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Old 12-12-2006, 12:33 AM   #1
Gump
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Default Customer Service Nightmare - ONGOING SINCE AUGUST!

As a Sirius member since early 2003 with five radios currently activated, I am appalled by my recent and ongoing experience with the customer service department at Sirius. As a shareholder, I am equally disgusted. As a longtime Sirius Backstager, I'm finally ready to take the time to document this problem.

Where do I begin? And where could I begin to explain the now THOUSANDS of minutes I've spent on hold over various calls among the various issues that have arisen from this situation since August trying to solve a single issue regarding a single order?

On August 30th, I called Sirius to order the Starmate Radio as part of the promotional package they had going on at that time for activating 6 months of service upon receiving the promo radio. So, I spoke with an individual who took my order and upon his confirmation that the radios were "in-hand," I paid extra shipping for 2nd Day Air - this was to be a gift for my fiance.

During Labor Day weekend, I experienced a 90 minute long phone call, mostly composed of hold time, when I finally learned that due to 'inventory issues' Sirius wasn't able to ship the radio until September 8th. I understood, life happens. They apologized for leading me to believe that and refunded me for the 2nd Day Air shipping I was convinced I should pay for. So when the radio never shipped on the 8th, I called again. Another hour on the phone composed of waiting and telling my story to an uninterested sales rep finally resulted in learning that 'the last person who told you they would be available on the 8th was given inaccurate information - they won't be available to ship until the end of September.' I was mad and felt like quitting on the order. If I only knew what would happen next.

September 30th, I took the LSAT exam and was extremely busy. I was also planning to be engaged on October 14th (which I was), so the outer-space relevance of this ongoing issue was deferred, I figured that with time, the situation would handle itself as the item was bound to finally ship. When it never shipped, I called Sirius right around my engagement time mid-October and discovered some great news....my Starmate was finally in-stock and would be shipping that week! Fantastic! It took a 55 minute phone call to finally figure that one out, but hey, my radio was finally coming, right?

The item finally shipped and I received an e-mail confirmation with an actual tracking number! The e-mail itself was a copy of the order, claiming that the order was going to ship to my displayed address in Ohio. My Starmate finally shipped according to UPS.com.......and days later the tracking number claimed it had been delivered.......but I never received it. Close inspection of the tracking page on UPS revealed that despite the Ohio address in the shipping confirmation e-mail, the radio had been shipped to…….
NORTH CAROLINA!!!! WHAT?!? HUH?! WHY??! I LIVE IN OHIO!!!

So it was now late October, I called and explained the entire above situation to a rep who barely believed me or seemed to care. I requested to talk with a manager. The manager I spoke with "recognized that there was an obvious error" and sent the order to be reviewed by his constituents, where he claimed that it would be determined to have been a mistake and so they would re-ship the radio to my correct address. Of course, this was accomplished with another hour on the phone. I asked the manager to take a look at the notes on the order/my account for all the previous phone calls which I knew would shed light on the ridiculous nature of the ongoing issue. Surprisingly, he said that the only note on the order was the original order itself, but that he would now add a note of the re-shipment.

A week later in early November, I FINALLY RECEIVED MY RADIO!
TIME TO CELEBRATE........RIGHT??

WRONG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
After all of this so far - a late August order resulting in the mistake with the 2nd day air, three delayed shipment dates in September, the order finally shipping mid-October and being shipped to nowhere, - the order had finally been shipped again and it was the WRONG radio, I received the Sirius One Radio!!!! This was no Starmate!!

Of course, on a day in early November I called right away and attempted to explain the entire situation thus far. He traced the problem beyond the original shipment issue in October to reveal that the original individual who took my order in August - the same individual who allowed me to pay for 2nd Day Air when there was no items on stock - ordered the Sirius One Radio, despite my making it clear in my statements that I wanted to order the Starmate Replay. Seeing the pattern of problems with the original individual who placed the order and Sirius for their shipment issues in October, the rep kindly gave me $20 credit to my account for "being patient" and "not biting his head off." He apologized many times and told me to send the unopened radio to an address to "setup and exchange" for the Starmate. He told me that it was "just wrong" that this had happened and that he would make sure that I "received the radio I originally desired in the first order, or something better." He instructed me to ship the unopened radio back to an RMA address for Sirius in New Jersey, get the tracking number for my shipment, and call Sirius back the next day so that “they could confirm that I had sent it back to them and begin working on the exchange.” I did exactly that.

I called in that next day in November and had to RE-EXPLAIN the entire situation AGAIN because NOBODY kept track of this issue in any notes - at all. This made me disgusted, yet I finally felt like I was getting somewhere as Sirius now had the tracking number they wanted for the 'exchange item' (wrong radio). I was told to now just be patient as it "may take a little bit" for them to figure out how to rectify the situation, but that upon receiving my radio shipment, someone "higher up" would "make it right" by sending me the Starmate Radio or “something better that is available” for having to put up with all the trouble - the situation would “be taken care of.” I asked for and was promised an e-mail confirmation of any status changes of this ‘exchange.’

This past Friday, over one month later with no shipments, no e-mails, just my shipping the radio out for an exchange with nothing in return, I called for an update on this seemingly never-ending situation and the status of my promised ‘exchange.’ She placed me on hold for 20 minutes. She came back to tell me that she sympathized with the situation and told me that it was horrible; while I was on hold she had "just taken the time to hand-write out the issue to the managers who had discretion over elevated issues." She told me that these same people weren’t in on Fridays so I would have to call in on Monday to “confirm that they were working on the problem.” Right before I got off, I specifically clarified everything with this seemingly bright rep saying,
Me: “Yeah, it’s been since August now, I’d like to get this in by Christmas, this is just ridiculous.”
Her: “Oh absolutely, I’d be very upset. I can’t believe this myself, I really do apologize. I’m completely confident that when you call in on Monday, the issue will be on its way to resolution, they’ll be able to rapidly ship the radio you originally wanted to make good on the situation.”
Me: “Okay, so all I have to do is call on Monday, give the ticket number to any rep and ask for the status of the situation?”
Her: “Correct. If you give them your ticket number or order number, they will be able to see what I’ve done today and you’ll be able to find out what the team who handles elevated issues is.”

Today, I called as I was supposed to, and today, I got a clueless lady who looked up the ticket, looked up the order and told me, “Sir, I don’t see anything about you calling in on Friday; in fact, your notes on this situation don’t have anything except something about a re-shipment in October.” In a complete denial that the previous encounter had ever happened, I demanded that she check into the situation because I knew that a kind rep had taken the time to write something by hand this past Friday. After waiting 40 MINUTES on hold, she thanked me for waiting and said that “couldn’t find that anyone had written anything up about any issue this past Friday.” Not seeming to comprehend the situation at all, she told me that I “didn’t qualify for the exchange anyway because my original order from August was for the Sirius One Radio.” I explained the entire situation from start to finish, demonstrating the incompetence of Sirius in various instances, such as the individual who mistakenly put me down on the order for the Sirius one, and how now it was in their ball court to “make it right” (as I had been previously promised).

Of course, did this explanation do any good? Of course not. At this point she sounded determined to willfully not comprehend the situation for the purpose of ending it. I asked to be transferred to someone higher up and was placed on hold indefinitely until my cell phone battery died an hour later.

This afternoon, I received an e-mail with an update on my ticket status: DENIED.
Here’s the link:
http://shop.sirius.com/edealinv/serv...2262455&c=2640
Read the ‘additional comments’ at the bottom, they were composed by the rep who handled the ‘exchange’ in November and the ‘reason’ in the upper right corner was apparently composed today.

So now what? I am not quitting.
I WANT MY RADIO and NOBODY DESERVES THIS TREATMENT!!!

I know this all sounds crazy, but I’m not. This has to be the worst experience I’ve ever had – and to think it’s with the same company I own shares in - absolutely despicable.
Why do I have to choose between the Sirius One and the Sirius IvV Radio? Why is the “starmate not an option?” After all of this, are you kidding me - resulting from an order placed in August which still has not been properly fulfilled?!? My hundreds of cell phone minutes should be enough to justify someone sending me a decent radio, not withstanding all of the mistakes made by Sirius through the progress of the original order up until now!!

Who are the masses of individuals not being regularly screened for drugs in the Sirius orders department?! SOMEBODY HELP!!!

p.s. I have all the order numbers, ticket numbers, e-mails and tracking numbers involved in this situation for reference.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:44 AM   #2
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Gump, I have ZERO doubt that you've been treated this way. SIRIUS doesn't give two turds about their customers. Folks are all concerned about the stock and bad decisions that SIRIUS has made in terms of paying Stern. Those things will take care of themselves. However, my bigger concern is and has always been SIRIUS Corporate lack of ability to provide Customer Service. I think if anything will kill this company it is the poor customer service that they provide. It is so sad to say that you are just one of hundreds if not thousands of customers that have been treated so poorly. If you look through the S50 threads, you see folks that have been waiting as long if not longer for replacement tuners. Nobody and I mean Nobody should be treated this way.

If you can't fill the order, then give the customer a refund and let them go buy a new tuner locally. Give them a month or two of free service for the inconvenience. But no, that would to too much like the right thing to do. So lets string them along, lie to them, tell them its been shipped, when we know it has not. Then if we don't have what they want, lets just ship them anything. An antenna, car kit, home kit.. just grab something and stick it in the box.

I certainly wish I had a solution for you. But this is the sort of stuff that is going to come back and bite SIRIUS in the ass. How long will you continue to fight this battle before you just cut your losses and just walk away from them totally. I know dozens of people that will never subscribe to SIRIUS again and the reason why is customer service or perhaps I should say lack thereof.

I have a feeling in the coming months we are going to see a big ass churn rate, not just for this reason but for many others, which I won't get into because I don't want to dilute your thread. But I feel your pain and you have every right to be pissed off. You are a better man than me because I would have already told them to shove it. Right now I am down to one subscription. I have invested in one tuner and at this point I will make no further investment in SIRIUS until such time as this turn this ship around. I sometimes wish I had just kept my S50 instead of investing further in the Stiletto. But the Stiletto right now is the only shinning light they seem to have in my book.

I hope you eventually get it worked out.
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Last edited by DAB; 12-12-2006 at 02:47 AM..
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Old 12-12-2006, 10:25 AM   #3
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Gump,

I feel your pain. I've been lucky with my dealing with Sirius CS, but I have had similar nightmares with other companies (Verizon for one). But, I can offer some advice that seems to work for me when I sense I'm getting a run around from Customer Service.

What I do is look up the CEO of the corporation and then write a letter or call that office. Now, I wouldn't expect to get through to actually talk to Mel (but, if you do, please let us know ), but most public corporations have entire departments to handle Presidential Complaints. I learned this early in my career working for a large bank. When a Presidential Complaint comes through, the manager gets a message that basically says, "fix this now!"

In one of my experiences using this tactic about an issue I had with Verizon, where I had a manager telling me something was impossible, immediately after contacting the CEO, another Manager called and couldn't understand why my request became an issue.

I hope this helps, Good Luck!
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Old 12-12-2006, 11:19 AM   #4
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I know exactly what you're going through. Their customer service reps need a reality check. They are cocky, UNhelpful, and extremely rude. If it wasn't for Howard Stern, I would switch to XM in a heartbeat! They should be thankful that his fans are as loyal as we are and not get rid of the shitty service that comes along with subscribing to their company. It makes me oh, so sad.
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Old 12-12-2006, 11:24 AM   #5
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This is exactly why I ALWAYS take *names* (first and last), dates, times and detailed notes (which can be faxed) when dealing with any customer nonsupport people. If the CSR won't give me their first AND last name, I will request speaking with a manager. I've gotten screwed far too many times by inept CSR's and refuse to be burned again.
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Old 12-12-2006, 07:01 PM   #6
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The problem with Sirius customer service is this.. Sirius contracts with an outside company. The fact is the people you are talking to don't work for Sirius. They could care less because they are not a part of the actual company, which results in ZERO loyalty. They have no benefits, incentives, or anything that an actual Sirius employee gets.

Another problem with outsourcing is the vital communication needed between Sirius and the contracted call center is lost. This happens to a lot of outsourced customer service. Most likely Sirius just receives a report in the mail every month from the call center with call statistics.. And I don't mean "SQ sounds horrible on channel A", or "# of lost repair items".. No, the statistics they receive are 'number of calls 1,023', 'number of abandoned calls (hang ups) 52', 'Average answer speed 40 seconds', 'Average call handling time 2 minutes', 'overall service level 90%'.

How do I know this? Because I used to work in an 'in-house' call center, but in a much different business sector. Still, when too many calls were waiting in queue, a few of us would begin answer all the calls with, "Our system is currently unavailable. Can we call you back?". The reason we did that was to 'clear' the queue to bring back up the service levels. Calls in queue mean poor service levels. In some cases our clients had contracts that levied hefty fines against us if we didn't hit that service level. That means quantity over quality. A rep just simply has no time to really research your issue. As someone who really likes to resolve problems, I can't begin to tell you how frustrated I would get at times. I simply had too much on my plate and some things would have to be done half-assed. The very second I would take a minute to research an issue I'd be told to get back on the phone.

Honestly, I have little respect for companies that outsource their customer service. I also have little respect for companies that spread their departments out all over the country. There is something to be said of a company where you can walk down the hall to meet with the person face to face that can resolve your issue.
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:24 AM   #7
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This is sad. I can't believe how after all the costumer service complaints posted not only on this forum but others as well, Sirius hasn't (or doesn't seem to) done anything to fix this problems. Stream, the company they outsource costumer service to should be kicked to the curb. If I have learned anything from all the stories I've read, is to not buy anything ever directly from Sirius. Best of luck to you.
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Old 12-13-2006, 01:41 AM   #8
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Outsources is only part of the problem. The fact is that SIRIUS needs to insurance that the folks that are doing the oursourcing are providing the training to meet their subscribers needs. This clealy isn't happening.

I worked for a company a long time again that provided technical support to internet providers to solve connection and other support issues. We provided excellent support though, but it was all in the training. These folks are just not being trained, but even the ones that are, can't seem to get SIRIUS corporate to follow through with the instructions they are given. If SIRIUS warranty exchange sits on sending out new tuners or other parts, that really has little to do with the CSR. There is an even bigger breakdown here in my opinion. But outsources truly is a major problem for a lot of companies.

I sure wish this would get fixed.
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