Data Usage and the Brick Wall

  • 1
  • Problem
  • Updated 6 years ago
  • Acknowledged
Archived and Closed

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies and is no longer visible to community members. The community moderator provided the following reason for archiving: Problem acknowledged. Email provided for assistance. No need of further response at current time.

Your usage meter is not accurate and yet it is the only thing customers have to monitor their usage? Really? Why don't you acknowledge the 3rd party software that is very accurate?

My problem after nearly 2 years of flawless service is that your meter claims that I used 7.4 gigabytes in less than 5 minutes. It started when I checked both your meter (the one you have to log-on to to get and takes 24 hours to update) and the software provided by a 3rd party.

Both of these showed 7.4 gb remaining for the past 5 days. Today, I decided to use some of it up on the last day,... 6.15gb - 7.4gb=1.25gb left for the remainder of the day, correct? But not so, according to your meter,... after 4gb it started crashing the download and subsequently doubled the usage in less than 8 minutes. I monitored what was going on and watched it double!!!

Trouble is, our phone is VOIP, people have medical issues here and need that phone!!! It doesn't work when the data is throttled!!!

For anyone who is familiar with this, you know that for a 2gb file downloaded through Excede, it takes an average of 15 minutes or more to download that 2gb of data.

What makes me so angry and unsatisfied is that your customer service refuses to acknowledge that something is wrong with their meter. Also, a loyal customer with a background in IT services should not be treated as if they don't have a clue.

After midnight tonight the data will reset back to 15gb available. I will attempt to retrieve the remainder of the file at 12:15am and pray that there are no medical emergencies between now and then.

For everyone else who wants an accurate up-to-the-minute view of your data usage, get http://realityripple.com/Software/Applications/Satellite_Restriction_Tracker/

It is very reliable and has helped me watch my data usage since we had Excede installed back in 2011.
Photo of Dirk Dowstra

Dirk Dowstra

  • 34 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes

Posted 6 years ago

  • 1
Photo of ExedeSherry

ExedeSherry

  • 85 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
Dirk,
I understand if you find another data usage meter helpful, but since it's an outside program we cannot verify it. We can definitely look into your situation, and see why there seems to be a discrepancy with your data usage.

We appreciate you being a loyal customer, and we hope that you continue to have flawless service. I apologize if we made you feel clueless. That's certainly not our intentions. Please send an email to exedelistens@viasat.com so we can get you taken care of.
Photo of William Dowstra

William Dowstra

  • 1 Post
  • 0 Reply Likes
[ In the first post, I used approximate numbers to show a data usage discrepancy. In this post I use date-stamped data to show a 3gb discrepancy. ]

"Please send an email to exedelistens@viasat.com so we can get you taken care of. "

Thank You, but no. The point of reporting an issue on a public forum is so that other users and customers can see the problems and solutions to those problems. Private conversations outside the forum do not help other customers find solutions to similar problems.

Since the data limit reset at midnight, the trouble still remains "unresolved" as important phone messages were missed during the time the data transfer speeds were throttled.

I know that we are one small fish in a large ocean of customers but, from viewing the trend in this forum, I can see that there are a lot of problems with "data usage" and there are better ways to handle the problems that many customers are experiencing with their data usage.

"I understand if you find another data usage meter helpful, but since it's an outside program we cannot verify it. "

No, this is incorrect. The Satellite Restriction Tracker gets it's data directly from your site:
 
"Why does Wildblue/Exede say they have never heard of Satellite Restriction Tracker?"
Probably because they haven't. Very few ViaSat employees know about this program, and the information it collects is not accepted by Tech Support when reporting usage errors, despite the fact the data comes directly from their website.
-source http://realityripple.com/Software/Applications/Satellite_Restriction_Tracker/faq.php#faq3

The Usage Meter provided by ViaSat to it's Excede and Wildblue customers is vague at best, especially when Customer and Tech Service representatives tell the customers that it takes 24 hours for that usage meter to update their actual usage. Yet, the very second that you exceed your data limit, your speed is throttled down to a crawl.

So, how can that be? Obviously, there is a way to track the usage in real time and not in 24 hour increments, otherwise, you could not be certain how much data a customer has used for the day, correct?

The Usage Meter provided by ViaSat in the past showed uploaded data versus downloaded data. This enabled users to partially see how their data usage was calculated and track down what was using the most data. It no longer does this. This leads to another error.

"Why are the upload and download numbers backwards?"
Who knows? ViaSat merged the two numbers in [the] display, but didn't bother to actually get rid of them in [the] code, but somehow managed to switch them. New versions of Satellite Restriction Tracker include an option to invert the numbers so they display correctly.
-source http://realityripple.com/Software/Applications/Satellite_Restriction_Tracker/faq.php#faq3

Now on to my problem. During the last few days of the month, both the SRT and ViaSat's usage meter showed 7.4gb available on a 15gb data limit. I decided that on the last day, i should be able to retrieve 6.43gb of data and have 0.966gb data left over for the last half of the day, more than enough for our VOIP.  There was a .123gb file and a 6.308gb file broken into 4 parts. The first 3 parts being 2.048gb plus a part 4 file @ 0.158gb.

The first file downloaded correctly and the first 2 parts of the 6.308gb file downloaded correctly. When the 3rd file tried to download, it encountered errors and the SRT reported a 3gb discrepancy:
4/30/2014 11:08:02 AM Download 7100+Upload 500
(I began downloading at this point)
4/30/2014 11:56:03 AM Download 7800+Upload 500
(the 123mb file is done and the first 2 parts of the 6.43gb file begin downloading in succession. Part 3 begins having trouble at 96mb of 2048mb downloaded with a total wait time of 362 days for completion of download. I check the SRT to see what is going on.)
4/30/2014 12:06:19 PM Download 14500+Upload 500+1000
( total data received at this point is 0.123gb+2.048gb+2.048gb=4.219gb, plus the incomplete portion of part 3 file @0.096gb=4.315gb. That is a 3.085gb discrepancy when the bandwidth was throttled! Even accounting for a few attempts at getting the part 3 file, it still doesn't add up !!)

Is it possible that the servers were dumping the requested data at such a speed that the ViaSat usage meter was overwhelmed and caused errors? I did notice that the 2.048gb files were downloading at the fastest speeds I have ever seen, that is, 16 minutes as opposed to the normal 19-20 minutes for a 2gb file. Could a reporting error have occurred?

As to the use of a third party application to track usage, I really do not understand why ViaSat Customer Service representatives are so dismissive about a very good application that uses the very same data that ViaSat uses to calculate a customer's usage, exists.

Customers can log and graph their bandwidth usage and keep track of their data limits with up to the minute accuracy. Why doesn't ViaSat present their data this way to their customers? Why do they have to go to a third party application to retrieve their actual data usage?

Why is the data usage meter that ViaSat customers are urged to use so vague? and then, the customers are told that it does not reflect their actual usage because it can take up to 24 hours to update? Even then, it would still be 24 hours out of date according to this policy.

Consider that the data ViaSat uses to monitor a customer's usage IS up to the second because it has to be. It needs to be accurate up to the second in order to throttle a customer who has gone over their limit, correct?

Yes, the SRT is an outside program that uses ViaSat's own data to calculate the customer's bandwidth usage. No, I do not represent the 3rd party software,... but consider, it is free and has shown a much more detailed, reliable, and accurate monitor of our family's data usage and, it has allowed us to become aware of certain pitfalls that one can encounter on the internet, for instance, Youtube is the biggest "eater of data" followed by any streaming video and music, and VOIP uses the least.

In summary, if you want to keep customers happy, don't blow smoke. Tell the truth. Acknowledge that there is an accurate way to monitor their data usage and acknowledge that sometimes mistakes can and will happen. Never blame the customer. If they pay for 10/15/25 gb of data per month, that is what they are entitled to, don't try to persuade them that they should use less than what they paid for.





(Edited)
Photo of Dirk Dowstra

Dirk Dowstra

  • 34 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
What on God's green earth are you guy's playing at!?

Last night I received two emails from your "Senior Correspondent - Data Warnings " at 7:10 PM and 7:11 PM, respectively. The first one stating I reached 70% of my data usage, and the second claiming that I went over the limit,  a whole day after the incident !!! On the very first day of the billing cycle???

Both emails come from this address:
email@customercare.exede.com via bounce.customercare.wild

I don't need the 70% warning on the very last day of the billing cycle, and especially a few hours before the usage will update to the next billing cycle, it is superfluous information clogging my inbox.

At 70% usage on the last day of the billing cycle for our account means that I have 4.5gb leftover,... it should be a congratulation message stating that I stayed under the 15gb allowance for the month!, with sufficient amount left over!

On the bottom of ViaSat's Customer Usage Meter is the disclaimer:
"Note: The Usage Meter is intended to be used as a guide to help you monitor your usage totals. It can take up to 24 hours to reflect updates. If your modem is currently offline, the Usage Meter will not update and may not display your correct "Current Service State". "

Again, this is vague and confusing to your customers. If the modem is not powered or is offline, it wont send usage data. True. But at the same time, NO DATA IS BEING USED.  If the satellite modem is not powered or is offline for whatever reason, no data can be transferred up or down.

The moment the modem reboots and is back online, it will begin monitoring data usage from where it left off before going offline, BECAUSE DATA IS NOW MOVING THROUGH THE MODEM. The moment the modem's usage data is queried by ANY APPLICATION, it should report it's current state. It shouldn't take 24 hours to do this! 

"...Usage Meter will not update and may not display your correct "Current Service State". "

How can this be useful to the customer? Your very own Usage Meter display claims that it is not up to date, so how can this possibly be useful to anyone?


Photo of ExedeSherry

ExedeSherry

  • 85 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
William,
Our data usage meters are accurate. It is great that you have found another tool to help you manage your data. Since it is a third party software we cannot use the Reality Ripple software in our troubleshooting, and therefore do not endorse it. I appreciate you wanting to help others who may experience a similar situation; however, it is our policy to not discuss a customer's personal account information on a public forum.  Please send an email to exedelistens@viasat.com, I am happy to look into your data issue. Thank you.
Photo of Dirk Dowstra

Dirk Dowstra

  • 34 Posts
  • 7 Reply Likes
I have no personal information to reveal, and there is no personal account information to reveal either. I have already explained everything. I found a 3 gb discrepancy when the modem was trying to catch up to a large amount of data being downloaded through it.

1) The amount of data I was trying to retrieve did not equal the amount I had remaining on the last day of the billing cycle. It is as simple as that. During the last WEEK of the April billing cycle, YOUR usage meter reported that I had 7.4gb of data left. This was corroborated by a third party software that queries YOUR modem.

2) I did not get the full 6.43gb of data that day because I was throttled halfway through it.

If the modem can be overloaded with extremely high traffic, people will be the wiser and not try to overwhelm the modem and cause it to report erroneous information to their detriment.

Occasionally, the modem can and does malfunction, otherwise people wouldn't be asked to unplug it and plug it back in so that it can reboot, now would they?

3) I received the email messages a full day and a half after the start of a new billing cycle. If these emails are suppose to reflect my current billing cycle for May, they are completely erroneous as I have only used 500mb of data to date. (That is 400mb down and 100mb up.) If they were meant to reflect the April billing cycle, they were woefully out of date and as I have pointed out, erroneous. They are logged as coming in to my email one minute apart.

Yes, in the past I did ask that you not send me 70% usage emails on the very last day or two of the billing cycle as these are superfluous. I don't need the advice about me using too much data when I paid for 15gb and have only used 10.5gb and still have 4.5gb leftover for the next 24-48 hours.

Please do not continue to irritate our household further unless you want us to drop your service in June.

If the disclaimer to the general public states that YOUR VERY OWN Usage Meter can only be used as a guide and that it may take up to 24 hours to display the "Current Service State", it really isn't that accurate now, is it?

Again, please stop inferring that I'm an idiot.


(Edited)

This conversation is no longer open for comments or replies.