A former residence, where we are living, signed up for Internet Service through Spit Spots, a local Homer, Alaska provider. He agreed to a two-year contract for their service. The person, whose name is on the account, moved out of state, so we continued to make the monthly payments for service, under his name. We found the original speed was not meeting our needs, so we upgraded our account to 10Mbps, back in December 2012. The total for the upgraded speed was $150 plus tax per month. Even after we upgraded, the speed of the connection was not as expected. Unfortunately, we were dealing with a terminally ill family member, so the internet connection issue was not a high priority.
Numerous calls were made to Spit Spots, to try and resolve this issue. The Tech Support team, ran some tests from the local office, and stated that everything was working normally, as intended. But, still the speed was not there. After continual complaint calls, Spit Spots agreed to send out a technician. This was scheduled for July 18, 2013. Yes, we've been dealing with poor service for that long. On the day of the appointment, we called to verify that they were still coming. They stated that they called and left a voicemail, stating that they would not be out on the 18th, and needed to reschedule for the July 19. Later that day, they called to tell us that they could not come out the 19th, and it would be at least 2 weeks before they could schedule a technician.
This was unacceptable, as we have had numerous issues issues, and have made numerous calls. All of which ended with their support team telling us that everything was working normally. That it was because our kids play online games. Other times, we were told we needed a new router.
I advised them, that I had been keeping a speed test log. Sometimes the tests were done when the kids were online. Other times, I performed the speed tests when I was the only one online, and only had the web browser open. The speed logs showed extreme inconsistencies. Spit Spots reluctantly agreed to send a technician out on July 20th.
The tech arrived, and connected directly into the equipment, bypassing out router, and removing everyone off the network, except himself. Their technician, once onsite, was able to confirm, and verify that we were no where close to the 10Mbps speed, which we have been paying for, for months.
He decided to swap out the dish, as their signal comes over the airwaves, much like a cell tower does with cell phones. After placing the new dish, he once again tested the connection. Again, we were still not getting the 10Mbps that we purchased. He went back and realigned the dish, and still, we were not getting the speeds agreed upon.
He then stated that when we upgraded to the 10Mbps speed, that we should have upgraded our equipment to the larger dish, as they recommend that to all 10Mbps subscribers. He also stated that the dish is on is on a 3 foot tall tripod, that gets mounted on the roof. I asked if he could setup the larger dish, without mounting it, for testing purposes. Then if we were able to get the 10Mbps speed, he could mount it correctly. He stated that he could not, and it would need to be mounted. When asked if it could be removed, after mounting, he stated that the would leave the tripod mounted to the roof, and only remove the dish, if we moved, or terminated service. I told him that I did not find that a reasonable solution. The tech stated that if we ever did move, that any new residence would most likely get internet service through Spit Spots, so he felt leaving the 3 foot tripod attached to the roof, would just make it easier for any new residence. He also advised me that he did not have the equipment to install the larger dish at that time, and it would need to be scheduled to August 6, 2013.
After numerous tests, they upgraded our residential quality service, to a higher priority business class, which got us closer to the 10Mbps speed. (It was around 6Mbps) They said they will reduce the amount me pay, to more accurately reflect the 6Mbps speed, until they could resolve this.
After they left, we continued to run speed tests, and even with the business class upgrade, the speeds were still inconsistent. Sometime, even late at night, 2am, the speeds reflected were as low as 1Mbps.
Numerous calls were made again, to try to get this resolved. They once again stated that they wanted to install the bigger dish. I told *****, that the only problem I had, was the fact that they had to mount the dish, and if it didn't resolve the issue, that I would now be stuck with a 3 foot tripod attached to the roof. After speaking with the technician, ***** came back on the phone to advise us that they could setup the larger dish without mounting it, so we could test it. And that if we found it resolved our issues, then it could be mounted. This, I found acceptable, and we scheduled the install of the larger dish for August 6, 2013. I also asked about a refund for all months we've been having problems. He stated he would need to look into that, before he could authorize a refund.
Days went by, and we received no call back from *****. My wife decided to call him and find out about the refund. He told her that he would issue a refund for 3 months of service. We found that acceptable, for all the problems we were having with their service. Later, he called back, and told my wife that he could only issue us a credit on the account. I called back and spoke with *****, to find out why he said he would issue a refund, then changed it to a credit on the account. He also stated that the credit was only for the difference between the 10Mbps speed and the 6Mbps speed. Which equated to only $20 per month, so a total of only $60 credit, which he already applied to the account, prior to my speaking with him. He also stated that we had a past due amount of $237.57. We had not made payments on the account, due to the poor quality, and lack of resolution to our issues.
After paying $150 plus tax per month, for the past eight months, and not receiving anywhere near the quality of service we should have been receiving, we feel we are due a refund. Since July 2013, after many attempts, with no resolution, we switched to ACS, at less than half the cost ($73 +tax), as well as none of the issues we had with Spit Spots.
We have had nothing but problems with Spit Spots as an Internet provider. They are overpriced, their connection speeds are not consistent, and their customer service is lacking.
We feel that the past due amount should be written off, and we should receive a refund for at least 3 months of poor service.
This account was originally under the landlord. The account was started on 6/21/2012 for 10mb. Payments were assumed by the customer on 8/21/2012. At no point was the speed set for anything other than 10mb. We would be happy to provide a billing record of this. The residential grade account we offer is clearly described as a "best effort" service. We do our best to provide as consistent of a connection as possible. However, since the connection is delivered wirelessly over unlicensed spectrum it is possible for performance to change over time as a result of interference. We do our best to respond to any complaints about quality of service in a timely manner.
We had spoken with customer a few times in the previous month in an attempt to receive payment as the account was significantly past due. We first received a complaint about the connection on 7/11/13. According to our diagnostics, it appeared that the signal had degraded some since the initial installation but the performance was still at acceptable levels. Despite that, we requested to come out and perform a free site visit in order to get the signal levels back to their original level. We left a voicemail on 7/11/13 stating that we would like to perform the upgrade on 7/18/13. However we did not receive a call back to confirm until 7/18/13. By that time it was too late to send a field crew that day and we re-scheduled for 7/19/13.
On 7/19/13 technicians arrived on site at 9:40am. After performing realignment and on site diagnostics it was determined that actual speed fluctuated between 6mb and 10mb. The technician offered a free upgrade to a larger dish which needed to be mounted in a different location, but the installation needed to be scheduled for a later date when the field crew would have a larger dish available. The customer was unwilling to have the mount moved that day. As a temporary solution the technician decided to increase their priority on the network until a hardware upgrade was possible. After doing this we were able to see a more consistent 10mb down and 4mb upload.
On 8/2/13, the customer insisted that we issue them a refund. Since the account was more than sixty days past due and scheduled to be suspended for non-payment a credit was authorized for the difference in price of a 4mb and a 10mb connection for a period starting a month before they first reported a problem. The difference between the speeds is $20/month.
All we ask is that the customer pay for the service they received. The idea that they allowed their account to become delinquent because they were unhappy with their service does not reflect our prior conversations with them.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
By Spits Spots own admission, we were not now, nor have we ever been under contract with them. That being said, we are not liable for any fees or charges made by ****** ********* All attempts to collect fees, need to be directed towards him.
Final Business Response
SPITwSPOTs maintains copies of all contracts signed, records of phone calls, billing cycles, and all work done by our technicians and staff. This BBB complaint has been filed by a party who has never been under contract with our company.
SPITwSPOTs does maintain an excellent track record of customer service, and takes all complaints seriously. We work hard to be the best ISP in the area, and operate in an efficient and ethical manner. We will take steps to contact the original contracted customer to make sure this matter has been resolved to their satisfaction.