SiriusXM, Texas reach deal over consumer complaints

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SiriusXM radio had been the focus of consumer complaints.
SiriusXM radio had been the focus of consumer complaints.

SiriusXM radio had been the focus of consumer complaints.

SiriusXM says it has revamped some of its business practices following an investigation by the attorneys general in Texas and several other states.

The changes, outlined in an “assurance of voluntary compliance” filed this month in Travis County’s 345th District Court, come after a flurry of consumer complaints about the satellite radio provider, according to court documents.

Those documents indicate some of the complaints came from customers who said they were unknowingly signed up for auto-renewal of SiriusXM services, while other subscribers claimed they continued to be billed for services they had canceled.

Many of the issues were related to dealings with customer service representatives at the company’s call centers, records indicate.

SiriusXM, in a court filing, says it “does not admit that it has violated the consumer statutes and enters into this settlement for purposes of resolution of this matter only.”

“We are pleased to have reached agreements that resolve this investigation,” SiriusXM spokesman Patrick Reilly told the American-Statesman. “The changes to our consumer practices that we agreed to are practices we have already implemented at SiriusXM.

“Under the terms of the settlements, we have agreed to provide, upon the request of the states, additional information about our consumer practices and to participate in a process designed to address any previously unresolved consumer complaints.”

As part of the settlement, SiriusXM will make a payment of about $4 million to the states. The payment, Reilly said, “has no material financial effect on the company.”

The Texas attorney general’s office said the money will be used as a reimbursement for attorneys’ fees and investigative costs, consumer education efforts and future “public protection purposes,” among other things.

Going forward, SiriusXM has agreed to make “clear and conspicuous” disclosures about its various policies, including those governing auto-renewals and cancellations.

The company has committed to adequately staff its call centers, including a pledge to warn callers when wait times exceed three minutes. When waits times are extended, customers will be able to leave a message that will be returned when SiriusXM operators are available to assist.

Scripts used by customer service representatives have been modified, including those used when SiriusXM attempts to “save” a customer from canceling service.

All calls from customers wishing to cancel service will be recorded, documents indicate. Those recordings will be saved for a minimum of 30 months and will be available for state officials to review, if they choose.

“SiriusXM shall not engage in harassing or abusive ‘save’ attempts and a customer service representative shall promptly and without delay move on to the next ‘save’ attempt or cancellation, depending on the circumstances, when a consumer declines a rebuttal offer,” the agreement says, in part.

The company has also modified its customer complaint resolution process. As part of those revisions, some past complaints will be revisited.


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