We withheld writing this article, pending a response from the internet company, ViaSat. Well, after waiting, we did finally get that response. However, the response isn’t what you would expect from a company, who is being accused of deceptive business tactics. These tactics include “accidently” placing people into contracts without their knowledge, misrepresentation of their services, and overall misrepresentation of their return policy. This is isn’t close the complete list of problems with ViaSat. On the BBB, the internet provider has a rating of 1.04 out of 5, this is extremely low.
Since the time of our last article, we received documentation from one of their, now former, customers. This customer accuses the company of placing him into a contract that he knew nothing about. In fact, he stated to the WoC team, that he had made it clear that he did not wish to be under contract. To this, the company had him pay a fee. It was only when he attempted to terminate service that he learned of the contract. As a result, he was forced to deactivate his debit card. But this individual didn’t stop there. He went as far as to send us email discussions with the internet provider, along with their replies. With permission, we are quoting them below.
I’m not worried about “keeping the equipment.” What I’m concerned about is the fact that your company lied to me when I initially setup the account, about the contract. I specifically stated, prior to setting up, that I did not want to be under contract, something I was assured would not happen by paying that fee. For me to be placed into a contract, under a false pretense is not only illegal, but nullifies the contract, something to which I am willing to go into litigation about. This situation, I assure you, has lost my business, A complaint with the FCC due to the fact that deceptive tactics were used against me, and from what I’m finding, I’m not the first to go through this. This is where we stand, we either need to resolve this contract situation, I return the equipment, and we both move forward, or this can escalate and we end up in a courtroom. I’m not negotiating this, what was done to me was deceptive and unethical.
The above is the second email sent to the provider, who seemed to be under the impression that the individual wanted to keep the equipment. In the email, this was quickly cleared up. But this isn’t where the interesting part is. To find that, we have to look at their response. We have taken the courtesy of highlighting a very important part of their response, something they may not have realized at the time of sending.
Thanks for reaching out to us, I apologize for the delayed response.
The Lifetime Equipment Lease Fee does not purchase the Viasat equipment, and it does not void the 24 month agreement. All it does is prepay the lease fee for the first 24 months of service, and guarantee that the lease fee will not be charged for the life of the account. The equipment is still expected to be returned when the service is discontinued. As the equipment is designed to work with Viasat only, is attached to your account when activated and cannot be used on another account, there isn’t much reason to keep the equipment in any event.
If your intention was to have a service with no contract, that the lifetime lease fee was selected instead of the no contract option was likely a mistake at the time of sale. Unfortunately, as the company that sold and built the account are a licensed dealership, we don’t have access to any call recordings.
Thank you for choosing Viasat as your internet provider. We appreciate your business.
Social Media Specialist
As mentioned, they had accidently given this customer a bit more than they intended. In their email, they outright state, “If your intention was to have a service with no contract, that the lifetime lease fee was selected instead of the no contract option was likely a mistake at the time of sale.”
What makes this so interesting? To put this into simple terms: the company acknowledges that a mistake was very plausible. But does this obligate the customer to the contract? No. In fact, it would void out the contract, therefore whatever ETF charge they applied to this specific individual, should had been equally nullified. But it wasn’t. Instead, they attempted to enforce this illegal contract and then abruptly terminated contact with the customer. Meanwhile, on various review sites, ViaSat’s image continues to plummet toward the ground.
So what about that response? We’ve shared one customer’s experience with ViaSat but we haven’t discussed the response. We went to ViaSat’s Facebook page, where we brought the various accusations to their attention, expecting to get a response. Today, they did give us a response. I was abruptly blocked from their page. Being that many of the accusations are criminal, I won’t lie and say that I’m surprised by this. The best hope the company has is to block anybody who brings this to their attention. This move doesn’t come without risk. In blocking, some may take this as an admission of guilt. Some may think that the company is trying to cover up their fraudulent acts, but I believe they are trying to deny responsibility to the many people they have defrauded.
Though ViaSat may try to hide this from the Facebook, and other social media communities, they cannot hide their “F” rating with the “BBB.” Furthermore, they can’t stop the complaints, which are rolling in by the day. Them blocking me for asking simple questions only showed me that I, and my platform, are a threat to them. Given the large quantities of fraud, misrepresentation, lack of service complaints, and poor customer service, I think I live with being a thorn in their corporate side.