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Sirius Xm


Lifetime Membership Trap

Complaint Rating:  65 % with 23 votes
65% 23
If offered, do not sign up for Sirius XM's lifetime membership program. As it turns out, after you spend hunders of dollars to become an lifetime member you are charged $75 to have them switch radios, even if you have to switch radios because of a defective radio marketd by Sirius themselves.

I purchased the lifetime membership because my wife bought me a Starmate radio for my car. Just over a year later the radio just stopped receiving a single. It was determined that this was a known defect/bug with the Starmate radios and there was nothing they could do. Okay, although I was annoyed that I had to purchase a new radio, however after I purchased the radio, they charged my wifes credit card a $75 activation fee... this fee only for lifetime memberships.

I did not purchase this radio because I wanted a new radio, I was perfectly happy with the one I had. I purchased the radio because of a defected radion provided by Sirius themselves. So not only did I have to purchase a new radio ( which I thought was ridiculous as I still have FM/AM radios that work from when I was a kid) I had to pay them $75 to switch the radio serial number on my account... taking them all of 2 minutes to do.

In my opinion this is a complete scam. In addition, when I was being talked into the life time membership, (even though it was in the fine print in the documents I received a few weeks later) I was never told this by the sales representitive.

It it weren't for the amount of money paid (in comparision to the monthly fee) and this being the only medium to get Howard Stern, I would have completely dropped the service.

Good luck to the new merged comapny if they continue to treat existing customers like garbage.

(I put this on as Unauthoizred charges because they charged my wife's credit card because after I purchased the life time membership she wanted to activate the dadio in her new card and purcahsed the monthly plan... therefore this was the only credit card that had access to.)
Complaint comments Comments (24) Complaint country United States Complaint category Unauthorized Charges


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 18th of Jul, 2009 by    -2 Votes
You do understand that the Lifetime plan is not your lifetime and is the Lifetime of the radios. Right?? Being a 3rd party observer, how is Sirius XM in the Wrong. Do you know for a fact that the problem your having is a "known" bug or defect?? Have you contacted the Manufacture of the equipment to have it repaired?? This Unauthorized charge, did they notify you were going to be charged this 75$?? If it was so unauthorized, how did they get the card number??
 3rd of Jan, 2010 by    0 Votes
reyrey (the person who posted right above), is an idiot! He/She/It does not know what what he/she/it is talking about.
the lifetime membership is a contract for using Sirius/XM FOR LIFE. It has nothing to do with the lifetime of your Sirius/XM radio unit.
That's what i have. I paid for in 2005, right before Howard Stern's show bagan (on satellite radio) in jan 06. I stll have that membership. I have not been charged any additional fees. I still have the origing equipment, i purchased a local store.
I understand that now there are some additional fees for new accounts. Some features, which used to be free (aka, online streaming), isn't no longer availble, for free.
Anyway, who cares. if y ou don't like it anymore, or don't wantto pay, cancel it!
 15th of Feb, 2010 by    0 Votes
I purchased a lifetime subscription from Sirius in December of 2007. At that time, lifetime was for MY lifetime, and id I had to transfer to another radio, I had to pay a $75.00 transfer fee. That is IT.

NOW Sirius IS a fraud. NOW they have changed the rules, and expect new rules to apply to old contracts. They claim LIFETIME means the lifetime of the unit. Don't be a moron. That is a scam. Anyone who hears LIFETIME does not think they mean lifetime of a unit. Why would you pay hundreds of dollars for the lifetime of your unit which is only warranteed for what, 3 months? a Year? That makes NO sense.

Lifetime means a person's lifetime, I don't care what is in small print.

Now Sirius is telling me that I can only transfer up to 3 times in my lifetime. First they said I couldn't transfer from a factory installed radio, then they changed their tone and said I could transfer three times.

This is all complete bull, regardless. If you bought a lifetime subscription when I did, you were told on the phone it was for YOUR lifetime, and you paid a $75.00 transfer fee to transfer to new equipment, unless the old equipment was defective, damaged, or stolen. I agreed to that, and if I ever lose my subscription, I will sue them. It's that simple.

 21st of Aug, 2010 by    +1 Votes

I bought an Audiovox PNP2 with a lifetime subscription over 6 years ago. At the same time, I bought three extra remotes. I never use the buttons or dial on the unit, because they're the parts that are by far the most likely to wear out.

If the Audiovox unit ever dies, $75 to transfer the lifetime subscription to a brand new radio is peanuts. And with 3 transfers allowed, my Sirius subscription will easily outlive me. It's far more likely that satellite radio technology will become obsolete before I have to pay for another subscription.

I've already saved $500 over what I would've paid for a monthly subscription, I get Sirius Internet Radio for no extra charge, and I'm "playing with house money" for the rest of my life.

I made out so good, I feel guilty. You crybabies are incredible!
 24th of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
I just had this issue yesterday as I traded in both my wife's car and my car for new cars in the last 7 days. All the cars had factory-installed XM in them. 3 years ago we signed up for XM for life TWICE (her car and mine) at a grand total of $800. I was told that I would be allowed 3 transfers (each) during that "lifetime." When I called yesterday, I was told that I would have to pay $75 twice for the transfer fee (original contract says "a transfer fee MAY be charged"). On top of that, the rep told me that the transfer is not available at all FROM factory installed radios, only from third party portable radio units. After much discussion the rep agreed to waive this policy as I was not told about it (I still cannot find where it is referenced in my documentation). Overall, a horrible customer service experience, took almost two hours on top of it all.
 25th of Aug, 2010 by    0 Votes
9. Lifetime Subscription Plan: A "Lifetime Subscription" is one that continues for the life of the Receiver equipment. Lifetime Subscriptions are nonrefundable. You may cancel a Lifetime Subscription but if you cancel during the first year of service you will be charged a cancellation fee set forth in these Terms. Non Automotive Receivers: A Lifetime Subscription associated with a home, portable, or dock & play Receiver is transferable from one Receiver to another Receiver, up to a maximum of three (3) times. For each permitted transfer of a subscription from one Receiver to another or from one person to another you will be charged a transfer fee set forth in these Terms. Automotive Receivers: A Lifetime Subscription is not transferable if it is associated with a Receiver installed by an automaker or an automotive dealer in a vehicle, except in the event the original Receiver associated with that Lifetime Subscription is stolen, accidentally damaged or if, in the sole discretion of XM, it is defective. For each permitted transfer of a subscription from one person to another based upon a stolen or accidentally damaged Receiver you will be charged a transfer fee set forth in these Terms. No transfer fee will be charged for the transfer of a Lifetime Subscription associated with a Receiver installed by an automaker
 25th of Aug, 2010 by    +1 Votes
 24th of Sep, 2010 by    +1 Votes
I for one couldn't be happier with my Sirius (lifetime) subscription. I can see his point though, if you buy tires with a lifetime warranty those tires better damn well have the same amount of tread on them 300, 000 miles later. If I get a bag of Oreos and it says satisfaction guaranteed or my money back, I want to eat the whole package and bring it back empty for a full refund, no questions asked.

Stop your whining! Your equipment didn't last as long as you anticipated, it wasn't designed obsolesence, it just broke. Sirius has been a stand up company on the 2 or 3 occassions I had to call them. I don't know how you got mistreated by their customer service department, all I can say is they went above and beyond my expectations to answer questions and make me feel valued.

When I signed up for the lifetime subscription, I asked questions. Of course it isn't your lifetime, who has EVER heard of such a thing? It doesn't exist in any business I've ever heard of. As a matter of fact, a lifetime warranty can have a legal definition where as long as it is a minimum of 3 years it's all good. But they go one better and allow 3 transfers at $75 each. If you get 3 years out of a single reciever, never transfer to another, never listen online, you've still saved money. If you do decide to activate a new receiver for $75 you only need to listen to it for 6 months to be in the black on that deal.
 7th of Jun, 2011 by    0 Votes
I purchased a life time subscription back on 2007 and it worked fine until this january2011 when it just stop working, i called sirius and oh sorprise my information is not on their system and the ESN of my radio is under somebody else that cancelled his subscription like a year ago...now i'm dealing with the BBB and the FCC to try to get my service back and also trying to figure this out...of course they are asking me for the receipt when i bought the subscription but i don't have it so here i'm trying to get this resolve does anyone had the same problem or something like that happened...????? any sugestions????
 11th of Jul, 2011 by    0 Votes
Check this out... I purchased my Sirius lifetime back in April 2006. Sometime after that Sirius/XM merged. I recently sold my car with the GPS/Satellite radio system with it, then I purchased a new Cadillac CTS Coupe. When I try to transfer my existing lifetime, I'm told that XM is a seperate company and therfore can't transfer my Sirius lifetime. The company webiste is SiriusXM; they answer the phone SiriusXM and I'm sure each employees paycheck says SiriusXM. Even the new literature I get with my new vehicle says SiriusXM but am still told they are seperate. I would like to hear from ANYONE having this same issue as I plan on contacting an attorney about the possibility of moving forward with a class action suit. My e-mail is npalermino@gmail.com
 21st of Jul, 2011 by    0 Votes
If you read the terms and conditions it is very clear that you will be charged 75 dollars to switch the radio. If you don't have the lifetime plan its only 15 dollars. It's up to you as a consumer to inform yourself before purchasing an item. I read all the details so I know that if something goes wrong what the policy is. Its unfortunate that you are mad because you refused to educate yourself on the companies policy that was so easy to read. Good luck. I guess some people will always find a reason to complain. Just take responsibility for not reading the policy. It's your fault.
 19th of Mar, 2012 by    0 Votes
I purchased a lifetime plan with XM Radio in August 2010 for my car and paid $499.99. I traded my car in a year later, and XM allowed me to "transfer my lifetime plan" to another car -- but charged me $75. They referred to this as a "radio swap". Recently though in March 2012, I made another trade-in, but this time XM Radio said I was not permitted to transfer my lifetime plan at all -- not even for a fee of $75. The new self-made policy is that no lifetime transfer is permissable unless the radio is stolen or defective, nor is a pro-rated refund an option. In summary, I paid almost $600 to XM Radio over a 1.5 year time period and cannot get my money back. I thought lifetime plan meant that the consumer will receive XM radio for a lifetime -- but that is not the case. If I had known that the lifetime plan meant that you received services only for one vehicle in that lifetime, I would not have paid that much money for it. The XM Supervisor was unphased by the consumer being ripped off.
 16th of Aug, 2012 by    0 Votes
SIRIUS XM has a scam called Lifetime Subscription. The reason they don't have you physically sign a document and return it to them is because it is a scam. The phrase Lifetime Subscription only has one preceived meaning and no amount of "written in small words" can change that.

For those of you who are backing Sirius XM, calling those complaining on a complaint board, need to pipe down. You were probably contracted by Sirius XM to provide opposition. Nobody is being a cry baby inside a forum that is titled "Complaints Board".

We need to group together and work to find a day of justice in court. If you are interested: lrjoohay@yahoo.com
 24th of Feb, 2013 by    0 Votes
kindly read the customer service agreement:

 8th of Dec, 2013 by    0 Votes
I bought the Lifetime plan back in 2008. I was told that it was a lifetime subscription and could be transferred a total of 3 times. Sirius' stock price was trading at $0.06 per share because they had a large debt payment coming due that the market didn't think they could make. So I figured there was a chance that they could be out of business, but I figured it was worth a shot. I was NEVER told there was a $75 transfer fee. That's 5 months worth of service! That would have been a deal breaker for me had I known that. I will NEVER pay that $75 dollars. I can't continue to do business with a company that isn't honest while selling their subscriptions. Stay away from them.
 20th of Jan, 2014 by    0 Votes
Im a csr of sxm if i were you dont sign up for sxm...for any plans and radio subx. There is autorenewal and autocharge for your credit card. Eventhough, you did not authorized the system will just charge ur credit card. Please dont blame the csr or agents we have nothing to do with the auto charge and your billing. Only the system will generate that one for you. I know company sucks but we have no choice but just to follow our boss. If i were a customer, i wont sign up for sirius xm. Just tell to the agents if u were a cx you received a letter from sxm 6mos for 25 dollars in that way you will get the subscription for that amount. That's my help to our customer... thats a cheat coming from me! Just tell to the agent you recived that letter and for sure we'll honor that and lower ur bill... but do t forget to call before expiration date !!! Dont give credit card tell them to be billed instead i hope provided you great cheat to sxm
 9th of Apr, 2014 by    0 Votes
To Mike_P, your "contract" language above regarding "Lifetime Subscription Plan" is post 2009 agreement wording, and does not apply to the majority of consumers that purchased a "Lifetime" contract with Sirius prior to 2009. Sirius required a contact phone number, a mailing address and the consumer could provide an email address. Yet, other than an invoice or marketing material, Sirius never made an effort to provide consumers with a written, executed contract. The reason I assume, was to be able to manipulate the contract administration, as it effects the paying consumer, in the best interest of Sirius and it's investors.

The bottom line is that most folks that purchased "lifetime" subscriptions were intentionally taken advantage of by Sirius, and most if not all were intentionally given bad information by INSUFFICIENTLY trained sales people at Sirius, who talked folks out of monthly subscriptions, selling them these worthless "lifetime" subscriptions.
So why is Sirius so stingy? They are not hurting. Sirius increased revenue by 12% to $3.8 billion in 2013. Sirius grew its subscriber base by 1.66 million to a level now over 25.5 million. Sirius improved revenue per subscriber by just over 2%, while holding expense growth well below revenue growth, which "drove 27% growth in adjusted EBITDA to nearly $1.17 billion, also beating our guidance. For the year, this delivered a record margin of 30.6%, an increase from 27% in 2012 and 24% in 2011. Fourth quarter adjusted EBITDA grew an astounding 41%, boosted by lower subsidy rates on vehicles", Jim Meyer, CEO (2/4/2014).

Since a very small percentage of subscribers purchased "lifetime" subscriptions, why would such a clearly profitable company choose to kick those same consumers that fronted cash (cash that helped them merge with XM) in the form of "lifetime" subscriptions, to the proverbial curb? Is this yet another corporation that ultimately cares less about its customers than it does its investors?
 5th of Feb, 2015 by    0 Votes
Na na na na na na!!! In 2004 my wife purchased the Sirius S50 Portable radio with the Lifetime subscription for me (xmas) $89.99 for the radio and $500 for the Lifetime subscription, still have the receipts. At the time of purchase, the contract (still have) reads "lifetime" or three (3) transfers at $15.00 per transfer. So, after my 3 transfers, my "lifetime" subscription is up and I will then have to pay today's transfer fees. In 2012 my original S50 finally took a dump and I'm on my second one. I purchased my second one on Ebay for $50 and still rolling. This early contract came out before Sirius was in vehicles, so there based on (mine) portable radios. Now here's where it gets clear and may help some of you. The contract reads "no additional charges for new or future streaming, channels, etc. In 2009 I called Sirius and added online streaming (Lifetime), I don't see any need for the streaming through my smart phone, "Data charges WILL apply" Anyway I'm 54 now and if I get the same amount of years on my current portable and my new one sitting in my closet, the service may outlast me, I hope not. I have all the channels, etc.. I do stay on top of Sirius and they're very nice. In doing the math using today's monthly price at $18.99 a month I'm in the black at roughly $1, 800 (+/-) and still listening!. It should all be based on your contract at the time of purchase which I hope you held on to...
 2nd of Jun, 2015 by    0 Votes
I think persistence and courtesy is the name of this game.
I bought my lifetime membership in July, 2007, and I believed it was for my life, not my receiver’s life.
So when I made a car change in 2009, I was informed about and fought the $75 charge, and got it waived.
Now in 2015 I am making my second car change, and was told there would be a $75 charge. I argued the point, was awarded a $5 credit, and I asked to be billed for the balance as I knew I wanted to argue the issue with someone in authority. After failing several times through emails with normal customer service, I emailed nonmgmtdirectors@siriusxm.com after some internet researching. I received a response from a rep with SiriusXM Corporate Relations, 1-866-578-7474, option 3. The rep heard my story and agreed to waive the whole charge, but it would count as a second transfer. She also stated I would have to pay for a third transfer, and that would be the last. We will see, when and if that ever happens.
From reading the reviews here, I think to be professional and kind but firm and direct in your communication will get you what you want. That is a life lesson in all things.
I have given you enough info here to give you a good start.
If the company lasts for my lifetime, I plan to never pay another penny, regardless of whether the equipment is in my car or in my coffin.
 10th of Jun, 2015 by    0 Votes
The title of the service is deliberately deceptive and when I bought my lifetime Sirius the rep on the phone made it very clear this was a service that would stay with me. I'm not even sure I got a copy of the contract . The point is not about it not being truly lifetime ( although I am disappointed) it is about deception. They tricked me in 2007 and all this time I have been recommending them. That ticks me off.
As far as you defenders of the contract ... When is the last time you read iTunes terms of use, or Adobe's? Far as I know they could own everything I have and I am their indentured servant now.

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