I've been a reasonably happy customer of HughesNet's (formerly Direcway) satelite internet service for nearly four years.
Since April 2007, my satisfaction level has gone from 90% to ZERO. They have always had a Fair Access Policy (FAP) to limit broadband access. However, prior to April, I only exceeded the FAP on two or three occasions. Something changed in April (still unable to get a clear explanation) and all of the sudden, Im exceeding the FAP two to three times a WEEK.
My internet habits havent changed. HughesNets computation and handling of their FAP has changed. I cant get a straight answer as to what changed or why and the customer service responses are totally unacceptable. Right now, Im being punished with a FAP slap down for 24 hours because I dared to visit a couple of photography websites for about four hours last night.
I tried calling HughesNet for assistance earlier today. I even tried to upgrade my service (service sucks so buy more service and pay extra!). After over TWO HOURS on the phone, I got no resolution, no upgrade, and conflicting answers.
Below is a summary of my calls:
Called 866-347-3292, navigated through their cumbersome voice mail screening. Finally got a person after selecting the upgrade my service option. I was informed that an upgrade from home to pro with my current modem would add $30 to my bill. However, they could overnight me an upgraded modem at no charge and then the upgraded service would only be $10 extra per month. HOWEVER, nothing could be done to lift the FAP ban I am currently under. Well, that was unacceptable, so I asked for a supervisor.
Supervisor came on line after several minutes on hold. He repeated all the same nonsense and blamed me for increased usage that was unfair to their other users. I offered to solve their concerns over my excess usage by cancelling my account. Well, Im over a barrel because I need high speed service. So, I request that he process the deal for the free modem upgrade and upgrade me to pro for the extra $10. Ill just have to suffer until the new modem arrives. He says OK and transfers me to billing.
Billing representative came on line after several minutes on hold. Went through all the same crap with her. She is very sympathetic and explained that their complaints have SKYROCKETED since April when some sort of unintended program change DRAMATICALLY altered the way the FAP was calculated and enforced. The explanation was over my head. According to her, their tech department is trying to fix the glitch. It was clear from talking to her that the entire problem is THEIR FAULT, yet the only solution was for me to pay more. WOW! They screw up and cant fix it so they expect their customers to cut their usage or pay more. Oh well, Im at their mercy, so sign me up for the upgrade. Then she explains that she cant honor the upgrade offer quoted to me by the first guy. She says shell have to transfer me BACK to that department for them to process the upgrade.
More time on hold. Finally, another service rep picks up. I give him my two case numbers and go through everything AGAIN. Hes a little briefer. Just says he cant help and sends me BACK to billing.
Hold some more. Billing agent picks up. I go through everything once more. She cant comprehend or process the upgrade and says she has to transfer me somewhere else. At this point, Ive been on the phone over two hours and insist that she STAY on the line and give my info and requests to the next agent. Im tired of repeating myself. She agrees and places me on hold.
I hold another thirty minutes, then the line is disconnected.
WHAT THE HECK CAN I DO? Even when I surrender to their extortion, I still cant get them to upgrade my service.
My advice: DONT USE HUGHES
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