My XM Radio (in my GPS) died a number of weeks ago. I kept thinking of getting it fixed but all the GPS units I am looking at use FM/Cellular for traffic reports and paying for radio only just didn’t make a lot of sense for someone who drives 7-10K miles a year, I do have an MP3 player after all. Traffic updates on a GPS on the other hand are a nice luxury I enjoy in my traffic riddled area.

I went to to press the big-red CANCEL button, but no such button could be found. The FAQ online indicates how to cancel but the directions did not reveal a magic link to me. A quick Google search and I was meet with tons of posts describing how canceling XMRadio is nigh impossible. Armed with that information I decided to document my progress while I attempted to cancel over the phone.

The brief transcript follows.

11:45 – Called XMRadio to cancel, pressed 0 before entering zip code. This trick is a common one to avoid being placed in the mythical Ignore customer queue. Does such a thing exist, I do not know. But wasn’t in the mood to confirm it.

11:45 Called XMRadio 1-800 number. I also had my account data on the screen so my billing data, radio ID, etc. were easily accessible.

11:45 – Phone answer by a cheery voice with a light accent. Sounded very disappointed when I asked to cancel, and stuttered through the script. But she was polite and I was routed to the Special department, what horrors await me….

11:46 – Call answered by the Special department after just a few seconds by a polite operator whose English was quite acceptable. I explained my radio broke and I had no interest in replacing it yet. Yes, I liked the service (just not enough to keep paying).

11:48 – Gave my radio number, address, etc. (I pulled this from my online account) Brief attempt to get me a new radio that I declined.

11:52 – Cancel done after giving my radio number, address, etc. I was told my account would end on Nov 24. Sounds reasonable but I am am amazed that if I sign up on the last day of the month I am billed for 1 day, if I cancel on the 3rd I am billed for the entire month anyway. Funny how their billing system can start in .01 seconds but can only end at specific time periods. But that is so typical it is now considered standard.

Total time 7 minutes, but at no time was I on any lengthy hold. If I was not tracking the entire process I would have guessed it took 3-4 minutes. There was no pressure to keep the service, although some offers were made specific to my situation (a new radio), it was not extreme and well within my tolerances.

So we will see if this really works. If it does then it was pretty benign for a phone cancellation. If it doesn’t then I will update this post with my next action steps.

I do not usually subscribe to services unless I can find a cancel option on-line. If I am required to (work, client needs, etc.) I usually use a special card or one-time credit card number for this purpose. Silly that we as customers need to do such things.