Sirius satellite question

Hello Everyone,

A few years ago we purchased a pre owned Mazda 9. It was low mileage and the dealer told us it was a business lease vehicle. During the test drive I noticed the car had a satellite receiver on it. We tuned it the satellite on the radio and to our surprise it worked and has been for two years now. I had never had this service and we asked the dealership about it and they told us not to worry about it, that the contract was probably pre paid by the business that leased it and would run out soon. Well, two years later and we still have service.

So, my questions are:

1: We listen to it occasionally, but not often. We usually tune to local stations or play a CD. Would you invest any effort into notifying Sirius that we aren’t paying for this or just let it continue until it runs out?

2: If you would notify Sirius, how would you identify the receiver? We have no idea who owned the vehicle before us and don’t know how to find a device number or something to identify the unit.

This really isn’t a big deal I guess, but I always feel a bit guilty. I think either the service was paid up front and the vehicle traded in and the subscription will eventually run out or it is being billed monthly and whoever is paying it doesn’t realize they don’t have that receiver any longer. If it’s the former, then I don’t feel too bad. If it’s the latter I would like to correct the problem.

There are different instructions based on make. The Sirius website has these instructions for a Mazda.

My car has an in dash display, so the Radio ID pops up there when I tune to channel 0.

If you tune to a non-existent Sirius-XM channel, like 001, the device ID will show up on the display. At least both of mine did this.

I wouldn’t worry about paying. It is incredibly easy to switch radio IDs on your account. Likely Sirius XM didn’t or can’t disable the radio.

I wouldn’t try to notify Sirius, and I wouldn’t have any problem listening to it. My guess is the business pays a single fee for all their vehicles, and that turning your radio off would save them 0 dollars and 0 cents.

If I imagine myself to be a Sirius representative, I’d tell you that since you don’t listen very often and your doing so costs us nothing, then don’t worry. Our hope is that you listen occasionally and get hooked. And if that happens, you should subscribe.

Thanks everyone. I guess I’ll just keep it until it android working. I’ll consider it a bonus feature of the car. Now the devious side of more wonders If I bought a Sirius receiver for my workshop, would it work if I put in this receiver id?

And four the record, it’s think about it, but I wouldn’t do it. Sheriff Justice warned me. (Hopefully that’s not obscure)

Wouldn’t work anyway. The ESN is unique to each unit. You’d have to call Sirius and ask them to add it to your account. And since you don’t have an account…

I am not entirely sure but what I believe happens is the receiver is set to ‘listen’ for a signal to activate or deactivate based on it’s serial number. Once an account is closed or the owner stops paying for it, the company will send the signal for the unit to shut down probably once every hour or so for several weeks (along with thousands of other such signals.) If perhaps the previous owner had parked the car in long term storage, or for whatever reason the car just wasn’t brought outside or the battery had been disconnected for a long time, then the radio never go the notice to turn off and thus remains active.

With regards to the additional cost of your unit being on there is none. As a broadcaster their signals are emitted from the satellite without regard to your paying or not. Your lack of paying doesn’t *cost *them anything, rather you represent a potential customer they are not benefitting from.

Yep, this is right. When you unsubscribe, they send the deactivate signal for IIRC about a month and if you never turn it on it will work for a while. However, they do occasionally go back and send deactivate signals to old radios. I had a radio I bought at a thrift store that worked for about a year until it quit working and I had to add it to my account.

It’s possible that the original owner paid for the lifetime subscription. I don’t know if they offer it anymore, but I think it was $500.

That is a possibility. You’re allowed to transfer a lifetime subscription except on OEM car radios, so there are some cars running around with lifetime subscriptions the original purchasers never bothered to cancel since they couldn’t transfer them.

As mentioned before, your radio is probably a lifetime sub.

As far as calling them to let them know…I wouldn’t bother. As a long time subscriber that has had to call them many time to try and cancel one radio from an account that has multiple radios, or switching an old radio to a new radio…I have to say their customer service is horrendous. You’ll have to wait at least a half hour on hold before getting anyone to answer, and then most likely they will completely misinterpret what you’re trying to tell them. They are such a frustrating company to deal with.

Thanks for the advice everyone. I’ll leave it as is and just enjoy the service.

Case in point:

I bought a Fiat about a year ago. The first owner told me that she’d “sold” me about six months of the one-year subscription on the satellite radio. I am a huge fan of the XM/Sirius (and a stockholder, sadly), so I was waiting anxiously for the day when my subscription would expire. I think I had about two-three weeks left when I finally called in and transferred the ownership of that account over to myself.

So, you might have a lifetime subscription paid up or you might have a year left or you might have a month left. You can go to their website and learn allllll about it.

This is the dark underside of the “free trial” promotions that they’ve been running. They send activation signals for a subset* of channels to every ESN they know of that doesn’t have an active subscription. At the end of the trial, they send a deactivation signal for all of those radios. So if a radio missed its original deactivation, it would deactivate at the end of the trial.

  • The fact that they are offering a subset of channels in these trials proves that they’re not being candid when they say that Sirius A La Carte is only available on special A La Carte radios.

It is technically possible to offer “a la carte” packages to any/all subscribers, but probably not profitable, because it would require time to be spent on each subscriber, establishing which channels they wanted and verifying that they were getting all the right ones. The promotional channel sets are easy, just a uniform signal to all (otherwise inactive) receivers.

But Sirius does offer A La Carte (for $7.99/mo) but only on special “A La Carte” receivers. They have always had the ability to enable / disable individual channels on a per-receiver basis.

I know. And it proved to be a pain in the ass that XM didn’t want to take on, which is why those receivers are being phased out following the merger.