I've read up on all the complaints posted by consumers on hughesnet, direcway and so forth and I just want to put my two cents in.
First off, I live in the armpit of Arkansas, down in a valley, next to a lake. DSL comes within five miles of our house but they won't extend it into our subdivision. Having been made to feel like a hobbit living under the grassy knoll, I tried dial-up. Unfortunately, the phone lines in my area were supplied within six months of the invention of the telephone, hence they are only slightly less useful than Morse code when it comes to telecommunication.
I lost my $65K job in January of 2005, one month after buying the house, so as you can imagine we were pretty much in deep doo-doo. I had to find work fast and I had worked as a medical transcriptionist at home in the past so I looked into that. Everything was gravy except no dial-up. You had to have broadband.
So my fun began at direct way. The installation cost $650, which I had to borrow from my mother, plus another $150 for something, I can't remember now, and it ended up being a sum total of over $700 charged to her credit card (which of course I paid back). The service was $59.99 a month but I was promised better than dial-up speeds.
Okay, first things first, they had to move the dish within six months because the ### who installed it didn't realize it will not broadcast through a mass of pine trees. They did not caulk the holes in the roof of my house so now the roof leaks, something of which we were not aware until after a heavy rain in 2006 and the ceiling caved in. They won't take responsibility for it, so we're just out of luck there.
So now they've made more holes in the roof of a two-story house, angled the dish appropriately so that there are no trees in the immediate range, and we're good to go, right?
Wrong. If a flock of birds flies between the dish and the selected satellite we're out of service for at least ten minutes. One cloud, one lousy cloud and we might as well hang it up. God forbid that it should rain, snow, mist, hail, sleet or the humidity increases.
Alrighty, so I lived with that crap, not being able to connect to my $59.99 per month internet at least 35% of the time, for a year. I was frustrated but at least I was working.
Then the 7000 upgrade came out and I could get the equipment for nothing. Woo hoo. I could live with that. So I called, asked for the upgrade, got it, installed it (using the power cord from the 6000) and voila - my service turned to crap within two weeks.
I unfortunately sold the 6000 on ebay so I don't have it anymore or I'd hook that back up.
All this time I really thought the equipment was bad, or I was an idiot, but come to find out it hasn't been the equipment or me all this time. It's been the FAP!!! Fair Access Policy, which limits daily downloads to 200 mb. Just saying that out loud gives me a wave of nausea. 200 mb a day for $59.99 a month.
We are also wedding photographers. I require a bit of bandwidth to upload web albums and the like, they aren't huge mind you, really very reasonable flash files, but I do require that from time to time.
I went for two days without internet in the last week just to "cycle" the system and allow me to have faster speeds for the weekend. Technical support told me a week ago that between the hours of 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. EST that I could download anything I wanted. He said "that'd be 4 a.m. to 7 a.m. your time. I didn't pay any attention but before I could blink again had my windows automatic updates set to 5 a.m. so I could avoid using my pittance of 200 mb a day.
So I'm thinking yay me, hughesnet is actually trying to help.
I live in CST. He was mistaken. He should have said 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. for me. I used up all my 200 mb allowance and was shut down again for OVER 24 hours this time. The next day, oddly enough, same thing.
I've already reported them to the BBB of Arkansas, the Attorney General's office of Arkansas and am thinking of finding some other regulatory agency to gripe at. I understand their frustration but they need to sell monthly GB packages. If you overuse, you pay packages. Something like that.
Everyone on hughesnet, give me a holler. I think we need to get up a gang and lynch them!
p.s. I'm using NetZero to post this as my hughesnet is down AGAIN.