If you follow my Blog you know that we live in a rural area with no high speed internet options. You have heard me whine about it from time to time. Before I go on let me state emphatically that if you have any other internet options take them! Do not get Satellite!! Since nothing else is available to us, we finally held our noses and had a Wildblue / Exede 12 Satellite Dish installed. The installer was great and I have no complaints with him. The speed is great and the service is mostly reliable. The problem lies in the way they meter your usage.
They can't seem to get their meter to work properly, sometimes it just eats up all of your data, even when you have your computer shut down and are not using a wifi router. This happened to us during our first month and I had to call Customer Service. They did restore a few gigabytes to our account but that was not sufficient and we ended up being slowed down to where we were back to dial-up speeds.
Then the next month when our account was to reset with a new 10 GB, it renewed fine but somehow it didn't reset us back to normal speed, here we were stuck on dial-up speeds at Satellite prices. So, again I called Customer Service!! They got us back to normal speed and said they would credit us 5 GB. Well, of course that never happened.
This past month everything was just rosy. Our account reset on the 24th of April and after a few weeks I posted on their Facebook page and Tweeted about how happy I was with their service. Big mistake! We average using less than 200 MB per day, so on Saturday the 18th we had a little over 7 GB left to last us the rest of our cycle, which meant that we could relax a little and watch a few news stories and youtube videos for the remaining days before we reset to 10 GB on May 24th.
However, on the 18th I stayed up late to use their LNFZ (Late Night Free Zone). That is where you can use all the data you want for free from midnight to 5:00 a.m. I downloaded updates and watched a few things during this free time from 1:00 am to 4:00 am. The next morning we got an email from Exede warning us that we were getting dangerously close to using all our data for the cycle. I went to check our usage meter and it had counted the 4 GB that I had used during the Free Zone.
I explained what had happened on the Wildblue / Exede Discussion Forum and was not surprised to find that others had experienced the same problem. We were told by one of the Customer Service Reps. to send them our names and phone numbers and they would call us. It is now May 22nd and we have still not received a call or any other attempt to reimburse the data that was stolen from us.
I am sure that they think all will be forgiven when our account is reset and we begin a new cycle but my trust in this company is gone. They are not trustworthy and they have terrible customer service. Their representatives are never on the same page, they make promises that they don't keep and their meters are horribly unreliable.
Once you sign that contract you are stuck and they know it. I would not recommend this company and feel bad for the people who we have already referred. My only recourse and satisfaction is to warn others before they make the same mistake that we have made. If, in the future, they should win back my trust. I will revise this post.
** 9/4/2013 UPDATE: I must say that the past 3 months have been smooth sailing and I am loving EXEDE! It is super fast and has been totally trouble free. The only time we have lost connection has been during really bad storms. I can't comment on whether Customer Service has improved because I have not needed them.
With that said, they currently have been making more changes and as of today I can no longer access my Usage Page. While using the Late Night Free Zone last night, I lost my connection and my modem lights started flashing in strange sequences. They were probably updating the modem software. I don't like change because it is normally painful. If I experience any problems during these updates and changes I will post here.
*** 9/13/2013 Update: All is well! I found that they changed the link I was using to get into my account. Exede is working fine for us at this time.
10 Gigs per month however is very restricting if you want to do anything but surf, Facebook and do email. Don't even think about trying to use Exede for more than a couple of people. Not family friendly at all!
No music, no video, no gaming, no software downloads, no computer updates or online backups, unless you are a night owl and want to use the Late Night Free Zone from approx. 12:00 am to 5:00 am. Even then, the Exede usage meter gives you no indicator about when this free zone actually starts and ends. It is suppose to be according to your local time but it is unreliable.
Conclusion: If you are an elderly couple living on a farm in rural America that has been forsaken by your Country and companies that are only interested in highly populated areas, then Exede Satellite is figuratively and literally Heaven sent!