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Sirius XM sued by NY over 'frustrating' cancellation process

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Sirius XM Radio Inc. was sued by New York state for making it difficult for customers to cancel subscriptions to the broadcaster's online radio services, in violation of state and federal consumer protection laws.

A by the AG's office found that Sirius trains employees to keep customers seeking to cancel on the phone or in a chat for a "frustrating" six-part conversation that includes asking them a series of questions and pitching as many as five "retention offers," New York Attorney General Letitia James said Wednesday in a statement.

The cancellation process lasts an average of 11.5 minutes on the phone and 30 minutes online, even though it can cancel a subscription "with a simple click of a button," according to the statement.

"When customers decline the offers, agents are trained not to take 'no' for an answer and to keep bombarding customers with questions or offers until they either relent or become frustrated," James said.

The company said in a statement that it would defend against what it called the baseless allegations in the lawsuit.

"It's telling that the New York Attorney General issued a before providing Sirius XM with a copy of the complaint," the company said. "Like a number of consumer businesses, we offer a variety of options for customers to sign up for or cancel their Sirius XM subscription."

The New York attorney general has filed consumer protection suits in recent years over a wide array of violations, from price gouging on cleaning products during the pandemic to failures to refund customers at car rental agencies. James was part of a coalition of AGs that helped secure a $700 million settlement from Alphabet Inc.'s Google over anticompetitive conduct on its that raised prices for consumers.

New York alleges Sirius broke state and federal laws on subscriptions that renew automatically by failing to give subscribers a cancellation mechanism that is "simple, timely and easy to use," according to the statement. James also accuses Sirius of engaging in fraud and deception by misleading subscribers.

The company has about 35 million subscribers, including about 2 million in New York, according to the statement.

The suit, filed in New York state court in Manhattan, seeks unspecified penalties and restitution to be determined at trial.

2023 Bloomberg News. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Citation: Sirius XM sued by NY over 'frustrating' cancellation process (2023, December 21) retrieved 17 April 2024 from https://techxplore.com/news/2023-12-sirius-xm-sued-ny-frustrating.html
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