Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Hughesnet Saga Continues

..with so many phone calls yesterday evening that the battery on my telephone went dead.

Here's the story so far:
August 30--I called the repair number to report my satellite being out of service, probably due to an electrical storm that day. After an hour with people I could barely understand on the telephone, it was decided the modem was bad. I had to pay for a new one--$200. They would ship it and I would receive it in 3-5 days. (all reps in India)

September 10, no modem had arrived. I called again and was given a tracking number and told it was being shipped USPS not FedEx as I had been told originally. Another 20 minutes on the phone. (India again)

September 11, I called USPS to check on the tracking number. No such number exists. Maybe it's too soon and the number isn't in the system.

September 13, I call USPS to check on the tracking number. No such number is listed. I call Hughesnet again. I am sent to a customer service rep who tells me that is not a tracking number, it's a receipt number. The shipping department would have the tracking number but he can't forward me to them. There is, he says, no way to get the tracking number. I am dumbfounded. Another 15 minutes on the phone. (No idea where this guy was, but he was obviously American and obviously couldn't care less)

September 13, evening, the package has arrived. I do not try to install it because I am home very late. And I don't have my PC back yet anyway.

September 14, the PC arrives from HP (only a few days to get it back from them, and all my data still there--yay!) I attempt the installation of the modem. It's not an easy thing! After trying to decipher the pages of instructions, I call Support again (India).

I spend a good 20 minutes or more with the first rep, who sends me to Advanced Support (in Ft. Lauderdale). Another long interval on the telephone, and he determines that it's the satellite itself that is the problem. He gives me a telephone number to schedule an installer. Not to worry, I'm under warranty, he says.

September 17, I call to schedule the installer. (Germantown MD this time). She sets it up for the next day--amazing!

September 18, the installer arrives early. As he is attempting to adjust the satellite settings on my computer, the new modem starts to smoke and smell. He disconnects it, calls his support number to see what to do. Busy signal for the first 15 minutes. He finally gets through, explains that he is the installer, and that the Factory Rebuilt Unit is apparently defective, and can he use a unit he has on his truck. Nope, has to call another number. He calls, gets India, and after a 20 miute confusing conversation, ends up hanging up on the idiot on the other end (I even tried to talk to this guy, and got nowhere).

Installer calls another number, his own support number. I learn in the course of all this that Hugesnet contracts with a company called Ten something or something Ten for repair/install calls. I also learn that the original installer did a terrible job of installing my system, so bad that my installer was advised to take pictures of it. No ground box was installed at all. I also learn that there is yet another company involved--a supplier?--called Guardian. My installer has to call them. The installer, I learn is a self-employed subcontractor.

This last call--I'm not sure if it was Guardian or the "Ten" company--tells the installer he cannot install a new modem because it will cost them $450. I can't believe my ears. I'm paying for the service, I have an installer at my house, and he can't put the unit in because it will cost them money. No concern at all expressed for a customer who has waited almost 3 weeks, no concern that I have been supplied with a bad rebuilt modem. Nothing. They can't do anything for me. (We have been on the telephone since just after 4pm, it's now 6:20pm.)

So what's my next step, I ask? He gave me the number for corporate headquarters. That's all he can do. He was amazed that I had been mailed a modem, he said he can't get them and that there's a 3-week backlog. He said that Hughesnet doesn't send him the supplies he needs, and he can't help me.

I give the installer $20 because he's been at my house now for so long, almost 4 hours, trying to get some answer as to what he can do to fix my system. He leaves.

I call the corporate number. Of course, by then it's 6:30 and they're gone. I forward to Tech Support. Another tech tells me to plug the faulty modem back in. I can't believe my ears! Plug it in when it was smoking and burning? Is this call being recorded, I ask? Because I want it on record that you're asking me to do this. It could damage something else in my home! He insists, I have to plug it in. He sounds desperate. I plug it in, still not believing he asked me to do it.

Of course, he can't do anything with it, so once again I am forwarded to Advanced Technical Support. By this time I've been on the telephone a long time, and the installer had been on the phone a long time, and the battery goes dead. I find the corded phone, get it plugged in, and call back. Another round with the first techie before I can get to Advanced Support again.

The advanced tech is disbelieving--he can't believe the other guy told me to plug it in. Tells me he is forwarding my "case" to Corporate Headquarters and I should be hearing from them the next morning. I tell him I'll be at work, they won't be able to reach me. Not to worry he said, they'll leave a message. Great. That should really help--a little phone tag.

September 19--I get not one but two emails from Hughesnet, asking what I think about their Advanced Technical Support! Do you think they really want me to tell them?

And so the saga continues...


Mary said...

My sympathies -- it's enough to make a peaceful woman . . . .less peaceful.
Keep at them. I just remembered once reading about a web site where you can find direct numbers to corporate execs. It might be worth a look.

Granny Sue said...

I called them this afternoon, and I'm supposed to get a call back by 4pm. We'll see. I don't hold out a lot of hope for it, given the track record, but I'd like to believe that they will keep their word.

We can live without it, of course, and have before. It's this run-around that appalls me. And the fact that I'm paying for it, and the absolutely confusing web that results from a service call.

Meantime, I'm writing my next newsletter which is way late, so I'm not just twiddling my thumbs waiting on the internet to work. Life is very sweet, but there are these bad spots that can pucker you up!


Glad you are keeping a paper trail although hard to believe you are calm enough to write it all out.
Your story brought back my own frustration with Sears five years back when they would not give me the new water-heater we had paid for three time with the maintenance policy annual renewals - and I ended up on the phone with the CEO's secretary in Chicago - asking about customer's rights. After that they brought the new water heater. Your story says that today there aren't any customer rights. Sending hugs. Ellouise

enoch_r said...

Sorry to hear of your problems i am a hughesnet installer and sounds to me like you just got a hold of the wrong people only one of three things can be wrong i.e. radio, modem,or cable. you also got ripped cause a modem my company charges 80 dollars the ten company is called perfect 10 and for some reason they perfer to use guardian when guardian does sloppy work. I wish you would of called our company we would of set you up right

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