It pleases me to see Sirius XM telemarketing calls in my spam folder

Screen Shot 2012 07 13 at 4 37 25 PMA couple of years ago, the lease on my Ford Explorer hybrid ran out and I returned the car to the dealer. Ever since, Sirius XM Radio has called me on a weekly (and when they are on a roll, daily) basis to try to get me to reactivate their radio service on the car, which I haven't seen for over 2 years.

I have communicated with Sirius XM by telephone, by e-mail, and by snail mail to tell them that they should not waste their valuable time trying to get me to reactivate service on a car that is no longer in my possession or under my control. My e-mails and letters to Sirius XM go unanswered. The Sirius employees I speak with on the phone assure me that they will make the calls stop. But they never stop.

Fortunately, Sirius XM has my Google Voice number, so I can block their calls and send them directly to a spam account. Now my phone doesn't ring when they call. The only way I know they've been calling me is when I look at my spam folder on my Google Voice account. It gives me pleasure to see the growing list of Sirius XM's futile attempts to contact me.

I'm currently subscribing to Sirius XM with the car I drive now. When the lease expires in a couple of years, I expect they'll start calling me again, and I will get twice as many calls as before. But these calls, like all their others, will go straight to the spam folder.

I don't think I will subscribe to Sirius XM again. I'd rather listen to audio books and podcasts on my iPhone anyway. Goodbye, Sirius XM.

See also:

"Sirius XM made harassing phone calls to Missourians who had placed themselves on the state’s “no-call” list"

"Missouri Attorney General Sues Sirius XM For Telemarketing Violations"

"Sirius: Incessant telemarketing calls"


  1. I get calls all the time about refinancing the mortgage on the house that I sold six years ago.  It’s unfathomable to me why the economy is so bad when businesses are so well run.

    1. I get calls about “refinancing my mortgage” all the time, too.  Only, I’ve never had a mortgage, so they’re just fishing.
      On the other hand, my bank keeps trying to call me at a phone number I’ve not used in 20 years.  Nothing seems to solve the problem.

  2. Well if you’ve got an iPhone, how about a 3G account and an app like TuneInRadio?
    That’s all I need to keep me a musically happy camper while driving.

    EDIT: Oh, when there’s no signal, my iPhone’s music collection ain’t too shabby, either.

  3. If a company calls me and I ask them to stop and they still call me, I tell that they’re on my blacklist for harassment, and I’ll never, ever do business with them again.

    1. But the other 9999 people won’t, so they don’t care.

      See risk management speech in Fight Club for details.

      1. Ugh, that’s the unfortunate thing. Those calls work. What people should really complain about is the people who give in to telemarketers. 

  4. I use a VoIP system, and have been meaning to set it up to automatically play  this when certain numbers call in: “”.
    It’s a little acappella piece I and a friend recorded for just such a purpose.

  5. I would have begun saying F— YOU immediately upon hearing their identification after the fourth call. That may or may not have the desired effect of shutting them up, but it would at least cause their employees to think twice about working for such an incompetent employer.

    1. Because of course people who work in call centres can afford to choose their employer…

      1. Everyone has th choice to choose their employer. These people choose to piss of innocent people so they can earn minimum wage, that’s their rationalisation, it’s not a defence.

        The same could be said for many scummy jobs, it doesn’t make them not scummy.

        1. It’s true, one does always have the choice of employment vs. losing one’s home and living out on the streets. Very astute. :P

          Sometimes you gotta take what you can get.  No, there isn’t always a better option.

          1. I hear Godwin calling.

            Your rationalisation relies on there being 0 jobs apart from this. There are plenty of crappy jobs that dont involve pissing people off. It’s just most people would rather wear a suit than a McDonald’s uniform.

          2. There are plenty of crappy jobs that dont involve pissing people off.

            No. There aren’t. Not in the US.

          3. So there’s genuinely a surplus of cold-calling jobs, and no others?

            I know the job market is shit out there, but come on.

            Not that I want to blow this put of proportion, it’s not like they’re TSA agents or soldiers, but there’s a world of difference between there being no other options, and no other options that appeal to someone (no cleaners? Waiters? Bar staff? Retail monkeys? Medical testing?? Or the flip side, customer service?). A good friend of mine was out of work for a while, it sucked. She went for a sales based interview – something like cold calling, and I think she said something to the effect of “I’d rather be homeless than work there”. And she meant it.
            Personally I’d rather go off the grid and live on potatoes than coldcall confused old ladies and sell them shit they don’t want or need.

          4. Really. Dozens of people apply for a single fast food job. Contrary to popular belief, we don’t have a full-blown welfare state. If you don’t have income, you don’t get social housing guaranteed for life. You live in an abandoned car or sleep under a bridge.

      2. If they choose to annoy 500 people a day to earn a living, then they get what they deserve. Surely there are other unappealing jobs that don’t involve annoying 500 people a day, like all the work that our vast population of illegal immigrants performs.

  6. I used to have four (four!) XM radios. When it was clear that I was never getting any use out of one of them, I went to their website to try to remove that one radio from my account. No dice. Can’t be done. Making it hard to leave is Red Flag Numero Uno of a company that engages in questionable business practices.

    So I called them. When the agent tried to talk me out of removing that radio (and actually had the audacity to try to upsell me) I cancelled my entire XM/Sirius account. All of it. 

    Their business is built on some very, very questionable tactics.

  7. Does Google Voice let you play custom greetings for different numbers? Because I would take the “Ambassador’s phone melting” screech from Failsafe and loop it for around half an hour.   Not at an abusive volume, just a regular one.  Probably add a “hello?” to the front of it so the robot will switch the call with a human.

    And I know someone will say “But think of the poor phone center person!”  Well, I’ve been that guy.  An ear pealing squeal is a lot better than the other crap I’ve put up with.   If you really want to go vegan you could use a “this number is no longer in service” message instead.

    1. I’ve heard “vegan” used to mean “completely inoffensive” a few times recently. It’s an interesting linguistic, you know, thing.

    2.  For maximum effect, make sure you include the “intercept” SIT tones at the beginning, so the telemarketer computer thinks the phone company is telling it the number is out of service.

    1. Some company used to make a machine that would play the three magic tones indicating an out-of-service number automatically on answering the phone. These days, it can be tied to Caller ID to play it for the specific number or to anyone who doesn’t ID themselves.

  8. Reminds me of a friend, who once managed to save money overall on insurance by taking out car and home insurance with the same company– as it happened, his vehicle was a broken-down junker he had dumped unceremoniously back on the lot of a questionable dealer, and had spent months exactly where he left it. I always thought it was hilarious that he ended up saving money by insuring a car, especially seeing as how he didn’t bother replacing it!

    1. It’s cheaper for me to buy renter’s insurance plus car insurance than to buy car insurance alone.

  9. The most useless service ever. Why would I pay for a radio service when I can load almost 90% of my music and podcasts onto a USB stick and play that forever instead? Or, you know, just listen to CBC radio?

    1. ok but just because its useless to you doesn’t necessarily say anything about the service. lots of people out there don’t have usb sticks full of stuff.  lots of people out there don’t even know what cbc radio is much less listen to it.

    2. I think that’s why satellite radio is on the ropes.  They came into being just in time to be rendered largely pointless by other emerging technologies.  If you have good signal to your phone everywhere you drive, there’s no need for satellite radio.

  10. This sort of behavior would seem to be a pretty compelling reason to never do business with Sirius XM in the first place if people actually knew about it.

  11. I opened my Sirius account back in 2004, when the only modular radio offered was the Brix Streamer. I finally closed the account in March or April 2011. Somehow, they managed to give me a big “screw you” at the end: when I re-upped my account a couple of years ago, I apparently missed the bit in the contract that said I’d be charged a fee for discontinuing service without warning. So they nailed me (I think it was around $20-30, IIRC) with that fee. It pissed me off so much that I swore that was the end of my relationship with those sleazy jerks at Sirius. I’d rather listen to the empty air than waste a dollar on those skeevy con men.

  12. What you do is disconnect the antenna for the radio, before cancelling.

    Wait a couple years. (This works best if you keep cars very long term, or use an aftermarket receiver.)

    Plug it back in.

    Voila, you’ve now defeated their DRM without even doing a real hack.

    (Previous owner of my car cancelled his satellite radio service when he sold me the car, but I never bothered to plug in the receiver… decided to play with it, and found that it still worked because it never got the kill signal, and after a year or two, the kill signal isn’t sent any more.)

  13. So what you’re saying is, the Sirius XM Corporation are a bunch of mindless jerks who’ll be the first against the wall when the revolution comes.

  14. If you have VOIP and are able to respond to Sirius XM calls with a recorded message, try one that says, “Hi, you’re through to Sirius XM customer services. All our operators are busy right now … etc” Follow that spoekn message with some suitable hold music.

    They find it very confusing!

  15. “Hey, This company is annoying me (I say they are’nt but it’s obvious that they are) so I’ll purchase their product again! That’ll show ’em!

  16. Bought a new truck 3 months ago which included 6 months of Sirius/XM.  I never registered with them and don’t plan to, just enjoying my free 6 months. (I’ve only found 4 stations that really appeal to me.) They do send me snail mail, likely the result of the dealership giving them my name and address. We’ll wait and see if their plan of attack changes as the 6 month date comes up.

    1. That’s when they start calling you. If you’re not on the federal Do Not Call ( registy, get on it today. The one thing that swiftly ended the calls was my promise to take them to small claims if they called just one more time.

      1. If you’ve done business with them in the past six months, they’re allowed to call you.  They can also call if they pretend that they’re not trying to sell you something.

        1. If tjpf didn’t register with Sirius s/he technically hasn’t done business with Sirius, s/he’s done business with a car company.  That’s why when they attempted to pester me via phone, my threat worked.  

  17. make sure and send the snail mail back ‘return to sender’ this costs them a fortune in returned mail fee’s. BTW, what happens when new owner activates the radio, if they still have your card details will it start charging your card for their listening pleasure? I’ve heard of that happening before.

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