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Attorney General DeWine Announces $3.8 Million Multistate Settlement with Sirius XM

12/4/2014

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) -- Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, 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 to provide restitution to eligible consumers.

Spearheaded by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the agreement resolves claims that the satellite radio company engaged in misleading advertising and billing practices.

“Consumers should be able to understand what they are purchasing and exercise their cancellation rights without hassle,” Attorney General DeWine said. “We found that many Sirius XM customers had difficulty canceling their contract or were surprised when their contracts renewed automatically. We are pleased that under this settlement Sirius XM will make significant changes to its business practices and provide reimbursement to consumers.”

The attorneys general allege that Sirius XM engaged in misleading, unfair, and deceptive acts or practices in violation of state consumer protection laws.

Led by Ohio, 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.

Ohio will receive $322,035.88 of Sirius XM’s $3.8 million payment to the states.

In addition to the $3.8 million payment to 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 that occurred 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 their state attorney general within the next 150 days.

To file a complaint, Ohio consumers should contact the Ohio Attorney General’s Office at www.OhioAttorneyGeneral.gov or 800-282-0515. Consumers can also contact Sirius XM directly with their complaints.  Complaints can be sent by mail to PO Box 33059, Detroit MI  48232-5059 or by going to the following web address: www.siriusxm.com/settlementprogram.

The Executive Committee in the settlement consisted of Ohio, the lead, Arizona, Connecticut, Tennessee, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. Additionally, participating in the settlement are the attorneys general of: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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Documents

Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (PDF)

Media Contacts

Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Kate Hanson: 614-466-3840

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