Sirius XM Radio to Offer Refunds to North Carolina Customers, Pay State $101,400
Sirius XM Radio has agreed to pay a $3.8 million settlement to North Carolina and 43 other states to settle misleading advertising charges.
Along with the $101,400 the company will be paying the state, it will also be offering refunds to customers who had problems cancelling their contracts, were charged unauthorized fees or saw their rates jump unexpectedly.
The investigation focused on complaints from consumers that the company made it difficult for them to cancel contracts, misrepresented that contracts would be cancelled and not renewed, renewed contracts automatically without consumers' notice or consent, charged unauthorized fees, raised rates unexpectedly after a low introductory rate, and failed to provide timely refunds.
As part of the settlement, Sirius XM must:
- Clearly 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 incentives for sales agents based solely on retaining current customers who attempt to cancel.
The fines Sirius XM will pay the state are separate than the customer refunds being offered.
Consumers who experienced any of the above problems any time since July 28, 2008 can file a complaint. Consumers will need to apply for a refund even if they previously filed a complaint with the North Carolina Attorney General's Office or Sirius XM. The deadline is May 3, 2015.