XM/Sirius Merger Sucks Seriously

Posted by Tim Hillebrand on Oct 21, 2008

closeThis post was published 6 years 2 months ago which may make its actuality or expire date not be valid anymore. This site is not responsible for any misunderstanding.

When I first learned of the impending merger of Sirius and XM satellite radio companies, I feared that my investment in equipment and subscriptions would be adversely affected. Accordingly, I contacted both companies and was assured that the functionality of my equipment would be protected. I was also assured that the prices would not increase because of a monopoly and that I would experience greater programming benefits from the merger.

I more or less dismissed it as a non-issue and continued to pay for dual subscriptions. My car has Sirius and so does our bedroom. My wife’s car has XM and so does my office. That involves four radios and two subscriptions with two reduced rate secondary subscriptions.

This morning I received an email announcing that I could now get the best of Sirius on XM. The best of Sirius was described as Howard Stern, NFL, Martha Steward, NASCAR, and Playboy Radio. Let me assure you that I would never in a million years waste my time listening to any of the “best of Sirius.”

Curious, I called XM to see how the merger had actually affected me. What I learned is that while the merger had transpired successfully, XM and Sirius virtually remain two separate companies because of conflicting technology. That means that I must continue to maintain separate subscriptions to support my radios instead of being able to merge my accounts into a single account, which I had been promised would happen. There is no programming advance and no merging of content other than the so-called “best of Sirius,” which, as far as I’m concerned is a joke.

Nice going FCC. You really protected the consumer’s interest by creating this monopoly. I can’t wait for the price gouging to begin. This will probably soon be followed by discontinuing one form of technology creating the obsolescence of one platform over the other without compensation. Keep up the good work FCC.

FCC has created a monopoly with the merger of XM and Sirius. As a result, I must continue to maintain separate Sirius and XM accounts instead of merging them into a single account. There is absolutely no benefit whatsoever for the consumer as a result of this ill-advised merger.

If you also feel that there is cause for concern, I suggest that you visit ConsumerAffairs.com where you can voice your complaint and experience. https://www.consumeraffairs.com/CA/do_datarpt.php

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  • Julie

    I’ve have been subscribing to Sirius’ CD quality internet radio for about a year (I don’t own any equipment and don’t subscribe to satellite radio) and enjoy it quite a bit…but I would never consider Howard Stern, NFL, Martha Steward, NASCAR, and Playboy Radio to be the best of anything…I’ve never listened to any of those stations (even though most, if not all, of them are available through the internet subscription.

    I had been thinking about getting a satellite radio and subscribing, but thought I would wait until the dust settles from the merger….I’ve lived through mergers like this one before and, as far as I can tell, the so called “valued customer”most always lands at the bottom of the heap.

  • Khris

    How about you take a look at the big picture instead of just focusing on your own immediate surroundings?

    Think of how long it’s been since the actual merger was approved…..only a couple months. The point, GIVE THEM TIME! It should be obvious that as an interim solution, they’re providing the “Best Of” so that some content can be enjoyed cross company.

    Since both technologies are radically different the only viable option is to develop new radios which work with both XM and Sirius……which again, takes time.

    Eventually I see both companies aligning their programming and being able to offer more options to both types of subscribers (while allowing original subscribers to continue using their existing hardware). Once more however, this will take time. Do you see a pattern here? Until then, you aren’t out anything because you were originally paying for 4 subscriptions anyway.

    The only cause for concern is meritless whining such as this. If XM and Sirius rushed to combine everything and then had countless problems, you’d be complaining about that as well so sit back, relax (a lot), and patiently wait for things to fall into place.

    Remember, Satellite radio can’t be a monopoly when no one is forcing you to pay for it. You don’t like the service being provided, cancel it.

  • doogald

    “There is absolutely no benefit whatsoever for the consumer as a result of this ill-advised merger.”

    Don’t speak for me, friend. I have had an XM subscription but I have always hated that I would have needed to buy a Sirius unit to get NFL programming along with my MLB on XM. Now I can get both? Finally!

    Drop your subscriptions if it bothers you so much.

  • Mark

    you may not be any better off but it doesn’t sound like you’re worse off.

    i would imagine the integration will take some time. it must be fairly complicated to integrate things like billing systems etc.

    as a Sirius subscriber of a few years at this point i haven’t notice any change one way or the other. i’d like to get baseball at some point but i’ll consider it a bonus since i never had it before.

  • Ryan

    I don’t see what you’re complaining about? All your issues you asked the companies about and they addressed were accurate (your hardware isn’t obsolete, you didn’t see a price increase), and it hasn’t affected your service. Sounds like it is a non-issue for you?

    Had you asked “will I be able to merge my Sirius and XM accounts and receive a discount on one of my main accounts?” and they told you you could, then I could see where you can complain.

  • Pony99CA

    @Khris:

    Remember, Satellite radio can’t be a monopoly when no one is forcing you to pay for it.

    That’s so incorrect as to be laughable. A monopoly isn’t about “forcing” people to pay; it’s about competition. If you literally have no competition, you’re a monopoly regardless of whether people need your product or not. You can also be a monopoly even with competition (as Microsoft discovered).

    Also, there’s nothing illegal about being a monopoly. Abusing your position as a monopoly is what’s illegal. Conduct that may be acceptable in a competitive market can be become illegal if a monopolistic company engages in it.

    Steve

  • Pony99CA

    @Tim:

    I was also assured that the prices would not increase because of a monopoly and that I would experience greater programming benefits from the merger.

    That sounds like it’s the case so far. What part of that “sucks seriously”?

    You may not like the new programming, but wouldn’t you admit those additional choices could appeal to a wide group of Americans?

    FCC has created a monopoly with the merger of XM and Sirius. As a result, I must continue to maintain separate Sirius and XM accounts instead of merging them into a single account.

    “As a result”? That doesn’t follow. You already had separate accounts, so, as Mark said, you don’t seem any worse off.

    I agree that it would be better if you could have only one account, but, as others have said, that may just be a matter of time. I hope you at least only have one customer service contact to address your concerns. ;)

    Steve

  • Mark

    @Pony99CA

    if you define XM Sirius as a satellite radio company then yes, it is a monopoly but if you define it to include things that actually compete with it rather than defining it by delivery method or technology it’s clearly not a monopoly. i have numerous entertainment options both at home and in my car.

    in the free market monopolies will not exist (at least ones that aren’t based on some limited natural resource with no substitutes). they cannot.

  • http://www.jaderobbins.com Jade Robbins

    Wold it benefit the consumer if both of them went bankrupt because separately both of them were bleeding money?

  • Pony99CA

    @Mark:

    if you define XM Sirius as a satellite radio company then yes, it is a monopoly but if you define it to include things that actually compete with it rather than defining it by delivery method or technology it’s clearly not a monopoly. i have numerous entertainment options both at home and in my car.

    First, I’m not the one who called it a monopoly; Tim was. I was just disagreeing with Khris on his definition.

    However, if you take into account the broad spectrum of communications, why was there concern at all of XM/Sirius becoming a monopoly then? Pretty much every car has an AM/FM radio, so why the concern if they merge?

    The fact is that the delivery mechanism can be important. What other in-car receiving mechanism allows getting the same programming nationwide?

    Assume there was only one company that refined oil into gasoline. They would be free to charge what the market would bear. Are you saying they wouldn’t be a monopoly because you could take a diesel bus to work, an electric train, a CNG van, a bicycle, a horse or even walk?

    in the free market monopolies will not exist (at least ones that aren’t based on some limited natural resource with no substitutes). they cannot.

    I suppose that depends on how you define “free market”. As Microsoft was found to be abusing its monopolistic position by a U.S. court, I assume you don’t think the U.S. is a free market (which it’s not — there are regulations, intellectual property laws, etc.). That’s fine, but as we’re talking about the U.S. market here, that would make your comment merely a theoretical point.

    Steve

  • Jon Stough

    I love the smell of desperation!

  • Pony99CA

    @Jade:

    Wold it benefit the consumer if both of them went bankrupt because separately both of them were bleeding money?

    I was wondering about that myself. Of course, it makes you wonder how they’ll stop bleeding money if they keep two separate technologies and accounts. Are they getting enough synergy (downsizing) to make them profitable now?

    Steve

  • Dude

    Tim you just sound like a irrational, whiner to me. Just as previously stated the merge of the products, systems, technology…will all take time. Even separations take time. Look at Daimler and Chrysler. Chrysler is still struggling to get their systems, customer service, business rules, and everything else aligned and that occurred long before the Sirius/XM merger. Those “best of” channels are some of the most listened to and requested channels they have which is how they wound up there. You act as though you speak for the entire world of subscribers when you wrote this post. I am a long time Sirius subscriber and I am content with everything and look forward to future offerings.

  • W. M. Miller

    I couldn’t disagree more with your rant against the FCC and the merger. Satellite radio is a small niche in the entertainment market. I’m not completely convinced that it’s big enough for even one company to survive in, competing with the iPods and Internet radio via cell phone, let alone traditional broadcasting, but it’s pretty clear that it wasn’t big enough for two, given the overhead involved.

    As for me, a Sirius subscriber, I think I’m going to benefit pretty significantly from the merger. I only listen to 3-4 channels, and one of the things promised by the companies was that they will offer a reduced-price subscription for people like me. Yes, I will have to buy new equipment to take advantage of that option, but I’ve had my radio for 2-1/2 years and it’s getting a little flaky anyway.

    I just wish the FCC had been able to get its act together sooner. Keeping the merger on hold for over a year was a terrible waste of time and money, including mine (because of the delay in introducing the reduced-price subscription).

  • srvctec

    I’m in the same boat as you W. M. Miller. I’ve had XM for almost 4 years now and only listen to 4 to 6 stations. With the merger I get to choose what 50 channels I want and will only have to pay about 8 bucks a month with the A La Carte 1 package and my 4 premium stations- a savings of about 5 bucks a month.

    Go here for all the info you can imagine on the merger- it’s an excellent resource. http://www.xmfan.com/viewtopic.php?t=93780

    Also for the details of the merger and exactly what stations for each available plan, check this out. http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/retrieve.cgi?native_or_pdf=pdf&id_document=6519560252

  • http://www.rotten.com Glenn

    If all you Satellite radio subscribers are so unhappy simply do what I do listen to CD’s and FM radio.
    Beats paying. You’d have to be sick in the head to pay for something that you can receive for free.

  • RB

    This “merger” is a joke. I bought hundreds of dollars worth of Sirius merchandise (still sitting unopened in boxes) after being assured that once the XM – Sirius merger became reality all programming would be available via ala carte to owners of existing equipment.

    Now I find Sirius offers a handful of XM programs I’m not interested in thru a premium-priced “Best-of” package.

    Consumers have had the wool pulled over their eyes, once again. Thanks for nothing, Sirius – XM.

  • srvctec

    @Glenn,

    Ummmm, last time I checked, cd’s are not free unless you steal them. FM radio is free, but around here they all SUCK. I also don’t like trying to figure out what cd’s to take with me to listen to. Another major advantage of satellite radio is we get to hear most new music weeks or even months before you can buy (or steal) the cd, which none of the fm stations do around here. Their cd library is probably a hundred times the size of mine.

  • tim maynard

    Great merger, Sirius looses NBA and now its offered on the so called “Best Of XM” Lets see what other crafty moves they make to make you buy certain packages.

  • http://unfocusedcontent.com Jay

    I had much the same reaction to the “best” of Sirius.” While it is true that, as a subscriber, I am no worse off than I was before, the fact remains that my perception is that they could have offered tons more, and they didn’t. They missed the opportunity to be extraordinary.

  • http://www.myspace.com/bringbackfungus53 Francis Surroca

    Merger sucks the big one. Punk is now officially dead on XM and Sirius. No more choice than regular radio. Sucks! Consumers always get screwed one way or another with mergers!

    http://www.petitionspot.com/petitions/bringbackfungus53

  • Chuck

    I am a Sirius customer and frankly I’m pissed! This merger is complete garbage. I thought that the intent of the merger was to upgrade and enhance both Sirius and XM. I don’t understand how deleting channels on both networks is an upgrade. Like several of you have expressed, I could care less about Sirius’ or XM’s premium packages. My primary reason for listening to Sirius was for the existing programming they had. My favorite station Channel 43 ‘Backspin’ has been totally wiped out. Sirius informed me that Shade 45 or Hip-Hop Channel 40 would be the equivalent. How? They don’t play old school hip-hop. I don’t understand the thought process in determining what stations stayed and what stations were deleted. If this was XM and Sirius’ plan for saving their respective companies, then they need to start the fire sale now. No one is going to accept this. Quite frankly, if this what I can expect from the merger going forward, you can count me out. I’d rather listen to my old scratched up mix CDs than listen to the current selection on satellite.

  • Pony99CA

    This merger is complete garbage. I thought that the intent of the merger was to upgrade and enhance both Sirius and XM.

    I don’t have Sirius or XM, so I don’t know what they said, but I can’t imagine believing that. There was likely one and only one real reason for merging — to make money.

    My primary reason for listening to Sirius was for the existing programming they had. My favorite station Channel 43 ‘Backspin’ has been totally wiped out. Sirius informed me that Shade 45 or Hip-Hop Channel 40 would be the equivalent. How? They don’t play old school hip-hop. I don’t understand the thought process in determining what stations stayed and what stations were deleted.

    Again, I don’t know the inner workings, but I think you gave one reason right there — they feel there’s overlap (whether that’s true or not is another matter). I also suspect the Backspin was probably listened to the least (or cost the most to run), so that was the one that got the axe.

    I’d rather listen to my old scratched up mix CDs than listen to the current selection on satellite.

    At least you have a solution. ;)

    Seriously, if you really feel that way, send your letter to them (if you haven’t already). Posting to a blog may make people feel better, but it won’t generally have the same effect as customers calling or writing the company with complaints (especially if they cancel their subscriptions).

    Steve

  • Toby G

    I spoke with XM today regarding their new channel line up. Its true several stations were removed from their air. My interest was with electronic music. All former XM stations were canceled for that genre and replaced with two trance, Paul Oakenfold, pop channels. You can lodge a complaint with XM 800-967-2346. I think they’re compiling them based on the questions I received.

    I’m not sure I agree with Sirixmus being a monopoly! I will say they are leaning more toward Top 40 programing like Radio One and Clear Channel.

  • Dotdash

    I canceled my Sirus the day they changed the format. Punk channel is gone for good, Disorder and Backspin gone. The other channels I listened to are watered down versions of their former selves. They even killed Kids Stuff in favor of the god-awful Kids Talk, so my two year old daughter doesn’t even want to listen anymore. But they have 24/7 dead, led zeppelin, ac/dc, bruce springsein, elvis, jimmy buffet, etc… Great. Are channels that play a single band all the time, even if they only have a handful of decent albums really more important than the channels they axed? I’m loading up my MP3 player again. I can use the money I save to buy a new CD every month. SiriusXM can die and go to hell. The quality is already down to the point where my FM radio sounds better. Maybe they would not have had to cut costs and quality so drastically if they weren’t paying Stern millons. I think in the coming years people will look at Sirius/XM receivers like kids look at 8-track players. There was once this thing called Satellite radio you see… (/end rant)

  • http://www.myspace.com/riroonmusic Riroon

    Friday, I cancelled my XM subscription.

    My FRED, LUCY, ETHEL, and X COUNTRY are gone, along with xl RAW. (Losing FRED was like losing a piece of my life, as it was pretty much a soundtrack to my High School/ college/ band days). The one station I was looking forward to from the merger, DISORDER, is dead.

    The replacement stations are laughable, and were truly decided by a board room of stockholders, not music lovers and customers.

    I finally purchased an audio wire to run my iPod to my car’s input jack. I’m sure iTunes won’t mind if I transfer the money I was spending on my XM subscription hits Steve Jobs’ pockets instead.

    Hope Howard Stern has fun with his stock options.

  • Beverly

    Playlist quality has gone in the crapper for XM subscribers. I heard Charley Pride on Outlaw Country. I like his music but his stuff belongs on was used to be XM 10 America. Cross Country, replaced by Outlaw Country was more hard edged, alternative country. This change has not been for the better as blander tunes, top 40ish songs, and music more suited for Channel 10 America are crowding out Cross Country type music.

    It is a total travesty that the disco station Chrome was eliminated. Disco is a separate genre and deserves its own channel. They left two electronic/club music channels and got rid of the one disco station. BPM and the other dance/electronica channel are similar enough that one of them should have gone and Chrome should have remained. If they can carry 3 or more hip hop channels, surely they have room for one disco station.

    Lucy, now Lithium has definitely not improved. More of today’s hits have replaced the late 80s/early 90s alternative music. I also miss the funny, sarcastic voiceovers that sometimes preceded the music on Lucy. Fred has also gone down quality wise. More top 40 and lesser quality stuff is being played on both of these channels as well as with what was formerly XM Cafe and the Loft.

    Sirius must have been the bigger bully as its Channel names took over most of XM. Lucy, Fred, Ethel, XM Cafe, Cross Country were better names than those Sirius replaced them with.

    In addition, XM subscribers got stuck with Sirius’ DJs who love to yammer on and on. This includes the celebrity DJs, for example, Marty Stuart on Outlaw Country. They add nothing to the programming except mucking it up with their crap taste in music.

    Decisions for which channels stayed and the programming that each would carry must have been made by bean counters and executives who haven’t a clue about music.

    Mergers enrich those who merged and their shareholders but it impoverishes the consumer who pays higher prices, receives lower quality, and had no where else to go when there is no viable competition.

  • Carlton Ellis

    I subsribed to XM Satelite Radio through a family member and in the time XM Satelite was functioning as it own entity I was very happy with the programming. Since this merger I am totally dissappointed in the way Sirius, which in my opinion has inferior programming compared to XM Satelite, has handled programming changes. I won’t even get into the talk format which, again in my opinion Howard Stern was and is a waste on the air as well as pimping Sirius for everything Sirius owns, and if this throwing of cash money to trash radio is what Sirius is all about then maybe I should reconsider my subsription. You’ve taken away good programming as well as great DJ’s to promote thrash. Sirius management should be ashamed. I have e-mailed on several occassions for someone to respond to my e-mails and have gotten NO results. This tells me that Sirius does not care or will not admit to any responsblity to their misguided actions in destroying very good and far superior programming that XM Satelite broughtto the table.

  • phil

    I think the biggest mistake they are making is by not realizing that people spend money for their services (with the exception of sports) to avoid the mainstream. Now that’s all you can get from them. I will miss the nhl stations but I will not be renewing my XM subscriptions in my two cars and my home. They simply are not offerering anything special anymore. I am particularly dissapointed in the removal of Beyond Jazz an my hear goes out to those of you that lost your punk programming. I am certain that there was not a huge listener base for Beyond Jazz, but there is something to be said for being the only station of its kind anywhere. Nothing would make me happier than to see this merger fall into bankrupcy.

  • Pony99CA

    @phil:

    Nothing would make me happier than to see this merger fall into bankrupcy.

    While I can sympathize losing something you liked, don’t you think it’s a bit much to hope that many people lose their jobs and people who still like their service lose that?

    Schadenfreude is cool, but that’s too much even for me.

    Steve

  • http://weneedchangebobobama bob riggs

    Lets see, Sirius is people who like their program material, XM for people who like new generes instead of listening to the same shit over and over again (FM RADIO).Sirius who had less subscribers, XM had more cause of better programming. In short, WE NEED CHANGE!
    Return XM programming to XM subscribers and you ask why, thats what they paid for and give the same to Sirius subscribers. Had sirius for two days return it bought XM and happy with it till this happened.Sirius merger could end sattelite radio,i believe XM subscribers probably won’t renew their subscription.

  • http://www.myspace.com/riroonmusic Riroon

    “@phil:
    Nothing would make me happier than to see this merger fall into bankrupcy.
    @pony99ca
    While I can sympathize losing something you liked, don’t you think it’s a bit much to hope that many people lose their jobs and people who still like their service lose that?”

    I’m with Phil on this one.
    #1– the whole purpose of a merger is to merge, consolidate, and try to operate more cheaply. Many good folk — personalities, programmers, techs and such — are already out on their bums thanks to this ‘merger’ — all to help boost the stockholders’ bottom line

    #2 — the most jobs would probably be lost to the overseas customer service reps. When I called to complain about my subscription, I was put on hold three separate times and connected to three separate accents. These CSR’s are being paid slave wages anyway. It’s not like we’d be hurting the family down the street.

    #3 — In a capitalist society, failure happens. What the merger has done is take the markets both XM and Sirius originally courted — the ecclectic music lover, foreign language speakers, among a host of other ‘fringe’ consumers not being served, and created an outlet for them. Now it seems with the merger, the ‘fringes’ are being cut left and right as the boardroom seems to be eyeing the mainstream market — you know, the market already served by free, terrestial radio, with no need to pay for what is already available.

  • Pony99CA

    @Riroon:

    #1– the whole purpose of a merger is to merge, consolidate, and try to operate more cheaply. Many good folk — personalities, programmers, techs and such — are already out on their bums thanks to this ‘merger’ — all to help boost the stockholders’ bottom line

    Granted, but does that mean that everybody should lose their jobs? That makes it sound like you think it should be an all-or-nothing layoff policy, in which case most mergers would never happen.

    #2 — the most jobs would probably be lost to the overseas customer service reps. When I called to complain about my subscription, I was put on hold three separate times and connected to three separate accents. These CSR’s are being paid slave wages anyway. It’s not like we’d be hurting the family down the street.

    Wow. So it’s OK for people you don’t know or feel are being underpaid to lose their jobs? Why not just say “those foreigners” while you’re at it?

    Instead, how about letting them decide if their jobs are worth keeping.

    #3 — In a capitalist society, failure happens. What the merger has done is take the markets both XM and Sirius originally courted — the ecclectic music lover, foreign language speakers, among a host of other ‘fringe’ consumers not being served, and created an outlet for them. Now it seems with the merger, the ‘fringes’ are being cut left and right as the boardroom seems to be eyeing the mainstream market — you know, the market already served by free, terrestial radio, with no need to pay for what is already available.

    Yes, failures happen, but why does that make it OK to wish failure upon somebody — especially when the failure would have ramifications on more than the decision makers?

    I agree that the cuts are probably being made for business reasons, but so what? If people don’t like them, they stop subscribing (but I hope they’ll let Sirius/XM know why they’re stopping). If enough people stop subscribing, the company will fail, but again, why wish that on them?

    As for music, I don’t subscribe, but I understand why people are upset. However, this isn’t exclusive to satellite radio. The local rock station in San Jose (KSJO) that had been around since I moved to California in 1983 got turned into a Spanish language station a few years ago as a business decision. I didn’t wish the company to go out of business (although I do occasionally flip off their vans when I see them :D).

    However, satellite radio is about more than music — it has talk (like Howard Stern, who is immensely popular whether you like him or not) and sports, too. It’s also for travelers who wanted have their favorite stations no matter where they went, regardless of format.

    Do you really hate Sirius/XM enough to not only wish people out of work but to cut off other listeners who don’t feel screwed? “If it’s not good enough for me, nobody should have it….” What kind of attitude is that?

    Steve

  • http://www.myspace.com/riroonmusic Riroon

    Steve–

    #1 Do I think everyone should lose their jobs? Perhaps. I know it sounds heartless, but I speak from experience. I was involved in print media for about three years– worked for a local, small town paper. In three years, I nailed five state and regional awards, was recognized by such entities as ESPN, MADD, etc.

    Our paper was bought out by a multi-national (the ever-loving Gannett), and I was immediately dismissed for being ‘too controversial. Amazing thing is, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. A few weeks after I was dismissed, I saw half the hardest workers laid off, with the half NOT laid off shaking in their boots, secretly e-mailing me about how they dreaded the new working conditions, how every Friday or two a few more would be called into the office until our outfit went from 80 employees (including drivers, mailroom staff, etc) to EIGHT.

    If these guys are not in it for the customers (XM and SIRIUS both performed a service at one point) and are in it only to serve the stockholders (as this merger indicates, and as was hammered down my newspaper’s throat when Gannett thought it was a grand idea to merge us with the larger newspaper 50 miles away), then they deserve to go under. Better to rip the band-aid off quickly than to make these workers suffer and sweat, wondering if they’ll be next to be called into the office.

    2 — about ‘these foreigners’. I deal with Charter Communications, Virgin Mobile, and Geico insurance. I cannot tell you the pleasant experience of dealing with these companies’ USA call centers, where during the conversation, we can make small talk about whatever’s going on in the US. It beats the hell out of the time when a CSR from INDIA (for Belkin) hung up on me in frustration because I did not know the definition of the word “Sey-Bley” a word somewhere in his script that apparently he couldn’t pronounce.

    I had to laugh that when I called up XM to cancel, and expressed it was due to the cancellation of FRED and that DISORDER was not going to be brought over, the CSR enthusiastically read from her script. I had to patiently explain to her about the lack of Goth, Electronic music, etc., that the new playlist sounded like it’s coming from a Wal-Mart compilation CD. The CSR admitted she did not know what Goth or Wal-Mart were. I need a person I can relate to, a person that cares on the other end of that line, not someone two weeks out of ELL class that cannot understand my culture.

    3 — Do I wish for listeners that do not feel screwed to be cut off? No, but it makes no sense for both stations to merge into a plain-vanilla listening experience because some research or chart says thats what people want. Those people that want such already have that experience on free AM and FM radio.

    Mainstream music fans, sports fans, talk fans, etc., will soon fall off the wagon because so much of what they want is available for free.

    Satellite was about serving a host of rag-tag underserved markets (spanish speakers, goth fans, electronic fans, fans of old-time radio and Christian radio, kids radio, etc). While these niche markets on their own could not survive commercial radio, together under the satellite umbrella, these listeners became special.

    I remember that the head of Sirius said that the merger would not create a monopoly because of the plethora of options out there, including terrestial radio and the iPod. He doesn’t know how correct he was, as last weekend I purchased an input jack to run my iPod through my car’s stereo. The money I am saving on my subscription is starting to buy me a lot iTunes.

    Just look up ‘XM SIRIUS merger complaint’ on Google. I am not the only one doing this. Judging from threads like these, it seems like I am only one in an exodus of many.

  • In The Middle

    Deep deep down on planet “X”….YEAH Good mornin everybody….Hey Now!!!!!!!!

    You can huff and puff but you won’t blow this service down!

  • http://www.sirius.com In The Middle

    Catch the “History of Howard Stern Part Two” all next week. Check out the John Debella feud and much much more.

    On that’s right! You need to have Sirius.

  • http://www.myspace.com/riroonmusic Riroon

    @Jade:
    Wold it benefit the consumer if both of them went bankrupt because separately both of them were bleeding money?
    I was wondering about that myself. Of course, it makes you wonder how they’ll stop bleeding money if they keep two separate technologies and accounts. Are they getting enough synergy (downsizing) to make them profitable now?
    Steve

    Look at it this way:

    The service XM provided to me was so incredible, I would have gladly paid (almost double). They respected my ecclectic music tastes.

    Since the merger, the ecclectic stations have gone out the window. Therefore, I have cancelled and the new company receives NO money.

    XM was the company to go to for music fans. SIRIUS was the company to go to for SPORTS and TALK. Trying to shoehorn everything into a ‘one-size fits-all, lowest common denominator’ package is not a good business strategy. It’s the reason we the listeners bailed from terrestrial radio in the first place.

    Insofar as the ‘monopoly’ thing, Mel K. argued to the FCC that it was not a monopoly due to all the music choices — including terrestrial radio and the iPod — that consumers have.

    To this end, he is correct. My iPod is reloaded and jacked up into my car’s audio port as we speak. If I can’t get FRED, X-COUNTRY, RAW, SPECIAL X-MAS, or DISORDER (from SIRIUS), I sure in hell can come up with more reasonable approximations that apparently the suits in the boardroom can.

    Thanks, Mel K. for the suggestion!

  • mad coyote

    like many of you, i will likely be cancelling my xm subscription as well.
    i had signed up primarily for the special interest programming such as chrome and the system. now with both those gone (along with many others) the rest of it is either of no interest to me or i can get locally for free. it is disheartening to me to see that xm/sirius seem to be adding more of the same regular repetitive programming and deleting the special interest stations that were the only reason people like me signed up.
    i will likely cancel my subscription at end of the month.
    signed, one of the thousands of customers who are cancelling their account.

  • Chris

    Since my XM service was expiring in December, and how this merger has been handled, it was an easy decision to cancel.

    However, the actual act of canceling is another story. XM lines are so overwhelmed with people complaining and canceling they cannot keep up.

    The arrogance of SiriusXM is overwhelming. They list Channel A = Channel B on the programming list but rarely is there an equivalent. I bought satellite radio to hear an eclectic display of music — not hear the same Sirius playlists recycled a la ClearChannel every 4 hours.

    At any rate, when you call XM, you’ll have to tell the first CSR your life sotry as to why you’re canceling. Then they’ll transfer you to the “cancellation department”. If XM doesn’t hang up on you at this point, someone will try to sell you a year at half off. “No thanks, I’d like to cancel.” Then they’ll try to give you 3 months for free. “No thanks, I’d like to cancel.” <– just keep saying that if you enjoy a clean credit rating and no charges on your bankcard. Then, they give you the fine print on the 3 months for free:

    If you don’t call back before the end of the 90 days, XM WILL CHARGE YOUR CREDIT CARD AUTOMATICALLY. “No thanks, I’d like to cancel.” How many people do you think XM banks on to forget to call back in 90 days???

    The moral of this story… block out about 2 or three hours to get through and just keep repeating “No thanks, I’d like to cancel” no matter how frustrated you will eventually get at the CSR.

  • http://www.keepersoftheart.blogspot.com Kevin Lockett
  • dj

    XM was larger, Sirius was smaller. How is it that Sirius was able to take over XM? Sirius is losing nearly $5 billion this quarter alone, yet the CEO is paid a hefty salary of $5 million. Gee, if I had performed like this when I was working, I’d have been fired.

    Virtually all the XM channels are now totally f**ked up. There is no inherent sense to this merger. Seems there is some form of anti-trust violation going on here – no competition.

  • Larry Jackson

    Every station I listen to has either changed or been taken off the air. I didn’t have a choice of what stations I wanted. It’s like listen to AM radio with all the talk.

    Bring back Cross Country Channel 12

  • http://www.svpocketpc.com Pony99CA

    XM was larger, Sirius was smaller. How is it that Sirius was able to take over XM?

    Probably using a leveraged buyout.

    Sirius is losing nearly $5 billion this quarter alone, yet the CEO is paid a hefty salary of $5 million. Gee, if I had performed like this when I was working, I’d have been fired.

    Welcome to the wonderful world of executive compensation.

    Steve

  • Steve

    I thought more about what I said and I realize now that I am just scared that my station cannot make money since they do not have advertisers on their music stations. They are really making it impossible for us to make money. They have a superior product and well if I can be honest my attacks are a result of my fear of losing my job. Those rascals!

  • Wen

    I have just called the corporate office (202-380-4000) to leave a message of my discontent. Channel 83 needs to be reinstated. (I’m sorry, but 7 and 64 do not replace.) Since the merger I hear 1 song an hour that I want to hear. I don’t hear Boogie Nights anymore like I used to…. The whole thing of playing no so happy mood songs is NOT going to KEEP ME A SUBSCRIBER. I’m not paying for 2nd rate music, RIGHT ARTIST – WRONG SONG, etc. So please lets get on the ball. I will discontinue if they keep playing crap. We need to voice our dissatisfaction and hopefully we will get somewhere. HELP

  • xm

    They just raised their prices! They sneak through a merger nobody thought could get approved, and now, with the Justice Department being pressed to re-review mergers that the Bush administration approved, they are insensitive enough to raise prices. I've got an XM account and used to enjoy listening on-line at my desk. That was a no extra cost benefit of the account. Now they want to changre for it when there is no otjher satellite option for me to turn to when I want to send them a signal that their prices are too high. DOJ should reopen the merger question and require them to divest all of the XM satellites and bandwidth so someone else can start up a competing service. They can keep the customer lists. I just want a place to go when they raise prices or decrease services like this.

  • troy

    listen here dude if it wasn't for the The Best of Sirius Line up…u would be listening to local radio…Howard saved satellite radio…do your homework man.

  • paul jando

    these people suck the worst service ever known to man. dont sign up it will be the worst mistake you will ever make. the signal keeps going out then when you cancel the sevice they keep billing you.

  • paul jando

    these people suck the worst service ever known to man. dont sign up it will be the worst mistake you will ever make. the signal keeps going out then when you cancel the sevice they keep billing you.

  • nazrat

    Power of the consumer friends! If you don't like the service… cancel the subscription!
    I've run into the same problems as everyone else on this thread. It gave me a chance to evaluate what I really need Satellite radio for…..mmmmm lets see… I listen to some classic rock. Rock that you cannot purchase in a store anymore, but you can via iTunes. the only other thing I listen to is the comedy stations. Probably the only good part of satellite radio because I like to catch new comedians and funny people.
    Bottom line is I can get this stuff through iTunes and connect my iPod to my car radio. So I'm going to terminate the service.

    Oh and Hey Troy… K___ My A__!
    I can tell from your comments that you are barely out of HS or College when praising a Jerk like Howard Stern or a Playboy channel as being the “Best” of a line up.
    Get a life!

  • nazrat

    Power of the consumer friends! If you don't like the service… cancel the subscription!
    I've run into the same problems as everyone else on this thread. It gave me a chance to evaluate what I really need Satellite radio for…..mmmmm lets see… I listen to some classic rock. Rock that you cannot purchase in a store anymore, but you can via iTunes. the only other thing I listen to is the comedy stations. Probably the only good part of satellite radio because I like to catch new comedians and funny people.
    Bottom line is I can get this stuff through iTunes and connect my iPod to my car radio. So I'm going to terminate the service.

    Oh and Hey Troy… K___ My A__!
    I can tell from your comments that you are barely out of HS or College when praising a Jerk like Howard Stern or a Playboy channel as being the “Best” of a line up.
    Get a life!

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