I've been using HughesNet for about a year. I've had to call technical support on many occasions because I just couldn't access the Internet ... pages never completely loaded, extremely slow page loads. I performed many of their speed tests and they were always much slower than normal, by their own admission. For the most part, I lived with inadequate speed and bandwidth during most of the year, with only occasional brief periods where HughesNet would function adequately.
Then in August, 2009 the service got considerably worse. It was just barely functioning. I called technical support again and was "elevated" after about 4 calls to their "advanced technical support, level 4". During this time I noticed that I could no longer download or upload files. The file would begin and inevitably stop before completion. HughesNet had no explanation for this.
In spite of having an open level 4 advanced technical support case, service did not improve. I was told that they were upgrading their system and as soon as they got around to upgrading my account, they thought it would improve. It did not improve.
During this entire time, from August to October, I am still being charged for 200MB bandwidth daily, but not being able to use that, so basically, I'm being charged for something that they are not delivering.
Finally, I signed up for Earthlink dial-up service. I could not believe it. I was actually getting much faster Internet access on dial-up than on HughesNet and I could now upload and download files.
I called HughesNet to cancel the service. It was a real fiasco. The first time after being switched to two persons and having to repeat the same information over again, I was disconnected.
I called back and the same process started all over. I had to give all the information to person #1, who then switched me to person #2 who asked me to repeat all the same information. They kept asking me why I wanted to cancel. I kept repeating that I had given them 2 months to provide adequate service and they had not accomplished that, so I switched providers. They kept asking what the problem was, trying to corral me once again into their technical support loop that never fixes anything. I repeated that I wanted to cancel the service.
Then I'm informed that they will be charging me $300 cancellation fee, after not providing the service that I had been paying for for the last 2 months. My initial year contract was up, but they are still charging me a $300 cancellation fee.
In addition to poor customer service, extremely slow Internet access, throttling of downloads and uploads, I now have to pay to get rid of these people.