Friday, January 14, 2011

Sirius Satellite Radio - good customer service but issues nonetheless

I love radio......I have loved radio since I can remember which has been for a long time. Growing up on the prairies and tuning in for skip signals from Chicago back in the glory days, the last glory days, of "hit" radio when Deejays ruled and not the corporations.....ahhh, nostalgia - it hurts sometimes.

Yeah right it did when I fell down into the granary from the barn loft messing around with my jerry-rigged, was my ass ever sore!!! But to hear Wolfman Jack and that one station from Nawlins' and the Grand Ole'

I grew up and discovered college and FM radio in the late seventies......I am not going to give a history lesson here but let it be said right here and now radio is but a shadow of its former self. It is now a conglomerate, faceless, nameless and without soul in some cases as dictated by the folks at Clear Channel amongst others and no I am not gonna link to you bastards.....not unless you pay me to.

Hey, does anybody remember Radio Free Europe? Or the "real" Pirate Radio that operated in a converted trawler in the English Channel? That was pure radio.

In my many journeys worldwide I could still find fascination with this medium for in other countries there were not the corporate shackles nor programming ones.....well, in some cases anyway. One of another long set of fave radio memories had me driving at 12,000 feet up in Guatemala on some shite road getting skip signals from Guatemala City where the DeeJay said para it ahorra LOS GUNNERS!!!! His reference to Guns N' Roses......I had to stop the car just so I could "feel" the music as the mountain fog enveloped me......yes, something classical may have been better but for some reason that moment, that heavy music of Sweet Child o' Mine worked its magic.

That being said another radio evolution had to happen, that of satellite/internet radio, an almost-live experience, free of censorship and one that allowed its "personalities" to do what they did best, explore their tastes and in turn educate in so many ways via the rich history of music - but not just music but talk too.....Howard Stern, are you reaching? I think he pretty much made Sirius.....and as much as sometimes I think, no, believe that he embodies the archetypal neurotic and insecure JewGEEKboy (of whom I love dearly) who really wants to be loved? He is also a very astute arbiter of what the public will not only tolerate but crave because there is a JewGEEKboy in all of us.....oh yeah. (BTW I can make these assertions because I am OTT so fuck you any PC detractors)

When Sirius Satellite Radio first came out in America I was ecstatic and could not wait for it to be implemented here in Canada. Once certain concessions were made to the CRTC by Sirius with regards to CanCon they were good to go here and I was one of the first of the 50,000 subscribers. I regret to this day having not dropped the five hundred bucks for a "lifetime" subscription but back then we did not know how well this company would fare.

Maybe Sirius will toss me a bone?

I did this for a very good set of reasons, one primarily being that at that time I did a hellacious amount of road travel throughout North America and points south. I was a great guinea pig so to speak in that I could track just how well this system worked within this hemisphere.....all one has to do was look at the sat tracking and take it from there.

But history aside this is not why I write this piece today. I write for another reason and one that involves access via particular operating systems online. I had been running my craptop via Microsnot Vista and it crapped out in terms of net access so I installed a Linux CD, not full install, changed the BIOS and pretty much did a backdoor entry for my net.

That methodology had been working great up until I wanted to log on for Sirius....seems that online Sirius does not recognize a Linux platform.

The customer reps at Sirius were good in that they extended towards me a small concession on my bill but since I pay for a year's worth of service in advance it is but a small consolation when I cannot access a service that I "own" via the means that I choose for whatever reason.

Yes, I have one of the original receivers but because I live downtown the signal can get corrupted so I access Sirius online.....I run a cable to my great, that is until this past week when I switched to Linux.

Today, with regards to customer service, I had to educate the good folks at Sirius in that more folks out of sheer frustration will be switching to Linux from Microsnot and sorry folks but you cannot tell me that net access is complimentary from the receiver that I pay for because I have this account and it should not matter a fig in terms of how I get my signal.....get it guys? If I have to supply a password then I have an account - a paid-for account. Logic rules okay, don't be obtuse.

Time for Sirius to take seriously the fact that there is a world outside of Microsoft and Apple.

Now if I could I would tell of Sirius hacks that I know of but no, I pay, and pay gladly and thusly will not "broadcast" as such certain "services" that would serve to undermine my integrity.

So dear Sirius corporation it is time for you to step up to that plate of progression that you so readily tout.....I am waiting.

BTW more links to be added....I need a tea break.....


Shaun M. Wheeler said...

I couldn't agree more with your assessment of soulless commercial radio... it was for that reason I switched. Not to satellite, not to streaming audio over the net, but to shortwave, where one can still pick up honest-to-Marconi pirate radio stations.

I've toyed with the idea of setting up my own station and have done "cost analysis" but like so many of my projects, I doubt it'll see fruition :(

mamajack said...

i love hearing about the memories Rosie! I am not hooked into Sirius at all, but of course very hooked into internet radio and podcasting. i am also stoked abt the recent US decision to free up a lot of trad bandwidth for microstations and have thought abt doing my own...but - one step at a time!

Yaz said...

As someone who had the pleasure of working in the Pre-Consutant days of rock radio and later for a privately owned independant alt-rock station I loved your piece. I have those same "farm memories" taking my transistor to the top of the barn to tune in WLS and other great monster signal stations. Thanks! A good read.

DriveGoddess said...

Thanks folks!