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Monday, May 24, 2010

I'm a Sirius Junkie

I don't know how I survived before satellite radio. I barely lasted a week without it. I tried. I was not going to give them another damn penny especially since my Sirius stock is in the toilet. Freak them, I lost a bundle on them, I said to myself. So when my Orbiter finally bit the dust for the last time, after two years of a blackened screen and a week of having to slap it to work, intermittently at best, I thought I would be putting that $14.95 per month in my pocket.

The first couple of days weren't bad since my Cox Digital has one music channel I like, 917, so the television had been tuned to that all day. By the third day I noticed that I kept hearing the same songs, maybe even in the same order. I thought I could live with it even if it did start to get on my nerves, but what I couldn't live with was not having Sirius in my car. I hate local Roanoke radio, especially the local rock stations. What a bunch of crap. Do they not realize this is 2010? It got to the point that I was forced to listen to only talk radio...the highlight being Dennis Miller who is only on for two hours. Too bad Levine and Coast to Coast is on so late or I would have tuned in to them.

I kept complaining and my husband kept saying, "Stop being cheap, just go buy yourself another is too short, you enjoy it so just buy it already!" He was right. Why was I being so stubborn and "frugal?" It's not their fault the stock market sucks. They do have a great product. Besides every New Year's Eve I listen to the live broadcast of Patti Smith at the Bowery Ballroom. I couldn't give that up. So I went to buy my new Sirius radio.

Of course I wanted not only the vehicle kit but the boombox as well. Naturally they stopped making the Orbiter so my boom box and vehicle docking station were now obsolete. I started shopping around to see what the new boomboxes were and what radios worked with them. Sirius finally wised up and manufactured a "generic" boombox that most newer radio models can just pop into. About time. When I first became a subscriber every single component was different depending upon which radio you had. At that time there were many different radios, so this didn't work with that, and so on. Now it seems the radio themselves all have the dock and play possibility. Great, I thought, this will be a breeze, until it came to actually buying one.

No one had any boomboxes in stock. Not a one. I checked Best Buy, Walmart, HH Gregg, even Sirius directly...all of them were out of stock. WTF? I refused to buy a radio without the boombox because my fear was that Sirius would suddenly stop manufacturing them (much like they did the Orbiter) and I'd be stuck with just a radio for my car and nothing for my home. I didn't want to listen to Patti sitting in my car on New Year's Eve! I then decided I would go into the stores to see if they had something sitting around...nope, nothing. On my way home I stopped into Radio Shack. They at least had one on display and the Stratus 6 radio was on sale as well. I asked if they had any boxes in stock. He said he didn't but he called the Christiansburg store who said they did. He asked them to send it to Salem. He also said the sale ran through Friday so if I came to the store and picked it up then I would still get the discount. Cool! I told him I would call him first thing in the morning.

I waited until ten and called. Nope, they didn't ship the boombox. Now it wouldn't be in the store until Monday. At this point, I didn't know if I even believed they had one seeing as I couldn't locate one anywhere else. I asked the clerk if they would still honor the discount on Monday and he told me no, the sale ended Friday. Ok, whatever, it was only ten bucks. I gave him my number and told him to call me when it came in. At three on Friday afternoon I got a call saying that the district manager himself had delivered the box if I still wanted it. Did I? Zoom!!!

So I get there and am thrilled they have the box and radio waiting for me. They try and talk me into getting the extended warranty which we all know is stupid so pass. They ring up the radio and it doesn't come up with the sale price. I bring it their attention and they act like the radio was never freaking on sale! Oh, the sign that was prominently displayed is now gone, but the guy behind the counter knows it was there on Thursday and he was the one who told me to buy it before Saturday! The district manager says nope, it's not on sale, sorry. I'm looking at the clerk who knows the truth and he can't look me in the eye, and I saw this guy there yesterday with his three year old daughter saying, daddy, daddy and I don't want to get him fired or in trouble, so I say just ring the freaking thing up, but I do mumble to him under my breath as I'm leaving, "You know you're scamming." Normally I would have told them to shove the freaking radio where they couldn't get reception but I'm desperate so I leave, go home, set it up (and Sirius charges me an additional $15 activation fee even though their old piece of shit radio is the reason I had to buy a new one) but it's working.

By Sunday afternoon my husband was finally able to install it in my car so I took my son's Jeep to go shopping and left my car home. When I got back I asked how it went. My husband said not too good since I needed to buy a cassette adapter to make it work. What?! It seems the new models do not have the FM modulator on the side of the dock and use a direct cable into the car radio instead. Naturally my radio does not have that capability but luckily still had a cassette player. Here we go again, sink some more money into Sirius' pocket. When I called Radio Shack to see if they even had one in stock the clerk told me they did for another $21.99. He also told me I could probably get one at Walmart for $14.99. Guilt? Or did he have the sale price sign up again on the radio I just bought and he didn't want me to see it? I went to Walmart and got the adapter, a generic one that MP3 players use, for $9.99. We tried it in the parking lot and voila it worked!

All is right again in the world, even if it's really not, all because I'm a Sirius junkie...


  1. Nothing wrong with being frugal until you absolutely need something.

    My father-in-law loves his Sirius.

  2. Oh are soooo funny. This entire dissertation should be given to Andy Rooney. I'll bet he'd pay good money to have you as his writer...I can just imagine you sitting in your car listening to Patti on New Year's Eve! LOL

  3. There are worse things, dear Elena! Life is short, your hubby is right. Enjoy it.

  4. I'd have pitched a total fit in Radio Shack to that manager. TOTAL FIT!