Am I seriously stupid? Maybe.
I bought a new car in 2007. It came with six months of free satellite radio. At the end of six months, the satellite radio was still there. Eventually, the message “Call Sirius” appeared on the radio display screen. I called and decided to pay for a one-year subscription.
I never really kept track of when the year started or when it would end. Occasionally, over the last few years, the message “Call Sirius” would pop-up on the radio display and, after ignoring it, several days later, the satellite radio would mysteriously resume.
I chalked it up to bureaucratic incompetence and/or subscription challenges; either they had too many subscribers and lost track of who was due, when; or they had too few subscribers and chose to keep people hooked-up to make their listener numbers appear better.
I got a form letter January 16th from Mark Knapton, vice-president of customer operations, saying they were unable to process payment for the balance owing on my account. Thinking it strange I had a balance owing, I called Sleazius only to discover that for the last few years, they’d been automatically renewing my yearly subscription without my authorization.
Nowhere in the terms of the initial subscription did it mention I had authorized renewal of my subscription until the end of time. I don't even remember fine print! The employee with whom I spoke, never mentioned that I had agreed to eternal renewal.
Am I seriously stupid? Maybe. Somewhere in my mind I thought these sort of automatic renewal-without-customer-knowledge deals were illegal.
Am I seriously stupid? Maybe. I guess I should be paying closer attention to my credit card statements. I don’t use my credit card often so I never really pay close attention. I use it at Christmas and for some special occasions and the balance never changes drastically.
What saved me from eternal satellite radio renewal was a lost wallet! Naturally, when I couldn’t find my wallet a few months ago, I cancelled my credit card. When the credit card number changed, Sleazius was up a creek without my paddle. Ha!
As far as I’m concerned, the unilateral unauthorized renewal of a customer’s subscription is no way to do business!
The guy on the phone was so eager to get my new credit card number, the slobbering drool was detectable. I’m sure he was all set to saddle me with a variety of charges they’d been conveniently racking up on my behalf.
Physician William Mayo said “Lord, deliver me from the man who never makes a mistake and also from the man who makes the same mistake twice.” Where Sleazius is concerned, that’s not me. I told them so on the phone before I hung up, enraged.
Since then, they've left an automated voice message on the answering machine and sent me e-mails. I may have to change continents before they stop.
Knapton's letter states, "Remember, we have a number of plans that you can choose from". When did I choose the plan you gave me, IDIOT?
Driving in the car this morning, my son asked me whether I missed satellite radio. I said I didn't miss it and then I told him I was afraid he might miss it, but he said he didn't.
Thank goodness for lost wallets because that’s the only way you’re going to stop them.