When I signed up for XM’s new “Best of Sirius” package, I was likely in the scant minority who did it for some other reason than to hear Howard Stern recycle the same 7th grade tripe he’s been blithering for decades. When I found that Howard Stern’s act constituted not one but two of the best of a short roster of Sirius channels, I understood why Sirius was failing financially. Note to Sirius: never hang your hat on a talent-free, arrested adolescent recycling bathroom humor, making fun of the less fortunate and drooling after surgically enhanced porn starlets. Sure Stern has an audience, but he’s not the backbone of a radio network. You have to have a backbone to be a backbone, and Stern takes the short route 100% of the time. (Editor's note: this is not everyone at the Sourceror's opinion of Stern, we secretly have lots of fans here)

But I’m grateful for Stern. Not because of what he is, but what he isn’t. What he isn’t; is good enough to keep Sirius afloat. So now I get my NFL Channels. The only fault I ever found with Sirius’ competitor XM was the absence of NFL coverage.

Thus, when the news hit that as a result of the Sirius/XM merger, XM was offering a best of Sirius package including NFL coverage, I rushed to order the service. Satellite radio could only get better, right? I mean the least we could expect was a few more channels from which to choose . . . .

Caveat Listener.

Here’s what the merger gave us faithful XMers, and faithful Siriusites: less programming. But wait, there’s less. It wasn’t enough to slash the programming, the new partnership deemed fit to rename and relocate numerous old channels. So, for those who preferred business as usual, they’re paying the same subscriber rate, getting less for their dollar, and searching for what’s left. For those who “upgraded” (like me), we pay even more to get less, and search for what’s left.IN many cases, the network advertises substitutes, for former channels, that are nowhere near realistic substitutes. Unless of course you think Blue Collar Comedy is a sub for Fox News. Actually they got that one right, but you know what I mean.

Here’s the best part of the bargain. Sirius/XM pulled the prank on its customers with not so much as a whisper of warning. Nope, not so much as a mailer, a flyer, an announcement, or even a whisper.

For someone who prides himself in making sound purchase decisions, this is a real black eye for the Sourcerer. How could I re-up without so much as a little research? Here’s why. I fell for my supplier. I was so blinded by XM’s track record of excellent service, I couldn’t imagine them failing me. After all, when I needed satellite radio at 3:45 AM, and no other supplier was there for me, XM was there. When I needed 24/7 comedy, and the ability to choose between and unedited or edited format, XM was there. I never feared a shortage of satellite radio programming, XM was always stocked. And even when I needed the latest traffic updates in an instant, XM offered just in time delivery. They would never fail me, not XM!

It’s a good lesson for us all. For many suppliers, desperate times require desperate measures. The future of satellite radio is bleak right now. The future of many suppliers is bleak right now. Suppliers will take whatever measures they are allowed, and maybe some they are not. Did XM break its deal with me? I don’t know. When I bought the service over the telephone, I entered a contract I had never read. Shame on the Sourcerer.

So learn from me. Never go to sleep on a supplier, especially in troubled times. Don’t blame the supplier for trying to stay in business, and always know where you are in a deal. The fact is, XM and Sirius pulled this prank because all of their customers signed a contract they never read. They were counting on it.
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2 comments so far,Add yours

  1. Interesting coincidental timing. I just sent XM an email yesterday telling them that their programming sucks post-merger and I'm tired of hearing their DJs yap in between mediocre songs played in a tighter rotation - all worse than what XM used to be.

    You should at least call XM and demand (politely) that they put him on the $77/yr deal that I've been on since I signed up.

  2. I agree. When Sirius and XM merged, I lost three channels that I listed to frequently, with no full time replacements offered.

    Fa Fa Flunky.