Goodbye, Viasat. You served me well in a broken way...

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 5 months ago
  • Not Planned
  • (Edited)
I was a Viasat customer (started as WildBlue) since 2013. I very recently moved to somewhere with regular broadband. After living now with regular broadband for the past 2 months (very decent DSL from Sonic,) I'm realizing how challenging my internet was for 6 years.

That said, Viasat allowed me to be a self-employed software developer living in the middle of nowhere, so for that I am quite thankful. It's rough for Viasat in a way, as no one with another option would choose satellite, so they are stuck with a smaller and smaller pie of people who live without options.

I have some suggestions for Viasat, based on my years of experience with varied plans and services. As a developer and all-around geeky person, I understand the physical limitations of satellite. There are just some things that can't really change much (like bandwidth limitations, weather outages and lag). I also had satellite briefly in 2008, so I also know how far it has come since then - it could not be called broadband in 2008, but it sneaks under the wire in 2018.

So my suggestions:

1) Do better with throttling. Instead of hard-cut off throttling, try graduated throttling. For example, for a 150G plan, do something like 100G at full speed, 50 G at 1/2 speed, then throttle. First off, since the last 50 is at 1/2 speed, it is likely to last someone the month. Secondly, it's a natural warning mechanism, so people can be careful. It's brutal hitting the wall and basically having no option except being virtually offline, or paying for more (and please, don't be greedy about that - give people more options.)

2) Although there is nothing you can do about weather related outages, the weird outages that seem to happen quite often seem preventable. It was quite annoying to have brief 5 or 10 minute outages many days. Impossible to call support about, annoying and disruptive.

3) Make the plans simpler/have fewer of them/don't change them so often. These days, 90% of people do the same stuff with their internet.

And a little advice for Viasat users - if you have the $, get two dishes. It helps with the cap, and also often, if one account had an outage, the other one was fine. It made it much more possible for me to get my work done. Expensive, but worth it.


Photo of Maxwell Pearl

Maxwell Pearl

  • 18 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes

Posted 5 months ago

  • 1
Photo of Alan

Alan

  • 9 Posts
  • 2 Reply Likes
That may be good for some. Their are people who are disabled or on Social Security and have limited income. Viasat cost more than twice as other services in the area. So we have to have a slow service at a higher price. Your idea sounds great though.
Photo of Shannon Williams

Shannon Williams

  • 44 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
am disabled nice point
Photo of Paul Brandon

Paul Brandon

  • 2 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
Hello all this note is for Maxwell and that awesomely rational approach will cause a stir. Yet the fact that they are a government contractor now with Sat 2 and national security always comes first is the only reasonable excuse for THE WORST RUN PUBLIC COMMUNICATIONS COMPANY OF ALL TIME PAST PRESENT FUTURE! 
I do what you did. I pay $220.00 per month out in the mountains with no cell service which means my phone comes with that. Still my GOD without an option it has to be this way. Today I attempted to downgrade my 150+Gigabit data allowance was told Liberty was my only option plan and that Gold is now limited to 100 gig'. and more like if I switch plans I can never go back to Gold again. Service call for faulty dish never showed. My voicemail still does not work. WIFI is unable to work and that one goes to technical support only (the operator barks angry and mean at me).Being a Microsoft Fast Track Insider I get full MSOSWINDOWS10 re-builds four times per month. Each CAN RUN 8 GIGS (32) GONE! My cloud work is 7 days per week and last month was throttle hell from the beginning. I work in as much 4k as possible. Writing producing directing (music/film/social medias).This month starts a new Sony Cloud based project and I'm a self employed start up totally independent without any outside investment. Income fixed at $771.00 per month communications cost me 1/3 of my total annual. And there is nothing else if I continue to live in the forest on a mountain where Sat is all I get. 

Finishing positive I leave you with one fact, no two. I would never change a thing and the upside to Sat is I can plug-in anywhere on our planet, I think ;)=peace
Photo of Stephen Rice

Stephen Rice, Champion

  • 2649 Posts
  • 1380 Reply Likes
You work 7 days a week for $771 a month?  I'd be on the department of labor website filing a complaint instead of complaining about Viasat.
Photo of Paul Brandon

Paul Brandon

  • 2 Posts
  • 1 Reply Like
That's settlement money and without that there would be no start-up for me. Independents do not qualify for any rights really and there is no labor law for us because we choose to be independent. And I stated facts. No complaining. Again choosing my life style in my way and I would end saying I would never change a thing, again. If "The Company" will not change this dishonest deceitful attack on Americans burn all civilian contracts and let us out of "no choice" idealisms. They can go military fulltime. Space is cool, eyes on the prize, new Sat's will replace Sat 2 which was built by the cheapest bidder for capital gains. Priority for all transmissions is military first which already maxes that space junk lucky dog cash cow so for today living at an Alpine Lake without noise direct political mayhem pollution crime hate fear all that I gave up for this, and that Sat.
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 238 Posts
  • 81 Reply Likes
I would personally like to see the user be able to turn priority data performance on and offf at will. I would like to be able to turn it off most of the time so that automatic users of data such as Windows 10 which does all sorts of network activity that the user can’t easily control doesn’t consumer priority data quota. Let me turn it on for a few hours a day when I want to watch Netflix and then turn it off the rest of the day if I only need to read email or when Windows is doing its thing. I really don’t care if it takes Windows 2 days to download an update at 1 Mbps. That way I can make my priority date/performance last the entire month and be available when I need it and not when I don’t. I think this is the single best thing Viasat could to to improve their customers experience.
Photo of mferner

mferner

  • 290 Posts
  • 66 Reply Likes
I agree 100% I brought this up months ago! It sure would be nice to turn it off during the day and save data and than turn it on at night time as needed because now when I reach my 100gb cap! speed slows at night time and I cant not stream movies on 2 devices and sometimes I cant even stream on 1 device! so If viasat will give us that feature that would be awesome!
Photo of fmj77

fmj77

  • 768 Posts
  • 475 Reply Likes
Many people can barely afford Viasat, much less two services.
Photo of Shannon Williams

Shannon Williams

  • 44 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
great point here too
Photo of Maxwell Pearl

Maxwell Pearl

  • 18 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
I totally hear that, I was just making a suggestion for people who were able to make it work. It is horribly expensive, agreed, and I know it's hard for many to afford.
Photo of Nathan Hart

Nathan Hart

  • 392 Posts
  • 129 Reply Likes
Everyone on here is constantly complaining or defending Viasats inherent weaknesses.. I have to say on VS2 I have zero complaints about speed or service. It works fine. All the time. I can do anything and everything I want. I have a weekly comparison to 30 mbs cox cable internet, as I stay with my elderly mother 3 nights a week. if you stay away from the speed tests and just use the service it’s just fine! VS1 was dog slow by 2018 I’ll agree. But VS2 is consistently 50% faster then what I pay for and is overall
Just as usable and comparable to mom’s cable modem.
Photo of Ron Frank

Ron Frank

  • 236 Posts
  • 174 Reply Likes
Nathan Hart, that is so sweet!  Its awesome YOU are happy with your service!  My beam on Viasat1 is grotesquely overcrowded and Viasat2 plans are not offered here, but wait!  They charge me the same as you?????

As for the OP comment about being "cut off" or "hitting a wall" when you reach your data cap  THATS NOT SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN!!  They "claim" you will be slowed slightly during times of heavy usage.  I believe the current term of choice is "prioritized."  I have even seen in print projections stating "usually as low as 2 - 5 Mbps"  I WOULD BE HAPPY WITH 2 - 5!!  But myself and many others seem be to having an issue of prioritized, throttled, restricted, cut off etc consistently being LESS THAN 1, sometimes MUCH LESS than 1.  That is not "slowed during heavy usage," that is NO INTERNET during heavy usage!  5 years ago during restriction I did see 2 - 5 Mbps, about half my average normal speed, I COULDNT TELL THE DIFFERENCE!  It was great!  Thats why I stayed on the Exede 12/10 plan, going over data didnt matter ... TO ME, but I guess when their money is made selling data its not very profitable for them, and leaves no incentive for me to "upgrade" to unlimited at 3 times the cost.


Photo of fmj77

fmj77

  • 768 Posts
  • 475 Reply Likes
I guess the VS1 beam I'm on here in Western NC isn't as congested as I thought. I'm grandfathered into the Freedom Plan and I don't really notice as much slowdown as I did a couple of years ago.
Photo of Voyager

Voyager

  • 236 Posts
  • 81 Reply Likes
Ron, where does Viasat make the claims you claim? Where do they claim you will be slowed “slightly?” I just copied this from their web site.

“Liberty and Basic 25 Plans
Liberty and Basic 25 service plan customers who use more Priority Data than their service plan provides will receive Liberty Pass for the remainder of their monthly billing period. Liberty Pass speeds are slower than Priority Data speeds and will vary greatly based on the time of day and network traffic in your area. Liberty Pass speeds may be extremely slow when the network is busy, which may greatly impair internet usage. Heavier users of Liberty Pass may experience slower speeds than lighter users. For details see the Data Allowance Policy, which you can view at www.exede.com/legal.“

What part of “vary greatly” and “extremely slow” imply “slowed slightly?”
Photo of Ron Frank

Ron Frank

  • 236 Posts
  • 174 Reply Likes
Matt, my plan may have less data than most, but my free zone slams the Liberty package so its never even been a consideration Ive explored.

I was in fact referring to the long anticipated "limited" unlimited plans, in which the data cap for priority data kept dropping.

First of all the irony of an "unlimited" plan with a data cap, that started I believe at 150 G and has steadily dropped, the lowest I think Ive seen is 60 G now.  Unlimited plans are once again no longer offered in my area so I am trying to go on memory.

They key point being they refer to it as "unlimited" because there is no cut off.  Once  you reach your data cap you will be "prioritized" during peak usage, and you will be "slowed" yet many are complaining that when "prioritized" their speeds are below 1 Mbps and their internet becomes useless.  UN-USABLE INTERNET DOES NOT TRANSLATE IN ANY WAY SHAPE OR FORM TO UNLIMITED DATA.
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 5133 Posts
  • 3171 Reply Likes
The statement about two dishes makes ZERO sense. Two dishes at the same location are going to be on the same beam. Therefore they go through the same gateway. If there is an outage (due to weather, gateway troubles, etc ), both accounts are going to be offline.

Now if you want backup internet, use a different service, such as Hughesnet or a cell provider.

And I could be wrong, but I didnt think it was legally possible to have two accounts at the same physical address.
Photo of fmj77

fmj77

  • 768 Posts
  • 475 Reply Likes
I thought about getting HN as a backup a couple of years ago but decided the cost wasn't worth it.
Photo of Maxwell Pearl

Maxwell Pearl

  • 18 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
I get that it's the same beam, but my experience is that about 90% the relatively brief outages were only in one account. (I had 2 dishes for 3 years.) (obviously, with big outages and weather, they both were affected.) And clearly it was possible, because they installed both dishes (not at the same time, but they did it.) 
Photo of VeteranSatUser

VeteranSatUser, Champion

  • 5133 Posts
  • 3171 Reply Likes
I looked it up. You are correct. One address can have multiple dishes.

Still makes no sense why one account would go out and not the other, given similar variables.
Photo of Maxwell Pearl

Maxwell Pearl

  • 18 Posts
  • 8 Reply Likes
Well, both accounts had vastly different IP addresses (like one would be 152.* and another would be 70.*) That means the different accounts went through different networks and routers - so if failures weren't satellite related, but earth-bound network related, one account could be down when the other wasn't.
(Edited)
Photo of TQ

TQ

  • 47 Posts
  • 15 Reply Likes
I had 2 dishes at my house for years. I was on viasat1 with 12GB of data on both plans. I used a balance modem to combine both dishes and after using my 12GB of priority data on both dishes, I was able to do everything I wanred to do with little slow down noticeable. After Viasat 1 came out with Unlimited plans, my beam got overloaded and my combined service didn’t work very good any longer . I went with unlimited for a year, scrapping 1 of the dishes and was happy for about 6 months. That got so bad that I jumped onViasat2 distorted small beam. I have had 0 issues with speed or use age.
Photo of Roy Munson

Roy Munson

  • 38 Posts
  • 11 Reply Likes
Nice comment, It seems that the majority of comments are in the PMG category. After dial up Sat. is a breath of fresh air.