EasyCare customer, yet charged for a service call

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  • Problem
  • Updated 2 years ago
Team ViaSat and community,

Recently, I had need for a service call and decided to make use of the EasyCare coverage for which I pay $6 per month. I called ViaSat first, explained the situation, and the CSR agreed that EasyCare would cover the service call.

Given that we have a local company that installs and services Exede systems, I was provided with a work order# (36559970) and directed to call the service provider directly. I did that, scheduled the appointment and again confirmed with the service provider that I had EasyCare and would not be charged. The person booking the appointment agreed.

When the service tech arrived on the scheduled date (this past Monday, 10-23), I again questioned them about my care agreement and was also advised that I would not be billed and that EasyCare would cover the call. They did a good job and resolved my issue. I was happy... for a while.

Two days later, on Wednesday morning, I find that my current billing was auto-paid and for an amount $95 in excess of my typical monthly charges. I called ViaSat to ask what's up and was advised that the charge was for the service call! The CSR quickly added "you should not have been charged for that, you have EasyCare". The CSR also told me it would be 4-5 business days to process the refund and to credit my account. I questioned that rather sharply, given that it had taken ViaSat actually less than 2 days to (incorrectly) hit my bank account up for nearly $100. I said "if you can charge me in two days, you sure should be able to put those funds back in two days". The CSR agreed with me and told me the refund would be expedited.

That conversation took place on Wednesday. As I write this, it is after midnight early Saturday morning and I have not received a refund. Additionally, there is nothing showing in my account that a refund is pending, that I had a conversation with a CSR, nothing. I have also received no Email confirmation of the case having ever been recorded in the ViaSat CRM or of the status of the case. In short, it currently exists in a black hole.

I'm glad that, in 4 separate conversations, ViaSat or reps for ViaSat all agreed that EasyCare would cover the service call. However, I'm stupefied that, given the universal agreement that I am covered, I was charged $95 anyhow. And frankly, I'm annoyed that the refund has not been processed, that there is no indication that the conversation with the CSR ever took place or that there is even a refund pending.

I am fortunate that the unexpected withdrawal of close to $100 did not overdraw my checking account. That's not a concern for me in this case. However, it could have been - and had that been the case, would ViaSat have paid for my bank fees?

I would like immediate resolution, please, of this situation. I'd also like an explanation as to why it happened and would like to know what steps ViaSat will take to prevent a recurrence. As I scanned the forum tonight, I took note of several other similar circumstances where consumers were billed and refunds took a needlessly protracted period of time to process.

My case# is 24190239, the conversation with the CSR took place on 10-25 and the service call was on 10-23. 

ViaSat, please resolve this ASAP.

Rique

 
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Rique

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  • anxious and irked

Posted 2 years ago

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Jim16

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4-5 business days will be around  the 1st of Nov.  ( CSR took place on the 25th.)  You're jumping the gun here.
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Rique

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Not when the CSR told me that the refund would be expedited - within 2 days. It only took ViaSat 2 days to snag that extra $95 from my account, why should I wait 4-5 days for them to put it back? 

Additionally, it is concerning to receive no confirmation via Email of the conversation or of the pending credit, nor was any confirmation noted on my account when I checked the account online.

I find it funny that in this circumstance, where I am charged $95 for a service call (when I pay a monthly fee precisely as a hedge against such a charge), and this happens after I'm repeatedly assured by several reps of ViaSat that there would be no charge - and then it is followed up by not honoring a commitment to expedite a refund - yet it is I who is accused of "jumping the gun" when I call my service provider on it? Why is that? 

We have a business agreement with ViaSat. They provide a service, which is more than provision of bandwidth and access to the internet. It is provision of all of the services inherent in and implied by that arrangement, including competent management of billing, payments, credits, service, support, etc.

As a consumer, when I feel that business is not conducted in a manner which is friendly to the consumer (such as the exaggerated differences in pricing between beams), or when I feel that the service provider has acted in a manner harmful to the consumer (taking money that is not rightfully due to the provider is most definitely harmful to the consumer), then I am going to call them on it - 100% of the time.

I will also defend their technology, and talk favorably of them especially in comparison to similar service providers. But I'm not going to sit idly by and just accept this. Nope.

I think we, as consumers, should think twice before we defend the abuser or attack the aggrieved. I see a lot of that on this site and it's not right. Sure, let's defend ViaSat for aggressively pursuing better technology and improving on what's available in the market. I think we should do that - and I do. But let's also insist that they behave in a manner that represents good business. Let's not be accepting of practices that are, frankly, unacceptable.

Rique 
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Best case is 3-5 business days for the banks to release the funds and for your bank to accept them had a refund been processed. All the same if you want to send an email to exedelistens@viasat.com we can take a look
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Jim16

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Chill out and wait until Monday or Tuesday.  Not worth blowing a gasket.  You "sharply" questioning her about the 4-5 day policy is why she got rid of you by saying she would  expedite.
(Edited)
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Rique

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Actually, Jim - the exchange with the CSR was cordial and calm throughout. The only thing which I sharply questioned was the "policy" of taking a business week to do an exchange of funds which can be done electronically in minutes. And I came on this forum to record the incident. I would have much preferred to have come here to record an example of excellent customer service, but in this case, I've not had the opportunity to do that.

And you saying that a consumer coming here to complain should "chill" is another example of what I am talking about. Again and again, on this site, I see examples where an aggrieved consumer is questioned, confronted ("attacked" would mostly be an exaggeration, but yeah... sometimes they are attacked). How can others hold ViaSat accountable if they are in fear of confrontation?

Economically, I'm just fine - but that $95 was withdrawn from my account without my knowledge or approval at the end of a pay period. It was not a problem for me, but what if I had just paid for a major repair? What if the unexpected withdrawal of $95 overdrew my account?

And you've completely overlooked my point, which is that to withdraw $95 from an EasyCare customer in this case is unacceptable. Having taken that unacceptable action, ViaSat could have rectified the error easily and quickly and in so doing, earned kudos for the quick resolution. Instead, I'm irked all over again (clearly, I'm not chilled) - and that could have been so easily avoided by simply doing the right thing in this case, immediately and without caveats, excuses or references to "standard procedure".

Consider - Champions are quick to point out that complaints about speed are ill-founded, because the language clearly states that the speeds are advertised as "up to" and not a constant. That's a correct argument. Champions are quick to point out that beams not only get congested (and hinder performance), we were told about this possibility up-front (and in most cases, that's also true). In short, Champions will remind some of the more vocal and exaggerated complainants details of what is written concerning speeds, congestion, etc.- and again, it's fine to remind folk about what was and was not promised. Well, it is also written that EasyCare customers won't have to pay for service calls. That's another promise. So are we are going to use the disclaimer language that's out there to defend ViaSat (nothing wrong with that), but overlook agreement language which they have with the consumer when their actions are not easily defensible?

Finally, I'm not blowing a gasket, Jim. If you re-read my original post, you won't find exaggerated language, claims that ViaSat are "crooks", threats of lawsuits, any of the nonsense which sometimes is posted when a gasket is truly blown. It is a matter-of-fact recitation of a case where I, the consumer, have been let down and the company (in this case, ViaSat) has not kept a commitment nor even communicated. That's all it was. Somehow I knew that I'd be confronted about making a case that my provider should more competently handle this business arrangement than they have in this case.

We're all in this together and when I insist on competence, I'm not just defending my rights as a consumer, Jim, I'm defending your rights too. You may not want or appreciate that and that's regrettable, because I think that consumers should stick together. 
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Rique,

Agreed, your post is a rational, measured one compared to others in the same vein as this one, which often rely solely on ad hominem or emotion. Similarly your others are well thought out arguments - although I may disagree with the plan pricing debate on your side of the aisle justa bit ;).

You've turned to the only venue provided - a social media forum. I'd only suggest going the exedelistens route (you know the drill or should) - recognize the real function/role of a socia media moderator...

You've gone through the normal support channels so far - I'd suspect ViaSat is just as disappointed in customer service and other administrative areas (like billing, email service, etc.) as you and others are, but their hands may be tied due to contractual agreements with a third party that they outsource to - no outsourcing doesn't always imply "foreign" - and there are domestic ones just as bad as foreign ones (and vice versa) - incompetence knows no borders. 

Note that ViaSat wont confirm that and it's just a guess based on personal experience with another company - eventually that company found the resources to bring all those functions in-house where people are more accountable for their actions - poor perfomance of employees is easily handled and get's results.  It dramatically boosted consumer satisfaction and took time to get there.

At best, going the exedelistens route will ensure you get to an employee - but it's the weekend, so patience at this point...
(Edited)
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Rique

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Old Labs, thanks for that, I agree that the exedelistens route is the best way to go. I've given the same advice several times. Thanks for your perspective with regards to ViaSat's possible constraints. That's an oblique way of looking at it, but you just may be on to something,

I absolutely will go the exedelistens route and that's been my intent all along. On the other hand, I did want to voice my concerns in the forum.

Thanks again!
(Edited)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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You should only contact Exede between 2 am and 4 pm. Those are the best times for speedy access to the billing network.

You probably contacted Exede during prime time, and the rep had to give you a slow refund because of network conjestion.
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Rique

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Stephen, not sure if you're poking fun at me or not, but... LOL.

And you and I have to talk... I read that you are a fellow Plex devotee. I love Plex. :)
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Stephen Rice, Champion

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Just trying to add a little humor to the frustration. Getting charged for a service call when you gave easy care doesn't sound like fun. Id be frustrated too.
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Bradley

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I do appreciate the post as I’m sure others have and will experience the same. It’s not just Exede though. Customer service and handling problems quickly and in favor of the customer for inconvenience seems to be a lost art in America these days.
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Rique

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Bradley, I agree. Great customer service is sadly, increasingly rare. Even basic competence seems to be a big "ask".

I'm a big, unabashed, Apple fanboy - I got there because of the technology, I've stayed in large part because of the customer service.

With ViaSat, I sometimes feel like I'm in a dysfunctional relationship. The technology is the best I've ever experienced after more than 20 years using satellite - and the future is promising. The business, on the other hand, I've had some serious concerns about. And so I compartmentalize - I will praise their tech, but question their business practices.
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Bradley

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Especially tier 1 knowledge levels. I might as well ask my young children the same question. I sent an email to Exede asking about the “new” wireless router/modem availability. I got an email back stating it wasn’t available in my area yet. Logged into my account, saw the new silver unlimited plan, ordered it, had the new modem two days later.
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Captain318

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I went through this before and never got my refund. Instead they credited my next bill. IMO that was unacceptable but what you gonna do? We live month to month and we almost didn't eat the later half of that month because of their "error". I have measures in place to prevent that from ever happening again which is a prepaid card. I just don't trust them with my Bank anymore.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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Shoot us an email to exedelistens@viasat.com and I can get that taken care of
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Rique

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Exede Brad, will do. Thanks.
Rique