New York Attorney General Letitia James sued SiriusXM Radio Inc. on Wednesday for allegedly making it difficult to cancel paid subscriptions for their service.
SiriusXM allegedly requires customers to cancel subscriptions by talking with agents in a time-consuming and challenging “endurance contest,” according to the lawsuit. SiriusXM does this on purpose to stop subscribers from canceling and instructs its agents to resist when customers attempt to do so, New York’s Office of the Attorney General found in an investigation.
James is striving to secure compensation for subscribers, impose penalties on the company and force corrective actions to be undertaken by SiriusXM, according to the lawsuit.
“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 stated in a press release about the lawsuit. “Consumers should be able to cancel a subscription they no longer use or need without any issues, and companies have a legal duty to make their cancellation process easy. New Yorkers can trust that when companies like SiriusXM try to take advantage of them and violate the law, my office will step in to stop them.”
New York law empowers the attorney general to seek relief when businesses persist in illegally prolonging transactions, according to the lawsuit.
SiriusXM’s headquarters is in New York City, and close to 2 million of its roughly 35 million subscribers are New Yorkers, according to the lawsuit. The company’s internal data reveals it takes an average of around 11.5 minutes to cancel a subscription via phone and around 30 minutes when doing so online, but it can take much longer on the phone due extensive wait times for an agent.
Sirius and 46 states came to a settlement compelling the company to make it easier to cancel subscriptions in 2014, according to the lawsuit.
“It’s telling that the New York Attorney General issued a press release before providing SiriusXM with a copy of the complaint,” a SiriusXM spokesperson told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “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.”
Online chat agents took between 36 seconds to 2.4 minutes to respond to customer messages on average in 2021, according to the spokesperson.
James’ press office did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.