Contract fee?!

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Why am I being charged a termination fee when the internet wasn't working properly the whole time? I got viasat in March, when my daughter was hospitalized. The gentleman that came in and installed it left me his card and told me if any issues come up, to give him a call. Cool, no problem. Between work, hospitals, divorce, and my 4 kids, I barely had time to sit down and think for a few minutes. Here is my issue. After a while, I stopped paying the internet. It wasn't working properly, despite contacting Viasat various times and various ways. I've used the chat, phone, even called the technician. It would work for about an hour and then it'll slow down. At this point, I gave up and just used my hotspot. I am trying to disconnect and have the HUGE dish that was put in my front lawn removed, when I was told about the deactivation fee. I understand if the internet was working and I decided to disconnect for whatever reason, but I shouldn't pay a fee for a service I never received! This is ludicrous. Your customer service agent was awful telling me how the internet wasn't working because it was disconnected... ARE YOU KIDDING ME? After I tried to tell him numerous times, that there must be a glitch in your guy's system, because now, NONE OF THE CONVERSATIONS I had over chat are saved with them, and they only have 2 records of me calling them! How is this professional?!
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yamie

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  • frustrated, angry

Posted 2 months ago

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Homeskillet

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Viasat makes no guarantees of service. If your hotspot works why did you get Viasat?
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yamie

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Because I cannot connect 4 TVs and a laptop to my hotspot. And I understand they don’t make guarantees for service but if it wasn’t working, then why lie to people and make them believe it can be fixed by call or chat? On top of that, a hotspot is not too reliable for online school work
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bubs

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Satellite internet really isn't for typical cord-cutting, at least not a significant amount.  As mentioned, 4 tvs would go over pretty much any data threshold fairly quickly, not to mention video most likely being throttled on whatever plan you are on.   It would be nice, when having the discussion with sales, they would explain things better.  Of course, other things like a bad install or congestion can also cause issues.  Most people in my area have Directv/Dish, in addition to the satellite internet.  I have Direct, and argue the bill to around $50/month with all fees, but will likely drop it this year.  Orbytv is another option, but a bit more limited, some up front costs, new company, no locals if you don't have any accessible by roof antenna.

Some people don't have cell service, sounds like you do, sounds like you are done with satellite (and therefore Viasat is losing a customer either way, no matter what's said here).  Depends on your carrier, area, tower load, etc.  But, there are/were plans with a few carriers that work fine.  I've got a plan with the red carrier, several from here switched to it.  No limit or slowdowns (in my area anyway), but now discontinued (as of May).  My newest hotspot has been on 24x7 over a month (and the sim can be put in an lte router if needed, with ethernet).  $65/month, downloading over a terabyte (if wanted), HD streaming, fast, not an issue.  My point being, lots of people use cell for home internet.  In my area, FAR more reliable than sat carriers.  But, satellite has a place where there is no cell service, lots of people here still have it.

Watch this post go "poof".
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Robin

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$15/month for the remainder of the 2 year contract or lease right?   Thats what I signed.  I wasnt happy about it but considering all the work it takes ViaSat to install a dish I can understand their reasoning to recover some cost.  All in all I thought 15/month was reasonable vs a full cost commitment for 2 years
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Homeskillet

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Viasat does no work installing a dish. They pay a subcontractor a flat fee to do it. In many areas Viasat charges $150 for an install, which should easily cover what the installer is paid for a basic install. The items that aren't returned when service is cancelled probably cost $20 or less. A lot of people have everything in place and an install can be done in 30 minutes or less. All the techs that came to my place said they were paid $80 for a visit + supplies.
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ExSatUser

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4TV's and a laptop are not going to be good for satellite internet either. Sorry!
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Homeskillet

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I don't even think they are using that many in the commercials they show. I think they imply they are using 3 at once, that probably rarely works with satellite.

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Homeskillet

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I wish you would have done some more research. The chances of having good enough satellite  service to connect all those devices you listed are slim and none. Even if you were in the sweet spot of a magic beam and all of those devices would work at once you would burn through your priority data in no time flat and get throttled. How did you end up with such unrealistic expectations?
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yamie

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I did actually. It was the only provider servicing my area. And they sold to me. They know what they’re doing.
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Voyager

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There is no doubt that Viasat exaggerates their service in their advertisements.  Then again, so does nearly everyone else who sells anything.  The operative phrase is caveat emptor.

The simple reason you have to pay a termination fee is that you signed a contract that said you would pay a termination fee of $15/month for every month remaining in your 24 month contract.  I am pretty sure it is right there in black and white.

And you apparently bought satellite service before doing any research on it.  It takes very little reading to know that satellite is a service of last resort and certainly will not support watching 4 TVs at one time.  I can’t watch one channel at low-res without continual buffering.

I went from very dismal DSL to very dismal satellite solely because I had no other choice.  I can’t say I regret the decision as my DSL was really, really bad, but I certainly had hoped for at least some improvement given the nearly 2X cost increase.  Unfortunately, on a value basis, I would probably say that even poor DSL is better bang for the buck than satellite.
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ExSatUser

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People need to understand satellite internet wont meet the internet needs of the average U.S. household. It just wont. If you need high usage internet, dont live in the country.
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Homeskillet

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I think the country is just a bad place for internet of all sorts. Even the people around me "in town" if you can call it that say the cable internet sucks. The local library has like a half dozen or so computers in a room with internet, they don't allow online gaming or watching videos. I am surprised at all the people complaining about DSL. It was reliable when I had it, but that was back when it was new. I suppose it's infrastructure is 25 years old now and poorly maintained. I had not been in a library since I got on the internet until I moved to the country and got Viasat. I was in that computer room quite often as my Viasat was terrible.
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ExSatUser

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It isnt meant to be a slam against Viasat. The technology is what it is. Do I think they misrepresent the service? Absolutely! But so do a lot of wireless ISP's!
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Homeskillet

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Viasat & Hughesnet are the only wireless internet providers that advertise on local TV here and the Viasat ads out number Hughesnet 20 to 1. ATT & Verizon don't advertise internet services on TV or radio. Do the ads misrepresent the service? Misrepresent would be an understatement. The Hughesnet ads don't project satellite being near as great as Viasat does. I don't hear "Super fast internet for all" from them.
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GabeU, Champion

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That's interesting.  I see HughesNet ads all the time here.  Nearly daily.  Yet I've seen a ViaSat ad perhaps five times in total.  Maybe they advertise more heavily where they feel they have more of a chance of getting subscribers.  
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Homeskillet

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Around here you don't have to be too far off the beaten path to be stuck with wireless only. Seems like all the small towns have cable, but if you are a couple miles out of town it is satellite or possibly cell coverage. Cell coverage isn't that slick either. Almost everyone has landline service but it is that old stranded wire with a dozen or so conductors that won't support DSL.
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GabeU, Champion

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yamie,

Keep in mind that, depending on the plan you have, your streaming capabilities are likely regulated, and almost assuredly to less than HD.  So, if you try stream in HD, it's not going to work.  You may want to check your plan to verify it's streaming resolution capability.  

Plus, with the streaming being throttled, it's likely not going to work on more than one TV at a time, even at the resolution your plan is supposed to be capable of, as that already throttled streaming speed would have to be divided between TVs actively trying to stream, meaning that neither one would likely get the speed needed for that resolution. 

So, in the end, as an example, if your plan is only capable of streaming in 480p, chances are you'll only be able to do that on one TV at any given time, and even then it may not work well during peak usage hours, which is pretty much in the evening, when everyone is trying to do the same thing... stream.  

Hope this helps to explain some of the streaming issues you're having.    
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yamie

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Thats the thing, I’ve called them multiple times to upgrade the speed, and nothing.
As for as everyone saying I should’ve done more research, not everyone is savvy in technology. I did my research, it was who was provided with my cable company because they were not servicing around here (att). I trust the experts. This is not my forte. It’s like me googling symptoms to see if I have cancer or not. Like come on.
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ExSatUser

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They wont upgrade your speed. You can buy more priority data but in the end after using that you will still be slow.
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Homeskillet

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This is not my forte. It’s like me googling symptoms to see if I have cancer or not. Like come on.

Oddly enough there are plenty of online sites like Mayo Clinic where a person of reasonable intelligence can self diagnose with respectable accuracy. As for it not being your forte if you came here first and did a little reading you would have known your expectations were unrealistic.
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Dances with Woofs

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yamie,

Regarding your original question, the early termination fee is disclosed in the customer agreement. It comes as a surprise to nearly everyone wishing to cancel. Rarely does anyone read it even if they are provided an opportunity to do so. Fees and instructions for canceling are found at:

https://help.viasat.com/articles/Denver_FAQ/Fees-and-instructions-for-returning-equipment-for-discon... 

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