SiriusXM Sued By New York Over Subscription Cancellation Points

The state of New York is accusing SiriusXM of making customers jump through hoops to cancel their subscriptions. According to the Associated Press, New York’s attorney general filed a lawsuit against the satellite and radio platform on Wednesday (Dec. 20).

The AG’s office apparently learned of the platform’s cancellation hurdles after receiving multiple customer complaints. An investigation uncovered a tedious system. First, subscribers must wait for the automated system to patch them through. Then, once connected with an agent, subscribers are subject to “lengthy interactions,” per AP. SiriusXM has reportedly trained human agents to “avoid accepting a request to cancel service.” 

AG Letitia James addressed the new lawsuit in a statement.

“Having to endure a lengthy and frustrating process to cancel a subscription is a stressful burden no one looks forward to, and when companies make it hard to cancel subscriptions, it’s illegal,” James said. 

James is seeking financial penalties against the company. The lawsuit names monetary compensation for “the time customers spent online” during the cancellation process.

SiriusXM Denies Claims In New York’s Lawsuit

Meanwhile, SiriusXM is pushing back against the new lawsuit claims. In their response, the company suggested that cancellation issues are a past problem.

SiriusXM claims the lawsuit is primarily based on an inquiry from 2020, allegedly resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the business. Additionally, the platform suggested that several of its plans can now be canceled with an online click. These statements came via their spokesperson, Jessica Casano-Antonellis.

“Like a number of consumer businesses, we offer a variety of options for customers to sign up for or cancel their SiriusXM subscription, and upon receiving and reviewing the complaint, we intend to vigorously defend against these baseless allegations that grossly mischaracterize SiriusXM’s practices,” the statement said. 

In 2021, per SiriusXM, their agents reportedly responded to subscriber inquiries within 36 seconds to 2.4 minutes on average.

Yet, the attorney general’s office gave a much higher time frame for cancellations both online and over the phone. Cancellations online can take an average of 30 minutes, while over the phone, they average 11.5 minutes per the AG’s investigation.

From 2019 to 2021, the AG found that over 578,000 subscribers opted not to cancel subscriptions over the phone after waiting a long time to connect with an agent.

There are no additional updates on the lawsuit at this time.

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