Deeply frustrated with disconnection and Viasat lack of communication

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Team Viasat and Viasat Listens reps:

It is frustrating and deeply disappointing that I have to return to this, a subject I thought I had reached resolution on.

After posting in this forum - and acting on the suggestion of Matt B (a very helpful Viasat rep in this forum) - I shared the following by way of an Email to Viasat Listens (edited somewhat, but the gist remains intact):

*************
Hello Team Viasat,  

I am sending this at the suggestion of Matt B, who replied to the following post in the ViaSat community. Per Matt's request, our account information is shown below.
 
xxxxx (account info removed per site guidelines)

The post from the ViaSat Community is below:

*************

Today I called customer service to see... (my inquiry concerned pricing and plan options). I (eventually) asked about discontinuing the service. 

It was then that I learned a couple of disturbing truths concerning ViaSat’s legal terms for EasyCare customers.

First, there is no pro-rated refund for disconnection in the middle of your billing period. Our billing period started only about a week ago and yet if we were to discontinue our service now, there would be no pro-rated refund. In other words, we would be paying for service we are not even using.

Second, since ViaSat wants the TRIA back (totally fine with us and understandable), we would need to have it removed from our roof. To get that done. ViaSat wants to extract a fee of $95 - even though we are already paying for EasyCare and have been paying that for years. 

So to recap - ViaSat refuses to offer a pro-rated refund, even though we are literally just now entering the second week of this service period - and in addition to that refusal, ViaSat will charge us $95 to remove a TRIA when my wife and I literally have no choice in the matter. We are not about to climb on a roof.

From our perspective, this smacks of customer abuse. It certainly isn’t customer service. Bear in mind that we’ve been ViaSat customers for years, regularly making our payments for service as well as for EasyCare. As we now enter a phase of our lives where satellite service (and the fees required by said service) no longer makes sense for us, we are rewarded for our loyalty as customers with an extraction of one final pound of flesh. Surely, that cannot be so. Absolutely, it should not be so.

Is there a customer service rep in this forum who can help to resolve this? Because it is (as said already) abusive treatment of customers who have been loyal, literally for years.

Please advise what can be done to resolve this. Thanks.

*************

Again, the above email was sent to Viasat Listens at Matt's suggestion. After a couple of days, Matt replied. I have included the relevant portions of his reply below:

The care agent you spoke with was correct in stating that we do not refund for partial month's usage, it's in the customer agreement. It's a similar issue with the equipment recovery service call. At one point, that was a part of the EasyCare program. The benefits of that program changed earlier this year.

Frontline agents don't have the ability to waive those charges at their level. At mine we do, and I have no problem taking care of both the last month's bill and the service call charge for you!  

However, I can't perform the disconnection through email exchanges, you will have to call Customer Care once more to disconnect the account.  I've noted on this case number that these charges are to be waived. If you run into any trouble with this, go ahead and continue the disconnect process and email us once more.  

Thank you for choosing Viasat.

*************

I replied to thank Matt and to wish him and Viasat well. Per his instructions, I contacted Viasat by way of a phone call again and, as predicted, the phone CSR said that he could not honor the commitment I had received. Acting on the suggestion I had received, I went ahead and scheduled the disconnection order. I also asked about scheduling the no-fee service call to remove the TRIA and was told by the phone CSR that he could not schedule that, given that he had not made the commitment. I would have to go back to where I had received that commitment and schedule the TRIA removal there. Interestingly, the phone CSR did not contradict that I had received such a commitment (he found and read the Email), although he did claim that the case# had not been noted as I had been led to believe it would be. No worries, people get busy, balls get dropped, I trusted the process would work.

Also acting on advice received, I emailed. I waited a couple of days and emailed again. I waited another couple of days and emailed again. 

When I emailed - for the fourth time - my email started off like this:

*************

I am starting to get concerned. Per Matt's initial reply to me (which was a helpful and welcome reply), I came back to Viasat Listens when the CSR with whom I placed my disconnect order refused to honor the commitment which Matt had made to me.

This is now the fourth request which I have sent as a follow-up
. As mentioned, this is what Matt advised that I do if I received no cooperation from the Viasat CSR - so it is what I am doing.
 
*************

After waiting another couple of days, I sent one more Email (edited):


... if I have not received some kind of response from Viasat by 4PM EDT today, I will post my concerns in a public forum. My preference is to complete what I had every reason to believe was an amicable and cooperative solution through private correspondence. Your silence on this matter and lack of a reply to multiple attempts to contact you have raised concerns on my part.

Please note that I did receive the equipment return box along with instructions. Those instructions direct me to remove and return the TRIA, which I have already explained we cannot do. I need further and clear instructions from you as to how to handle concerns already documented in this Email thread. If I don't get those instructions immediately, I will have no choice but to complete the return without inclusion of the TRIA.

Also please note that I have contacted my bank and advised that I intend to open a dispute for charges which Viasat might apply for unreturned equipment. My bank advised me that they will be fully supportive and cooperative, should that become necessary. I truly hope and want to believe that it will not be necessary - that, as already promised, a no-fee service call will be scheduled, a pro-rated refund will be provided and that I will hear back from you ASAP concerning next steps.

I appreciate your immediate attention to this matter. Thanks.

*************

4 PM yesterday came and went and I did not post to this forum (until right now). I was quite busy at work. In the meantime, I have everything (except for the TRIA) ready to go, but what I do not have is any kind of a reply from Viasat Listens, despite now five Emails pleading for help and resolution on the matter.

Can I please get help and honoring of the commitment received? The silence is deafening.

Rique
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Rique

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  • Frustrated, disappointed, ticked off

Posted 2 months ago

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ExSatUser

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Beat of luck to you with your new ISP!

Your forum contributions will be missed.
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skipbo2015

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A few things about Viasat that can be helpful to know.   "Viasat Listens" are actual Viasat employees who are only reachable via email.  They do not actually speak to customers.   Viasat has outsourced all of their customer service processes to a company called Transcom.  That's who is answering the phones.   Those agents are kept on an extremely tight leash down to the words they speak so when they say they can't, they really can't.  "Talking to a supervisor" is of no help, all they can do is email Viasat and tell them to contact you directly via email.    Viasat knows they are the only game in town and as such they do what they want, when they want and take however much they want.   They cover themselves legally by having you agree to their Terms and Conditions upon connection therefore you will not win a lawsuit.  Many have tried.  Viasat is group of sneaky snakes, for sure.   As far as this customer's issue, he will not get any kind of refund if he has disconnected early.  Viasat does not prorate.  He will also not have any of hope of being free of any of this until he returns the Tria.  So pay a neighbor or a friend or hire a guy to get up on a ladder and unscrew that thing throw it in a box to Viasat will be the only way out.   Viasat will do nothing different than what their Terms and Conditions say no matter how loud, how long you complain.   They are not in the business of pleasing customers.   They are in the business of making money with their satellites and only serve people who are forced to use them.   Their residential sector is only about 35% of their business anyway.   They make most of their money and spend most of their time with their corporate, government and military contracts.   
(Edited)
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Rique

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Skipbo,

Their T&C is clear and I did read it, thanks much. I read it before posting my initial post (different thread) but was concerned about the policy and raised that concern here in a public forum and later through an email to Viasat listens.

With regard to whether or not the removal of the TRIA is covered by EasyCare, it is not. However, it had been - and was in fact covered when I signed up for EC. Legalese says (as legalese will say) that they can legally make changes to that agreement, but I felt that I had a legitimate reason to raise concerns with regard to the removal of the TRIA also.

One thing I've learned from decades in a B2B role is that if you approach a vendor with respect and honesty - and if you avoid any hyperbole you might be tempted to engage in (accusing your negotiating partner of dishonesty is pretty much never a good move) - that you can get to an agreement.

If you read through the entire post, you will see that is what I have done. Matt B has been straight with me, cooperative and forthright. The reason I submitted a new post and raised new concerns is that I was not getting a reply. Since posting it, I have heard from the team at Viasat listens, things are moving and I am hopeful that I will get to a satisfactory outcome. 

The T&C exists to protect the company and is generally going to be slanted entirely in favor of the company. However, that does not mean that a reasonable case, presented reasonably, won't be heard and acted upon. The team at Viasat listens are people just like you and I. They want to be respected, appreciated for what they do and most of all they want to earn our trust and belief that their motivations are service - even when that is not necessarily congruous with the message that all of that legalese is sending us. 

The net of my reply is that, while I have concerns with the corporate practices of Viasat the company - I also choose to trust in the support team at Viasat listens. They deserve at least that. I'm also mindful that they are swimming against the tide every day to serve us often in opposition to company policy. I appreciate what they are able to accomplish for us, regardless of policy. In this case, better communication would have headed off the "noise" coming from me. Hopefully, we've again established that footing with one another.
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johnny c

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When i called in Mid June to discontinue my service the Rep told me that she would be happy to send someone out, no charge, to remove the tria.  I told her thanks but that would not be necessary, my dish is on a pole that i can walk up to and disconnect.  Also i think directv and dish don't prorate  your last month, they will prorate based on customer program changes.

I didn't read your entire post, but try calling in and talking to the contract/service termination representative, they may offer to remove it without a charge.

The best part of my entire relationship with sat internet was the rep i spoke to when i cancelled my service, the rest of the operation could take a lesson from her.
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Dances with Woofs

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Read the entire post - Rique's issue is that the CSRs don't want to honor the commitment made by Viasatlistens in  the response he received:

Frontline agents don't have the ability to waive those charges at their level. At mine we do, and I have no problem taking care of both the last month's bill and the service call charge for you! 
Specifically they (CSRs) need to schedule the service call - and the clock is ticking before he gets dinged by some automated/faceless process and charged for failure to return the equipment. Then he'll have another headache in getting those charges reversed.

For me personally, it's pretty clear from the customer agreement that Viasat doesn't prorate or cover TRIA removal on canceling but it doesn't hurt to ask apparently- however, the commitment to do so was made.
(Edited)
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Rique

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Dances,

Exactly and thanks for that. Read my reply to Skipbo, I think it covers my thinking on this pretty well, no need to repeat myself.

Again, thanks for reading and understanding where I am coming from.
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Bradley

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Rique, I missed what ISP you switched to. Interesting read and confirms what we already knew. Customer service and practices are below subpar with the exception of the mostly friendly team on the forums.

I cancelled a day after my billing cycle renewed and had to eat 29 days of it. Well worth it to say goodbye to Viasat forever. Still waiting on my box to return my items though. Hope that’s not going to be an issue.

Like everyone else, I’ll do my fair well thread. I’ll summarize the good and the bad. Customer service will be the majority of the bad. The actual equipment worked fine.
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ExSatUser

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Sadly, customer support for Viasat use to be one of their strengths and superior to Hughesnet. But then Viasat wanted to maximize their profit at the expense of the customer by outsourcing support to a foreign country. While this is their perogative, as the old saying goes, you get what you pay for!
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Bob Lexus

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Bradley, be sure to take a picture of all the parts in the box before sealing it up, proof all is in there.
Capture the tracking number of the return shipping label.

Insurance you may not need, but like most insurance policies - you have it & hope you don't have to use it...
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Bradley

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No doubt. Box came today. Let the nightmare begin.
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johnny c

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By the way when I called in to terminate my service I also asked the termination representative if she could remove my Credit card from my account

She said no problem I’ll do that now. Again terminated in the middle of June, my service was still in effect until the end of June, I checked the web site, my account a few days later and my card was no longer on my account.

I received the box during the first week of July.

I tracked the return box until it showed that it was received by V, waited a day, called back in and checked with termination agent and asked if I would get an email to show they received it and all was in good order etc. She said she wasn’t sure, put me on hold, confirmed that they received it but didn’t think I would get an email. She did say that my account looked clear and I wouldn’t be getting any additional charges.

I took all the pics and even a short video when I boxed the tria and equipment, I also took a pic of label with box on UPS scale The label is for 10 lbs, my box weighed 11 lbs, UPS clerk said no problem.

Call me paranoid, but all went well.

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