renew policy was for my convenience, I figured the prohibition didn't apply.

Their weather product is fine and I know some people swear by it, but at least for my flying, it doesn't give me anything FIS-B doesn't.

(*Actually, I'm not sure about "now." My last subscription expired at least 8 years ago)
 
Their rates are easily viewed on their website. I don’t really need the satellite function even though my truck is equipped so I chose the SXM app and stream with Car Play. I’m paying $5 per month and I can use as many devices as I like. I have tons of music in the cloud and downloaded on my phone, I maintain Pandora, and I still like SXM for their variety of music.

This isn’t my first time having an account for the streaming app. Last time cancellation was as easy as clicking on the cancel button on my account page in the app. Easy peasy. No pushback from Sirius.

PS- I have no experience with SXM Aviation since SXM doesn’t work in Alaska. My comments are about their music service. https://www.siriusxm.com/aviation/packages

 
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Oddly, I never had a problem cancelling or changing my Sirius XM subscription. I pulled the plug on the aviation side when my plane was down for restoration (it's still off). I have turned cars on and off as I've acquired and sold them over the years.

They're really not any different from any subscription service. It's always far easier to sign up than to cancel.
 
Pretty sure their pricing does vary based on vehicle, which is probably why they wanted your radio number etc. As far as I can tell that's pretty standard for them.

I have no idea of their profitability, but they have expanded their service offerings. The Alfa came with 1 year of radio and then their "SXM Guardian" service, which has various built-in 2-way communication options with the car. Remote start from anywhere, status on fuel, things like that. And also GPS location if it gets stolen. Alfa also pushes their software updates to the car via SXM. It happens in the background and then when you start the car (or come to a stop after the update has downloaded) you get a prompt on what needs to get updated. It's amazed me how many software updates there are to the car, all (or at least almost all) seemingly related to infotainment. That's not part of the subscription so it must be part of the deal that Stelantis worked with SXM. Not sure how many other cars do this, the Alfa is the first one we've owned that does.

With that, the aviation services, and other things, they seem to try to diversify their revenue stream as much as they can from those couple satellites they have up in orbit.

The Guardian service is expensive and we don't consider value added, so we let that lapse. However we do like some of their radio stations, so we subscribe to them for the Ram and the Alfa. Then having the app lets us listen as well anywhere there's internet. Are there other options that are cheaper? Sure. But, it works and we like it. I think they do a pretty good job with their radio stations and whenever I listen to normal radio stations I find myself going "WTF is this crap?" and turn my SXM back on.

As Ron said, like most subscription services, it's a lot easier to sign up than to quit - but it's still plenty doable.
 
Satellite receivers are registered because a standard satellite account includes one radio. They have add-on plans for multiple vehicles.

I bought a new Toyota a couple of weeks ago. It came with a 90 day XM trial. Last week I replaced the factory radio with an Alpine with an added an XM receiver. I called Sirius to ask about transferring the trial account. All I needed was the VIN and to be sitting in the car to activate the service. Pretty simple, and their customer service was really good.
 
I have had good luck with them. I have had XM and Sirius separately before they merged. I have them in two cars and will be adding my airplane in the spring. It works for me.

And in the plane, it is an additional source of info. And more is better.
 
Once upon a time, there was this little renewal dance...
1. You subscribe at a reduced rate.2. Renewals are automatic at full price.3. They notify you of the renewal in advance.4. You threaten to cancel and the offer you a new deal. (This has to be done by phone. No way to cancel online; even their chat people don't have that authority.5. Rinse and repeat every 6 months.
They got wise to their customers getting wise to the dance, so they stopped doing #3. Yep no notification so you can take care of it. Now* they just renew at full price figuring that you might not notice the suddenly larger charge on your account and, if you do, not to be bothered by it.

I used to do this. When #3 was dropped, I just waited until the subscription expired. Now they send me letters to resubscribe at a lower rate. Still works with SiriusXM and AOPA, the only 2 subscriptions I have. I also get a hat from AOPA by waiting until the subscription expires... :yesnod:
 
XM’s DJs are annoying. I pay for XM so I don’t have to listen to people talking, especially some washed-up mushmouth blather on about a concert he played in 1974. The worst is Nina Blackwood. She was bad enough 40 years ago on MTV - these days she should be banned from being within 50 feet of a microphone. And all of what they’re talking about is trivia that’s available via Google. Except for Elizabeth Cook on Outlaw Country. They should have a channel with nothing but 24/7 of her speaking.
 
XM’s DJs are annoying. I pay for XM so I don’t have to listen to people talking, especially some washed-up mushmouth blather on about a concert he played in 1974. The worst is Nina Blackwood. She was bad enough 40 years ago on MTV - these days she should be banned from being within 50 feet of a microphone. And all of what they’re talking about is trivia that’s available via Google. Except for Elizabeth Cook on Outlaw Country. They should have a channel with nothing but 24/7 of her speaking.

It depends on the station and the DJ. I mostly listen to Octane and Turbo. Most of their DJs I like. But each station does have its own flavor with its own DJs.

Compared to FM radio? I'll take the SXM DJs any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.
 
There are a bunch of XM channels with no talking other than a periodic self-congratulatory promo, like the The Bridge or the various decades.
 
Very interesting and very useful comments. Thanks to all.
I believe that for the music I'd trade it all for a rejuvenated XERA. At about 15 years of age, I kept wondering, "why is this guy selling goat glands?" I was glad to ignore that and enjoy the Carter Family live.
 
It depends on the station and the DJ. I mostly listen to Octane and Turbo. Most of their DJs I like. But each station does have its own flavor with its own DJs.

Compared to FM radio? I'll take the SXM DJs any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.

I knew I liked you for some reason!

I have SXM in both mine and the wife's vehicles, my wife likes it. I will say though, I've started streaming from Pandora a lot more. One thing I've found with SXM if you listen to it a lot, the songs get repetitive. Its like each month they buy a block of songs, then play those 10-15 songs in a loop. It doesn't take very long of a road trip to realize you've heard this one before. With Pandora I can create a more customized and variable playlist, and on the $6 month subscription never hear an ad and have unlimited skips.
 
I knew I liked you for some reason!

I have SXM in both mine and the wife's vehicles, my wife likes it. I will say though, I've started streaming from Pandora a lot more. One thing I've found with SXM if you listen to it a lot, the songs get repetitive. Its like each month they buy a block of songs, then play those 10-15 songs in a loop. It doesn't take very long of a road trip to realize you've heard this one before. With Pandora I can create a more customized and variable playlist, and on the $6 month subscription never hear an ad and have unlimited skips.

My wife and I had this same discussion on our 14+ hr drive over Thanksgiving. Back when I was running Ag equipment 16+ hrs/day 20 years ago, I got tired of the repetitive local FM playlists (heck, even the sports radio talk shows bantered on the same topics day after day) so I picked up XM (back when you chose either Sirius OR XM). After about a week, I realized the XM stations do the same thing - they focus on a revolving playlist that gets repetitive when you listen to it for more than a few hours at a time. I noticed the same thing happening while listening to XM during our drive, so pulled out the phone and loaded up Spotify. At least I can control the playlist there and as already mentioned - NO DJs.
 
I'm still trying to figure out the best way to use Spotify. I've used Pandora enough to know how the "stations" work. But Spotify works differently and I'm not on it often enough to spend enough time trying to configure it. I got a 90-day SXM subscription with our car, and recently extended it at $5/month for the next 12 months. We've sort of settled onto 5-6 stations, and if I get any repetition or simply want a different "feel" I switch the station. That worked out well for us on a recent long road trip, and was the main reason I got the subscription after the trial ended. We could just set a station, when we got tired of it, click on the next one, and keep it going all day long without commercial interruptions. I like it. I don't have an unlimited streaming plan for my phone, and if/when I do get one, I know it's going to be > $5/month extra, so SXM lets me basically get an unlimited music streaming plan for when I'm away from home. And the bonus is that I can stream it from my phone and listen to it at home, too.
 
I use Spotify specifically because I don't have to listen to an advertisement or DJ. Ever. Skip songs I don't like, replay the ones I do. I can "like" or "dislike" songs or entire bands. Hundreds of genre playlists to choose from. Sometimes I want to listen to "new" rock, and there's a dozen "new rock" playlists to choose from. Podcasts? Got it. Audiobooks? Here you go! Need kid-friendly songs? Tons of non-explicit playlists available. Make a custom playlist? Easy. Have a custom playlist generated from songs I've "liked" or are similar to what I've been listening to lately? Spotify will whip one up.

SXM was great when their only competition was terrestrial radio. Once streaming became popular, SXM just can't compete very well. I suppose if you only want to listen to an SXM program (Howard Stern, etc.) then they have a captive audience.
 
I have siriusxm mainly for the sports. I do the whole "threaten to cancel, accept reduced price offer" every year which is kinda annoying but better than paying full price. I'm in my car a fair amount and like to have the sports and an option for listening to music outside of the phone or FM/AM. I do a fair amount of long drives (ranging from 3, 6, 12, 20+ hours) and being able to listen to sports PBP reliably helps me get through them. Occasionally listen to music too but if not for the sports I wouldn't bother paying for it.
 
Had Sirius for a while. Had the renewal issues others have mentioned.

Dropped out because, in the channel I mostly listened to, they were not only repeating songs, they were playing them in the same order.

I had been a DJ in the period covered, and I KNEW there was a lot o music they were ignoring.

Ron Wanttaja
 
It's always far easier to sign up than to cancel.
1. Credit card virtual account number.
2. Disposable e-mail address. Or block list.
3. Google Voice. Or block list.
Once streaming became popular, SXM just can't compete very well.
Streaming while on a road trip can get a little spotty. Even more so while flying in a small airplane.
 
1. Credit card virtual account number.
2. Disposable e-mail address. Or block list.
3. Google Voice. Or block list.

Streaming while on a road trip can get a little spotty. Even more so while flying in a small airplane.
I've never had any issues on long runs down any major highway or interstate in dozens of states. I'm sure it can get a little spotty once you get off the beaten path where cell signal gets sporadic. Aircraft is one area that doesn't work well for streaming, but luckily you can save thousands of songs and playlists to your device for free. Eliminates the issue of streaming music if you know you will be out of cell service. Not the ultimate solution, but a passable work-around.
 
I'm still trying to figure out the best way to use Spotify. I've used Pandora enough to know how the "stations" work. But Spotify works differently and I'm not on it often enough to spend enough time trying to configure it.
I used to be a big fan of SiruisXM until my favorite station wend 'all AC/DC' or something like that. Ever since then I've used Pandora and Spotify with great success. I have a handful of channels on Pandora for different styles that I've carefully cultivated over many years. As I've posted before, I think the Music Genome Project is a thing of beauty, and I use that as kind of a coarse net to catch new stuff in styles I like, then if I find a new artist or a style I like I use Spotify to dig into their catalog.

Nauga,
from the late-night playlist on 80's college radio
 
Aircraft is one area that doesn't work well for streaming, but luckily you can save thousands of songs and playlists to your device for free. Eliminates the issue of streaming music if you know you will be out of cell service. Not the ultimate solution, but a passable work-around.
I'd love to learn how to record tomorrow's game for listening on tomorrow's flight. ;)
 
I used to be a big fan of SiruisXM until my favorite station wend 'all AC/DC' or something like that. Ever since then I've used Pandora and Spotify with great success. I have a handful of channels on Pandora for different styles that I've carefully cultivated over many years. As I've posted before, I think the Music Genome Project is a thing of beauty, and I use that as kind of a coarse net to catch new stuff in styles I like, then if I find a new artist or a style I like I use Spotify to dig into their catalog.

Nauga,
from the late-night playlist on 80's college radio

There used to be a website called "Project Playlist". I think it became or was acquired by Pandora. It was great at building related playlists. I looked at some of their "Why we chose this song for you" notes and it talked about stuff like "melodic guitar overlaying building orchestral background" or something like that. It was actually breaking down the components of the song rather that just doing metadata matches on fields like 'genre' and 'artist'. It was great at introducing new content that I likely would have never heard or considered before. I don't think Spotify is nearly as advanced - it seems to stick to the 'genre' and 'artist' type matching, so unfortunately, I'm not getting new artists introduced subliminally.
 
There used to be a website called "Project Playlist". I think it became or was acquired by Pandora. It was great at building related playlists. I looked at some of their "Why we chose this song for you" notes and it talked about stuff like "melodic guitar overlaying building orchestral background" or something like that. It was actually breaking down the components of the song rather that just doing metadata matches on fields like 'genre' and 'artist'. It was great at introducing new content that I likely would have never heard or considered before. I don't think Spotify is nearly as advanced - it seems to stick to the 'genre' and 'artist' type matching, so unfortunately, I'm not getting new artists introduced subliminally.
Agreed on the Spotify algorithm. I think it's more of a genre and "other users who like this artist also listen to X" kind of program. Gets you more artists, but it also introduces a limitation where the Project Playlist seemed more scientific in its approach.
 
There used to be a website called "Project Playlist". I think it became or was acquired by Pandora. It was great at building related playlists. I looked at some of their "Why we chose this song for you" notes and it talked about stuff like "melodic guitar overlaying building orchestral background" or something like that. It was actually breaking down the components of the song rather that just doing metadata matches on fields like 'genre' and 'artist'. It was great at introducing new content that I likely would have never heard or considered before. I don't think Spotify is nearly as advanced - it seems to stick to the 'genre' and 'artist' type matching, so unfortunately, I'm not getting new artists introduced subliminally.
The Music Genome Project sounds very similar - I wonder if that came out of Pandora's acquisition of Project Playlist? I've come to learn that I tend to like minor keys, prominent bass and drums, syncopation, groove-based composition, and ~160 beats per minute. Simple, huh.

Nauga,
and his SeKrit RecIPe
 
One thing I've found with SXM if you listen to it a lot, the songs get repetitive. Its like each month they buy a block of songs, then play those 10-15 songs in a loop. It doesn't take very long of a road trip to realize you've heard this one before.

Agreed. A decade probably has some 1000 songs that made the top 100 for a given year. How many songs hit the top 40 over a decade? Should not hear the same song twice in a the same day.
 
Agreed. A decade probably has some 1000 songs that made the top 100 for a given year. How many songs hit the top 40 over a decade? Should not hear the same song twice in a the same day.
The bigger problem I had with SXM in that regard, was that you have a station able to be playing all sorts of stuff from those artists in the "Top 40/100" in a given year, but it's "Bohemian Rhapsody" again from Queen as if there weren't any other songs from Killer Queen or A Night at the Opera that were worth playing. Got old hearing the same "hits" when the SXM wasn't beholden to the same rules as regular radio stations.
 
I just stream from my private cloud, where by "private cloud" I mean sneakernetted thumb drive of mp3s.
 
I have had SiriusXM in my airplane from the time of my Garmin 396 for both weather and entertainment. I also have SiriusXM in my cars and on-line. I was disappointed when the 40's channel was removed from "on air" and "met opera" too BUT my main listening (99%) is the old time radio shows or "Escape". For long cross country trips I find SiriusXM entertainment to be excellent even when ATC comms come on. I use my iPad mini with SiriusXM weather from my Garmin GDL 51 although I still keep the "XM Pilot" subscription for weather on the Garmin 396 as redundant information (slightly different products too).
 
For streaming with their app? They sure have good frequency correction. The sound of XM’s streaming app is better than any other I listen to. They make old music that sounds washed out on my CD downloads sound good. I enjoy that.
 
it talked about stuff like "melodic guitar overlaying building orchestral background" or something like that. It was actually breaking down the components of the song rather that just doing metadata matches on fields like 'genre' and 'artist'. It was great at introducing new content that I likely would have never heard or considered before
Pandora was and is based on the Music Genome Project. It's introduced me to a lot of artists I was previously unaware of.

If it gets repetitive you can set it to "deep cuts" mode.
 
Pandora’s “April Wine Radio” is my current goto on that app.
 
For streaming with their app? They sure have good frequency correction. The sound of XM’s streaming app is better than any other I listen to. They make old music that sounds washed out on my CD downloads sound good. I enjoy that.
I’m be been trying out different options for streaming in my truck. I have the free 3 month SXM subscription, the SCM app on my phone tied to my wife’s subscription, then Spotify and Pandora. And of course FM, but it’s so laden with commercials it’s hard to listen to.

Satellite or FM HD sounds best. The SXM app is close enough that it’s difficult to tell the difference. Pandora is OK, but there’s the occasional stutter or discontinuity due to cellular data performance. Spotify seems noticeably flatter.

A few years ago I likely wouldn’t have cared, but several years of decent stereos and SXM have started getting me a little spoiled.
 
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