I’m frustrated

HughesNet Customer Service

I'm having a couple of issues:

1) When our satellite was first installed, we were charged $80 directly from the install tech who came out because he said our installation was nonstandard because he needed to put a pole in. He initially claimed it would cost $60, then said he would need to use an extra bag of concrete and more wire to reach the house properly, which would be an extra $20.

I discovered after reading the paperwork that our installation was actually a standard installation (confirmed by a HughesNet rep over the phone). The tech was supposed to set up a conference call between myself and HughesNet to explain the charges, but that never happened. This was about 2 months ago. Neither HughesNet or the tech has tried to contact me via phone or email to follow up or to explain themselves.

2) Right now our internet is choked due to going over our bandwidth limit (15G). We were initially told that the off-peak hours were midnight until 7am (by the install tech). We called HughesNet about a week later with connectivity issues and were told that the off-peak hours were 2am through 8am (I asked if they meant Pacific time - they said yes; doubtful whether she comprehended what I was asking due to language barrier). We then changed our downloading schedule again to accommodate the new time, only to go over our limit this month. We called HughesNet again and were told that the off-peak hours were in Eastern time (we're in Pacific time - which we've made clear each time we called in), so our real off-peak hours are 11pm through 5am PST.

I do a lot of downloading for software development, so I use a lot of bandwidth at night - being an hour or two off can really use up a lot of our bandwidth cap.

3) Our internet has been extremely slow on a regular basis (average 3.5 Mb/s up, 0.5Mb/s down), which is about half of the down speed of what I would expect from the Gen4 10Mb/s connection. These speeds will fluctuate during the day due any number of factors, including bandwidth congestion, but I NEVER see speeds at around 8.5Mb/s to 9Mb/s even briefly, like I might expect from a 10Mb/s connection.

I've called tech support about this issue a few times and have not been able to get any results after about 7 or 8 calls. Tech support for HughesNet has been horribly painful so far due to poor technical ability, communication skills, and ability to understand and resolve issues. I've been told on three distinct occasions that I would receive a callback and it never happened. I'd like to make it extremely clear how unpleased I am with that service. I don't have a problem with outsourcing a company's tech support or whatever else they want to do, but that doesn't remove their responsibility to provide competent, reliable, and useful tech support. Whoever it is that you're going through now for your tech support is ripping you off and screwing over your customers at the same time.

Sorry for being so verbose - I'm frustrated, what can I say?
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  • Also, almost every time I call in, the phones are busy and they direct me to call back later. Waiting for a rep usually takes about 15 minutes. Not impressive.
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  • Patrick, I suggest sitting down, eat some turkey and wait till next week, it's the holidays no one is really around. But, can you post a case number so they can look into this when they get back from holidays? Would speed things up just a tad bit.

    Also, the download zone for Gen4 will be in your timezone, but, right now, it seems to still be Eastern Standard.
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    • Patrick, you missed my point, this website is an american based operation, so you wont get any attention here till they come back in. With that said, where is the case number from when you called in so they can look it up with out having to go through hoops just to find out your info?
    • This comment was removed on 2012-11-26.
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  • This reply was removed on 2012-11-26.
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    • If Hughes is for sell, so is Dish Network, Slingbox, and a few other companies. Hughes was bought a few years ago.
    • Corrosive,

      First, the facts: DISH is going to launch its own branded satellite internet service. When you hear engadget, the Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg all singing the same song, it's pretty likely that song is going to be a hit. Those three sites all say DISH will be launching a satellite broadband service in the next several months. This news was, in fact, just confirmed on the EchoStar 3rd quarter earnings call. Dish will use a satellite from EchoStar's fleet and provide high-speed service to areas not served by traditional broadband.

      Now, it makes sense that DISH wants a broadband service. What's confusing is why DISH is making this move... in this way.

      Second: A little history. At one time, DISH was owned by Echostar. The two companies split but still have a very close bond. In fact, Charlie Ergen still helms both companies and EchoStar builds all of DISH's receivers and DVRs.
      EchoStar owns Hughes Communications (which used to own DIRECTV) and already sells internet service under the HughesNet brand.

      So--- why is DISH going to the trouble to launch its own satellite internet service instead of just bundling HughesNet? It's really just a branding situation, right? Echostar will provide the satellite for the new DISH service, although it's not clear who will provide the ground-based services. There's something here that just doesn't add up and the question wasn’t asked on the earnings call.

      However, on the earnings call, there were questions about “sequential revenue decline for EchoStar satellite services”. A couple of blah-blah reasons regarding “delays in launching” were given, followed by another question asking “if there were any transponders or satellites removed from service?” Answer: “No. And we've had -- in the Q, you'll see that there have been additional satellite anomalies on AMC-16 and I believe, Echo XII, but neither of those have really affected the ability to self-service into the marketplace.”

      Another question followed: “Okay. And a final round of questions here on the Hughes business. Still reported in the current quarter, it looks like another net loss of subscribers. Do you expect, Pradman, that going into Q4, with the Gen4 service, that you should be able to turn positive? Or are you going to be dealing with customer churn issues on the SPACEWAY platform that will keep the subscriber growth flat or down for a while?”

      Pradman Kaul, President of Hughes, answered: “Well, we are obviously, as I've mentioned earlier, feeling good about the initial take on the Gen4. And that should make it turn positive, obviously, and we are hopeful of -- that in Q4, we'll have positive subscriber growth.”

      Another question: “And are there -- is there anything you're doing differently with respect to transition plans, either subsidizing hardware for customers that want to step up or actively swapping out customers that would differ from what you did back a couple of years ago from the Ku-band to the SPACEWAY transition?”

      Answered from Pradman Kaul, President of Hughes: “Yes, we have a pretty attractive upgrade plan for our existing subs. And those plans are on the web, if you want to take a look at it, Chris. So unlike the last time when we went from Ku to SPACEWAY, we were not encouraging upgrades as aggressively. So I think that's different this time.”

      New analyst, new question: “I have a couple of quick strategic questions. First, according to the 10-Q filed today, you have only about $71 million of future obligations related to Echos XVI and XVII. And since you have no additional satellites under construction, you're going to start generating a pretty significant amount of free cash flow above which you're already generating. So could you just walk through your current capital allocation plans and priorities? And I have one follow-up after that.”

      Answer from Michael Dugan, CEO of EchoStar: We do have an additional satellite on track that we started to execute on. We're obviously, looking at a couple more. So I wouldn't assume that we're done building satellites and spending capital funds on satellite construction and build. I'm not sure we're ready to disclose any additional breakdown on how we're going to spend our capital over the next years. So I think you can historically look. We don't see a huge difference in the way we're going to work in the future from the way the two companies worked in the past. I think you could use that as guidance. But I don't think we're going to give you any more information than that right now.”

      WHY NOT!!?! Confidential disclosure agreement in place, maybe?

      Follow-up question (thank God for persistent analysts): “Okay. And the satellite that you have disclosed, I guess I didn't catch it in the Q. What is that related to?”
      Answer from Michael Dugan: That's Echo XVIII, which is actually -- it will be built primarily -- the build will be primarily funded by DISH. We will provide satellite build and management, and then we'll also fly the bird. But to Mike's point, I mean, obviously we're working on a joint venture in Brazil. We're looking at other alternatives. We've got new Gen4 service that's come up that clearly requires shack on the retail versus wholesale customer base. So those, clearly, will be priorities as we move forward.”

      Notice the deflection to the direct question?

      An interesting Q & A: “Great. And then just on the consumer side on Gen4, any more color you can give us on the mix of wholesale, retail, how DISH has been in terms of their bundled offering, ARPU you're getting? I mean, just really any color that you can offer.”

      Answer from Michael Dugan, CEO of EchoStar (not from Pradman Kaul, interesting in and of itself): “The customer acceptance has been great. The partner acceptance has been great. I think we're all very thankful we had a safe launch and that the technology is working as well as it could be and all the gateways are up and everything. It's been a very, very successful launch. I promise you, we'll give you clearer information on the next call. But we've got to be -- as you know, we've got to be really careful about being too forward-reaching. But the bottom line is I'm excited by the product. I think it's doing great, and I think you'll be pleased.”

      And a final direct question and deflective answer: “On Echo XVI and XVIII, is that a replacement capacity? Or is there any incremental revenue opportunities there? And are those 2 satellites replacing any existing satellites from the fleet?”

      Answer from Michael Dugan: “Yes, so on Echo XVIII, given it will be satellite that is primarily funded by DISH, the opportunity -- the revenue opportunities will be on kind of management of the satellite build contract and on the monthly TT&C applications. Echo XVI is an EchoStar-built bird, so there would be incremental revenue opportunities on that bird. Well, they'll be taking over parts of some of the satellite's missions when they're in orbit. But it's premature to announce exactly what they're going to be doing.”

      Earnings call quickly ended on that note.

      Is this a precursor to Hughes being sold again, or will control of Hughes be transferred to DISH? If not, why would the same company (Echostar) be providing two competing services? HughesNet has been around for a decade and provides internet to the same customers DISH is targeting. Clearly some of those new sales for DISH will be old HughesNet customers.

      Something doesn't make sense... but it will probably become clear in the next few months.
  • 1
    I called today and got right thru. Same useless people on the other end though. I feel bad for them having to work holidays. Maybe they should join SEIU
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    • Before a problem can be "fixed" it has to be, in some manner acknowledged.
      This post won't remain long..but if you will look at the trends in the posts problems like DNS look up errors, web acceleration errors and a few more just never happen.

      At some point when call volumes of a certain type reaches some point a responsible company will take some kind of action.
      At Hughesnet however if you "bark" your posts will get removed, "closed", "answered".
      The same problem will be posted by yet another Hughesnet customer....and on it goes.

      The hype that preceded the launch of Gen4 was awsome... and we can understand startup issues with a new system however.....

      Gen4 has it's unique problems plus ALL the remaining issues the Hughesnet never addressed.

      Note to Sara:
      I know you will have to remove this post as it doesn't spout the Company Line, it is however the the truth as I see it.
    • There doesn't seem to be anyone from hughes responding today, must still be off due to the holiday
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  • Patrick, I'm sorry for the very late response. I pulled up your account using your name (thank you for having it added to the account) and see that as of Saturday you are still trying to address your concerns - I'm sorry this has taken so long. Please expect another call from us soon. We'll reconnect with you to fully address your concerns. Again, I'm sorry for the delayed reply. Thank you, Sara
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  • Okay, so I finally got a call from HughesNet yesterday from a tech support person. I would have been thrilled, except for the fact that the person who called wasn't actually in a position to DO anything about the problems I've been having. He said that he was making a follow-up call and asked if my problems had been resolved yet. I said no and listed the problems I've had recently. He said that I would need to talk to the Pre-Install department about the install dude's theft. I spoke to them already months ago and they told me that once the install is complete, there's nothing their department can do about it. I was, in turn, directed to contact the tech support department.

    Here's the thing. Having someone call me back finally is great, but really - what's the point of having a customer service rep call me when they are a part of a department that apparently can't do anything about my issues, nor do they know where to direct me? The guy was nice enough, but, to be totally frank, it just made me all the more angry with HughesNet.

    It seems like the venue where things are actually taken care of are here, on this forum, so here's a bright idea: have one of THOSE people call me. You know - so HughesNet doesn't continue to waste my life by having me work up the chain every time.

    FYI: I got a claim number from the last call - since I lost the original, I'll list the new one here:

    Claim #33846731

    P.S. I used to work in customer service - the fact that I need to talk through every issue every time I call is just ridiculous. If you're going to call me about this stuff, at least read the damned notes on the claim before talking to me. Making me wait on hold while they THEN decide it's important enough to read the notes is terrible customer service.
    • P.S. I used to work in customer service - the fact that I need to talk through every issue every time I call is just ridiculous. If you're going to call me about this stuff, at least read the damned notes on the claim before talking to me. Making me wait on hold while they THEN decide it's important enough to read the notes is terrible customer service.
      -Said by Patrick DeLine

      Good point and good idea, i will keep this in my reference in case this ever occurs to me.
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  • 2
    Also I would like to point out that the title of this post has been changed.

    The new title is simply:

    "HughesNet Customer Service"

    when the old one was:

    "HughesNet Customer Service = worst I've encountered - including AT&T and Comcast..."

    Now, I understand if they have an issue with the long original title, but whoever changed it either:
    1) Doesn't understand that editing a post to change the meaning is deceitful and is usually against the Terms of Service of the forum.
    or
    2) Does understand that and they just did it intentionally.

    Either way - that's obnoxious. Since it's clear that other customers feel like they're being muzzled, I figured that I'll point out every instance where HughesNet does that on this thread.

    P.S. HughesNet customer service - feel free to change the title to something descriptive. I dunno - maybe like:

    "HughesNet Customer Service - COMPLAINTS"
    or
    "Poor HughesNet Customer Service"
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    I have noticed the same thing, post or titles edited to be in a favorable light to HughesNet. I have had many post removed. Many for reasons I could not figure out. If the poster says something negative about HughesNet many times it is removed. These comments here I would imagine will be removed. Also I have never heard from anyone on the appeals process. Much less won any dispute about my post being removed.
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    • Sara, my concern is not that the title was edited - it's that it was edited intentionally to change the meaning of the title. That's not cool and there's no excuse for that. Changing the title because I put an equals sign in there would have been fine, but that's not what happened. Please don't insult my intelligence by telling me that it was only for archival. If so, why wasn't there a comment on the edit saying why it was edited. It's either very sloppy or very disingenuous editing. If you can explain why the title could not have been changed to "HughesNet Customer Service Complaints" for archival reasons, I'll back off. Otherwise, please don't patronize me. :)
    • :) Never meant to patronize... I'm sorry if it came off that way. We're just trying to get to the bottom of your concerns and address them.
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  • 1
    Update:

    A HughesNet rep (Stephanie) called me a few minutes ago and credited my account for the $80 installation fee. Honestly - I hope HughesNet goes after the install tech for the cash - I'm not sure I like the idea of him getting away with that crap.

    Stephanie is looking into the other issues and seems very capable (and she gave me a direct line). Too bad HughesNet employs the useful customer service reps for damage control instead of just providing good service.

    I'm still angry with HughesNet, but Stephanie is on my good list. :) Kudos Stephanie.
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