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SiriusXM to Pay $3.8M Over Unwanted Charges, Failure to Cancel

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By Brett Snider, Esq. on December 05, 2014 8:06 AM

SiriusXM agreed to pay out $3.8 million to settle charges that it stuck consumers with unwanted charges and used misleading advertising.

According to The Plain Dealer, the settlement includes at least 45 states whose attorneys general had received complaints from consumers about trouble canceling contracts or "higher-than-expected fees." As part of the nationwide settlement, SiriusXM will change its billing practices, change advertising, and revamp its cancellation policy.

But what, if anything, will consumers get in this deal?

SiriusXM Kept Customers From Canceling

Although SiriusXM need not admit to any of the allegations which led to this multimillion-dollar settlement, it was accused of renewing customers' contracts despite requests to cancel. Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster noted that Missouri's investigation focused on "cancellation requests that were not honored" in addition to "misrepresentations that SiriusXM service would be canceled and not renewed."

As Springfield, Missouri's KYTV reports, SiriusXM has agreed to pay $3.8 million to the dozens of states involved, as well as restitution for affected customers. Each state is slated to receive a specific amount as part of the settlement (e.g., Virginia is expected to receive $15,000 while Missouri will receive $75,000). The differences may be based on the level of resources or investigation that each state's attorney general's office put in to investigating SiriusXM cancellation complaints.

Which Customers Are Eligible?

Many aggravated customers who already complained to their attorneys general about SiriusXM's practices won't need to do a thing. According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, to be eligible for settlement funds, you must:

  • Have been a Sirius consumer any time between July 28, 2008 and December 4, 2014;
  • Have a submitted (or unsubmitted) complaint to a consumer protection agency about SiriusXM which is unresolved; and
  • Be a resident of any state other than New York, California, Hawaii, and Wyoming.

SiriusXM has also set up a website for consumers to submit their complaints and participate in the settlement. The deadline for submitting claims is May 3, 2015.

Restitution in each eligible claimants case will likely be determined by the amount of unwanted or contested charges levied against the customer when attempting to cancel.

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