3 steps to satisfying Viasat customers, Part 2

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  • Problem
  • Updated 2 months ago
  • Acknowledged
In my previous post (https://community.viasat.com/viasat/t...) that was closed before I had a chance to reply, I was directed to email mailto:viasatlistens@viasat.com with my concerns. Here is my email:

“Hello,

I am looking for usage information for my account for the past 3 months. Our family used up our 150 GB quota in July in half the time as previous months, but I have no way to even start guessing how that happened without daily, or better yet, hourly stats. Even more useful would be what devices used the most when (based on the Viasat app, getting this info appears possible).

Since we’ve used our monthly quota, our internet is all but useless during peak usage. I would consider buying additional data, but it’s not an option with the unlimited plan we’re on.

Thank you for your consideration.”

And here is the ONLY response I received:

“This email is to let you know we’ve received your email about your Viasat account and we’ll get right on it. We’ll contact you within 24 hours to follow up on your request.“

Great customer service.

I respectfully ask that any “Champions” answering my post to please refrain unless you actually have helpful information that will result in a positive outcome. Simply parroting “you know it says ‘up to’” and other comments along the lines of “just deal with it” only add to the frustration of dissatisfied customers.

I don’t really have any better options (as I’m guessing most Viasat customers don’t), and it seems like Viasat is taking complete advantage of it. Please be fair and honest with your customers.
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C

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Posted 2 months ago

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Spinninghorse, Champion

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Well, let me be the first 'champion' to post an offending post. To be clear, this is a customer forum - here for customers to help/respond to other customers. If you need an answer from Viasat, you need to call them, and more so if they did not respond to your email. It is hit or miss if a Viasat rep responds to posts here. If I need an answer, I call them.

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C

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Point taken, however, I’m confident that what I’m asking for is not something Viasat actually offers (otherwise, I’m sure you would have pointed me in that direction). This is at least as much about informing other customers that they are not alone in their experience and potential customers about what they may be getting themselves into.
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LorrieL, Champion

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If I had the same problem I would not post it here in order to get help.  I would either send another email to that address you did not get a real answer from, pointing out that they promised help but have not delivered.  Or I would call viasat and speak to a rep on the phone.  This right here is a forum, not a direct contact with viasat employees who can help with problems. 
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C

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Yup, as mentioned, that’s not so much my point here.
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Old Labs

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Points often whiz by heads at light speed here... that's usually followed by a lot of yelling and screaming but you probably should have stopped at "Great Customer Service" IMHO rather than goading the Champions. 

Your point as I see it (and now lost in the kerfuffle) is that you never received a response to your email to viasatlistens other than the automated reply. But correct me if I'm wrong. This is despite the fact that you were requested to send that email by an employee offering assistance. This has been noted by others in the past and speaks to customer service and satisfaction - yet another gap to be filled by Viasat since it occurs all to often based on reports here.  

But to answer the subject of your email... nah, Viasat doesn't have the capability to give you the detailed breakdown you'd really require to figure out where the data actually went - what the can provide might point you in the right direction or put you in the correct haystack however. You should be able to call into customer care also to get that information. 
(Edited)
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J&J

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C

Our family used up our 150 GB quota in July in half the time as previous months, but I have no way to even start guessing how that happened without daily, or better yet, hourly stats. Even more useful would be what devices used the most when (based on the Viasat app, getting this info appears possible). 

ViaSat is not run by your mother.

ViaSat provides an Internet port or in some cases a router with multiple ports and WiFi supplied by a single Internet connection (one public IP address).

What you do with that connection is entirely up to you.  ViaSat will not monitor where you go on the Internet nor cares unless a court order is issued to track your activities.  ViaSat does not care what "Internet of Things" devices you connect to your service as long as they do not cause harmful or otherwise undesirable interference to their network.  You are solely responsible for what uses the data provided by ViaSat.

You can monitor your usage by visiting https://mysso.exede.net/federation/UI/Login
There, you have an opportunity to view your usage as often as you desire.  That usage is usually updated in 15 minute intervals but in some rare circumstances may take 24 hours.  

ViaSat does not have the resources to "spoon-feed you" everything you desire.  The level of detail you seek concerning your own use of the service can be obtained by equipment you purchase that is capable of provide that detail, it's know as a modern, good router.  Most people are quite satisfied by the new generation ASUS routers starting with model number RT-AC68U and going forward from there.  Those routers will provide you with every detail about your use that you could possibly need.

Your use of the provided Internet connection is not the responsibility of ViaSat to track down for you.
 
See, I'm not a "Champion"... for a reason.
 

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GabeU, Champion

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I often see something similar on my own ISP's boards, and it often comes down to this...

"X is your ISP, and they provide you with X amount of high speed data.  How you or your devices use that data is entirely up to you.  Again, X is your ISP, not your personal IT department."  

It usually comes down to something similar to the above statement only after an inflammatory opening post or inflammatory response to advice that is given.  Some people don't want to put in the work to figure out what's using all their data, even if they're getting help.  Some want it done for them, and it doesn't work that way. 

To be clear, I'm not referring to the OP in this reply, only the aforementioned people.  But, again, overall, it's the customer who's responsible for their data usage, not the ISP.  
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C

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Thank you for recognizing the fact that I’m not trying to be unreasonable. I get what you (and all the other “Champions”) are saying, but I’ll answer you with another car metaphor: it is a driver’s responsibility to not wreck, yet car manufacturers offer more and more safety features all the time (sometimes due to regulations and sometimes not). To me this is no different and I’m just trying to make that point.
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Bradley

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They seem to care if it’s video.

Edit: response to J&J

Not sure why comments wrap to the bottom or refuse to connect to the post one is responding to.
(Edited)
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C

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You’re not a champion, yet there’s little difference in your approach to frustrated customers except some added condescension. You read my first post: this is a commentary on how Viasat could be doing better.

I have a router that works just fine. I’m paying for service that I’m not getting. True, Viasat doesn’t appear to have adequate resources, but not in the way you indicate: it’s network is highly congested. It would actually benefit them to iterate on the capabilities already in their app (see screenshot in previous post) and allow their customers to self- manage bandwidth use. If you’re even an average Viasat internet user, surely you can see that?
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C

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Not me what? Not an employee? Not being compensated? Or not someone who has nothing better to do than troll Viasat customers?

This is about capitalism. People will buy a better product/service if you offer it. Treating customers like hostages who don’t have a better alternative available will only work for so long. Good luck with your “common sense” (opinion).
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J&J

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"Not me" is all-inclusive to your suggestions of why I would defend ViaSat.
I defend ViaSat when it is obviously the right thing to do.  ViaSat does not have you held as a hostage.  As Deku once said, you have choices, you can make the best of what you have, go to HughesNet, or just not have the Internet.  There is no hostage situation here and never has been. 

ViaSat is not in the business of making you happy.  They supply an Internet port and that's it.  Don't come here saying you have no way to track what happens on your ViaSat connection when there are plenty of ways to do it.... but YOU are the one that has to make it happen.  YOU need to make yourself aware of what's happening with your connection, ViaSat is after the fact.  Again... ViaSat is not your mother.  Don't expect them to act like they are.  Your mother cradled you, ViaSat won't.

ViaSat is as good to their customers as current technology can provide.  They are not getting rich, they're paying for R&D and building 3 new satellites to give everyone a better Internet experience.
 
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C

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Well then, Viasat (a $1.5b company) is lucky to have white knights like you defending their honor against us lothesome customers unhappy about the gap between what they suggest our experience will be and what it actually is. Maybe they should give you a raise?
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Steve Frederick, Champion

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Viasat has over 570,000 residential subscribers, with most of them very happy with the service they signed up for. Viasat is an ISP, provides its customer with a connection to the world wide web, and not a monitoring service for individual customers. As others have already suggested, any subscriber who wishes to have a better breakdown of their data usage, and what devices are using it, can obtain this information by purchasing a third party router with traffic monitoring features.

To clarify your point about others posting here,, except for a post by anyone identified as an "Employee" or "Moderator", we are just folks who are here to try and help others with their questions about their equipment or internet service in general. We are paying customers, like you, who receive no perks or compensation in any way. We any the same amount for our service as everyone else. Since this is a public forum, there are also people who may not be Viasat customers posting here too.
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GabeU, Champion

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You are beating a dead horse and doing a disservice to Viasat by trying to defend them. I’m very interested in exactly how you get compensated for it:
Typical.  Someone doesn't like the reply that they get and the "shill" accusations start.   
Besides, if Viasat isn’t your own ISP, then how can you possibly know what you’re talking about here?
Having ViaSat is not a requirement to having knowledge of satellite internet systems, the equipment required to utilize it, and the complexities of such.   

Oh, and congrats on your insults and dumping to that level, but from what I've read here, it's eventuality wasn't unexpected.  
(Edited)
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Hello C,

This is probably something we see a request for every few months.  I think ultimately to see how all of your data is being used is a debated approach. A lot of times it becomes a question of privacy (some customers do NOT want us to know what they are doing online). We do think that in future app updates we may see more of an approach to general usage but if you want something detailed to like the device, numbers to the data used, etc currently the best way to do that is by 3rd party monitoring software or if you have your own router you may have the ability to check there.
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C

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Sorry Brad, I'm not buying your inference that privacy or whatever prevents Viasat from providing usage numbers (though thank you for trying).

If Viasat can build an app with bar graphs showing usage by device in relative terms, what's stopping them from taking it one step further and showing the numbers behind those bars, showing all the devices that have used data instead of just the ones currently connected, and showing the whole billing cycle instead of the last seven days? How could seeing exactly how much data has been used instead of a vague (mostly unhelpful) representation of it possibly be a privacy concern???

In my original post, one of my suggestions was to do actual usability testing with actual users, rather than rely on random requests every few months to point you in the right direction. I think you'll find a lot of folks looking for the same thing as me.

You may also want to reconsider this forum or rework its guidelines. Viasat's advocates may be doing it more harm than good.
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C

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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There you go. That's one of the perks of the app. I think if there were any updates to data management it'll be there
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Old Labs

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Yeah, that's pretty much useless (i'd argue so much even if numbers were provided from what I see there). Even then it appears you're unable to distinguish between the devices. Some would consider the ability to do that (identify the actual devices) a privacy invasion as well as a potential security concern - there is no reason for anything beyond my router to know what actual devices are on my local network. In theory, Viasat could know the devices provided it's their own router (and suspect they do). In fact there was a privacy disclaimer on the older Exede WiFi modem regarding that and having the ability to opt out of that collection of info by device as I recall. As long as I can opt out, I'm good with it though if people want to expose that information beyond their router.

With respect to Brad's mention of privacy, he's really referring to the greater scope of the request as it's been presented over many years now - many folks want Viasat to provide them with a detailed list of all web sites, urls, etc. that they've hit as well as a detailed count by incoming and outgoing requests (in other words tracking your every move). That would be a privacy issue and concern for most sane people.

The other thing that has been often requested is that Viasat provided a usage count by application running on your devices. Of course Viasat, has no idea what processes or applications are running on your devices - that would require their installing a traffic monitor on each of your devices to capture that info and once again  would raise privacy concerns.

That's why most of us simply opt for monitoring detailed usage through are own third party routers having that capability (it's typically only found on higher end routers) or operating system level utilities (e.g. Glasswire) installed on each device and use that to verify the accuracy of the Viasat usage count.

That being said, we've been debating the need for a better usage meter since Exede was introduced. Many including myself feel the Wildblue usage meter was better than the Exede one (at least we got a breakout by upload and download).

Most agree that a new one is needed which only provides usage counts by time and date. Viasat would do well to learn from HughesNet in that regard. Screen captures of the more robust HughesNet usage metering facilities are interspersed throughout:

https://community.hughesnet.com/t5/Tech-Support/Understanding-data-usage-data-loss-and-connection-pa...

But even then you'll notice that HughesNet limits the information provided to only how much and when. Truth be told, neither of them can provide and accurate level of detail beyond that for some of the reason's mentioned above. For me personally, it all comes down to a belief that everything past my router on my local network is a nunya... nunya business.
(Edited)
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C

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“ it appears you're unable to distinguish between the devices”
It was coincidental that I snapped the screen at the moment just before that info filled in (quite convenient in this case!)- you can mostly tell what is what once that’s happened (the first bar is my kid’s laptop, his phone, then the rest of the family).

“many folks want Viasat to provide them with a detailed list of all web sites, urls, etc. ”
Oh god no. No no no. That really is court order territory!

Thank you for your informative response!
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michael3245

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I would agree. If you would like to track traffic and tell what is using bandwith. Use a third party router that provides this. Or could use a free webfiltering DNS and see what is breaking down by traffic request if you are more into the IT side of things. 

Routers like ausu, synology and linksys netgear are a few with traffic. 
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Andy Schack

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I'm gonna stay out of this one. 

Andy
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Deku, Champion

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ummm... i prefer the week days monday-fridays now... since the little kiddies are going back to school in august :D SO THEREFORE!!! MORE SPEEDS FOR ME :D and also!!! the best time to download more animes also :D and so on :D i gots a LOADS of animes i need to download... ONCE the kiddies goes to back to school :3 sooo... until then... i will wait patiently until then :3
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GabeU, Champion

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I should have stayed out of it,  but I am now.  It eventually reaches a point of being a complete waste of time and energy.  
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Deku, Champion

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i feel ya my dude on that one... even though my name was mentioned on here... i wanted to say something... BUT!!! i didnt... sooo... i just went with the flow :3
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Deku. You and the kiddies! Just remember...speeds are the WORST between Thanksgiving and the new year. So yea, we have that to look forward to :(.
(Edited)
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J&J

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@  Deku

It's called "Credit where it's due" otherwise I would have plagiarized you.
 
What you had said is worth repeating.