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Why States, Including Kentucky, Just Settled With Sirius XM Radio

Attorney General Jack Conway and his Office of Consumer Protection, along with the attorneys general of 44 other states and the District of Columbia, have resolved consumer protection claims alleging that Sirius XM Radio Inc. engaged in misleading advertising and billing practices. 

Kentucky’s Assurance of Voluntary Compliance (AVC) in the multistate agreement was approved this morning by the Franklin Circuit Court.  The AVC requires the company to provide a complaint resolution and restitution program for eligible consumers to resolve certain consumer claims, to make significant changes to its business practices, and to pay $3.8 million to the states.  The Commonwealth of Kentucky received $65,480.96 for its participation in the settlement.

The attorneys general allege that Sirius XM engaged in misleading, unfair, and deceptive acts or practices in violation of state consumer protection laws. The states’ investigation focused on consumer complaints about difficulty canceling contracts, unhonored cancellation requests and misrepresentations about cancelling or not renewing Sirius XM service, automatic renewal of contracts without notice or consent, unauthorized fees, higher and unanticipated rates after a low introductory rate, and failure to provide timely refunds.

The AVC requires Sirius XM to change its business practices.  Specifically, the company 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.

"Companies that utilize deceptive and unfair business practices to take advantage of consumers and violate Kentucky’s consumer protection laws will be held accountable,” Attorney General Conway said.  “I am pleased that we have reached today’s agreement requiring Sirius XM Radio to make significant changes to its business practices and return money that is rightfully owed to consumers.  I encourage any Kentucky consumers who are eligible for a refund to submit a claim through the restitution program."

Consumers have until May 1, 2015, to file a complaint to be considered for restitution.  In order to be considered, consumers must file a complaint about issues addressed by the AVC, concerning conduct from July 28, 2008, to Dec. 4, 2014, and involving an identifiable loss that has not been previously resolved. 

To file a complaint, consumers can contact Sirius XM directly with their complaints.  Complaints can be mailed to P.O. Box 33059, Detroit, MI 48232 or submitted online at www.siriusxm.com/settlementprogram.

Kentucky consumers can also submit complaints by visiting Attorney General Conway’s website at http://ag.ky.gov/civil/consumerprotection/complaints or by calling the Attorney General’s Office of Consumer Protection at (502) 696-5389 to request a form.

Complaints previously filed, but which remain unresolved, may also be submitted for reconsideration under the restitution program.

From the Office of the Kentucky Attorney General