Heres my experience so far with Sirius and xm:
Use to pay the standard $12.95 a month.
They took away hockey and something else, cant recall, and they took away internet access. The final straw was when they added a new fee that bumped the cost to ~$15 a month.
I had heard about people getting deals after threatening to cancel. I tried to call and cancel, and the lady was going to let me cancel. She said there was nothing she could do. This was a while back, maybe couple years or so. So I didn't cancel, but called back a couple days later and got the $20 for 5 months deal. This was before it was being advertised iirc. Anyway, I got that deal for at least 15 months. After that period, they told me they changed the rules and you could only do the $20 deal once. I said ok, well what can you do for me because im not paying $15 a month or anything close to it. She said she could do 6 months for $30. I asked if that was $30 total or would it be $30 plus tax and fees and whatever. She said it was going to be $30 plus tax and fees and whatever, but she would give me a credit for that stuff so the bottom line total was $30 for 6 months. I got her to throw in internet access as well. I wont pay more than that ever. $5 a month is a little more than it is worth to me. 95% of my listening is for stern, and I could live without it I think. Once he retires, im almost certainly canceling for good.
Now, I bought my mother a new car last year that came with 2 or 3 months free xm. I told her if she liked it, we could renew it, but let me know before the 3 months is up so I can call them. I didn't want her paying $180 a year or whatever the standard rate was. After about 3 months, I asked my mom how it was going, she said she loves it (oldies station or whatever) and she renewed for a year, $180 or whatever it was. Damn. So I call xm, tell them I have Sirius for $20 or $30 for 5 or 6 months (whatever it was at the time) and theres no way im letting my mother pay $180 a year. Guy understands completely and we get her on the 5 months $20 plan. They sent her a refund check for the difference within 2 weeks. Nice. So then her 5 months is up, and I call them to renew the $20 plan. They tell me it was a one time deal. I tell the guy I just got my Sirius redone for 6 months $30. he says he doesn't know how I got that plan and he couldn't do it for me. Then he says what he can do is give me (my mom) 3 months free. Makes sense right? So I take the 3 months free and that's where she stands at the moment.
As far as autorenewal goes:
I forget the exact steps you need to take, but you need to tell them they are not to auto bill your credit card, and they are to send you a paper bill when your sub expires. The paper bill will remind you of course that you need to call back and stop them from raping you (if youre on the cheap plan). Somebody mentioned the autorenew is illegal. I don't know, but I don't think what they are doing is autorenewing you per se, meaning, say your 6 months expires, and you get a bill for the next 6 months or whatever, you aren't obligated to pay for the next 6 months. You can simply tell them to cancel and that's it. Or you can negotiate a new deal for the next 6 months. They continue your service and are 'renewed', but again, you can call and tell them you don't want it anymore or just never pay and it will eventually get cut off (of course, im no lawyer, so don't listen to me about legal matters)