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

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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.


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Maxwell Pearl

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Posted 1 year ago

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Voyager

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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.
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mferner

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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!
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fmj77

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Many people can barely afford Viasat, much less two services.
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Shannon Williams

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great point here too
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Maxwell Pearl

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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.
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Ron Frank

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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.


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Voyager

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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?”
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Ron Frank

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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.
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John Haines

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They state your speeds will be slightly slower after you use priority data that's when you are being entrapped in a two year contract because I was told the same statements by the sales agent.was also told I would still have faster internet than what my previous provider offered which was 3 mbps even on the liberty pass. my speed is 0.28 on liberty pass. That is not SLOW internet that is no internet at all speed because it is completely nonexistent you can do nothing at that speed also told my plan was unlimited internet plan I have the chat transcript to back everything I am saying. I was told nothing but lies to get me to sign up with viasat now they got me locked in a two year contract unless I choose to cancel with a early termination of 370 dollars its bad enough they took 60 dollars to verify my way to make payment but was told it would be refunded immediately still waiting for it.been with viasat a week. This is what kind of service I have received but not the service I signed up for. false misleading statements, claims, misconceptions and outright lies is what I have received. I have contacted chat support every day about no internet but get told my plan wasn't unlimited internet after being told it was. I have caught them in multiple lies I do not want to be with a dishonest company when I got viasat internet under lies and false advertising and outright lies.
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Homeskillet

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Did you buy direct from Viasat or a reseller?
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John Haines

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From Viasat webpage and from Vista sales agent