Tuesday, March 21, 2023


Starlink RV criticized for lack of customer support

As Starlink satellite broadband service continues to evolve with more subscribers every day and more satellites launched to broaden coverage, a customer satisfaction issue has arisen with Customer Support.

In investigating this topic for RVtravel.com, my aim was to determine whether the problem was real or more of a perception. Do some classes of subscribers get better service than others? Does it matter which region of the North American continent you’re in?

Facebook group for Starlink RV

These questions arose because a seemingly large number of people commenting, for example, on the Starlink for RVers and Other Mobile Users Facebook page, report problems communicating with and getting a response from Starlink Customer Support when they have a problem. An equally numerous segment of the new Starlink subscriber cadre have reported no issues with their equipment or service and almost universally praise Starlink, saying that they could not live their RV traveling life without it.

Without question, there have been problems. Some subscribers have had problems with malfunctioning hardware and intermittent or unavailable Wi-Fi service. When they open a tech support “ticket” on the Starlink app, some wait days, weeks, or months for a response. Others get a reply within minutes or hours. For others, Starlink functions flawlessly right out of the box, finds the satellites, and presto! Their service is up and running. But some report very low data speeds in some regions of the country.

Subscriber comments about customer support mixed

I asked a member of the Starlink for RVs group for their comments on their experience setting up and operating Starlink RV.

Krist Hlubik, a moderator for Starlink for RVs and a Group expert in the system for RVs, said, “Can’t imagine being a full-time RVer and traveling for work without it. Almost a year in, lots of moves, and no issues.”

Chuck Gillen replied, probably only half-facetiously, “Starlink has tech support?”

Here are some other comments on both sides of the issue:

Leon S.
Speeds started off fine in San Diego but fell so low that streaming is not an option. I canceled due to that fact. I also received “I’m sorry” in my e-mail with no solution. They were able to see what was going on when they looked at my history.

Drew P.
We have had it for about a year, and it has been great; I opened one ticket when my network adapter failed. The ticket was answered within 24 hours, and they shipped a replacement quickly.

Michael P.
We’ve tested it and had no luck with it. Others love it! It just didn’t work for us with zoom and teams meetings and internet tv. We have been trying to set up our return since Thursday. We’re within 30 days. CS’s response is lacking, but we’ll be patient.

Michael D.
Worst customer service period!

Mike P.
Nothing but good experiences! I started a ticket today and have had three responses so far.

Darby S.
Ten months no issues, no need for support.

Mark P.
I travel full-time and work remotely, moving daily or weekly. I have had great experiences. However, I did get the dreaded disconnect error. Great Tech Support answered me in less than an hour that they would send out a new cable and router. Had it in a week. They also did a partial month’s credit for the trouble without even asking.

Mike A.
Just had a phone interview with one of Starlink Engineering Managers regarding installations, improvements, and customer service for their new High-Performance RV Dish System. We talked for 15-20 minutes about how the installation went, what I would like to see changed, and what they could do to improve Customer Service. Like any new business, they are feeling their growing pains. They weren’t ready for the overwhelming demand for their product. One of his main comments was many people don’t realize how expensive it is to put satellites up in space, let alone thousands of them. Anyway, they are definitely trying to improve their handle on the RV Satellite Market. I had a few suggestions for product improvements which he noted in detail, as well as better communications with customer service. Just a simple text message service would help. Do the best you can because you are not going to please everyone! Nice to see they are willing to open their outside lines of communication to ask how they can help.

Complaints filed

One frustrated Starlink RV subscriber, having failed to get a response from Starlink on his problem, filed complaints with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

So, on any given day, you can find a mix of comments on the tech support issue. The response regarding the use and usability of Starlink RV is overwhelmingly positive, at least on the Starlink for RV FB page. I Tweeted Elon Musk for his perception of his company’s support commitment and, like some Starlink customers, I’m still waiting for a response.

As for the cause and effect of the perception of poor product support, it does not appear to matter what part of the country you are RVing in. Nor is there a demonstrable difference in whether you order Starlink residential or RV service. Technical support’s availability and response time seem to fluctuate in cycles, probably determined by the sheer level of support tickets open at any time. Signal coverage improves every week as more and more satellites are launched in groups of roughly fifty at a time. The long wait times for hardware delivery seem to have been alleviated.

Like any new, high-tech innovation, Starlink has had to contend with the rapid scaling of its service. And like any new business that must grow by order of magnitude practically overnight, there are the proverbial “growing pains.”




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Neal Davis
1 month ago

Interesting article; thank you! We have grandfathered unlimited data plans with Verizon and AT&T that we use to stream stuff, including DirecTV Stream, when traveling. We only travel a few days each month (probably we are 1/5-timers), so currently Starlink is unnecessary. However, my research of it is on-going. Thank you for adding to my information about it. 🙂

Dan M
1 month ago

I’ve been using Starlink RV for 5 months now and with a few exceptions it’s honestly been indistinguishable from the fiber connection I had at my last apartment. Sure I could have payed for higher speeds there than Starlink gets, but with few exceptions it’s been plenty fast to stream videos and do anything else online that I’ve tried to do.

In 5 months I’ve fortunately only seen 3 outages that lasted longer than a few seconds and I’ve been able to avoid trees overhead well enough to keep connected. It has slowed down or hiccuped a few times during heavy rain or moderate snow but considering the alternatives for full-timing in a camper it’s been great. It’s certainly been more reliable than my cell signal at campgrounds.

I’m sure I’ll run into situations where I won’t be able to avoid trees completely and I do wish it was a bit cheaper, but overall I can’t complain so far. I honestly forget that I don’t still have a broadband connection sometimes.

1 month ago

In my view, reading comments on a facebook board isn’t an investigation into any company’s customer service. Might pass as such for today’s journalism though. Tweeted Elon? Even if one of Elon’s staff would have responded, what did you think they would say? Without having access to their actual customer service quality reporting documents all you have is internet talk. Not saying a real investigation is easy…it would be hard work, but in the end it would actually have value.

Graham Green
1 month ago

I’ve had Starlink since July, 2022. I’ve had no issues until a couple of weeks ago, when I tried to connect and got an error in the app that I had “no active account”, consequently I was unable to get online. Knowing my account was in good standing I drove twenty miles to a location where I could get cell service to contact support, only to find the only way to contact them was by email. It’s ridiculous that there is no phone support and no status page (that I could find). So until I heard back from support (whenever that would be, hours, days, weeks) I had no idea what was going on. Fortunately the next morning I was able to connect and work, I didn’t hear from support for another two days, completely unacceptable.

Joe Goomba
1 month ago

Wait, the guy that’s tanking Tesla & ruining Twitter is having problems with customer service at his overpriced sat internet company?!? Hard to believe!

1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Goomba

Yes, the guy who puts hundreds of his own satellites into orbit using his own rockets and then landing them vertically back on earth to be re-used by NASA for 10% the cost than if NASA continued its own launch program is having a few issues with tech support after supplying hundreds of satellites over Ukraine to help with front line tactical communications via the internet.

Yup, what dummy that Elon guy seems to be.

Neal Davis
1 month ago
Reply to  Joe Goomba


Cheryl V Clark
1 month ago

We have StarLink, not the RV version, and it was the simplest, easiest satellite service we’ve set up. Last year, we ditched DirecTV and now stream everything. Thank you, Elon Musk, for offering quality internet service at a reasonable price to those of us in rural areas. SO much better than Hughes.net, Dish, or DirecTV, and a lot less $$

1 month ago
Reply to  Cheryl V Clark


1 month ago

Consider this more of a question, then a review. I don’t have a Starlink system. But am interested. This has to do more with the service then with the equipment issues.

Are there not at least 3 ways to receive your Starlink service ?
1) a standard home network that many use when “camped” in a stationary location
2) a RV (mobile) system that notes that service may be limited in certain parts of the country
3) the new Mobile system with astronomical equipment cost but with similar service issues as #2

The mobile system, at least in the past, used to state that mobile system will be throttled if the local home system was overburdened.

Equipment issue would be a different matter.

Dan M
1 month ago
Reply to  MevetS

The equipment is the same for home and RV, they both use the new rectangular dish. The difference is mainly just the priority if there’s network congestion. Rv users are automatically considered lower priority than home users (which kinds of sucks if the camper IS your home, especially since we actually pay more than a standard home user.)
The dishes for moving vehicles are different hardware, as are the commercial/business dishes.

1 month ago

Are we surprised? It’s Elon. $ first

Dan Kruger
1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Lets see…..he invested BIG time to see if it would work….good for him….he should make the big bucks as well….example…..movie stars make big money to entertain lets see ooooo they do it for MONEY….give it a rest…..

1 month ago
Reply to  Dan Kruger

Agree! Too many people overlook the investments others make, which leads to higher income for the investor/visionary.

1 month ago
Reply to  Dave

Dan’s got it right Dave. Private money investing a private for profit company. Multiple private billions spent developing a new non-existent rocket technology. Once that task is in the completed column it’s time to invest multiple more billions of his private money to then put hundreds of satellites into space for a new product and service prior to having a single paying customer.

I see a man of VISION, and like nothing we have seen in a hundred years. Bigger vision that Gates or Jobs. Edison type vision, like the time when no one had electricity in a home. Bigger than the Wright Brothers by a factor of 50.

Bob p
1 month ago

Personally we have been using Verizon wireless internet for 6 years with their MiFi JetPak. It has worked flawlessly with one exception in TX in the Red River valley where we were down in a depression that couldn’t see a cell tower. That’s the only drawback is if you can’t get a cell signal you can’t get WiFi. DW uses it in transit on her iPad when she’s playing her games or occasionally finding road info for me. We pay $70 a month for unlimited service that we signed up for in 2018. That’s no longer available as it was a limited time offer. We love it.

1 month ago
Reply to  Bob p

We too are having a little trouble parting ways with our Verizon Hot Spot wifi service. With few exceptions and ridiculously slow speeds during our trips into Canada, Verizon has been almost flawless. I am contemplating trying Starlink knowing that I will have Verizon as a back up. I value the comments involving reviews and the personal experiences that everyone is contributing today. I find them helpful.

Camper Jack - MyRVRadio
1 month ago

I would just very, very much like to see Starlink produce a DC-conversion system. Sure, there are many videos online with “how to’s”, but almost all involve cutting the cord or being able to build your own PPOE setup and make RJ45 (ethernet) connections. While I *could*, I simply don’t want to, and don’t want to acquire the tools and parts of my youth. (I built networks way back in the day.)

This would be the biggest improvement for me. I only had one support request, which was to simply inquire about whether or not I needed to be updating my “address” each relocation and was told I didn’t need to. One ticket, two questions and two responses within 2 days total.

1 month ago

Totally agree about the NEED for a supported DC power system for Starlink for RV and boat users. As someone that prefers boondocking, I really don’t want to run my inverter the whole time I want Internet access.

I was surprised Winegard hasn’t managed to provide a DC solution as part of their official status with Starlink.

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