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What Satellite Do you Use?

I am going off topic today thanks to my satellite company deciding to cut me off
for a 24 hour period yesterday. Since this was my first experience with paying
hard earned money to be unjustly punished, pardon me while I rave on!

Yesterday morning, I poured my first cup of coffee, posted my article and went
back to correct something when I received the deadly web acceleration error.
Since I had not rebooted my laptop or reset the modem in a while, I cold booted
both of them. Everything lit up like a charm. I tried accessing the internet
and again received the web acceleration error. So, Stupid me, decided to call
customer support to find out the nature of the problem.

The phone rang and was answered on the other end of the world, I knew I was in
trouble. Of course, the customer support call center is located in a new millennium
sweat shop. Where the big corporations have “relocated” the jobs of the truly
professional customer service and support teams to the most impoverished areas
of the planet. Why not? The monthly pay scale there equates to a half day’s
pay here (maybe). And those folks are happy to get it. I would be. How altruistic
of the big corporations. These folks are given three weeks of training where they
learn every spoken language on the face of the Earth, given a SOP (Standard
Operating Procedures), a phone, table, PC, and a chair with a wheel and pedals
attached to generate the electricity for the PC. EVERYTHING by the book. There
are no gray areas and should you ask a question, and it is not on their list, you
are SOL. Should you want to go up the ladder to management, the same process.
You cannot get to Level II or III support unless you go through their process.
Once you go through the process, you find yourself caught in a loop, “deja vu all
over again”! I truly believe they have a directive that NO calls get through
unless it is an actual dish issue! Especially cases like mine.

Oh, I forgot to tell you the good part! They hit me with a Fair Access Policy
Threshold exceeded or FAP! This is an arbitrary tag that I and many others were
never advised of when we signed up for this service! When you get this tag, you
are shut down for 24 hours to the speed of 28 kbps or less, worse than dial-up!
What can sneak through on this speed? Email, and it struggles to get through,
wheezing and breathless on arrival!

Some activities are more likely to exceed the download threshold and trigger the
application of the Fair Access Policy. Several examples are listed below:

1. Full-length movie downloads
2. Peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing programs such as Napster, Kazaa or
LimeWire
3. Continuous downloading or viewing streaming media content such as audio
or video programming
4. Hosting of server devices such as email, FTP or Web servers
5. Hosting computer applications such as Web camera feeds
6. Automated computer to computer connections used for archiving of local
computer content
7. Extensive downloading of Usenet Newsgroups (NNTP)
8. Use of Bit Torrent applications
9. Simultaneous file downloads
10. Downloading large files (i.e., file sizes that are close in size to the
download threshold of our service plan) Excessive downloading or use of
the services described above may cause subscribers to be affected by the
Fair Access Policy, or in severe cases, to be terminated from the service.

What did I do to deserve this tag? As God as my witness, absolutely none of the
above! Who in the hell knows! Could I talk to anybody who, one: could explain
this to me, and two: I could defend myself from such actions? NO. I was denied
access to management, higher level support, and totally blocked from seeking
further assistance. I was made to feel that I had been accused, tried, convicted
and sentenced!

I could see getting the tag if I was downloading videos, music or many pdf files.
But I am not doing that! I read blogs, visit sites, and read more blogs! Does
accessing a blog constitute a download? I don’t think so! They willy nilly,
arbitrarily hit users with this tag to either free up the traffic they have or
relieve the load by trying not to put up another satellite, or buy more space or
existing satellites due to the expense. But my goodness, gracious, they get
$70.00/month for the service they are suppose to provide me which is the highest
they offer and now I hear I get to have this type of fun (24 hour penalty) at
least once a month or more!

Being totally frustrated (grrrrrr.. factor times 100), I decided to check out my
options and do some due diligence. Being in a rural area, my choices are slim.
The other satellite company is invoking the same FAP tags, the DSL lines are not
ready to come down my road for another year or two or ten, and it just leaves me
where I am today. The dialup option is just not feasible for me. UGH! Road
Runner, how I cry for thee!

So it is time to name the Company………… hughesnet
They do not get the proper etiquette of spelling or capitalization cause at
this point, as far as I am concerned, they are rip-off artists to the rural
communities across the United States.

Now for the clincher! I was advised to HANDWRITE a letter to the CEO of
hughesnet and snail mail it to him. Of course, they could not provide his
name, address or phone number. So, I will be sending him a letter and
spending 47 cents on a stamp to get it to him!

It’s companies like this who have transformed the meaning of customer
satisfaction into an oxymoron!

If anyone out there has a better idea for access to the internet in very
rural areas, besides the options I have laid out above, PLEASE, PLEASE feel
free to let me know!

This post has been revised 7 times to give you a hint of my exasperation.

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No Responses to “What Satellite Do you Use?”

  1. Starbrite Says:

    What a nightmare – I so sympathize with you. We used to live in the sticks with no roads to speak of and had almost the same problem with out satellite dish, which was also our internet access, it was always on the blink and so many rules, small print etc. Luckily (sadly) we had to move to the city due to work, so the problem was solved – but I do miss living out in the sticks.

    Apart from moving to a location where dsl is available – you’re probably stuck with it until they lay dsl cables in your area. Not much help but I feel what you’re going through.

    Starbrites last blog post..Advertising Irony

  2. Linda Says:

    Hi Starbrite … I do love livin in the boonies! Thank you for your sympathies. They just drive me nuts!

  3. Leanne Lonergan Says:

    NNNooooo. Not good. Not right. I hope you find a solution Linda.

    Leanne Lonergans last blog post..Feeling S.A.D!

  4. Tim Appleton Says:

    We also use hughesnet. We have been shut out twice. It is an inconvenience that’s for sure. We have to deal with it as well. We also haven’t used anything like you describe using up our “fair share.”It hasn’t happened in a long while.

    Tim Appletons last blog post..Don’t bother clicking here

  5. Steph Says:

    You poor soul! I totally feel for you as I have been through it many, many, many, many times. Unfortunately, it does not get any better when you get out of the rural areas. Out there you just have more inept, aggravating choices, but it all boils down to the same thing. At&T, MCI, Comcast Cable, Qwest, Delta Airlines, you name it, they are all outsourcing overseas to India, Micronesia, Heaven only knows where! And we, as consumers, are left frustrated, dissatisfied and helpless. Yeah, I have totally been through it! Hopefully it gets better for you soon. Love reading your blog, please don’t let them get you down. Tons of love!

  6. Linda Says:

    Hey Leanne… We will see! did you get what you wanted? I hope so.. 🙂

    Hi Tim … I sure am glad you have not been through it for a while. I truly believe that they are taking a chunk of us at a time and creating a brown out by the FAP tag.

    Hi Steph … yep, I agree with you! They will not get me down, they will need to understand that we as consumers will not sit still and take it anymore. I believe that if you tell the truth, like server went down, be back in a couple of hours is a lot easier to understand than this FAP stuff.

    Who knows, maybe the CEO of hughesnet will read this and put some edicts out. HA!

    All the love back at ya, kiddo!

  7. Mountain Woman Says:

    I use Wild Blue satellite and have for a year now. I’ve been very happy with them. Although they have the same Fair Access policies (all satellite companies will), they have never invoked them with me. Their reps are helpful and they have just given me great service.
    I have a chart I can view each day to see my usage and I’ve never come close. I visit tons of blogs, send tons of emails and do normal stuff. Heck, I even download PDF files and do some television watching.
    Hope you solve your problem. I couldn’t live without internet access.

    Mountain Womans last blog post..Brilliant Weblog Award

  8. green blog Says:

    Sometimes big corporations always have their say especially when they are in the monopoly field. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what you did. You have every right to stand up and deserve to get your money’s worth for what you’ve paid for.

    green blogs last blog post..Go Green With Rechargeable Batteries

  9. Linda Says:

    Hi Mountain Woman … I may make that my next move! We’ll see how things go for the next week before I make that decision.

    I cannot live without it either. It is my connection to the world ! 🙂

    Hi Green Blog … Thanks for your support!

  10. Diane Scott Says:

    Having a heads up on this from you, I looked forward to your rant – not at your expense but from a sympathy side! So are you switching to the wild one? (I’ll never look at that huges commercial the same way again! Thank god I live where I can get it all, and of course my choice is cable). Fingers crossed for you!!

  11. Mike@EasyGreensy Says:

    Hey Linda, Sorry to hear about your woes. I use WildBlue, and the same type of FAP is the reason I fell so far behind on my blog.

    I’m trying to convince the phone provider in our area to sacrifice the two (not connected) phone lines to my house so I can use them for a T1, but I don’t think they are going to give them up.

    To me this is the only drawback to living in a rural area, but it’s pretty important when your work revolves around the internet.

    Mike@EasyGreensys last blog post..Offsets Issued

  12. Linda Says:

    Hi Diane … Trying to decide, not sure at this point due to some circumstances yet to come.

    Hi Mike … So Wild blue is doing the same to you!
    The T1 idea is great but they are stingy with their lines here as well. The only other option I have come up with is the air cards (att, sprint) but not sure how much higher in cost it would be. Something to think about.

  13. Mike@EasyGreensy Says:

    Unfortunately there isn’t much as far as cell coverage goes for me here. There is only one provider in the area, and their service only works in one room of the house.

    All of my neighbors are shocked that I even get that.

    I did get word today that I can get a T1, but I need to figure out how to pay 500+ a month to go with that option. I’d love to share it with neighbors, but only 2 a within wifi range. That doesn’t bring the cost down enough. Grrrr rural living!

    Mike@EasyGreensys last blog post..Offsets Issued

  14. Linda Says:

    Hi Mike … Have you thought about a booster for the house? They have some really good sales going on for them and they really do boost your cell signal.

    I am sorry that you don’t live close by as I would buy bandwidth off of you in a nanosecond!

    Grrrrrrrrrr……… 🙂

  15. Mike@EasyGreensy Says:

    I’ve thought about a booster, but the need hasn’t gotten there yet. For now I’ll stick with the WildBlue. I’ve started driving up to the Fire Dept. (of which I’m a member) and using the DSL we have there. The problem is I never seem to get all of my work done before I’m too tired to continue.

    Mike@EasyGreensys last blog post..Offsets Issued

  16. Linda Says:

    Hi Mike … I am jealous that you have dsl close by but any ol port in the storm! I guess I will just pester my phone company weekly until I can get dsl out here! Maybe the squeaky wheel will get the oil!
    🙂

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