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Aaron N. Tubbs

Dragon chaser.

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It took 23 minutes to cancel the Internet portion of my Sirius radio subscription. A while ago I’d signed up for this and used it extensively. It was nice to be able to “discover new things” this way. I was hooked on a break beats channel; for just $2.99 a month, it was well worth the expense.

The Sirius/XM merger happened and my favorite break beats channel went away. My favorite metal channel started playing crap. Lo, months have passed, and I eventually replaced Sirius Internet Radio with di.fm.

Eventually, I stopped using di.fm as well, though it was really good. I’ve been on a metal bent lately instead of electronic, so it wasn’t worth the (low) fee to use it. I went to di.fm and cancelled my subscription online; it took about 13 seconds. Honest. It was so fast and easy that I actually had to double-check what had just happened to make sure I’d really done it. di.fm provides the model for cancelling pay-for-streaming-audio. I would heartily recommend them if you like electronic music, and I won’t hesitate to resubscribe when I want to use it again.

Sirius has a confusing website that’s a pain in the ass to navigate if you want to do anything to your account. They make it possible (but not easy) to add services and activate radios. They make it impossible to remove services, but don’t make it obvious that it’s impossible. Eventually it becomes clear (by virtue of elimination) that the only option is to call them.

And thus it took talking to an automated voice prompt (which only gave me the option to cancel my entire account, which I did not want, since I still listen in the car regularly), begging for an operator, talking to an operator, being transferred to the cancellation department, and negotiating the termination of the Internet streaming portion of my account.

The headache I experienced convinced me that I would never re-subscribe to this service again. Sirius has made its subscriptions incredibly sticky and irritating (and in fact I put off my cancellation for a while due to the hassle of trying to figure out how to cancel). They’ve done so because they’re not confident in their product and they want to protect their revenue stream.

I’ve replaced both sources of music in my life with rdio for the time being; social discovery of new music and the ability to really try (and by that I mean listen to an album a few times) before I buy changes the model by which I purchase music. I hope this sticks around.