Radio Shack, part two.

Ugh. Radio Shack.

For those who need more of the back story, here it is: Radio Shack Sucks.

I wrote a mean letter to Radio Shack in retaliation for their complete dishonesty and unsportsmanlike conduct in dealing with me and my Sirius Orbiter satellite radio. To sum it up, we bought the radio on New Years Eve, and by the end of February, it was out of stock, out of production, and impossible to find parts for.

I did call Sirius (the company itself) and they said that the Orbiter could very well be out of production, but gave me another company that has car docking stations (which is the real reason this tizzy ever started.) They were sold at Flying J truck stops, and they were compatible with the Orbiter. I looked it up and found, surprisingly, that the Orbiter and the Flying J brand (the Streamer) appeared to be the exact same radio!

So I bought a car docking station… a Streamer car docking station. The guy I talked to at Sirius told me that, technically, this could void my warranty, but then, in an act of true customer service, assured me that if I never told anybody that I had a Streamer car docking station, no one would ever know and the warranty would be safe. Brilliant.

The Streamer accessory works wonders – and fits perfectly. I also, then, purchased what I thought was an off-market home antenna (so I wouldn’t have to take our original antenna down when we used the boom box out of doors.) When it arrived, I found it to be the exact same thing as the Orbiter antenna, the only difference being a different sticker on the bottom.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I realized the various Sirius radio brands were more compatible than I had first thought.

Anyway, just this past Tuesday I received a letter back from Radio Shack in response to my correspondence:

To: Corey Vilhauer

Re: Sirius Radio


Thanks for bringing your concern regarding the Sirius Radio equipment to our attention. As a leading consumer electronic company we take customer care very seriously and I personally want to apologize for not meeting your expectations.

I have acquired a docking station for you and have sent it to the store on Western Ave. for you. Please take this letter with you and ask for Derrick the Manager and he will assist you.

I would like to talk with you about this a bit further bit I have been unable to locate your number. My office number is 605-886-2159 and my email address is Please give me a call or email me with your number and I will call you.


Scott McInroy
District Manager 0359
101 E. Kemp Ave. Ste. D
Watertown, SD 57201

Originally, I had sent my letter to the Regional Manager in Minnesota, thinking that was the proper contact. I see now that I sent my letter to Scott’s boss, and Scott received it later on. A few things jump out at me in this letter:

1. Why is Mr. McInroy just now finding a docking station for me, now that he’s had a letter sent to his boss, when Derrick reportedly asked him to look around for one in early February?

2. Why is Mr. McInroy unable to locate my number, when it is reportedly on file at two different Radio Shack stores – given to them in the off chance that an Orbiter docking station comes in?

These questions didn’t ease my mind at all about this whole debacle. I thought about calling him, but it was long distance. And even though we have free long distance on our cell phone, I thought it would be more spiteful if I just emailed Scott and let him take the long distance charge. Incredibly petty, I know. The email looked like this:


This is Corey Vilhauer — I have recently been contacted by you regarding my concerns with Radio Shack’s Sirius Radio practices. Derrick, manager of the Western Ave. store, should have my number on file. If not, it is (605) xxx-xxxx.

Regarding the docking station, I am no longer in need of this product. I purchased a Streamer docking station from Flying J and it’s the exact same thing, just with a different name. Please contact whoever is next on your list of people who need a docking station.

Corey V.

So now I’m just waiting for a response. I’m not really sure what I’m going to say when he calls, but I’m confident that, no matter what, I’ve spent my last at Radio Shack.

Oh! I nearly forgot. I took the boom box outside the other day, and noticed something different about it’s power cord. I looked closer, and discovered that my Orbiter boom box came equipped – from the factory – with a Streamer power cord!

Another piece of ammunition, I guess, in my fight against the Shack.


Edit: The thrilling conclusion? Right here.

This was lovingly handwritten on April 8th, 2005