Unhappy with modem fee

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  • Updated 12 months ago
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  • (Edited)
The satellite modem that we're required to lease from Exede fails sporadically. At any given time of day the modem will simply shut down. This problem has existed since mid-August. Sometimes it goes dark more than once in a day. I finally called Exede support this morning to ask for a replacement modem to be shipped. After escalating to tier2 on the phone I was handed off to support via chat. They agreed the hardware was at fault but said I would be charged a $200 fee for replacing the modem. They told me to call customer support to have the fee waived. I called customer support back and was told they couldn't waive the fee because the modem was currently "up". I demanded to speak with the rep's supervisor. The supervisor also said that the fee couldn't be waived because the modem was up. I told the supervisor to look at the log history of the modem on my premise. Why wouldn't he think to review the service history of the modem but instead default to saying they would charge me for replacing the modem? Ridiculous!. I then asked him to review the last thirty days. He said it when down four times. This is inaccurate. This is leased equipment. There is no justification here for charging the customer for failing equipment that isn't even owned by the customer. Customers don't pay if some other infrastructure item fails, why should they pay when customer premise equipment fails?

This policy will cause customers to leave Exede. I'm shopping for other providers.
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Marc

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  • angry

Posted 12 months ago

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gypsyrace

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Legal Pirates
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Bev, Champion

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Marc, Exede/Viasat does NOT charge you for failed equipment UNLESS you do not return it in the return box they send you. The technicians that need to come to your location and replace the failed equipment DO charge for the service call. They are not Exede/Viasat employees. They are independent contractors. Do you expect them do come to your home, spending their time and fuel for free? Would you go change the oil in a car you sold a year ago at the new owner's house for free today? Of course not, you would do it if the person paid you to do so though.
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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hi Marc,  At this time ViaSat  does not send modems for repair. If you want a new modem, a service call will be needed. As many responses on this forum have  indicated why a service call is needed.  It may be another issue completely. A modem and power cord, as I replied in my email, will not be sent.  We need to schedule a service call and have the entire install inspected.
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xode0000, Champion

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The service agreement states equipment can be self installed by existing customers
That's with the understanding that there is currently not a problem with the customer's service and the customer is simply doing an upgrade to their service, such as changing plans.  In your case, there is a problem with your installation and a technician needs to go through the entire installation to find and fix all problems that might be present.

Exede: Just send a new modem and power supply and this ridiculousness will be over.
You sound so certain about that.  I'm not at all certain about that.  When I first got my service, my modem was doing much of what yours is doing.  Guess what: the problem turned out to be that the cable between my modem and the tria was too short.  When that cable was replaced with a longer cable, the problem my modem had went away and I haven't had a problem since.
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Marc

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@Diana: Like I said as the original the subject line: Charge for failed modem - unacceptable . It's very poor customer support when ViaSat doesn't allow customers to help themselves.

Please explain to me why a technician needs to come out because the modem simply powers off without warning, sporadically. Does Exede expect me to leave my failed modem in the failed state andI wait for some unknown period for a tech to show up? And when the do finally arrive, that tech will come into my home and see the modem powered down. Then they will uplug it, count to ten, plug it back in and watch it power up. I've done this numerous times. It is the thing that happens. After verifying it has rebooted and connectivity established they will look at me and say, "You modem seems to be working fine. That'll be $95, sir." Is my response supposed to be, "Please have a seat and wait until it fails again."????

Please justify the technician visit for a device that simply powers off for no apparent reason.

I have asked various Exede support representatives numerous times to review the uptime history of my modem. Every response has the rep saying the modem has been up since I last re-plugged the failed modem in. Good grief. Why can't they look beyond the last 72 hours? The issue has existed for nearly 60 days now.

For over two decades I've had broadband service from numerous providers and I have never been charged by the service provider for their modem failing. Why should this be any different?

@xode0000- Yes, I am so certain because I'm drawing on nearly two decades of professional network engineering experience. My service has been running for months prior to this issue. Your eyes are not in my home and you do not know what are in the case notes. Frankly, I could care less what you are certain about.

What's the deal with all these "Champions"? Are you guys getting perks for tapping out these Exede employees?
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xode0000, Champion

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If you would care to read the responses that have been posted to this thread, you would find the solution to your problem and the answers to your questions.  But it looks like you want to play the "I know it all" game.  Further, for all of the time that you spent arguing on this forum, a technician could have come to your location and fixed the problem.  For a problem like yours, I would expect a technician would come out the next business day, not "some unknown period."  I would expect nothing less if it were me that had your problem.  Given your problem, a technician would have likely replaced everything: the modem, power supply, tria and cable between the modem and the tria, and then repointed the dish to make sure the service was again working reliably.  Then, if you had Easy Care, the service call would be no charge.

Regarding your question about "Champions," we are Exede customers just as you are, and who spend lots of volunteer time trying to answer questions and provide solutions for other Exede customers.

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Bev, Champion

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No, we don't get perks or compensation for posting here. We are long time customers that have had years, if not a decade or more experience as customers and, we have encountered and, dealt with many of the problems newer customers encounter ourselves.

We help here because we WANT to and, we know that Exede/Viasat can be good internet service.

As for your issue, Diana already explained why a service call is needed. I had a similar issue not long ago, even Viasat phone support tier 3 thought it was the modem but, I had the service call. Turned out it was the cable and TRIA, minor issues on both, presenting as a bad modem and, the modem was fine. So yes, you need a service call.
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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hi Marc,  Please send your account and contact information to exedelistens@Viasat.com. I would like to review your account because we do not charge $200.00 to swap a modem. 

There is a $200 minimum charge to relocate your satellite dish and transceiver to a different spot on your premises. You may only relocate your dish to the same address that you are currently receiving Internet service. 
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Marc

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Sending email.
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xode0000, Champion

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The problem you are experiencing might not be a bad modem at all and instead could be caused by a bad cable run from your modem to the tria (the box that is installed on your dish).  If you get the modem replaced and your cable run is bad, then you will continue to have the problem you have now, which obviously won't help you any.

If a cable run fouls up the signal from the modem to the tria too much, then the modem will go into what is called "safety mode" and basically shut down.  This could be what is causing your problem.  Did you, by chance, have your Exede service installed recently?  When my Exede service was first installed, my modem was shutting down much like you say yours is.  Then, about a month into my service, my modem shut down for about 22 hours.  The problem turned out to be a cable run from the modem to the tria that was too short (too little cable resistance).  Once that cable run was replaced with a longer cable, the problem I had went away and I haven't had a problem since.

From what I have seen so far, there are basically 3 things that can cause a bad cable run: cable either too long or too short; the installer used cable that was not approved by and provided by Exede; or the cable or cable connectors getting fouled up over time and needing either maintenance or replacement.  In particular, unapproved cable can lead to all kinds of problems, such as resistance that changes with temperature, humidity and time, and any of those problems can foul up the signal from the modem to the tria too much and cause the modem to shut down.

The Exede support number that you called is a 3rd party company under contract with Exede and the people there do not work for Exede, and are script driven filters that obviously aren't providing you the support you need to solve your problem here.  exedelistens@viasat.com is monitored by people who do work for Exede and who can can your problem fixed.  If you have Easy Care on your account, then service calls to fix things like faulty cable runs are no charge.  If you don't have Easy Care, then now might be a good time to add it to your account.

My recommendations on fixing this problem are:
  • use exedelistens@viasat.com for all further communication regarding this problem.

  • go to http://192.168.100.1 and pull up the modem status page.  What do the specifications on that page show?  In particular, what do SNR and "Cable resistance" show?  Keep a log of what those values show over time and send that to exedelistens@viasat.com.

  • Ideally, you want to pull up the modem status page when your modem has "failed" (.i.e. shutdown).  Even then, you should still be able to pull up that page since you are going only to the modem and are not going to the satellite.  If you do get this modem status page while the modem is "failed," then take a screenshot of that page, remove the section labeled "Identification" and email the rest of the screenshot to exedelistens@viasat.com

  • If "Cable resistance" is less than 1.0 ohm, more than 3.0 ohm, or if the installer who installed your service used cable other than that provided by Exede, then your cable run is likely bad and you want to schedule a service call to replace that cable run.
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Marc

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I have opened a dialog with Diana at exedelistens@viasat.com. When Diana checked the account the modem was online and didn't pursue the issue further. Instead, I was ushered into the direction of purchasing a service agreement. Why not go back through uptime history...I'm puzzled why people continue to assume there is no issue with the modem just because it is "up" when the go look at the account. There is a long history of failure with this device. Surely this is recorded by Excede's customer premise equipment monitoring tools.

The modem lights are not illuminated so I figured there would be zero response to the HTTP open packet sent to 192.168.100.1 from my PC. In good faith I attempted the suggestion. Indeed, there was no response to the web server within the modem listening on 192.168.100.1 at port 80, nor to a PING request to 192.168.100.1. I assume this is because the modem's LAN interface is down because the modem itself appears to be completely powered down because there aren't any illuminated lights.

As I stated previously, the modem simply shuts down for some unknown reason. Other home electronics do not suffer this same issue when plugged into the same electrical outlet as the modem. I am guilty of suspecting faulty hardware, i.e. a faulty component within the modem or perhaps a bad power supply.

In any event, Exede's customer (me) is suffering a chronic outage condition for over 45 days.

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Diana will be back tomorrow I'll have her reply to you ASAP. Sorry for the inconvenience 
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Andy Schack

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Sorry I missed this thread, since it involved an issue of a "charge" I didn't figure I could be of help.
This morning I read it and I believe I might have the solution. We had a customer a couple months ago with the same problem....modem would all of a sudden power down, only to come back to life when it seemed to feel like it. Turned out it was a bad power supply. It really caught me because while I've seen power supplies totally fail, I've never seen one with a mind of its own.
I mention this so that if and when you get a new modem, try simply replacing the power supply....that rectangular black box with the cord coming out one end and the socket for the power cord to plug in the other.

Andy
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xode0000, Champion

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I would like to add that I suspect dirty electricity over the long term is what caused that power supply to acquire a mind of its own, so to speak.  Electricity is particularly dirty in rural areas because the power lines are much longer and much more spread out, and therefore pickup many more and much stronger surges.  I have UPS and surge protection everywhere on my computer equipment, to include Exede's leased equipment.
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Bev, Champion

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You sound like me, even the TVs have small UPS units in my house, big ones for the two computers and, my saltwater aquariums - those either can't go down period, or need the protection and, of course that includes Viasat's equipment in my home.

We get DAILY brownouts or flickering, weekly surges and, multiple times a day low voltage that my USPs detect and compensate for but, not enough to dim the lights. Of course I am at the end of the line and, it is 40 miles to the closest substation - the ones that if the power goes out, it's at least 24 hours and, maybe longer - like 3 weeks after the last ice storm, before we get power again.

Thankfully we have a generator that can power everything except the 220 items and, we have alternatives to those three things.
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Marc

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This post has zero positive affect to my issue.
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Diana, Viasat Employee

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Hi Andy and xode0000, You have provided some great advice and it is much appreciated.
(Edited)
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Marc

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Wow. I just realized that an admin for this blog actually changed the subject line I typed in when I created this post. That's an attack on the 1st Amendment.

The original subject line was "Charge for failed modem - unacceptable"

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Brad, Viasat Employee

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No attack on the 1st amendment. We change titles to better reflect the self-help nature of this forum. Likewise we will ocassionally remove posts or users from the forum if they violate our forum guidelines. If you'd like to review our guidelines please visit this link: https://community.exede.com/exede/topics/exede-and-wildblue-forum-policies-update

Hopefully a member of our team helped you with this issue but if not please send an email over to exedelistens@viasat.com
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Marc

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The issue still exists.