Posted by Graham Wheeler on Wednesday, April 19, 2023

My wife has SiriusXM in her car, and I really like their channel 53, SiriusXM Chill. I have struggled to find something similar; the closest I have found is Chilltrax, which was apparently started by the same people who originally created the Sirius channel. Chilltrax is available on TuneIn, to which I have a premium subscription, but for some reason it almost never works on TuneIn in my Tesla.

I finally caved and figured I would subscribe to SiriusXM, just for this channel. I was disappointed to find the Tesla Model Y has no Sirius support; only the Model S and X have the necessary hardware. So I went to the Sirius XM website. While browsing the offerings, I went to look at the channel lineup on their music-only subscription. I found the Chill channel, and it showed a ‘play’ icon, so I thought I’d listen while finishing up subscribing. So I clicked on ‘play’…

The gateway to purgatory

Instead of playing, this took me to a page where I was asked to create an account, with my email address and a password. Fine, I’m probably going to have to do that anyway to subscribe, so I went ahead, and I ended up with the channel playing, on a 24-hour preview. So far so good.

I then decided I wanted to do the subscribing. Clicking on that (or, it turns out, going through any number of other ways into trying to subscribe on their website), and the first thing they wanted - “Step 1 of 3” - was for me to create an account. No option to log in to an account, and it made no difference if I was already logged in.

You can probably guess what happened next:

No kidding

I spent quite a while trying to work around this. Maybe a different browser, or a different IP would help. Nope. Maybe I could delete the account and start over? Going from the page where I was logged in and streaming music to ‘manager account’, I was once again presented with a login, and this time I got:

We do not like you

So basically I’m in some kind of second-class account, which I cannot manage or delete, and which prevents me from creating a proper account.

Time to get hold of their tech support; they should be able to fix it, right?





That was their TWitter DM chat. I thought I’d go through the website, but that was no better:


I can actually sign in to their iOS app, but this is the result:


Supposedly I’m on a free trial, but I can’t sign in to the website to use it, the iPhone app doesn’t work, and I can’t become a paid subscriber. Who comes up with these designs?

Update: the initial account was supposed to be a 24-hour free preview. So I figured I’d wait 24 hours and try again.

The first thing that happened was that on the web, I once again got the ‘create account’/’email already in use’ problem. So I went to the iOS app. This time it launched, and said ‘Your free preview has expired’, and gave me a button labeled ‘Delete Account’. Hallelujah! So I clicked it. I guess at this point nothing should surprise me anymore; here is the result:


I finally gave up and decided to use a secondary email account (I did try the ‘+’ trick that works with gmail but Sirius would not accept that as an account name; they gave no error or feedback but the ‘Next’ button on account creation would not advance). I went to the web and signed up with my credit card:


I can now play music on the web, and I got an email welcoming me and inviting me to download the iOS app:


Upon trying to sign in to the iOS app with this account, however, I get this:


I get a similar result when trying to add Sirius to my Sonos. Considering the iOS app and Sonos are the only two places I would use this, I am still 100% thwarted, but am now paying for the privilege. Plus I am locked in; if I go to the web browser where I am signed in and able to play music, and try to do anything with my account through this menu:


no surprise, I once again get taken to a login screen and once again get told “The username and/or password you entered does not match our records.”. I bet that won’t stop them billing my credit card.

They deserve an Ignobel award or something for this experience. Unbelievable.