Some Starlink customers have canceled their preorders, after paying a $100 deposit up to 9 months ago and receiving no contact from SpaceX
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. REUTERS / Mike Blake
Some Starlink customers have canceled their $ 100 deposits after waiting for the service for months.
They said they couldn't contact SpaceX customer service to see when they would receive the kits.
SpaceX said the kits would arrive in mid or late 2021, but some customers got tired of the wait.
John Duran paid a $ 100 deposit in February to secure Starlink and replace its "terrible service that is as good or worse than having nothing," he told Insider.
After months of no communications or updates from Starlink, Duran, who is based in Montana, canceled his Starlink pre-order in September. He said he would rather not have done it.
"I'm not mad, just disappointed," said Duran, who currently uses the mobile hotspot from his cell phone through the Internet provider Verizon. "To be honest, I didn't mean to cancel."
He's not the only Starlink customer so tired of waiting for satellite internet service that their deposit has been canceled.
SpaceX told its customers in a confirmation email that the beta version of the service should be up and running in their region by mid to late 2021. Musk said the service is slated to exit beta testing in October and will continue to expand the network and allow more people to use Starlink.
Since paying the refundable deposit, customers have told Insiders they haven't heard from SpaceX and don't know when to get their hands on the Starlink kit.
In September, Starlink customers told Insiders how frustrated they were with unable to find a way to call Starlink Customer Service for updates or to contact them by email.
The customers in this article who canceled their deposits will receive a full refund from Starlink. They sent insider email confirmations of their Starlink purchase and cancellation.
SpaceX did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.
Hans Koenigsmann, former SpaceX vice president and fourth tech for the company, told Insider in an interview on Wednesday: "There are many more user terminals than satellites, so basically production needs to be ramped up here."
Ilker Temir, who lives on a sailboat near Seattle, also ordered Starlink in February.
Temir uses Comcast cables for internet connection in the marina but wanted to replace this with Starlink. He canceled because he couldn't reach Starlink for updates and questions about his unique life situation.
SpaceX filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission in March to connect Starlink to moving vehicles, including ships, planes, and trucks. Elon Musk tweeted in April that Starlink should be mobile later this year.
Temir said he just got "a meaningless statement on their app saying the service will be available near me by the end of 2021".
SpaceX previously said that global chip shortages are delaying production of the Starlink user terminals - the dishes that connect to the 1,639 satellites in orbit.
"It's a global chip scramble," James Yenbamroong, CEO and founder of mu Space, a satellite Internet service provider, told Insider. "We see the shortage of chips for Starlink because the chips in their user terminals use the same production line as the electronics and automotive chips."
Ben Mills, who lives in Idaho, told Insider he paid $ 100 to secure a Starlink deposit in April, but like Temir and Duran, he didn't hear from the company.
"I felt like I gave my money to a scammer and that it was a fake Starlink website," he said.
Mills has since signed up with Hughes Net despite trying to avoid them.
Many other Starlink customers reached out to Insider to say they are still waiting for service after paying a deposit earlier this year. Some said they plan to cancel their Starlink pre-order if they don't hear from SpaceX soon.
The Starlink website still states that the service is available to a "limited number of users" in certain areas where it is live and that "first come, first served" orders are placed .
Are you a Starlink user who has canceled their deposit or subscription? Contact this reporter at email@example.com or DM on Twitter.
Read the original article on Business Insider
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