A few months ago we bought a new car.  We were long overdue.  One of the features that came standard on the new vehicle was a Sirius satellite radio and a free trial subscription.  We had no idea what we were getting into.

The satellite radio was pretty good.  It had a decent variety of stations, and also had traffic data that fed into the navigation system.  This was cool, because it would dynamically pick the fastest route home.  The service was good, but at the end of the trial we decided that it wasn’t worth the $12.00 a month to subscribe.  Also, Sirius wouldn’t tell us how much the traffic data cost a month without calling them, which seemed shady to me.  So we let the trial expire.

Or at least we tried.  Sirius could teach time share companies a thing or two about high pressure sales jobs.  First came the emails.  Then the letters.  Then letters in yellow envelopes.  After the letters the phone calls started.  First at home, then at work, and finally on my cell phone. 

All total I think I received five letters (two of them yellow), a half dozen emails and four phone calls (that I answered).  Each time Sirius had a sweeter deal for me.  By the end, they had bargained the $12.00 a month down to $4.00.  Now, $4.00 is a good deal for the service, but by this time I had amassed a whole list of reasons why I would never subscribe to Sirius radio.  The list goes something like this:

  • I have a friend who is a subscriber and has tried to get out.  They always lower his rate and he hangs on.  When his credit card expired he thought he could finally be free, but no!  Sirius threatened to send a collection agency after him when he did not update his credit card number.  I try to stay far away from subscriptions I can’t get out of. Hint: see what music services like Rhapsody and Rdio have done.  Easy in, and easy out.
  • I distrust companies whose business model is to start with too-high a price and then offer a lower price to you in some sort of fake deal in an effort to make you think like you’re special.  Offer a competitive price to begin with and if I don’t want it, be done.
  • The barrage of mail, email and phone calls was seriously annoying.  I’ve never welcomed sales calls at work or on my cell phone and after all this, I’ll reject any offer from Sirius just on principle.  Seriously, when was the last time you got a call from someone trying to sell you something and you were happy about it?
  • The service and programming were good, but at the end of the day, it’s still radio.  Radio has been free for a hundred years.  What Sirius offers is better and has more variety, but it didn’t have enough value for me to consider paying for it.

Well, enough of this.  It’s late and I need to go to bed. I need to be alert for tomorrow’s call from Sirius.