April 15, 2024

‘If there’s a problem, you’re on your own!’ Rural homeowners who turned to Elon Musk’s Starlink for internet are criticizing app-based customer service as “non-existent” after experiencing connection issues.



Rural homeowners who switched to Elon Musk’s Starlink in a desperate bid for faster internet in the British countryside have criticized the company’s customer service.

UK villages have long been plagued by connectivity issues, and delays in the arrival of ultra-fast broadband to rural areas have caused some to turn to Musk’s expensive satellite internet system.

However, broadband experts have told MailOnline how fast Starlink speeds could slow as more people sign up to the satellite system that helps connect the most isolated parts of the UK using broadcast broadband. From space.

While some villagers have hailed Starlink as “life-changing”, other users paying £449 plus £75 a month have been angered by the lack of help available when they suffer connection problems.

Starlink prides itself on offering an experience that requires minimal support and most elements, including setting up a satellite dish, are managed through their app.

The hands-off approach may be favored when things are going well, but it infuriates users who have flocked to social media and Trustpilot to share complaints.

Rural homeowners who switched to Elon Musk’s Starlink (pictured) in a desperate bid for faster internet in the British countryside have criticized the company’s customer service.
Rural homeowners are turning to Elon Musk’s expensive Starlink broadband amid a never-ending wait for ultra-fast broadband in the British countryside. Pictured: an owner who has set up Starlink
A Starlink installed on a rural property
Starlink (pictured) prides itself on offering an experience that requires minimal support, with most elements, including setting up a satellite dish, managed through an app.

One posted: ‘Just pray you don’t need customer service as it doesn’t exist… The only way to make contact is through the app and they don’t respond despite daily messages. Absolute shit show.’

READ MORE: Broadband non-places: Furious villagers slam telco after waiting THREE YEARS for superfast internet, as map reveals UK streets with the fastest and slowest speeds. Is YOUR road on the list?

Another said: ‘Horrible! We have been without internet and without communication with them for more than a month! We are self-employed so we have lost money on days off without internet, we have a baby and can’t use the baby monitor. Stay away!’

A third said: ‘I like the simplicity of the installation and the clear instructions. Also like the broadband speed we now have in our very rural location in the North Pennines. I don’t like the lack of communication lines with Starlink.’

They added: ‘What unhelpful customer service!’

And another posted: ‘Completely useless! It worked for a week. No response to support tickets except closing them when they were not completed.’

Alex Tofts, broadband expert at Broadband Genie, told MailOnline that Starlink could also become slower in the future as more people sign up.

“I think people are happy with the product,” he said. “But as more people sign up for the service, speeds will slow as the wavelength it uses to transfer data will become a little more congested.” “Speeds could be reduced depending on actions from the beginning.”

He also said that Starlink is good for the average user, “but if you have higher digital demands, like uploading large files or playing games, the latency – because you’re transferring data very far away – to the satellites, the latency or delay can be pretty bad.” .’

Tofts believes Starlink is in a “market of its own” and that “the default will always be a fixed line connection.”

Despite the eccentric billionaire often dividing opinion, villagers praise his satellite internet system (pictured) as “life-changing” as Brits face delays of up to three years from other telecoms companies.
A coverage map shows Starlink is available everywhere in the UK for £449 or £75 a month.
Poor broadband speeds are something many Brits have to contend with, and the 2023 figures revealed the specific streets with the worst connections.
Many users have taken to Trustpilot to share their experiences of poor customer service.

He explained: ‘FFree broadband is capable of offering everything we need now, and also for our future digital demands, where I believe that satellite broadband, those 100 Mb which is what the average user will receive, is fast, but in a few years may seem a bit slow.

Thousands of Starlink members have also joined a Facebook called Starling UK, which has many mixed reviews.

While some couldn’t recommend it enough, there are several that complain of serious interruptions and lack of support.

Diane Hesketh-Jones wrote: ‘Ours broke down within the first few weeks, we installed it earlier this year. The biggest problem is that when you have a problem you can’t contact anyone other than filing a fine, which took ten days before getting a response.’

Annabel Bouttle posted: ‘Reporting a problem via the app – is anyone having success? What kind of response time is there for reporting? The router made a ‘pop’ noise and as there was no signal it’s a bit of a nightmare when you rely on it, as we all do in the sticks.’

And Jan-Petter Havna Overgard said: ‘Today it all started because my Internet was very slow. I contacted support and got an automatic response and tried all the advice, including some additional things I read online.’

Starlink, which was activated in Ukraine following the Russian invasion, is now available in 32 countries, with coverage in the US, Europe and Australia.

Others have also shared problems on the Starlink UK Facebook page.

A coverage map shows that Starlink is available everywhere in the UK.

Last May, Starlink slashed prices on high-tech broadband in a bumper sale, allowing “rural” homeowners to buy the kit for just £99.

Tofts said: “It’s a very good step they’re taking, they’re lowering the barrier to entry for customers who really need it.” Starlink also offers refurbished kits for £199.

Tofts believes Starlink “has its own place in the market,” adding: “You have this broadband connection that is basically available anywhere in the world.” It is available everywhere in the UK.

‘And once you have your equipment, you can take it wherever you want. So if you have a holiday home or caravan and are traveling to places in the UK, you can take your broadband connection with you.”

Despite growing anger over the lack of customer service, many users have praised the satellite Internet service.

Andy Holder told MailOnline: “I live in the Forest of Dean and our internet was atrocious, but Starlink has changed our lives.”

Gavin Ashenden said: “After being endlessly promised better access without any action, Elon Musk has transformed my connection.”

And Steve, who did not give his surname, said: I am a former IT director now living on the Isle of Wight on a farm with adjacent holiday lets. “Starlink is a game-changer for us.”

In contrast, other members of the Facebook group have said that they have not experienced network problems.
The Starlink connection has been widely praised on social media, especially by those living in the countryside.

Slow broadband speeds are something many Brits are struggling with, with some UK streets suffering from frustrating average speeds of just 0.6MB.

It comes after a plan to connect the rural village of Stocksfield to superfast broadband came under fire after properties were not connected for three years.

The planned “go-live” dates have passed and many homeowners have abandoned the unfulfilled promises of high-speed “full fiber” and invested in a satellite system or signed a new contract with their current telecom provider.

It’s been three years since Factco was awarded the contract to connect homes in Stocksfield under the government’s Project Gigabit scheme and no one still knows when full fiber will actually be available.

The Government is providing billions of pounds to ensure homes and businesses in every corner of the country can receive gigabit speed broadband. The original goal was to deploy ultrafast broadband to every home in the country by 2025.

But many Brits still encounter the “spinning wheel of death” when trying to download a movie or listen to a song.

Recent analysis from Broadband Genie revealed the streets with the fastest and slowest broadband in the UK by 2023.

It found that people living on Morriston Close in Watford have the slowest connection, with average speeds of just 0.6MB.

By contrast, people living on Meadway in Northampton enjoy the fastest connection, with speeds of 896.3Mb – 1,494 times faster than Morriston Close.

Space X, the company that operates Starlink, has been contacted for comment.

The company previously apologized for Starlink’s slow response time to customer inquiries in April 2022.

In a message to a customer that was shared online, Space X said: “As we have rapidly expanded our customer base, we have fallen behind our normal response time.”

“We apologize – this is not the level of support we intend to provide and we are making a number of changes to improve, including increasing the capacity of our incredible support team.”

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