Offer Trial Period

  • 1
  • Idea
  • Updated 2 years ago
  • Under Consideration
There are people that don't understand what and what not cannot be done with a satellite network (particularly gamers). Having this trial period would cut down on people that in their mind the service is not what they need and thus the amount dissatisfied customers, and customer care calls etc. I suggest you offer a 3 month trial this way:

Three month trial, customer pays plan fees monthly and a setup/tear down fee up front, these fees can be totally or partially applied to the 4th month bill.

 I think this is reasonable and will encourage serious potential customers to take a look at your service. I know I originally balked at coming on board until it was my last choice. Although I don't agree with some of your policies, I do like the service overall. If there had been a trial period, I would have been a customer 6 months earlier and probably would still be a regular customer.  
Photo of Grumpyoldman

Grumpyoldman

  • 234 Posts
  • 88 Reply Likes
  • just fine

Posted 2 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Starring Matter

Starring Matter

  • 290 Posts
  • 221 Reply Likes
From what I understand (by reading these forums) the install cost is about $700, divide that among the first four payments? Most people would be far happier with a $300 early term charge.
Photo of Grumpyoldman

Grumpyoldman

  • 234 Posts
  • 88 Reply Likes
I Don't know about $700 figure, mine was free. They called it $100 dollar savings. I was thinking of $250 up front. And it may be worth it to just to get rid of the huge negative Reputation Excede has now. As I said before, I was really apprehensive about using this service. And yes it might possibly be cheaper paying the early termination fee, but people don't like paying something for nothing. Anyhow it was only a suggestion.
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3063 Posts
  • 1283 Reply Likes
I agree, a 14 day trial would be sufficient to show the unaware just how fast some thing burn the data. Then Excede could offer plans that better meet their usage, or they could terminate w/o ETFs.
Photo of Grumpyoldman

Grumpyoldman

  • 234 Posts
  • 88 Reply Likes
There is a heavy cost for installation incurred for the service. Harry Homeowner cannot do this by himself, it takes someone who is trained. I don't pretend to know what the true cost is, but if a person is not willing to put up a nominal fee for the company to set up and (hopefully not ) tear down the hardware if he's unsatisfied, then he is not serious about the service in the first place. 

I only suggested 3 months because there could be some "getting to know you" problems. Whatever the length of the trial, the customer could terminate at anytime during the trial without penalty. If the customer stays he gets some or all the installation costs back in bill credits. I believe this is a win/win situation.
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3063 Posts
  • 1283 Reply Likes
I would not refund installation costs and would charge a call out fee to remove the equipment - no worries about returns or customer caused damage that way. (you know how some people are if they are upset, they break things intentionally and, a technician uninstall would allow for inspection for such damage, which the customer could be liable for.)

I think 2 weeks is enough time to see how much data one uses on average and, for Excede to see it as well, then suggest more appropriate plans, or arrange for the uninstall if a customer cannot be content with the service at all.

I know that sounds a bit harsh from the customer's perspective but, at least there would not be an early termination fee nor continued billing and, technicians would be paid for all work done at the location, and customers who canceled during the trial would not have to bother with returning equipment.

Much like the business my partner is in, there has to be a balance between giving customers what they want and corporate profits. The company and the technicians deserve to be paid for all work and equipment as well as the usage of that equipment but, new customers also deserve a trial period where they do not get zapped with an early termination fee, just charged for time used and work done at their location.
Photo of Grumpyoldman

Grumpyoldman

  • 234 Posts
  • 88 Reply Likes
That works for me too!
Photo of Alex

Alex, Viasat Corporate Communications

  • 671 Posts
  • 295 Reply Likes
Thanks for the comments on this topic. It's something we've certainly looked at but, as Grumpy noted, there is a significant cost to installing one of our systems. 
Photo of Grumpyoldman

Grumpyoldman

  • 234 Posts
  • 88 Reply Likes
Thanks for the Reply. This is a business decision and solely a company matter!
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3063 Posts
  • 1283 Reply Likes
Exactly Alex, which is why I say no refunds and, an uninstall fee as well - covers your costs and paying the technician to do the work. And of course no refund of that first month's bill, that pays for the data the customer used. 99% of those that demand an uninstall before the trial is up will be because they blew through their allotment in two weeks or less and got slowed.

Some of those will be willing to move to a higher allotment and/or learn to manage their usage better and, Excede employees can help with finding a better plan and usage reduction tips. Some just aren't going to be happy with metered service no matter what. They can pay for an uninstall and, not pay an ETF. (50 to 75% of the install fee since removing the equipment is a bit easier than installing it.)

On a side note, that also minimizes less than scrupulous sales persons for lying about what a set number of GB will allow you to do online since, if they do, they will face a very irate customer demanding a free uninstall or, larger data allowance for no charge - not going to happen but, no business wants to deal with irate customers because one of their employee's lied to the customer.

(Viasat has never done that to me in any way that wasn't obvious and rather humorous. Was having connection problems for a week solid, later found out it was repairs at my gateway but, I had one rep tell me that the satellite was broken and someone was going to fix it that week.  As if a Viasat employee was getting on a rocket or shuttle and going into space to repair a satellite. There were no launches of anything that week. LOL.)
Photo of Grumpyoldman

Grumpyoldman

  • 234 Posts
  • 88 Reply Likes
That's good, as long as the non-refundable fees are collected the day that the system is installed. If you don't refund the first month's plan payment then you really should call it a 30 day trial. (Nitpicking I know) 
Photo of Bev

Bev, Champion

  • 3063 Posts
  • 1283 Reply Likes
Well an XX GB or 30 day technically but, after 14 days the customer and Exede can see an average of how much data is used per day and, thus ask the customer to either commit to the contract or uninstall at that point. (contract would be immediate but, and uninstall may take a few days to a week to schedule.)

I think most unhappy new customers will be about running out of or very low on their data allowance too quickly (as I did my first month with WildBlue (yeah ages ago) I went with a larger allowance package and, learned to manage my usage and, most customers would do one or both, with a bit of education on how to manage usage. For the few that simply want unlimited usage for a metered price, they can have the tech come back and uninstall the system and, not pay any ETF if they request an uninstall withing 14 days of install.

That is also long enough to see if there is an install problem that the tech could come correct free of charge. (wrong cable, not aimed as well as it could be, etc...)