Phoenix (Thursday, December 4, 2014) – Attorney General Tom Horne, along with the attorneys general of 44 states and the District of Columbia, announced today that Sirius XM Radio Inc. of New York has agreed to pay $3.8 million to the states, and provide restitution to eligible consumers to resolve claims that the satellite radio company engaged in misleading advertising and billing practices.
Consumers who have not previously filed a complaint with their attorney general for the practices covered by this settlement have 150 days after the settlement’s execution date to file a complaint to be considered for restitution.
“It’s important for us to hold national companies like Sirius XM accountable for business practices that mislead, deceive or are unfair to consumers,” said Attorney General Horne. “This settlement is an example of the measures this office takes to protect consumers. I encourage Arizonans to file a complaint with our office by April 1st if they believe they have been harmed by Sirius XM’s misleading advertising and billing practices.”
The attorneys general allege that Sirius XM engaged in misleading, unfair, and deceptive acts or practices in violation of state consumer protection laws.
Arizona served on the Executive Committee of this investigation. The states’ investigation focused on consumer complaints involving: difficulty canceling contracts; cancellation requests that were not honored; misrepresentations that the consumer’s Sirius XM service would be canceled and not renewed; contracts that were automatically renewed without consumers’ notice or consent; unauthorized fees; higher, unanticipated rates after a low introductory rate; and Sirius XM failing to provide timely refunds.
Under the terms of the settlement, an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, Sirius XM will make significant changes to its business practices. Specifically, Sirius XM agrees to:
- Clearly and conspicuously disclose all terms and conditions at the point of sale, such as billing frequency, term length, automatic renewal date, and cancellation policy.
- Make no misrepresentations about the available plans in advertisements.
- Provide advance notice via mail or email about upcoming automatic renewals for plans lasting longer than six months.
- Revise the cancellation procedures to make it easier for consumers to cancel.
- Prohibit incentive compensation for customer service representatives based solely on “saves,” or retaining current customers who attempt to cancel.
In addition to the $3.8 million that Sirius XM will pay the states, Sirius XM also will provide restitution to eligible consumers who have complaints about the problems addressed by the Assurance.
To be considered for restitution under this settlement, consumers must file a complaint concerning conduct from July 28, 2008, to Dec. 4, 2014, involving an identifiable loss that has not been previously resolved with their state attorney general.
Consumers who have a complaint regarding Sirius XM’s business practices addressed by this settlement are urged to contact our Consumer Information & Complaints Unit at (602) 542-5763, (520) 628-6504 or, if outside the Phoenix metro area, (800) 352-8431 by the deadline above. Consumers can also file complaints online at www.azag.gov and at a designated location on Sirius XM’s website.
Arizona’s share of this settlement is $230,877.66. This matter was handled by AAG Taren Ellis Langford.