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  #1  
Old 03-23-2011, 12:09 AM
AlienAnalProbe AlienAnalProbe is offline
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Posts: 5
Angry Xpl(HORROR)net Tale of Woe

Oh, come ye and gather round,
and listen to my tale,
of a satellite connection best described,
simply, as 'EPIC FAIL'.

This story involves a man who,
unbeknownest to him,
was lured into a contract concerning
details quite dim.

For as I relate to you here this
tale of Horror, and Woe,
no matter how much you pay them
their connection will ALWAYS be slow....


Anyways, have much too much time to kill waiting for a usage bar to refill, so I thought I could share our household's horror of living with Xplorenet.

It all started several years ago.....

My father-in-law had been on dial up for almost a decade in order to get internet into his house, and in order to be effective with some of his business needed to have a high-speed internet connection. Government security, constant refreshing of the pages he needs to access and fundamental useability were not an option with dial-up. Well, he lives in the sticks and isn't able to get anything other than a satellite internet service provider. So, enter into the picture, Xplornet. He has had this service now for 5 years and was signed up on the Telesat system for the 512kbps download package. And for a short time, it worked for what he needed to do. As his comfort level with the internet grew (he's old school, no techie) his usage increased to include other aspects of business related materials ie//banking, online ordering, etc. to the point he would complain about the lack of service he was getting. Now I, having spent the previous years on high speed cable, yet not overly educated in the technology, only had a few descriptive words for him to help him understand what the problem was. Essentially: Your ISP SUCKS!

Now, 2 years ago, after a series of unfortunate events which I won't get into, I found myself residing in his abode with my wife (his daughter). I honestly flat out refused to move there, solely due to the living conditions we would be faced with, and more importantly, HIS ISP SUCKED! Well, women as are want to do, generally get their way and after swallowing a huge amount of grief, caved into her demands. WELL. Let me tell you, I had more than a few choice words to say about the lack of internet usage. After several months, we began to see that there was NO WAY 2 of us were going to be able to use the internet, let alone anyone else in the family checking e-mail (my sister-in-law stopped by to frequently use the computer) or whatnot. So I began to dig. I did not know about FAP or any other line of bullshit that big companies use to get more money out of you so you could get less when it came to basic service and boy was I surprised to find out that, sure enough, he was subjected to it. So, after him making several 'disgusted consumer' phonecalls, he finally was told that Xplornet no longer offered the package he had been contractually obligated to (I believe a ruling that 512kbps was not enough to be deemed 'high-speed') would be bumped up to the 1.0Mbps package for the same cost. Except he had to sign on for another 2 year contract. They offered it like they were doing him a favor when in fact they were required to by law in order to claim their service was 'high-speed'. (Don't quote me on the exact details of this as I had only encountered it in passing)

Well. Fucking, WELL. A month goes by and FFS sure as shit, it IS faster, but not by much and I'll be damned if the thing isn't on the fritz more than it's not. Now knowing about the FAP as well, we were able to monitor the usage a little better to not get shut down to 10-15% for an hour, but at least it was just an hour we'd go down for. He also had an unlimited bandwidth usage for his internet, which was nice. They also finally told him that certain times of the day had a 'no limits' policy, whereby he could download anything up to his speed capacity, but no FAP. That was nice of them to inform him of all this THREE YEARS LATER. I asked to see his contract with them, now that I was digging into this shit, and he tells me 'I don't have one, I just bought my equipment from a reseller, and signed up with them over the phone to get it going'. I'm like, WTF??!? He has NO WRITTEN or SIGNED knowledge and acceptance of his service agreement with Xploitnet, and is now, supposedly, contractually obligated for TWO MORE YEARS??? Who operates like this??

Well, anyways, time goes on, numerous outages relate to numerous complaint department phonecalls, which relate to 'we don't know, gofuckyourself' responses, which relate to the MIRACULOUS recovery and EXCEPTIONAL connection of his 'HIGH-SPEED' internet minutes later. Maybe they were just trying to make him feel like a whiner for demanding what he paid for, but it's lost, you phone, you complain, it comes back better than ever. For a few days. Then same shit, over and over for several months. You enquire as to why you get slowed down, they say "Weather in Zimbabwe". You say, 'That can't possibly be affecting me here' and they retort that, "Your computer is slow", and you say, '10/100/1000 ethernet card, powered by quad core CPU with 8 Gb of RAM is hardly slow' and they tell you that, "It's your router if you're on one", yet 'Even if I'm hooked right up to the modem I get the same speeds and I have the speed tests from 3 different sites to prove it', to it being "your anti-virus, your firewall, your this that and the hair on your dog".
And when you tell them, 'I own a cat, and he's hairless like Mr. Bigglesworth', well, no shit, you finally get a tech.

So FINALLY, we get a tech on the line who genuinely seems concerned. He asks 'Why am I slowed down?', First response - FAP has slowed you.
'But I just got on, it's 6:00 in the morning, I should be in the 'free zone' so WTF?'

"One second please.....Oh, it seems you've been bottlenecked in our system, the FAP hit yesterday and didn't come off...all fixed now...."

'So how many times has this happened then? WTF where is my service?? Why don't YOU tell ME how much I have used that demands I get FAP'd like this all the time????'

"I'm sorry, I don't know....."

YOU DON'T KNOW????ARGH!!!!!!!!!!

So, another tech comes along in this shithole system and OFFERS to set my father-in-law up with the HughesNet Satellite system. How much BETTER and FASTER and MORE RELIABLE it will be. How much HAPPIER and MORE SATISFIED he will be with it, and how EVERYONE LOVES IT. All he has to do is pay the installation, take a new contract, exchange the equipment and they will reimburse the installation costs via striking the monthly fees for that amount. (I get the feeling they would have reimbursed him at the end of or AFTER his contract, but with no documentation OF his contract, who knows...)
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  #2  
Old 03-23-2011, 12:12 AM
AlienAnalProbe AlienAnalProbe is offline
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SO...in order to get a DECENT internet service....he (puke) signs on....
(I might mention that I had warned him not to EVER sign up to the Hughes no matter what they offer, but that would be an 'I told you so' statement).

Installer comes, puts in new satellite, fires up the works and the only instruction is 'Do NOT let your usage bar run out NO MATTER WHAT or you will have to wait 24 hours to get internet again'. That was the only warning we got about Hughesnet FAP.

So off we go, speed testing, speed testing, speed testing. 1800+ ping, 0.5 Mbps DL and 0.12 UL on average for 24 hours. OK, it's not 1.0 Mbps, and the ping sucks royal ass, but it seems solid. Day two nets the same returns. We watch and check internet usage to be sure we fall within parameters and in 40someodd hours, never used more than 10% of our total. All update programs were set to go off during free time so they didn't eat up bandwidth from the previous system, so no problems there.

EXCEPT. Windows likes to check for updates, and if it wasn't on to get them or you have antivirus that blocks installing them, it will want to do so as soon as it sees internet, or will prompt you should it have found some to install if you have auto update turned on as per Windows recommendations. This should be stated in the Windows Security as 'Download and Install' not just 'Install' as install would mean that it is already downloaded.

And much to our chagrin, after hitting 'Install update' on what was presumed to be a 43 MB file, well no shit, the box that pops up shows that it is now a 533MB file (Windows 7 SP1). Well fuck me! Hit stop, cancel, shut it down!!! FFS that was close, stopped it at 14 MB, not a huge loss to our consumption amount, but that could have been a catastrophe. Well, need a program for business that is 48 MB, so we'll get that instead. Go to download. Nothing. No movement, 112 kb in 5 minutes. Geezus that's slow WTH. Now not even web pages, nothing. Google home page takes 3 minutes to load. FFS!

Check the usage bar and sure as shit, it's empty. In a matter of minutes it went from 98% to nothing and we had only downloaded a max amount (include webpages) of about 20 MB all day. Well, you talk to Xplornet fuckheads and "There's nothing they can do, you're shut down for 24 hours".
TWENTY FOUR HOURS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?
You explain to them that you hadn't used more than 20 MB download. BUT because YOU INITIATED A DOWNLOAD you will be charged that amount regardless of whether you received it or not.

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT????? A download WAS INITIATED and you are charged on the FILE SIZE not WHAT WAS DOWNLOADED! Do you suppose that if I said I would pay them a certain amount, wrote them a check for that amount, told them they were paid in full and then didn't allow them to get the actual funds they would be fine with that? I DON'T FUCKING THINK SO!!!
So why would a person be charged for internet usage THEY DIDN'T RECEIVE??? This is how they operate. This is their terms and conditions. This is their customer service. BULLSHIT!


So, back on the phone again. Eight (count'em, 8) techs later and lines and reams of sorry sir were shitheads later, you finally get through someone's thick skull, that NO this service is NOT AN UPGRADE from what was had previous, that NO this service is NOT ADEQUATE and even PALES compared to the CRAP SYSTEM that was in before and YES the installer WILL be coming back to REINSTALL the SHIT that was here before and SOMEONE BETTER GET ON IT FFS.

Well, this brings me to the end of the roller-coaster ride so far. As it sits, the work order is still being processed to revert the systems. $300 was lost in install and probably another $200 will be spent for a reinstall, and over $500 was lost in business revenue due to the internet being 'unavailable'. Xplornet at this time recognizes none of that money. Fuckers.

Nothing like posting 'We are closed due to FAP. Please try again later.' on your doors.

Take my advice? Get your neighbours together, get them signed on to push a local cable internet provider to introduce an airspeed tower or something. Push your government officials into pushing a minimum service requirement for shithole companies like Xplorenet and to provide that 'Up To' speed more than 10% of the time and do so at an ACCEPTABLE cost. Find an alternative if you can, because Xplorenet doesn't deserve your money.

As my stage name here references - I would rather have Cartman from South Park with an Alien Anal Probe Satellite sticking out of his ass be my ISP than barrettfuckingxplorenet.

nuff said
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  #3  
Old 03-23-2011, 10:02 PM
Killdozer99 Killdozer99 is offline
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Man I'm sorry but your tale had me laughing as I read it. Love the language! It is funny in the sense that I know your tale all too well myself. They offered me a hell of an upgrade yesterday. Sat was down so I called and went through the whole fun fucking ride of power cycling a few times to get it back up and running. Then he does a check to see what my signal is...he says it's a little lower than what it should be and he can arrange a work order and have it realigned...at my cost. Then I says I would like to cancel now. Huh? says the tech... Anyhow I am on contract still so he tallies up the remaining total...I says I am not paying that..well then he tries to offer me some better deals...here is the main one....If I pay xplornet $200 they will take over ownership of the equipment, come over and realign that dish for me for free, give me the 1.5mbps package for $44/month...all that and a 2 year contract! So let me get this straight you want me to pay you to take back the equipment you sold me? Scratches head! The equipment is so shitty that I have to pay them to take it back!!! And then yee ha another 2 year contract after explaining to him I no longer want the service and want out of my contract.

Anyhow yeah I dunno what to say...I truly feel sorry for the call center people as they are just doing their job and all...but man...I just dunno!
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2011, 03:17 PM
AlienAnalProbe AlienAnalProbe is offline
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Thanks for the reply Killdozer. It seems that xplorenet really has a hard time getting the picture until you tell them that you are ready to quit their *laff* 'service'. As it stands right now, there has been a reply from the installer. After being contacted by us numerous times, and him being in contact with them: a) he is coming out today to replace our old setup (may not be great, but better than Hughesgarbage in relation to datastreams); b) he is doing it free of charge; c) all the money that was paid out to xplorenet so far is being credited on the account; d) our remaining contract time comes back into effect.

So, some good news at least, but what a headache to push them that far to do what should have been done in the beginning. The only forseeable problem I have now is that: a) the installer spliced and CRIMPED 3 feet of cable onto our existing cables and I wonder if that may cause connectivity issues -maybe, maybe not; b) someone, somewhere at xplorenet is going to make our service WORSE than it was before, and WORSE than what Hughes was giving us; c) that any time a call is made concerning service that xplorenet is going to revert back to the 'fuck you, you wanted it' responses; d) our equipment suffered damage from the time it was removed to the time it was replaced resulting in poor service.

I checked with Galaxy as well during this time. They are no better although their customer service may be more prompt. I cannot see how these companies are allowed to say they have guaranteed DAILY limits if, when you hit the threshold, you are in 'recovery mode' for 24 hours. On a 250Mb DAILY limit that says to me that in 2 days I will be able to download 500Mb total, not an average of 125Mb a day. Their shedules need to change so that your timer resets no matter where you are at the same time, every day, and the recovery time is the remainder of your refresh period. THAT would be what their service IMPLIES but does not give you.

Ah well, will report as things progress, it's too bad really because there's high speed towers and wired internet within 5 minutes of where we live, and the better portion of our road will never get it due to where the towers and relay stations are located.

Frustrated as always......AAP
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2011, 03:22 PM
Brad R Brad R is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlienAnalProbe View Post
a) the installer spliced and CRIMPED 3 feet of cable onto our existing cables and I wonder if that may cause connectivity issues -maybe, maybe not;
Depends on how he did it. Generally, splicing coaxial cable is a no-no. I know of only one correct way to do it -- put connectors on both ends, and use a coupler -- and I wonder if your installer went to that much trouble. (Even then I might not want to do it for an outdoor connection; it needs to be weatherproofed.)

I'd suggest that you, right now, go out and take some good closeup photos of that splice. They might come in handy when arguing with Xplornet in the future. And do upload them here, so that we can see them.
__________________
4G Fixed Wireless Formerly Echostar 17 "Jupiter"; Rogers Rocket Hub; Everus 3.5 GHz Wireless; Telesat Kazam plan; HughesNet Ku.
A computer without Windows is like a chocolate cake without mustard. http://www.goodbyemicrosoft.net
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Old 03-25-2011, 04:49 PM
Killdozer99 Killdozer99 is offline
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I agree with Brad R. Take some pics of the splice. I know you can get some weather proof connectors for splicing with rubber sleeves but the rubber will start to dry out and crack over time and then water gets at the connector and rust starts to form. When Bhell hooked up my satellite they spliced onto existing wire that ran into the house and within 5 minutes I was out there fixing that right away. I asked the installer if he should splice and he said that it was ok...but I didn't like it, so I unbundled the extra cable looped at the dish and fed it through the existing hole and so I have only one piece of cable from dish to receiver.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2011, 10:59 PM
AlienAnalProbe AlienAnalProbe is offline
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Thanks for the replies guys. OK, give me a day to get some pics up, it's pissing rain here right now so going out with the digital not a good idea. The installer came back yesterday, re-installed everything and took the time to provide an extra support bracket to give a bit more sturdiness to the dish. I did look at the splices and commented on the crimping procedure he was using (the old ones that were on in had a plastic insert that grabbed the outside rg6 sheath, the ones he used sat on the outside and he used a tool to 'crimp' them on) and he told me they were compression fit - are they? Installer was conscientious as to weather proofing the connections by using wraps of rubberized tape on them. He set the signal up and from what I can tell it was pretty spot on. One thing he did do though, was create another splice in the line to provide for a grounding bar and ground line.

So, 2 splice kits later, an install/reinstall headache we have internet again.

The download speeds have been the most consistent I have seen EVER. 0.95Mbps +/- .01Mbps on a regular basis from the 3 sites I run speed tests on (speedtest.shaw.ca; speedtest.net; testmy.net/download-speed-test.php) and compared to some of the tests I've run on this system previously (0.04Mbps DL +/-0.04) it's kind of nice to get closer to what's being paid for.

HOWEVER where we used to get 600-1300 ms ping times we now get 1100-1900 (+) and the upload speed is, more than not, nonexistant.

for example:
This is what we had a month ago for a Tracert on our Telesat system:

1 1 ms <1 ms <1 ms ***.***.***.***
2 758 ms 989 ms 664 ms ***.***.***.***
3 985 ms 995 ms 676 ms ***.***.***.***
4 633 ms 1043 ms 660 ms ***.***.***.***
5 * 692 ms 661 ms ***.***.***.***
etc.

now, we get this with the 'same' setup:

1 1 ms <1 ms <1 ms ***.***.***.***
2 1184 ms 1247 ms 1219 ms ***.***.***.***
3 1139 ms 1196 ms 1221 ms ***.***.***.***
4 1259 ms 1179 ms 2580ms ***.***.***.***
5 * * 1170 ms ***.***.***.***


dropped the IP addresses for obvious reasons, the target was the same site in both instances, and for brevity I only included the first 5 hops, not all 15 (which in the later case showed several more ping times above 2000ms. Any suggestion? Speculations? Do I need to get on the phone with Xhellnet AGAIN and risk having that DL speed get FUBAR'D?

Thanks in advance.... AAP

Last edited by AlienAnalProbe : 03-25-2011 at 11:06 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2011, 04:32 PM
Brad R Brad R is offline
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I'm guessing from your description he used something like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Tyco-CPGI-5692.../dp/B0012GRHBG

...which is the correct way to splice the cable. You can't quite see in that illustration, but there is a male connector on each piece of coaxial cable, and then a female-to-female adapter (a.k.a. barrel connector) in the center -- that's the silver-coloured part in the middle. The outer shell is for weatherproofing.
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4G Fixed Wireless Formerly Echostar 17 "Jupiter"; Rogers Rocket Hub; Everus 3.5 GHz Wireless; Telesat Kazam plan; HughesNet Ku.
A computer without Windows is like a chocolate cake without mustard. http://www.goodbyemicrosoft.net
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