Wild Blue — Service unreliable, support worst ever seen
My experience with wild blue for the first year was fair. That changed for the worst two weeks ago. First, they had an outage that affected their DNS - the DNS Server was available but unresponsive. My troubleshooting this with a “network explorer” tool was seen as hostile and my service was suspended at the same time they corrected the issue. A phone call to explain the issue got me back up the next day. The very next day after, their "Lerado" site went down hard and their support staff had no access to their own PC’s. They could not even take my information or provide me with a ticket number. I am told that someone cut some fiber. Once they figured that out, most everyone came back on line but me. The Satellite modem would not provide an IP address to any of my 3 PC’s. After nearly 20 hours (no, I am not kidding) on the phone with 6 support staff (tested every imaginable thing - from your lan cord is bad to your coax cable is damaged to your network card is bad), a decision was made to send a new modem. I was told that under no circumstances could this process be expedited. I offered to pay the overnight charges as it would be cheaper than commuting and they told me this was not possible. 5 days later, there was no package at my house. I called support seeking the tracking number and after some silence, was escalated to a “Brad” who told me the order was placed in the system incorrectly and never "went up for approval". I had to just laugh at this point. Brad promised to enter it correctly and thought that maybe I’d have it in 4 more days. He told me I'd been through enough and promised me a personal follow up the next day. He also said that despite being 1 month out of warranty, he'd ensure it was covered and not at my expense. At 4PM EST the next day, after receiving no follow-up from Brad, I called yet again. I asked for a supervisor and if you can believe this was transferred to an external scheduling company instead (after holding for 15 minutes). I asked this person to transfer me to a supervisor and she was unable to do so. She did transfer me to service. I asked again for a supervisor and was told that the only supervisor in their department was a HR manager. I eventually agreed to let service transfer me back to tech support again. After restating my business now the 4th time on the same call, I requested again a supervisor. This time, I got to speak to one – Mike. Mike researched the status of the order placed by Brad and explained that the order was denied by the procurement department (despite supports recommendation to replace it). At this point I am just a bit short on patience. Fortunately, Mike had the right personality to keep me cool. Mike was sure he could figure out the issue with the modem (it had also been stuck in a loop downloading firmware after each restart according to a call a week earlier). After commuting back to my home, Mike called right on time. Within an hour and through what I could only call black magic, the service seemed to be working (I am a network engineer by the way). I expressed concern to Mike about the slowness and he said that this was likely due to the time of day. I gave it some time. The next day, I ran 4 speed tests at speedtest.net and found that I had been throttled to 20kbps upload and about 128kbps download and with super high latency exceeding 1 second. I called support again (Friday before long weekend) and was escalated eventually to "Maureen" at level 2 support. She reviewed my account and asked me who I was sharing my service with. I explained that I live in the middle of the woods and have not done so. I asked her for examples. She cited examples of suspicious behavior that occurred at 3AM during the period that I had no service. She also determined that my bandwidth usage was well within average range. She thought that the LNB may have a problem. I explained that I had already replaced one that had a recall and did so at my expense during warranty period. She kindly wrote a letter to a "super secret" organization within the company called “Abuse” or [protected]@wildblue.net She requested that they consider lifting the restrictions. I explained that I VERY MUCH needed the service up for Tuesday to telecommute to a VERY important business meeting. My expectations were set that they may not get to this until Tuesday morning. Well, Tuesday came and went with no response and the meeting was a disaster with no high speed internet. They let me down again. I called in once more around 9AM to express urgency. I called again later that evening to express frustration and try to escalate once more. I was in a call queue for 56 minutes before my call was initially picked up. I know the hold music by heart and it is maddening! This time, the woman who handled the call said she’d forward the request to restore full speed to another department that her manager recommended so as to ensure prompt handling. I asked to be CC’d this time. When the note was sent, it was sent seemingly to the same place (above). I replied to all Wednesday morning to express my situation and to plea with the abuse folks. There was no response to my message. I sent another message seeking a simple acknowledgment (after all, what should I expect for $79 per month and $1,600 spent so far in 13 months?). This message went with no response. At 9PM the following day (now Wednesday, two weeks since the issue started), called support and held for 30 minutes before reaching Stephanie. I explained the situation (again) and asked her to check status of my account. After another 20 minutes, she was able to transfer me to another “level 2” support engineer. It was Maureen again! This time, Maureen did not seem so empathetic. I asked her how we escalate to a manager that has oversight over abuse. She said none existed – there was no escalation path – just service (remember they had an escalation path at an earlier call to an HR person and that was it!). I explained to Maureen that I wanted to terminate my service at this point because it would be cheaper to buy the Hughes equipment and have it installed in 2 days than to continue to commute each day. She placed me on hold and came back moments later to advise that service had left 45 minutes earlier (now on this call more that 1 hour).
This company is clearly VERY dysfunctional. They have an ineffective escalation process and a system with no oversight. They clearly are not sensitive to or interested in their customers’ needs. They need to understand that the communities they service are typically rural areas. There areas are typically wide spaced but tight knit. People talk and share their experience.
So here we are two weeks later and still, no results. Clearly, if my experience is representative of the company, you cannot possibly consider this company as a provider of a business or municipal class service never mind telecommuter. My experience is based upon a ton of data points and is not based upon a single call or interaction.
Please do not make the mistakes that I did!!!