Sirius XM Satellite Radio and its CEO are on the receiving end of a proposed class action wherein the plaintiff claims the company violated New Jersey consumer protection law by baiting and switching subscribers as a means to sell “select service” radio packages for higher prices and shorter lengths of time than advertised.
Filed in New Jersey Superior Court and removed to federal court, the lawsuit says that Sirius has agreements in place with every major automaker to offer satellite radio in certain vehicles, an avenue through which the company reportedly acquires the majority of its customers. The initial costs of Sirius XM subscriptions are usually bundled into the sale or lease price of a vehicle, the case states.
Sometime after the plaintiff deactivated his Sirius XM service, he received from the company in December 2017 an offer to reactivate it at a “select service” discount of only $99, a price the man says he was told would lock him in for three years of uninterrupted Sirius XM select service, the lawsuit says. According to the defendants’ offer, the plaintiff would purportedly pay only $2.75 per month until 2020, or 82 percent of the current monthly rate for a Sirius XM subscription, and would be able to cancel at any time without having to pay a reactivation fee. Allegedly included in the plaintiff’s offer was a letter signed by the Sirius XM CEO.
Upon heading to the Sirius XM site to sign up for the offer, the plaintiff, after entering his account number supplied through the advertisement, was presented only with “a less-attractive and more-expensive offer,” the lawsuit says. The plaintiff claims he called Sirius XM’s customer service and informed them the “select service” offer was unavailable online, only to be told the company’s computer system showed no options for the advertisement account number he provided. Instead of receiving the plan outlined in the advertisement, Sirius XM customer service attempted to sell the plaintiff a one-year plan at a cost of $60, the lawsuit says.
Though the plaintiff accepted the more expensive offer, albeit under the condition that the customer service representative escalate his grievance to a superior, the lawsuit stresses that the above-described situation is “the same and/or substantially similar to the course of conduct engaged in” by Sirius XM with other consumers in New Jersey.