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Hughesnet / slow speeds and terrible service

1 San Jose, CA, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

Same complaints as the myriad of others who have posted about HughesNet.

- slow speeds (especially upload)
- frequent random errors while browsing
- phone technicians that don't know how to troubleshoot their product
- onsite technicians that are unprofessional and don't know how to troubleshoot their product
- horrendous, institutionalized customer service

I have been a DirectWay and then Hughesnet customer for about 4 years -- because I have no other choice. (Well, finally WildBlue, a competitor has emerged but, so far, online reports seem to be as poor for them as for Hughesnet.)

Browsing speed has always been far, far slower than advertised. I work in the computer industry so I understand how difficult internet over satellite is. And, I don't expect to get the advertised speeds. Those are best case scenarios. I get that.

I pay for the Pro Plus plan -- $79.99/month. Advertised is 1.5Mbps down/200kbps up. The small print says to expect 750Kbps down/100Kbps up. My routine speeds (as measured by their tool) have been ~500Kbps/15Kbps. It's worse in the middle of the day. After 2 months of trying to improve it by working with tech support and having multiple on-site technicians come out, I give up. After losing untold hours while on the phone and waiting entire days for technicians to arrive, its just not worth any more of my time. I'm going to "made due" with what I have and stop fighting with them.

My experience with Hughesnet has been overwhelmingly negative. But, there have been just a couple bright spots and I'd like to share them.

The onsite technician from South Bay Satellites was knowledgeable and professional. He did everything he could possibly do to fix the problem (including replacing the transmitter on the dish, replacing the modem, switching between multiple satellites and frequencies). It was particularly refreshing after experience with previous onsite technicians.

I spent hours banging my head against a wall for hours with both technical support and billing trying to get some resolution and compensation (refund) due to the poor service. Managers were able to do little or nothing and claimed there was no one higher than them to escalate to. Frustrated, I searched for fellow frustratees hoping that someone had found an escalation point -- and they had. I'm primarily posting this report to share it -- hoping it will help others as it helped me when I was a wit's end.

Call the Corporate Office, press 0 for the Operator and ask for Executive Customer Care.
Hughesnet Corporate [protected]

For the first time, I got someone on the phone who listened and sincerely cared that I'd had such a horrendous experience -- and was willing to put his money where his mouth was. He gave me several hundred dollars in credit (refunding a couple months service fees and the service call). While it can't make up for the time wasted and frustration, it acknowledged there was a real problem and it was some compensation for the hassle.

Avoid Hughesnet if you can.
If you can't, document everything like you are going to court. You'll need it to negotiate with customer service to get a refund. Do _not_ assume the copious notes they appear to be taking when you call will ever be seen again -- nor that there will be even any record of your call.

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  • Ja
      21st of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I have had the same problems with my service as everyone else and cannot believe the lack of good customer service. Not only did I get someone in India, but also the Phillipines. I was told they are not allowed to give out the corporate phone number - how silly since I was able to find it on the internet. Of course it would have been much quicker to find if I had true high speed internet.

    Like the others my dial-up was faster. Also I am now not able to get on Windows Live Messenger (was able to at the start of my service) and when I call tech support I spend 1-2 hours on the phone with no resolution of the problem. They always try to blame it on someone else or on the high load of traffic. They have you change settings, run tests and basically waste a lot of time, and it is very evident that they are reviewing some technical information about the system and trying different things without really knowing what they are doing.

    Actually it worked reasonably well the first six months I had it, but then I had a problem and a technician (very rude) came out to fix it and it was worse than ever. After he came out I am not able to access Messenger and again, customer service blames it on someone else.

    All I want is what I am paying for and someone that can resolve my problem the first time I call. Not too much to ask is it?

    I did finally talk to someone at the corporate office who informed me she will have someone with technical knowledge call me back. I wait but don't expect much in view of their past service.

    I too would not recommend this service to anyone and would find another provider - I know I am.

  • Dl
      25th of Jan, 2009
    0 Votes

    Hey all,

    I have had it all, DSL, wildblue, etc. I am currently with hughesnet and I have to say it blows wildblue away. there is no comparison. wildblue was so rigid and unreasonable it was terrible.

    Paying 92 a month and was not connected a week out of the month because of their FRAP. With hughes if I go over I am only penalized for 24 hours. Even during penalized time I am still faster than dial up. With wildblue i could barely connect at all during frap and it would last a couple weeks sometimes.

    Their service was terrible. On the plus hughes lets me download as much as i want for two or three hours every night. This is wonderful. Even when fraped i can download at night.

    There is no comparison between wildblue and hughes. hughes is much better. they also offer a much wider number of plans and speeds. you can get much, much faster than wildblue.

    trust me, do not go with wildblue. they suck butt.

    hughes is great.

  • Re
      7th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Thank you sooooo much for posting this! I had an almost identical experience and finally got so frustrated that canceled my service 14 months in to my contract. I had bought my equipment outright in the beginning and I thought that the early termination fee would be prorated, and I was planning to dispute it anyway so I wasn't too worried about it. Then I actually got on the phone with them and was told they'd be applying $300 fee to my account. It didn't matter that it was well documented that I'd not had the level of service that I should since I went through all their speed tests and rigmarole for months.

    When I got off the phone I immediately canceled my debit card hoping to head off the future charge. Too late...they had processed it immediately! After much yelling (and my husband arguing with them) and tears, since he's one of the many who are out of work right now and we didn't have that money to throw away, I did a google search for their corporate office phone number. Luckily, this was one of the first results.

    I called the number you provided and spoke with someone in Executive Customer Care and told him that I'd canceled my service due to well documented service issues and was trying to get the early termination fee refunded and he said he'd handle it for me. Didn't even comment on it when I asked if he could refund my husband's debit card since mine had been canceled. *blush* Thank you so much for posting this for other people to find and get results. You have really saved me from a lot of stress!

  • Ti
      18th of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    I really appreciate you posting this more so the phone number, I have been trying to contact these yahoos for three months.

    After so many calls I cannot begin to count them, I finally just gave up and started searching the internet to see if I could find a contact number for these people.

    Imagine someone taking your money at the tune of several hundred dollars, and never again can you contact them, the only people I could contact was in india for technical and Philippines for billing.

    When I sent an email complaining about how the installer only half finished his install job and that I could not get any service or help.

    I got an email from them saying I was welcome to cancel my service.

    Amazing, all I can tell you is a cup with a string connecting it would have beeen better in the end.

    If you have a choice dont go with hughes net.

  • Jm
      23rd of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    If I had the opportunity to change I would change to Comcast but I'm up in the foothills and its not here yet. I have had multiple issues with Hughes Net. You can't get onyone on the phone that doesn't sound like you're talking to someone from a foreign country and now because of a lay off I could pay all excpet for 0.71 cents of my bill and they want to shut me off. We have been on time paying every month but one and that one month we were just one day late. Now they would rather lose a customer than tack on 0.71 cents to the next bill? I too will be calling Corporate. And I am very pleased that I went the chat route to get a copy of the conversation.

  • Mr
      23rd of Apr, 2009
    0 Votes

    Why are you complaining about having huge nuts? Just be happy about it and get on with your life.

  • Ly
      28th of Jun, 2009
    0 Votes

    Horrible, Horrible company. They lie, deny, and take no responsibility for slow speeds
    . i have the crappy service for 6 months now, and i am on the phone with them at least 3 times a week. Either the internet is down, or the speeds are so slow that it takes over three minutes to load in a page. Then they do a speed test and tell me everything is fine. That's ridiculous, it takes three minutes to load in their page, yet it gives them a speed test of 5.2. i have a mac, so i don't have any firewalls, spyware, or viruses. They lie and lie just to get you off the phone. STAY AWAY FROM THE COMPANY LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

  • Ly
      8th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    I'm on the phone with technical support as I type this. Everything said by others has been my experience also. 2 days and I have finally reached level 4 and I expect that I will get the same runaround and lies. Absolutely the worst customer support experience of my life. I will be switching to a wireless card as soon as possible! I will call corporate next to complain.

  • Vt
      15th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    In rural Vermont I (as yet) really have no choice. My experience with HughesNet is exactly the same as those above. They say my slow speed is the result of their satellite being degraded and in order to get the speed (for which I am already paying) the dish needs to be relocated - AT MY EXPENSE !. UNBELIEVABLE ! I'll call that number and then we'll see. DSL can't come soon enough.

  • Jo
      20th of Oct, 2009
    0 Votes

    Exactly. I pay for the proplus plan and our evening speeds have been 25-100 not even close to the "typical" peak hour speeds of 800-1.0 they state in their marketing material. They told me to do 3 days of web response testing so I did and my average was 25. They said anything over 12 would get me escalated to advanced technical to move me to a new transponder. However, when I called my speeds were ok at the moment so they said sorry we can't do it because your speeds are good right now. Call back when you are slow. So tonight I call back because I am slow. Download speeds less than 100. Now they want three days of speed test. Which actually I had. So now they can't transfer me because I have had some ok tests and since some of my speeds are below the 12 they wont' do anything about it. My average download speed is about 500 - dialup speed. I can get dial up for $14 a month I don't need to pay $80 a month. I am calling tomorrow to cancel although I might try that number above first and see if anything happens. DSL is supposed to be here anytime. I can't wait.

  • La
      3rd of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    I TOTALLY agree. Hughes is best avoided. I have been with them for a while and I started to download some you tube videos. Well all of the sudden my service got where I could not search anything. It was sooooo slow and I finally called them. They told me they have what they call a Fair Act policy and that is the reason they slowed my pc down. In other words you are only allowed so many downloads and so much time on the internet and if they decide you are doing too much then they slow you down. I immediately cancelled them and I wished I had of done it sooner. I cancelled on October the 5th and no refund for my money yet. They are telling me it will be taking 4-6 weeks to get a refund. I told them it does not take you long to take it out of my card so why does it take so long to get it back on it. But naturally you are speaking to someone who does not understand English so cannot make out half of what they are telling you. So avoid this internet service there are much better ones out there.

  • Fr
      6th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    Just yesterday I had Hughesnet installed. I live in a rural area of New Mexico. On the phone prior to "installation" they promised it was extremely fast service and would be much better than Wild Blue, who I had before. The technician didn't seem to know very much and after having been there 10 hours, still didn't have the internet going. He was in the area today and we forced him to come back, though he said it was no longer his problem and was a tech. issue. He still couldn't get it done. And he was very confused. But the internet was working fine until he installed the new satellite, etc. He also said they didn't give him the right equipment and he had to rig the satellite so it would stay on the roof!! Well, two days and we are without internet and looking at not only a $500 cancellation fee, but having to incur the costs of reinstalling the old satellite. Also, they may end up charging a lot of money for their guy being there so long. And he didn't know what he was all. This is a disaster!!! STAY AWAY!!

  • Re
      29th of Nov, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have to say I agree the HUGESNET is a HUGE disappointment all the way around, I have had their service almost 2 years and have had nothing but problems with the speeds. I will be on the phone with Executice customer service again in the morning, because after calling once again about the speeds now I am being told that I have a problem with my system and the need to make a service call but want to charge me $125 I said no because this has been an ongoing thing sence I have had the system. The tech looked back in my records and agreed. Lets see what happens...STAY AWAY from Hughes is all I can say none of my experiance has been pleasent.

  • Un
      11th of Dec, 2009
    0 Votes

    I have been with Hughes Net formally known as Direcway for 5 years..and just in the last 3 months I have had the worst experience with Them. I tried Wildblue and it was worse. When I ask to get my system fixed I am told to buy the 9000 modem..junk. I finally called corporate after failing my semester at the univeristy i go to and the lady i spoke to was the nicest lady i met. I am going to be refunded for the 9000 modem. Now i was told by the "other" customer service reps that i had to buy my 7000s modem from ebay before i could get anything done. This lady laughed and said that is totally wrong but being that i had done just that and if it works she will make sure that i am not charged service calls and i will have a tech out immediatly to install everything i need. She is refunding me my money for the 9000 and for any fees that i incrued due to the terrible customer support i have had prior to talking to her. She was immediately apologetic for the run around i got. We shall see what happens in a week.

  • It
      12th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    HughesNet is a nightmare. I am dropping them at the end of this month. First, they LIE about the bandwidth they deliver ... I have gotten as low as 26K upload speeds and 30K download speeds ... WITHOUT their (un) fair access policy in place. Second, their (un)fair access policy is ridiculous. I try to download upgrades to my OS ... and they kick me back to less than 10K download speed. Yes, they punish you for 24 hours unless you pay. Third, their customer service, though friendly, is a disgusting. They will always blame the weather. They also LIE -- they had me under their (un)fair access policy for more than 24 hours ... I called and they told me they couldn't undo it. They were also not willing to escalate the incident to someone who could fix it. Then the "supervisor" suddenly made things right.

    AVOID THESE PEOPLE LIKE THE PLAGUE. I am switching to Verizon MiFi broadband ... light night and day (though heavy charges if you go over your limit).

  • Ga
      28th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    I have lived the HughesNet nightmare for nearly two years. Their tech support is not only bad, it's insulting.
    Hughes moved their tech support to a non-English speaking country to cut costs, and they're getting exactly what they're paying for. HughesNet is not cheap so why do they want to provide their customers with such cut-rate service?

  • Pi
      14th of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    I recently got HUGHES NET through the Government Recovery Act. When I set the service up they told me I had 200mb per day of downloads. Come to find out that means how many web pages I can visit not downloading things. When I tried to up grade the package surprise surprise you have to sign a 2 year contract... now why in the world would I want to do that for service that SUCKS!!! When it does work it’s so slow that I can't even go in a chat room and chat... now that’s sad!!! if I try to load more than 2 pages at a time it will crash and not work at all till I close it out and re open it... almost everyday I have to unplug the modem to get it to work again. And I have been waiting all day for the tech guy to get here to reposition the dish and no call and don’t even know if he is coming or not!!! I called corporate just now and they just had excuse after excuse as to why their service sucked... Guess what the number one excuse was... It’s your computer... That might be right except my husband has a brand new laptop and it works just like mine!!! Crappy!!! I WOULDNT RECOMEND THIS SERVICE PROVIDER TO ANYONE UNFORNTUALLY I ALREADY HAVE !!! The worst part is that every time I call I can only understand about half of what the reps are saying. I have no other service in my area that I know of but this service is a big waste of money!!! 46.00 a month for what to look at a chat room that i cant chat in???

  • Mf
      21st of Jan, 2011
    0 Votes

    I have not had service sine August of 2009 b/c a cable went bad and the people they sent to fix it wanted to charge 325$ for the service call and the cable. We wouldn't pay that, so we told them no thanks, given that their service sucked anyway. I then called to cancel the accout at which time I was told my husband had to give the ok to do so as he was the name lited on the account. He called back 2 weeks later to cancel and after holding for 30 min. he was disconnected when they transferred him to the "recovery dept.". I called today, as we are still being charged for service we don't have anymore. I first spoke to a lady in India, who after 35 minutes, and multiple times on hold and NUMEROUS requests to speak with a manager, I hung up and called the executive care number on this website. The man I spoke to was an ABSOLUTE jerk and requested again to speak with my husband to give permission to cancel, even though he had just done so with the other lady and he had that in the notes. My husband got on the phone gave him permision to cancel and then gave him permission to speak with me reagrding the account b/c we were requesting a refund back from September. He put my husband on hold and then when he got back on the phone (after a heated conversation w/ my frustrated husband) and realized it was me again, he AGAIN asked for my husband to give HIM the refund amount. I told him no! That my husband had given verbal permission to speak with me and if he wanted to get into privacy laws, etc., we could do that. He FINALLY gave me the refund after an HOUR of my time wasted just to cancel my account and get a refund. I am so frustrated that I could SCREAM!!! NEVER AGAIN HUGHES NET!!!

  • Se
      22nd of Sep, 2012
    0 Votes

    I can't wait until my contract with HughesNet is over! I only subscribed because I'm taking some internet courses and I live in the country where cable DSL is not available. Dial-up was making it very difficult to upload my class assignments but most of the time HughesNet is as slow as dial-up! I now pay $80 a month versus $11.95 that I was paying for dial-up. I've been able to watch some videos on occasion, but when it comes to uploading my lessons to the college website, IT'S HORRENDOUS! I have just now tried to upload a 16mg assignment for over an hour! I finally gave up. On top of that, HughesNet keeps charging payments on my credit cards without my permission. If I use a credit card to make a payment one month, they will save the credit card in their database (without my permission) and continue to charge the same card every month. Isn't this against the law?

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