Monday, June 14, 2010

An Offer I Couldn’t Refuse

Approximately two years ago I received a Sirius Stiletto radio as a door prize at a commercial real estate event. Unfortunately the prize only included the radio and not the subscription to the satellite radio service so I went ahead and signed up for a two contract.

That was probably 23 months more than I should have. For whatever reason, I could never get a decent satellite signal in my home where I had connected the portable device to a receiver in my office. I tried moving the little antenna all over the room and up on the bookshelves before I finally gave up. I ended up just using the Internet option which ran off the WiFi connection in the house. When the bill arrived last week for another two year contract I decided to cancel.

After waiting for about fifteen minutes on hold a very pleasant customer service rep came on the phone.

“Before we get started I have to tell you I’m a bit peeved at having to wait on hold for fifteen minutes just to cancel a contract.”

“I’m terribly sorry,” he replied, “we’ve been pretty busy today.”

I told him I just wanted to cancel my subscription and he asked if I would tell him the reason I was cancelling. I told him about the signal issue.

“What if I were to offer you the service at half price?”

It still wouldn’t fix the signal problem so I told him thanks but no thanks.

“How about if I gave it to you free for the rest of summer with the HD Internet radio option?”

“With no further obligation after that?” I asked.

“That’s correct; all you have to do at the end of the summer is call and cancel. At that point we’ll probably offer you another three months free.”

There it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. I accepted.


Trevor said...

I love marketing "schemes" like this. They are obviously hoping you forget to cancel, get lazy, or are willing to pay for the service after you have it.

I have Dish Network, and they give you free HBO for 3 months when you sign up. I call them every three months, and if you ask nice enough, you can get them to continue the HBO for 3 more months. I put a reminder in calendar in my Iphone to remind me every three months, so I remember to call.

Sharon said...

I have a satellite radio in my car which I really enjoy because you can listen to cable news. Every now and then my signal goes out but for the most part it works well.

Every now and then I completely lose the satellite and have to call Sirius to have them send me a signal. What is extremely disappointing to me is when the recording picks up asking you to press #1 for English or #2 for Spanish -- you MUST select one or you cannot proceed any further... and then you are connected with a representative who hardly speaks English.

Anony Mouse said...

I love these. The question is simply whether 15 minutes of your time every three months is worth about $60 to you. The risk, of course, is that you'll forget.

I just set an Outlook reminder for 89 days later and enjoy the freebie. Maybe they'll update the hold music.

Jen said...

Outlook reminders are my best friend(s).

Bob O said...

XM/Sirius radio is the best deal since sliced white bread. I have it in my car, and once I got it, I've never played a CD again. It's that good.

Realize that sat radio signals are week, so antenna placement is crucial. Not usually a problem in a car, as most roads have no overhead cover, and you're driving so fast that you don't notice the signal dropouts most of the time because if the signal drops a few digital beats, it's across less time than a human can register.

In an unmoving house, however, antenna siting is the most important decision. I'd suggest moving your antenna around, and finding a clear line of sight to a southern view that has the same angle of view as our latitude above the equator. This will make all of the difference.

BTW, sat radio should be ALL ON or ALL OFF, so what you describe could just be a problem with your receiver or speakers.

Good luck, WB.