So the only place I use XM is on my motorcycle. XM has value for me, as I typically like to ride long distances. It’s not unusual for me to say ride 2400 miles over a 3 day weekend whilst rallying. (yes you read that right twenty four hundred miles).
This certainly means I’m all over the place and being able to listen to a consistent signal or station is a good thing.
XM is pretty consistent on the highways, but when you’re in the mountains (which is where we prefer to ride) it can be spotty. Especially when you’re on the north east side of the mountain.
So, being that I live in the North East, motorcycling unfortunately isn’t a year round event. From sometime in November to at least the end of February, with a few exceptions the bike gets put away.
Every year I call up XM, explain to them that I don’t need the service until March. They threaten me with re-activation fees but when I persist they have usually discounted those months. Enough so that it’s still worth it for that rare winter day around here when it hits 50 degrees and we go out for a ride.
Since the XM/Sirius merger, there isn’t any competition. You can’t play one off the other any more.
I picked up my bill this year to start the negotiating process that happens every winter. Only to come to a few new realizations that really bothered me.
I remember last year being promised the price wouldn’t change for, I *think* 3 years.
So what’s the strategy? We didn’t raise our prices, but we now have to charge you a music royalty fee. WTF?
This irritates me.
I *may* not even listen to music, in fact I generally listen to sports, or the comedy channel. Their 80’s channel only has 100 songs, if you ride a 12 hour ride you will hear all of them, often twice.
I’m not against the artists being paid, but I am against XM billing me for a line item that is simply part of their cost of doing business.
Very few industries can do this. I don’t patronize car repair places that charge me a line item ‘rag-fee’ or ‘fluid disposal fee’, and I likely won’t patronize XM any more.
I also get dinged $2.00 so they can send me an invoice. I’m perfectly happy to receive this digitally, but no, I’m not going to let them auto-charge me for anything. When they auto-charged my credit card in years past they couldn’t seem to charge me the same amount twice (even though my subscription didn’t change)
This year, they have a new feature. I am apparently not alone. They now let you suspend your account. So that later you don’t have to be threatened with re-activation fees. They also get to continue to list you as one of their ‘subscribers’ albeit a suspended one.
So for now I’m a suspended subscriber. Helping to dilute your royalty fees. I expect that will remain until I just have to have it for a big trip.