Sirius XM: To renew or not? - Kia Niro Forum
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post #1 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Oct 2018
Location: Murrieta, CA
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Sirius XM: To renew or not?

My free subscription to Sirius that came with the car is about to expire. I've received a boatload of e-mail and snail mail from them encouraging me to sign up. The e-mail that arrived today is offering to give me another three months for just $2.00, but the fine print gives me pause: subscription auto renews and the agreement states that "you must call us to cancel". When I google for "Sirius Complaints", there are at least some number of people complaining that they spent a few hours on the phone trying to cancel. I'm contemplating putting a few dollars on a pre-paid Visa and giving them that number, but their user agreement states "For recurring payments, the gift card issuer may not permit you to use gift cards", leading me to wonder if that approach will be successful.

I have mixed feelings about the service. I'm mostly annoyed with Kia for installing a sound system that had so much logic devoted to supporting Sirius: I was especially annoyed by popup messages on the console that appeared several times a day in the last few weeks warning me that my Sirius Subscription was about to expire. They obscured the navigation map and they wouldn't go away until I clicked the "cancel" button on the console every time, several times a day. I'm pretty sure that I paid Kia a bit more for this "feature" that I never wanted. The programming on Sirius is sometimes nice, especially when traveling in areas where radio reception is spotty. On the other hand, sound quality isn't great and radio reception in my Niro is worse than it was in my previous car for the same stations, leading me to wonder if the antennae on the Niro might have been chosen in a way to accommodate Sirius, at the expense of good reception of terrestrial stations nearby. Also, some of the Sirius stations are cluttered with commercials and people trying to sound like DJs from days gone by, both of which significantly detract from the listening experience.

But, I do live in an area where the live traffic data displayed on the navigation system is occasionally helpful, and while I'd be willing to let the rest of the Sirius subscription expire, my impression is that I'll lose the traffic data feed on the navigation system if I do that. Does anyone have experience with this? Do traffic updates stop when the the subscription expires? Is it possible to configure the navigation system to get traffic data from some other provider?

I googled for "siriusxm complaints" and found a lot of complaints. So I have an abundance of reasons why I shouldn't sign up. Does anyone have a reason why I should?


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post #2 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-09-2019, 11:57 PM
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I have it since 2013, love it! and i alway's get a fair price each year.!

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post #3 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 11:17 AM
Join Date: Jan 2018
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You could always use your phone and android auto for navigation via google maps. You will need to connect it via a usb however. I'd also have a look into something like Spotify. A lot of great music and you can build and download custom playlists to prevent using data.
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post #4 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 11:21 AM
Join Date: Oct 2017
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Agree with @Kleen . I use Spotify. Better price and customized playlists of my own liking. Plus, if you use an Android phone (I assume you can do this with the fruit phone as well), the complete hands-free option to play from your Spotify library via Google Assistant is excellent.
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post #5 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 03:59 PM
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Location: South Florida
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I had satellite radio in my previous car and tried it out but my commute was 15 minutes each way so it wasn’t worth it for me even though I liked it. I never even bothered to activate it in my Niro. I have been getting the emails and letters that my free trial period was ending. I had to make sure that they weren’t saying that I was going to start being charged. I sure hope not since I never activated it.

I use navigation and streaming music via Android Auto from my phone. The only downsides is that they use data and I wish there was a station or playlist that would mix the genres of music all in one to get a nice variety. For instance, there’s usually rock music for each decade, but it’d be good to have a station that played songs from all of them.

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post #6 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 10:36 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestions. But I'm still wondering: does the traffic feature on the built in navigation system still work after the Sirius XM trial period expires, or does it stop providing live traffic congestion information?

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post #7 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 11:08 PM
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I'd think giving Sirius any payment information would be a sirus (sic) challenge to then quit the service. I had to speak firmly to them to stop nagging me, having only used the trial service (and not much of it) and never subscribed.

Any streaming online music service will be far superior to Sirius in sound quality, and many of them are free if you don't mind the occasional ad. Waze is the primary source for realtime traffic and rerouting in the US (and likely Sirius' source) and is a free app.
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post #8 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-10-2019, 11:34 PM
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Check their web site. Like you, I did not want anything that would "auto renew" because they are likely going to renew you to the HIGHEST package/price tier. They have lower tiers, better yearly price, that include most all of the commercial free major music and news channels and NOT the fluff and/or sports stuff. It's much better pricing for music/news only.
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post #9 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-11-2019, 03:30 AM
Join Date: Aug 2018
Posts: 55
Kia has allowed Sirius XM to be preinstalled. Sure it is initially free. When you buy a Kia the question is who does own it.
If the owner can't have Sirius XM removed immediately after purchase then the owner never really owns the car entirely.
Instead owners who at the outset will never subscribe to Sirius XM are plagued with appeals to sign up and it never seems to end.
I expect to get bombarded by Sirius XM marketing as long as I have my Kia Premium EX PHEV.
So much for ownership
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post #10 of 24 (permalink) Old 01-12-2019, 12:26 PM
Join Date: Apr 2018
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I’ve been with SXM thru several vehicles. I just renegotiated a continuance of the service for a year @ $6 per month. Actually just shy of that. Was ready to cancel but they shuttle you to customer retention where they will try to keep you. The deal I asked for was a continuance of a 6 month deal they had offered when my new Niro free trial ran out. While I agree that streaming music services are an alternative, I find that even with CarPlay/Apple music and Siri the streamers are a bit fussy, and there is the data use issue. Maybe Spotify or others are better in the interface usage but one other thing is you might find yourself in a weak mobile signal area where the Sat signal is going to always be there...tunnels notwithstanding. This is certainly a consideration on road trips out of your home base area. Another option is to have music or podcasts or audio books downloaded to your devices including a usb stick (haven’t tried that one but it should be doable). For me SXM is easy and a good option esp at the retention price nad I like having the “live” news and sports. So if you like it do some arm wrestling, they’re willing to deal. One warning, be prepared to be on hold least when I called it was 45 freakin minutes. Go get your deal fans =

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