The NFL season is only in its second week and already Sirius XM has fumbled the ball. Typically I prefer to watch the New England Patriots on television. However, there are times that I need to be in my car, so Sirius XM is a great option to catch the live coverage of my favorite team. Most subscribers who are NFL fans are probably quite similar.
Today I found myself having to drive during the Patriots game. Kick-off was scheduled for 4:15 PM EST. In my car I have an XM SkyDock with an iPod Touch and subscribe to the Best Of Sirius. I went to categories, Best of Sirius, and scrolled until I saw the Patriots vs. Jets on my screen. I touched the screen and was treated to one of the 1:00 games with about 2 minutes left in the fourth quarter. Looking at the screen again I saw that Sirius XM was directing me to channel 153 which is normally "Laugh Attack". Upon tuning in I was not treated to the NFL game I wanted, but rather comedy. Frustrated I went back to the categories and looked again. Still the fourth quarter on channel 104, and still referring me to channel 153 for coverage.
Frustrated I called XM customer service. They were baffled about a question dealing with the "Best Of Sirius" and referred me to Sirius customer service. I hung up the phone and called Sirius customer service. Sirius' customer service seemed just as baffled and wanted to refer me back to XM. I explained the situation and the fact that I was referred to Sirius by XM. The rep walked me through resetting my radio and about 3 other "canned" fixes (all of which I had already done), all to no avail.
To me the most frustrating aspect of this is that there were at least six "sports" channels that were empty and the company was attempting to preempt regular programming on Laugh Attack to carry the New England vs. Jets game. Doesn't Sirius XM realize that NFL games sometimes go long? Doesn't it make more sense to utilize "sports" channels that are otherwise empty rather than preempt running programming? Doesn't anyone at Sirius XM bother to make sure that they are getting the games up live when they are directing subscribers to a channel?
All of this being said, the 1:00 game finally came to an end and the Patriots vs. Jets game began broadcasting (on the original channel and not channel 153 that subscribers were being sent to). The result? Patriots and Jets fans that wanted to listen to the game on the "Best Of Sirius" missed all but about 2 minutes of the first quarter. This is a major fumble. Two top tier teams in two of satellite radio's hottest markets were essentially blacked out on The "Best Of Sirius".
Another result. Yet another example of the glaring shortcomings of Sirius XM's customer service. The reps themselves are working as hard as they can, but simply do not have the tools to be effective. The customer service reps are typically outsourced, and simply are not very well versed in satellite radio. The blame here rests solely on Sirius XM. Someone fumbled getting a 4:00 game onto the air, and someone has tied the hands of customer service. It is times like these that remind me that as a subscriber to both Sirius and XM I am not getting a "family plan" discount. It is times likes these that remind me I am shelling out additional money for Internet feeds on BOTH services. It is times like these that I am reminded that I have to shell out for "Best Of" on both services. So what happens now? I will go from 2 Sirius Subscriptions and One XM to one of each, and seek out a credit on my Sirius XM Internet feed for the two months it took Sirius XM to get the Android app corrected.
I am a fan of Sirius XM. If they can manage to frustrate me like this, I can't imagine how the average consumer feels. Honestly, it is easier to schedule major surgery than to deal with Sirius XM's customer service sometimes. I can tell you this...If an NFL player had a fumble like this he would be sitting on the bench. If Sirius XM wants to remain at the top of the audio entertainment hill they need to be the best all the way around...and that means smooth programming and top notch customer service as well as great content.
Position - Long Sirius XM Radio