Starlink customers are unhappy with the increase in prices for communication kits

(ORDO NEWS) — Alan Sby was unhappy with his satellite broadband from his provider because Zoom meetings, live streaming, and streaming just didn’t work. So in February 2021, Sbee, who lives in the mountains of North Carolina, paid $100 for a connection kit.

Sbee said he hasn’t heard from Elon Musk’s satellite internet company since then and hasn’t received his connection kit. And to make matters worse, Starlink has just raised prices – even for those customers who are still waiting for their equipment.

In March, SpaceX told its customers that it was raising prices, in part because of inflation. The cost of the Starlink bundle has increased from $500 to $550 for pre-paid customers and from $500 to $600 for new customers. The monthly cost of a Starlink subscription has increased from $99 to $110 for all users.

At the end of March 2022, Sbee demanded a refund for Starlink due to the price increase, but he had problems getting the money back because he could not get through to the company.

“I feel like I was scammed by Starlink,” Sby said. “This is a dishonest business practice. The company has had my money for over a year, I need to get it back, and there should be no conditions to get my money back.”

Sby isn’t the only customer frustrated by delays, price hikes, and Starlink’s apparent lack of customer service.

Rich Kecher of southern Virginia said he was having trouble getting his Starlink deposit back after about a year. He spoke of the “outrageous lack of communication” by Starlink, which has pushed back its expected start date for service in his area from November 2021 to the end of 2022.

“The price hike was the last straw,” Kecher said.

After ordering Starlink in April 2021, Denise Elise revealed that she received two emails from Starlink – one confirming payment and the other about a price increase.

She said: “I don’t want to cancel my order because I live in a rural area and I need some kind of internet. I really want to try.” However, she said she was unhappy that Starlink had raised prices before she received her connectivity kit, adding that Musk was “making money with our money.”

Eliza said that Starlink did not respond to any of her emails.

Tim Nash, who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, received his Starlink kit in February 2022. A month later, he faced an increase in prices for Starlink services.

Despite paying more than he initially expected, Nash said Starlink was “quite worth it” but complained that customer service was “virtually non-existent”.

“If your internet is down, how can you get help?” Nash said. “Strange way of working”.

Lluk Palerm, an analyst at Northern Sky Research, said Starlink customers hit by price hikes on products they haven’t received yet “obviously” had “something to be angry about”. He said that Starlink “doesn’t invest resources in customer service, so it’s only natural that you get these kinds of complaints.”

Palerm said: “They are a start-up and their main focus right now is constellation and development, so it’s not surprising that their customers receive very little support.”

He suggested that Starlink terminals are actually worth far more than even their inflated cost.

Palerm verified complaints from four Starlink customers against the company through purchase confirmation emails and correspondence they sent to SpaceX.

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