- Daily Zen
A galaxy of over 2,000 satellites but no light for Starlink’s American customers.
Customers scammed by Starlink first voiced their grievances in the second half of 2021. Although they had paid the initial deposit of $100, months of waiting yielded no results, and they started believing that they might be victims of a Starlink scam. Unfortunately, their fears proved to be true, and their dream of becoming Starlink customers remained just that — a dream.
It is a dreadful feeling to realize that you have been scammed. It becomes 10X worse when you realize you’ve been scammed by Starlink, which is run by one of the richest men in the world. North Carolina resident Alan Sbi is one such would-have-been-customer. Sbi told Business Insider that he had paid the $100 deposit in February 2021 after months of horrible service by his internet provider at the time.
However, he was in for a rude shock. Sbi informed Insider that he had not heard anything from Starlink customer service after the payment was made. To add insult to injury, after going MIA on their customers, Starlink has now raised prices across the board.
In March, SpaceX announced that it would increase prices for its Starlink services, and the “sole purpose of these adjustments is to keep pace with rising inflation.”
Initially, customers had to purchase a starter kit for $499 that gave them access to Starlink services. After installation, customers had to shell out a monthly fee of $99 to keep the service running. The company has now raised the monthly fee to $110. The new one-time fee is $599, and those who had paid the original deposit fee of $499 earlier will have to shell out $50 more, as the new price for them is $549. A price hike for uplink kits for new customers translates to $599 at the time of booking. A SpaceX executive mentioned that Starlink has over 250,000 users worldwide.
Most Starlink customers who have canceled their pre-orders have been met with silence by the company.
Recently, Elon Musk’s internet company made its services available in Ukraine, at the request of the Ukrainian government.
After waiting for over a year, towards the end of March 2022, Sbi tried to reach out to the internet company to cancel his order and get his refund. But this has been easier said than done as he has been unable to contact Starlink customer service.
Frustrated and feeling scammed by Starlink, Sbi told Insider that this is not fair business practice. “The company had my money for over a year, I need that money back. There shouldn’t be any conditions on how to receive my money back.”
Another disgruntled Starlink customer is Rich Kecher from South Virginia. He, too, complained of atrocious customer service and felt that he had been part of a Starlink scam. The start-date for providing service in his area has been extended by over a year. The internet service was expected to start working by November 2021 but has now been pushed to late 2022, but he has his doubts. He decided to cancel his order after Starlink raised its prices.
Denise Elise was a prospective Starlink customer. But today, she is distressed and furious. She needs a good internet service but feels scammed by Starlink. She is of the opinion that “Musk is making money on our money.” She told Insider that after receiving the payment confirmation from Starlink in April 2021, the only communication she got was about the price hike.
The Starlink scam has left a sour taste in the mouths of many hopeful customers.
A few days back, the Pentagon praised Elon Musk’s Starlink satellite network for fighting off Russian hackers attempting to take control of Ukraine’s network. While it’s great to know about Starlink’s prowess internationally, maybe it’s time the company took a look at how things are shaping up at home.