- Starlink customers told Insider that they are frustrated with the price increases announced in March.
- Two said they had trouble getting their $100 deposits back for uplink kits they hadn’t received.
- A common complaint about Starlink is their lack of customer service.
Alan Sbi was fed up with his satellite.
, and other basic internet services just wouldn’t work. So in February 2021, Sbi, who lives in the mountains of North Carolina, paid a $100 deposit for a SpaceX Starlink uplink kit.
Sbi told Insider that since then, he hadn’t heard from Elon Musk’s satellite internet company and hadn’t received his uplink kit. And to make matters worse, Starlink just raised its prices across the board, even for customers still waiting to receive their hardware.
In March, SpaceX told customers it was raising prices due to inflation, among other things. The price of a Starlink uplink kit increased from $500 to $550 for customers who had already paid a deposit and from $500 to $600 for new customers. Starlink monthly subscription cost increased from $99 to $110 for all users.
At the end of March 2022, Sbi requested a refund of his Starlink deposit due to price increases, but has had trouble getting his money back because he is unable to contact the company.
“I feel like Starlink ripped me off,” Sbi said. “These are not fair business practices. The company had my money for over a year, I need that money back, there should be no conditions on how I receive my money.”
Sbi isn’t the only customer frustrated with Starlink’s delays, price increases, and apparent lack of customer service.
Rich Kecher, in southern Virginia, said he had had trouble getting his Starlink deposit back after about a year. He told Insider about an “outrageous miscommunication” from Starlink, which had pushed back its projected start date for service in his area from November 2021 to the end of 2022.
“The price increase was the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Kecher said.
After ordering Starlink in April 2021, Denise Elise said she received two emails from Starlink, one confirming payment and the other about the price increase.
She told Insider: “I don’t want to cancel my order because I live in a rural area and I need some kind of internet. I really want to try this.” However, she said that she was not happy that Starlink had raised prices before receiving its uplink kit, adding that Musk was “making money on our money.”
Elise said that Starlink had not responded to any of her emails.
Tim Nash, in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, received his Starlink kit in February 2022. A month later, he was hit by rising prices for Starlink service.
Despite paying more than he initially expected, Nash said that Starlink was “well worth it”, but complained about customer service that was “almost non-existent”.
“If your internet is down, how can you get help?” Nash said. “strange model”.
Lluc Palerm, an analyst at Northern Sky Research, said Starlink customers affected by price increases on products they had not yet “obviously” received had “something to be angry about”. He said Starlink “wasn’t putting resources into customer service, so it’s only natural that it gets those kinds of complaints.”
Palerm said: “They are a startup, and their main focus is now on constellation and development, so it is not surprising that their clients have received very little support.”
He suggested that the Starlink terminals were worth much more even than their inflated cost, with the industry putting the value of each terminal at around $2,000.
Insider verified the four Starlink customers’ complaints about the company through proof-of-purchase emails and correspondence they sent to SpaceX.
SpaceX did not respond to Insider’s request for comment.