Why is Viasat a mixed Bag?

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Over the years I have seen good and bad views on viasat.
There’s 3 types of people
- People who defend it ata any cost and fail to see negative sides
- people who are neutral and use each side
- people disappointed and hate the name.

It’s not like any of the people lie about their service so why so much hate and love.
It’s weird and I get each argument.
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Bill Ross

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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The disappointed ones don't understand the limits of the technology. The same ones who think it's to low of speed for games, when it's latency at play.
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Bill Ross

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No actually, certain games I play will run when 6mbps and like 700 ping. They don’t work when it’s .25 mbps
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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  • With spot beam technology, experiences vary based upon the service area you are located within - often an indication that  a particular area may be oversold yielding network congestion. Your experience is not comparable to mine unless we both have the same plan and are in the same service area.
  • Similarly quality of install can affect experience - resulting in wild mood swings. All installers are apparently not alike based on anecdotes here (particularly the one who mounted the dish on a tree in an earlier, now defunct forum).   
  • With Viasat-2, "better" plans are not available to everyone giving the impression of unfairness - again failure to understand the different beam technologies (large vs. small) used on Viasat-2. Even pricing and restrictions vary for similar plans further reinforcing a sense of unfairness.
  • Some view throttling and prioritization dependent on plan level and data allowance policy to be unnecessary and unfair, failing to understand the concept of a shared resource - capacity at the satellite itself which is fixed at launch time.  
  • Direct comparison to landline services without understanding the differences with satellite always yields dissatisfaction particularly if those more viable services are available to someone who fell for satellite internet marketing claims of "unlimited data". Unfortunately "internet is internet" doesn't apply - particularly with its inherent latency as Olivers suggests.
  • Those who steadfastly defend it are likely to have no other viable options and aren't too keen about folks who come in and suggest Viasat should go out of business - those who don't have another option would prefer to have one.
  • Customer service experiences vastly differ. This is primarily a customer to customer self help venue not a direct technical support venue, many get upset when no direct support is offered here other than a request to send an email to a well publicized address. Viasat employees are typically not going to discuss customer problems in a public social media type venue. 
It's internet of last resort - those who recognize the limits, have no other options, have taken the time to understand the technology and work around some of those limits are generally satisfied although not exactly happy about it (but it's my lot in life) - it takes all kinds in between the extremes. Most just want it to work without knowing why - some of us are amazed that it works at all understanding what's behind it. and yes, some of the angst is self inflicted by Viasat...  

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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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And here we go again...

What plan are you on, what's the status of your priority data, what satellite are you on, what beam, what do your modem stats look like, yada, yada, yada... posting a single speed test result like yourguytim doesn't really prove much other than at 8:56AM on some unknown date, your download speed was .69Mbps with the expected satellite ping.

Ad infinitum, it never stops... I never said it wasn't their fault and specifically stated some of the angst is Viasat self-inflicted. You asked why there are different perceptions, I answered - draw your own conclusions but it comes down to different levels of pain tolerance and different expectations.

We get it satellite stinks, what are your other options - if I had a better one I'd take it - I do have an option, pay Comcast $6500 (at last check 5+ years ago) to extend cable to my house less than 1/2 mile but that ain't happening and probably twice that amount now. Does that make Comcast greedy? I think it makes them smart not wanting to arbitrarily extend their infrastructure without a reasonable return on investment or reasonable payoff period.  It was much cheaper at $50 per month to learn to live with and work around satellite's limitations to make it bearable or simply go without which is always a viable option. Nobody owes you or I internet service. Like Hfcomms below if something better comes along, I'll jump.

So do we put you down as one of those people disappointed and hate the name? If so, what specific actions have you taken to make it more bearable like the other 50% of the community or to ensure that you don't have an install problem? What I find weird is that those who simply complain don't even want to make any effort to see if they can achieve better results. It's not that I think you're lying but simply require more info to offer suggestions that may (or may not) help.

Here's my result:

Typical for a Saturday afternoon on my beam, but it's no more relevant to you than yours is to mine for the reasons mentioned above because its an apples vs. oranges comparison unless you're on VS1 329 Liberty 12 with Free Zone (VS1-329-L12FZ) and below your priority data amount (and employ the same data saving measures as I do). But at least mine shows the full result, date, time size, server, etc. You can even use the test id to go see some additional important details. You've cropped off some info that could possibly provide some insight. Later tonight it'll go into straight into the toilet so I've got other plans knowing what to expect but can still do very basic and needed web browsing and email.
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Old Labs just copied his answers from the Epson Printer Support website I bet! :)
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Old Labs (VS1-329-L12FZ)

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Absolutely they're under the Viasat section and saves typing, but you have to call them and download their special diagnostic tool to get access - it doesn't hurt a bit.

On an unrelated matter, why do I keep getting messages from them to make another credit card payment or my computer will be locked? I already paid them once ;)
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VeteranSatUser, Champion

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Well once one is canceled for fraud, they need the new one!
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GabeU, Champion

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You guys are a riot!  :)  
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I've always stated that when something better than Viasat comes along where I live and at a better price point I'll jump at it....you would be foolish not to.  But for most of us where we choose to live precludes that.

I've had sat Internet for about 15 years now starting with the dial up upload/satellite download one way systems to the early Hughesnet two way and up to Viasat 1 which I'm currently one.  Satellite Internet has come a long way in the past 15 years but it will never be comparable to fiber and will always be more expensive.  It's just the nature of the beast.

An educated consumer will realize why they are paying more than their counterparts that live in town and why they are getting less performance.  An uneducated consumer will pout and complain but it's their own fault for not doing the leg work.  And yes, there are unscrupulous sales people and installers who only care about making a sale or putting up a dish and they don't help.  I certainly wouldn't take out an auto loan without reading the fine print and nor do I engage an Internet provider with a two year commitment without knowing what I am getting into on the front end.

Yes, there are customers with legitimate complaints and the Viasat employees here try to help them out.  Sometimes it's a bad/poor install that has to be addressed.  Sometimes it's an oversold gateway on a shared bandwidth system, ect.  Most of the problems seem to be unrealistic expectations on the part of the consumer and/or lack of understanding the limitations of the system. 

There are trade offs in life.  If I have to have fiber speeds then I need to move back into town.  As it is I can do just about anything I need to do with my system out in the middle of nowhere with my nearest neighbors more than a quarter mile away.  For me that is an equitable arrangement.
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Brian, Champion

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Some very insightful answers.

I've had Viasat for close to 72 months. Seventy-three months ago I moved to a rural pocket just 50 miles from our nation's capital. Satellite is my clear choice for internet. None of the other options are available. 

For me, the prior answers articulate more clearly than I understood why I am so happy with Viasat and why I defend Viasat.

Oh, and that data cap thing? I have Liberty 25. I cycle tomorrow. I have 11GB left. Tonight I'm downloading the Library of Congress. Woohoo!
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Ronald Stricklin

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Viasat covers the US but it uses spot beams. Each beam has a different set of customers. Everyone can get an entire get an entirely unique experience. They all work directly with third parties, from installers to customer service. The experience there can very wildly.
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Brad, Viasat Employee

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I think a lot of people answered this pretty well, especially Ronald and Old Labs as well as HfComms and Brian's personal answers on why they have the service.

It's very much like any internet company's presence online. People are far more willing to go online and out of their way if they are unhappy as opposed to doing so if it's working as it should. I think like a cable company is a good example. I think a majority of customers that are on Satellite would probably jump to the opportunity if it became available. There's a faster ping rate so gaming is a lot smoother, there's no data limits or if there are it's set pretty high but things like routine bill increases, maintenance outages, slower speeds during peak hours and so on will bring a flurry of unhappy comments. So it comes with the territory. 

We have some VERY happy customers that are on this forum, we have some REALLY upset customers and a few that are neutral. We (The Corporate Social Care Team of myself, Matt B and Diana) are here for those that need assistance and try to help them any way we can.