Maybe six months to a year ago, I saw an offer to "upgrade" my listening experience online to "premium" sound quality (128kb) for only $2.99 a month. I thought, "Sure, why not try this. I don't mind throwing a little extra money at Sirius, they're really great! And, if I don't like it, or feel it's not worth paying for, I'll just downgrade and revert back to my "basic" internet quality.
Well, I wish I could tell you that the premium sound quality sounded as good as any other internet radio station streaming at 128kbps. It didn't. In fact, I couldn't notice any difference at all. But, I kept giving Sirius the extra $3 anyway for a few months. A few days ago I called into customer care to discontinue my premium internet subscription. I wanted to just revert back to the standard subscription. The rep asked why, and I said I couldn't tell a difference between the premium and the standard. The rep thanked me, and disconnected the call, revoking my premium subscription.
So, today I tried to log in and stream Hits 1, only to find out that Sirius has changed the rules of the game, unannounced to me. You can now only stream their programming on the internet if you pay the premium subscription fee. They no longer include any streaming access with your subscription for your radio. I didn't get a letter or an email, and the rep didn't notify me of this change and try to keep my subscription active.
Feeling like the company has turned its back on its subscribers, I sent the following to Sirius Customer Care:
I recently removed my premium subscription to Sirius Internet Radio because I couldn't tell a difference between the premium quality and what I had before, and I didn't want to pay the extra $2.99 a month for something I only use rarely when I'm at my office. I listen to my Sirius radio in my car all the time when driving (and I drive a lot).
So when I downgraded, it wasn't until today that I found out Sirius had changed its rules regarding internet radio: it is no longer included with your subscription, even at the "basic", non-premium bitrate.
Well, that's lovely. I don't recall getting an email or a letter saying your policy was changing and you were no longer including internet streaming with a radio subscription.
I'm disappointed that Sirius has made this move. I've been a faithful subscriber for many, many years, with minimal service interruptions. I've been enjoying nearly every channel Sirius offers, but this has left a very sour taste in my mouth. I understand charging subscribers who want to upgrade the sound quality of the internet stream, but charging all your current customers to listen to a lower quality stream? It just seems trite.
Thanks for listening,