FOX43 Finds Out: Lifetime subscription issues

MECHANICSBURG, Pa -- One man paid almost $500 for what he thought was a lifetime satellite radio subscription.

Only the company now says that lifetime is over.

Will his subscription still be honored?

FOX43 finds out.

Car rides for Charles Bateman may no longer come with a soundtrack.

Back in 2009, the Mechanicsburg man signed a contract with what was - XM radio.

It was called a lifetime contract, a concept that seemed pretty simple to Bateman.

"Lifetime meant lifetime, with the caveat that you could only transfer it 6 times during a lifetime."

Bateman had only used the subscription in one car, until he bought a new vehicle last year.

That's when he ran into an issue.

He called what is now Siruis XM to see why he was having issues transferring the subscription.

"They said 'Oh, you can't do that. You can't transfer your subscription from one manufacturer's radio to another car manufacturer's radio. you can only do that with the portable devices.'  Which was a bit of a surprise, being that when I signed up, I was specifically told that you could transfer it up to 6 times."

According to Sirius XM`s Support Center, lifetime contracts on a manufacturer`s radio purchased on or after September 8th of 2007 cannot be transferred unless the radio is stolen, damaged or defective.

Even if you bought a lifetime membership before that, the website currently states you can only transfer the subscription 3 times.

Bateman says something must have changed, because that is not what he remembers seeing when he bought his lifetime subscription for $499.

"I was told you can transfer it six times in a lifetime, then the first time I go to transfer it I'm told nope."

FOX43 Finds Out did contact Sirius XM to talk about Bateman`s issue.

The company sent us this:  "Thank you for notifying us of the customer`s complaint. We always try to help our subscribers when made aware of an issue."

Bateman then told us he received this email from the company only after FOX43 Finds Out contacted Sirius XM.

He says the company agreed to transfer his lifetime membership to his new vehicle at a cost of $75.

That`s with the understanding his membership can not ever be transferred to any other car.

Bateman said, "I don't understand why it's so difficult to be able to transfer this because each car has a signal and a receiver, just like the handheld devices. If I canceled my plan, they would be able to cancel my service in my current car. I don't understand why it would be any different to just transfer it from car to car versus a handheld device."

We did try to reach out to Sirius XM regarding questions about whether or not the policy has changed over the years or if they had any paperwork back from 2009  and the spokesperson would not answer any of those questions.

If you have a story you want me to look into, FOX43 wants to find out.

Let me know, send me a message on Facebook or shoot me an email at FOX43FindsOut@FOX43.com.