Settlement Requires Sirius XM to Change Practices and Pay Restitution to Consumers
December 4, 2014
(Anchorage, AK) – Alaska’s Attorney General, along with the attorneys general of 44 states and the District of Columbia, announced today that Sirius XM Radio Inc. of New York has agreed to pay $3.8 million to the states and to provide restitution to eligible consumers to resolve claims that the satellite radio company engaged in misleading advertising and billing practices. Although Sirius XM satellite radio is not currently available in Alaska, there are Alaskans who have Sirius XM Internet radio subscriptions who may be eligible for refunds.
Consumers who have not previously filed a complaint with their attorney general for the practices covered by this settlement and who suffered a loss because of the practices have until May 3, 2015 to file a complaint to be considered for restitution.
The states’ investigation focused on consumer complaints involving: difficulty canceling contracts; cancellation requests that were not honored; misrepresentations that the service would be canceled and not renewed; contracts that were automatically renewed without consumers’ notice or consent; unauthorized fees; higher, unanticipated rates after a low introductory rate; and failing to provide timely refunds.
Under the terms of the settlement, Sirius XM will make significant changes to its business practices, including:
- Clearly and conspicuously disclosing all terms and conditions at the point of sale, such as billing frequency, term length, automatic renewal date, and cancellation policy.
- Truthfully representing available plans in advertisements.
- Providing advance notice via mail or email about upcoming automatic renewals for plans lasting longer than six months.
- Revising cancellation procedures to make it easier for consumers to cancel.
- Prohibiting incentive compensation for customer service representatives based solely on “saves” (retaining current customers who attempt to cancel).
Alaskan consumers who have a complaint regarding Sirius XM’s business practices addressed by this settlement are urged to file a complaint with the Consumer Protection Unit in the Alaska Department of Law by going to the Alaska Concumer Protection Unit website or by calling 907-269-5200 or, toll free, 888-576-2529 to request a complaint form. Consumers can also contact Sirius XM directly with their complaints, by going to the settlement website or by mailing a complaint to Sirius XM, PO Box 33059, Detroit MI 48232-5059.
# # #