Posts Tagged ‘AutoTrader’

Want to Cancel an XM Radio? Good Luck!

August 28, 2008

I bought a new car and sold my 1994 Mercedes Benz S420 after using a combination of Craigslist, AutoTrader.com and YouTube to advertise my old car for sale.

I had installed an aftermarket XM Radio in my S420 a number of years ago and upon selling the car needed to deactivate that particular XM Radio signal.

Listening to XM Radio on my laptop, I am accustomed to navigating the XM Radio website to select channels and manage my account.

Not having ever deactivated one of their radios, I went to their website’s Frequently Asked Questions section where I was unable to locate any mention of how to turn off an XM radio signal or cancel an XM account.

XM Radio Frequently Asked Questions

XM Radio Frequently Asked Questions

I then drilled down into my account’s “Listener Care” section where I thought surely I could deactivate my car’s XM radio unit. After much searching, I concluded XM Radio does not allow its customers to deactivate their radios online.

XM Radio Listener Care

XM Radio Listener Care

XM Radio cares so much about me and my business they won’t let me deactivate a radio without my first having to call and speak to them about it!

The thought nearly moved me to tears – just not tears of joy…

After realizing they weren’t going to let me go without a fight, I then had the pleasure of speaking with a XM Customer Care representative half way around the world in India.

As their website had directed me, I called XM Radio @ 1-800-XM-RADIO (1-800-967-2346) between the following hours:

Mon-Sat: 8 AM – 11 PM ET
Sun: 8 AM – 8 PM ET

My ‘Listener Care” representative notified me he personally wouldn’t be able to help me deactivate my radio but would forward my call to the appropriate department where they could.

I was then placed on hold for about 15 minutes.

I hung up and dialed back where I told the next person who answered I had been on hold for 15 minutes and had all the “Listener Care” I could handle today.

The conversation then moved to the point where I explained how I wanted to deactivate a radio – not close my account. He then addressed my previous comment by saying the cancellation department can have extended queue times and that he could not guarantee I wouldn’t have to hold for a prolonged period of time again and that it would probably be better for me to call back on the weekend!

XM Listener Care Phone Number

XM Listener Care Phone Number

I then asked him: “Can I not cancel an XM radio subscription online?” He said, no.

At this point I told him if he wasn’t able to help me cancel my radio signal right then that I would instead cancel my entire XM Radio account. I also mentioned I would now be writing about my XM Radio experience.

At this point it was obvious our call became “monitored” and I was magically wisked to the cancellation department in under one minute.

I was finally able to cancel the XM Radio in my now ex-S420 Mercedes Benz but not before having to go through 20 more questions about why I was canceling followed by a couple attempts to get me to put XM in my new car even though it came from the factory installed with Sirius.

If you are needing to cancel your XM Radio subscription – Good Luck – you will probably need it.

YouTube Classified Ads: A Car For Sale

May 16, 2008

After nearly ten years of driving the same car, I recently bought a new one.

I decided to sell my old car the new way – online.

Having been on the web now for nearly a decade, I have found a lot of inefficiencies remain when it comes time to bridge the gap between generating a lead online and closing a high ticket sale offline.

When it comes to selling cars online there are several options.

eBay Motors and AutoTrader.com were the two resources that came to mind.

Up until yesterday, I didn’t have an eBay account so eBay Motors wasn’t an option. If I recall though, eBay Motors is the largest single used “car dealer” in the world – last time I looked I think they generated $2 Billion in car sales annually.

I have an older Mercedes and because of its limited appeal, I sought the advice of a local used car dealer on how best to go about selling it.

He recommended trying AutoTrader.com.

I set up an account and got my car advertised online within a day and then in the local Auto Trader print publication within a week.

Auto Trader Ad

Auto Trader Print

I started getting calls soon after my ad came out and then slowly came to realize some of the aforementioned online lead to offline sale time related inefficiencies.

The internet is great for connecting sellers with buyers they wouldn’t have otherwise likely ever met, however when it comes time to sell something large and physical it presents a whole new set of problems.

Half of the inquiries I received about the car resulted in the callers desire to see and test drive the car.

Well, I am not a car salesman and I don’t have time to drop everything I am doing to go show a car at unpredictable times of the weekday. Scheduling time to meet potential buyers on the weekend is even more difficult.

The problem: How can I “show” my car to prospective buyers without having to take an hour or two of my time to do it?

My answer: Produce a short video clip of the car that shows its condition to prospective buyers and post it on YouTube. Prospects can then “look” over the car without either of us having to physically meet to do it.

I shot a couple of minutes of video and then posted it in my YouTube account.

I also modified both my online and print AutoTrader ads to include “Search YouTube” to see this car.

Autotrader.com Ad:

The video has been up a week and according to YouTube’s insight feature the video has already been viewed over 100 times primarily from searches within YouTube.

YouTube Video Insight:

YouTube Insight

I have also posted a Craigslist ad for my car. It too mentions viewing the car online beforehand by searching for it in YouTube.

Craigslist Ad:

Now whenever I get a call about the car, I ask them whether they have seen it on YouTube or not and then direct them to its YouTube page to see it first before we arrange a time to test drive it.

Using YouTube to preview used cars for sale reduces the inefficiencies of showing vehicles to non buyers while further qualifiing the prospects most interested in potentially buying my car.

I have set a couple of appointments for prospects to test drive my car this weekend.

Regardless of whether the car gets sold this weekend or not, I haven’t wasted my time showing it to someone who hasn’t already convinced me they are a highly qualified –ie., interested – prospective buyer .