I was perusing the aisles of our local grocery store the other night and it was getting late. It was almost ten o’clock…closing time, so I needed to hurry. Somewhere between the olives and the tomato paste I got the call from someone in my home town of Scandia, Minnesota. The number on the screen: (651) 433-6650.
Surprised, I quickly answered.
“Hello???” I asked.
“Hi, this is (unknown) from Sirius XM radio and we notice that your subscription is ending,” the woman said.
“It’s almost 10:00! And when did you guys open a Scandia, Minnesota office?” I quizzically asked.
This conversation went on for about forty more seconds. The Sirius XM sales rep said she was in California. She apologized for calling late. I hung up annoyed that A) it was late and I was in a hurry and B) Sirius was calling from a number that originates from my home town. I thought it was a family member or a friend and it must have been somewhat serious to be calling that late on a weeknight. Was this a clever spoofing tactic?
What is spoofing?
If you’ve never heard of spoofing, it’s quite simple and once you realize it’s happened, you’re mad as hell.
Many times known as ‘Caller ID Spoofing’, callers can deliberately falsify the telephone number and/or name relayed as the Caller ID information to disguise the identity of the calling party. For example, identity thieves who want to collect sensitive information such as your bank account or other financial account numbers, your social security number, your date of birth or your mother’s maiden name, sometimes use caller ID spoofing to make it appear as though they are calling from your bank, credit card company, or even a government agency.
Here’s more on the topic.
So my question is valid: Is Sirius XM spoofing in order to get customers on the phone?
Is the Sirius XM phone number a spoof?
Fast forward a few days later…today. I got a call from the same number. I didn’t answer. I got a voicemail and sure enough, it was Sirius XM tracking me down to subscribe since my free trial was up. So instead of waiting for the next call, and since I was absolutely dumbfounded that this number was listing from my home town (of about 5,000 people mind you), I called the number expecting to get Norm, George, Carl or any other Scandinavian farmer who’d be prepping his 6:30pm dinner table. That’s how it’s done in those parts.
I dialed and sure enough, it was Sirius XM. I was greeted by Ares in ‘Activation’ who was excited I had happened upon his path. While polite, he was eager to close a deal. He offered about five different package specials over the span of a four minute phone call. But I wasn’t there to talk subscriptions. I wanted to know why he was calling from Scandia fricken’ Minnesota! Ares had no answer. He was dumbfounded.
He searched my account and had my proper number listed (a Minneapolis 612 area code). There was no sign of the Scandia phone number, he told me. But he could offer me 6 months at $9.00 per month! Get it while it’s hot! We we clearly not done.
[su_note note_color=”#fefebb”]Give it try for yourself ›› Call (651) 433-6650[/su_note]
Each time Ares presented an offer, I rebutted with a question as to why he was calling me with that number. Why would the number even connect to Sirius XM? They clearly are in control of the phone number or controlling it’s direction for that matter.
Ares tried to close me Glengarry Glen Ross-style. But I wasn’t convinced. The sneakiness of Sirius XM to connect with me and get me to sign had disturbed me so much that I don’t believe I’ll ever subscribe. Seriously, Scandia, Minnesota?
I’m not accusing Sirius of any shady business practices at this point, but I’m close. There could be a perfectly good explanation for all of this. I’m hoping so – but the evidence is damning. In a day and age where patience is low and attention spans are short, companies have to continually re-invent themselves to close a deal.
But for the love of all things pure and wholesome, leave Scandia, Minnesota alone.
Let us know if you’ve had a similar experience with Sirius XM or other companies. Leave your comments below and thanks for reading.