SOURCE ORBITCAST There's no doubt that things must be pretty hectic over at Sirius XM Radio Inc., but Wednesday's channel switchover was wrought with confusion and miscommunication, and I'm amazed the company even let this happen. If I was management, I would be fuming right now. Heads would be rolling. The fact is, a small percentage of the nearly 20 million subscribers read Orbitcast. But we were the only ones who knew the channel switchover was coming. I received an email notification of the new Sirius XM channel lineup on the day of the switchover. But for a majority of subscribers, that was one day too late. Heck, it was one week too late. Sure, there was some on-air discussion about the switchover, but that's assuming that everyone was listening. A mighty big assumption. Just like it's a big assumption that your subscribers will check their personal emails before jumping in the cars to go to work on Wednesday. The result? Confusion. Countless subscribers turned on the radio for the first time only to learn that their presets were messed up. Confused customers turned the dial only to find that the service they were used to (and paying for) is completely different now. Confusion leads to dissatisfaction - not exactly the end result the company was aiming for. This is Satellite Radio. This isn't Internet Radio. The communications with the customer shouldn't be relegated to an email and a homepage update. The least the company could have done was to send out a mailer a week ahead of time. A simple direct mail piece notifying that there will be a major restructuring of channels. It didn't need to be specific (though, that would be nice), but at least the channel changes wouldn't have been a surprise. "But Ryan, budgets are tight, and a mailer to millions of subscribers costs money!" True, but call center calls cost money too. Forrester Research estimates that a customer call for service to a call center costs an average of $5.50 per call. If one post gets 400+ comments on this subject, something tells me that there was a large increase in activity to the call centers as well. For every unhappy customer who calls, there's hundreds more who don't bother, but are equally unhappy. The bottom line: Sirius XM Radio have two revenue-generating "clients" - the subscriber, and the advertiser. If the company was going to do a major overhaul to the ad sales system, I'm sure they would have notified each and every advertiser well ahead of time. I'm sure every advertiser would be aware of a change occuring, even if they didn't know the full details. The same logic - and respect - should apply to subscribers.