While the merger of Sirius and XM reduced some satellite radio competition, there’s still a good chance of scoring a lower subscription rate just by asking (or threatening to cancel).
As an example, the XM Everything package is listed at $12.95/month (as of May 2010) which works out to $155 for the year. Anyone can sign up for their yearly rate of $143, or multi-year rate of $116. But if you threaten to cancel your service, you might be offered a rate of $88/year, which is almost 50% off the regular rate, and 25% off their lowest published offer.
Here’s the LOZO: always ask, “is there an even lower rate?”. You might just find out there is. In fact, XM was also willing to offer 5 months for $23, equivalent to $55 for the year!
If you are not sure how to compare the rates, just divide the rate by the number of months for a monthly rate. The lower the monthly rate, the better. It’s a bit of a gamble as to whether to commit to a longer term or grab the lower rate. With new (and often better) offers coming all the time, you’ll probably end up better in the long run by grabbing the cheapest rates when they are there, and then trying again when your subscription is up.