If you are a customer of Exede or Wildblue satellite internet, both owned by ViaSat, and have noticed your monthly data allocation mysteriously disappearing in unexplained data spikes or, over time, with consistent misreporting of your data usage, you are not alone.
Many people have experienced the Exede modem looping issue, where the modem gets stuck apparently downloading software updates from ViaSat, sometimes using many gigabytes of data at a time.
Since the Exede data meter came back online, there have also been problems, as were seen with the older Wildblue service, where data use is consistently misreported by 100s of megabytes on up to multiple gigabytes per day.
Because Exede and Wildblue do not differentiate between data used by their modem and data actually used by the customer, these Exede and Wildblue engineering errors can rapidly eat away a customer’s relatively low monthly data allocation (typically between 10GB and 25GB per month).
Many of us, me included, would like Exede to simply fix their modem and data metering problems and charge us only for the data we, the customer, actually use. It would be a good deal, if it worked properly. Being improperly charged for data we haven’t used is theft.
If you spend enough of your personal time on the phone with ViaSat customer support, you may convince them to give back some of the data their system stole from your account. Or not. Luck of the draw there.
One tool that can assist you in determining when your data is being used and documenting it in 15 minute increments in a searchable database is the Satellite Restriction Tracker by Reality Ripple. It won’t stop ViaSat’s customer service from blaming you for using the data their system steals from you, but at least you’ll be confident that they’re mistaken.
Because Exede has put their malfunctioning and misreporting data usage meter back online and has shown no intention of fixing or removing the malfunctioning data meter, we are left with the options of a class action suit to recoup our financial losses and remedy the underlying issue or to secure governmental oversight and regulation of Exede’s data metering practices.
According to USA.gov:
“Complaints: Internet Service Providers and Websites
Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
There are several options for filing a complaint against an Internet Service Provider (ISP). There is no single agency that regulates ISPs; however, there are several agencies at the local and federal levels that handle questions and complaints.
- Contact your local consumer protection office to file a complaint against an ISP or to report fraudulent activity.
- Contact the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Although the FCC does not regulate ISPs, you may file a complaint about billing, service and availability. File a complaint online or call 1-888-225-5322 or TTY at 1-888-835-5322.
If you would like to voice your opinion regarding the issue of regulating the Internet, the best way to do so is to contact your Senators or Representative in Congress.”
Please, contact your congressional representative, your local consumer protection agency, and the FCC and let them know about Exede’s ongoing data theft. You may also want to file a complaint against ViaSat with the Better Business Bureau. You can read BBB complaints against ViaSat here.