Elon Musk’s Starlink Still Can’t Seem To Answer Basic Customer Support Emails

from the not-that-innovative dept

We’ve noted for a while now how Elon Musk’s Starlink low-orbit satellite broadband service isn’t going to have the impact many think. For one thing, the service can currently only provide service to a maximum of around 800,000 subscribers globally. For context, around 20-40 million people in the U.S. lack broadband, and 83 million live under a broadband monopoly (usually Comcast).

Even with everything working perfectly, we’re talking about a service that’s only going to make a very tiny dent in a very large problem. And Starlink, as a business, isn’t working perfectly.

The lack of capacity (plus some supply chain issues) has greatly constrained subscriber totals, forcing most Starlink users onto a waiting list that for many can be more than a year. Many users on said waiting list have been trying to get refunds after a recent round of price hikes on a service they haven’t received yet, only to find a company that simply can’t or won’t respond to customer support and refund inquiries:

At the end of March 2022, Sbi requested a refund of his Starlink deposit because of the price hikes – but has had trouble getting his money back because he can’t get hold of the company.

“I feel I was scammed by Starlink,” Sbi said. “This is not fair business practices. The company had my money for over a year, I need that money back, there shouldn’t be any conditions on how to receive my money back.”

This sort of problem isn’t particularly uncommon over at Tesla or Tesla solar, either (the horror stories involving installs of the later are the stuff of legend). All three efforts are widely heralded for innovation, yet can’t respond to extremely basic consumer support inquiries. Raising prices on Starlink customers already stuck in order purgatory has proven the final straw for many:

Rich Kecher, in south Virginia, said he’d had trouble getting his Starlink deposit refunded after about a year. He…

Read more at www.techdirt.com

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