On XM Radio and disappointment

This is only marginally Brewer related, so if you're not interested, my apologies. Today's game thread will open at noon, see you there.

The thing is, I'm missing today's Brewer game, despite having paid to listen to it. I'm an XM subscriber and have been for years. I enjoy a fair amount of their programming, including ESPN Radio and MLB Home Plate, but the biggest selling point for me is the live coverage of every MLB regular season game. I'm pretty sure they're also carrying today's Brewer game. I don't know - my service hasn't worked for a week.

XM Radio customer service leaves a lot to be desired, to put it mildly. When my dad bought his service, he bought an XM Radio boom box to take out in the boat and listen to Brewer games while he's fishing during the summer. The boom box was incompatible with his receiver, causing both to break. It took him hours on the phone with tech support in India to get his receiver replaced. All the while, they continued to take his money for a service they weren't providing.

Six months ago, my original XM receiver starter to act up. It was getting harder and harder to get the antenna to maintain a connection with the receiver. I could usually fidget with it and make it work if I left it in just the right position, but one bump on the road or one nudge of the receiver and it would go out again. Most of this fidgeting and adjusting was happening while I was driving at interstate speeds, so it wasn't exactly a safe arrangement.

Figuring I was due, I bought a new receiver. Two days later, I was having the same problem, and I've had it ever since. The receiver worked if left in the cupholder with the antenna side facing up, with the cord plugged in at just the right angle...sometimes. I was still frequently forced to adjust connections at highway speeds.

Fast forward to Sunday. My fiancee and I were on our way back from a wedding, five hours from home, and the antenna went out and could not be fixed. Trust me, I know: I spent half the trip home working with it. I missed Sunday's Badger game because of it, and because it's still not working, I'm going to miss today's Brewer game when I'm on the road later this afternoon.

I was hoping to avoid having to call tech support, so on Tuesday I sent an email explaining my problem and asking for assistance. My receiver is only six months old, so I feel like it would be realistic for me to expect XM to work with me to resolve this problem. I'm paying for their service, I paid for their receiver, so they should be willing to make sure it works, right?

Unfortunately, it hasn't gone that way. When I sent my email on Tuesday, I immediately received the following autoresponse:

XM is proud to announce our exciting new lineup.  Along with your favorites, we have added new channels, shows, legendary DJ's and celebrity hosts, giving you more of what you love about satellite radio.  You'll get 69 commercial-free music channels covering all genres of music, including new channels like Bruce Springsteen's E Street Radio, the Grateful Dead Channel, Elvis Radio, Jimmy Buffett's Radio Margaritaville, Siriusly Sinatra, Metropolitan Opera Radio, Eminem's Shade 45, Jam On, Little Steven's Underground Garage and more.  Plus, you'll also get new personalities and exclusive shows like Barabara Walters, Chris Mad Dog Russo and Jeff Foxworthy.  And, even more entertainment including Doctor Radio, Blue Collar Radio and the Foxxhole.

Everything you need to know about the new lineup is online at www.xmradio.com/newlineup.  Download the new channel guide and keep it by your radio.  With all of the new programming and personalities, Everything Worth Listening To is Now on XM.

I haven't heard anything else since. Even if I cared in the least about "Eminem's Shade 45," which I don't, this is the least helpful possible answer to my concerns. XM's new lineup doesn't matter much to me at all when I'm paying for it but can't get it.

XM Radio has run into some well-publicized financial difficulties, which is disappointing because I enjoy their product, when it works. But, given the nature of their "support," I can understand why they're not getting enough subscribers.

So, if you're listening to today's game and want to text me an occasional score update, that'd be great. Where the score used to display on my radio, I'll be watching the following message:

ANTENNA...ANTENNA...ANTENNA

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