Tech

Starlink fails in customer support

Starlink is, we have been saying it for some time, a service with lights and shadows. It is true that, on paper, the premise sounds very interesting: Internet via satellite for everyone, with broadband and for a fairly competitive price. In other words, it represents a huge qualitative leap compared to what we are used to in connections of this type. Its transition to practice, however, is proving to be much more complex than its managers, with Elon Musk at the helm, may have thought at first.

Some problems are technical in nature and therefore the solutions to them are somewhat complex. Others, like the problem that the Starlink satellite constellation poses for space observation, are trying to be solved. For its part, the most worrying, the saturation of low orbit, has a difficult solution, and every day they are the protagonists of more and more security incidents (today we will tell you about another one of them)… in short, the list is long and worrying. However, the most surprising thing is that the service fails miserably in something as basic as customer service.

And yet, as we can read in Business Insider, the company doesn’t seem to take its customers too seriouslyaccording to the increasing testimonies that affirm that SpaceX, responsible for Starlink, has abandoned them for months (in some cases practically a year), that it is practically impossible to contact the company, and in at least one case that Starlink affirms having already made a refund of the money of a reservation, when in fact it has not been done.

As is known, the waiting list to receive a Starlink kit is quite long. The problem is that you can’t always get an estimate of how long you’ll have to wait, and lack of communication with customerscauses some of them to rethink their interest in the service, to demand information updates and, in some cases, to give up their interest and demand the return of the 100 dollars that must be paid, as an advance, to register for the service. waiting list.

This can be sustainable for weeks or for a few months, but it happens that there are clients who, as we can read in that article, They have been waiting for almost a year, they have not received a single communication from Starlinkand only the fear of losing their position on the waiting list deters them from unsubscribing and requesting a refund of the $100 they had to advance at the time.

The worst case scenario is undoubtedly that of Jason Kirkpatrick, a Michigan citizen who was put on the waiting list in March of last year. After months of waiting and without receiving a single news from Starlink, his glass of patience overflowed completely and, consequently, he chose to request a refund of the money. His surprise came when, upon accessing his account information on the service, saw that the return was listed as already made, something that had not actually happened. Since then he has been trying to contact the company to find out what is happening, but so far it has not been possible.

That a technical problem occurs in a project like this is undesirable but reasonably understandable, since its complexity is enormous. However, if even in something as basic as customer service we see such blunders and such embarrassing disinterest, we have more than enough reasons to seriously question the reliability of Starlinkand to ask ourselves if, once again, Elon Musk has gone too smart, as he did with the defunct Hyperloop project, which we will talk about soon to find out where he is today.

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