Some Cape Bretoners say answers about Starlink service are hard to come by

The long-exposure image of a trail of a SpaceX's Starlink satellites passing over Uruguay in 2021.  (Mariana Suarez/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)
The long-exposure image of a trail of a SpaceX's Starlink satellites passing over Uruguay in 2021. (Mariana Suarez/AFP via Getty Images - image credit)

Maria Coady and Brian Peters only had Starlink for a few months when they lost their service.

They live in Margaree Valley, N.S., and have had no internet for weeks, and say they have had no communication with anyone at Starlink. They went through the troubleshooting process multiple times without success.

They couldn't reach the company in their search for customer service. The satellite internet service operated by SpaceX doesn't have an email address, phone number, chatroom or helpline for its customers.

Customers instead are encouraged to follow directions on the Starlink app in order to submit a customer support ticket if they need help.

No response

Coady and Peters did this but they haven't received a response.

"We have been frustrated because we have not been able to talk to a human being or to get even a computer response that's satisfactory," Peters said.

Peters said it was obvious to him that it was a hardware malfunction. He said he found it frustrating he couldn't simply explain the issue to someone.

He said they found it ironic that "here is a company that bases its entire business on providing online connectivity, and there's no option of talking to somebody when that online connectivity doesn't exist because their equipment isn't working."

The couple has had to rely on friends and public libraries for internet access.

"There seems to be no end, like we don't know what we can work towards in terms of planning our lives," Coady says.

"We have nothing. We can't afford to be dishing out money for more equipment, and I don't want to support Starlink if this is the kind of corporate citizen they are."

She said they aren't the only people in their community with this issue.

Service out after 2 weeks

Donald MacCuspic lives in Craigmore, N.S., and is part of a group lobbying for high-speed internet in Inverness County.

When the province came up with incentives for people living in areas without high-speed internet, MacCuspic and his wife purchased the Starlink equipment.

But they had no service just two weeks after installation. He said not having internet is disruptive and inconvenient.

"I mean my wife works from home so she's doing Zoom meetings and Teams meetings … so you definitely require a good quality connection to do that," he said.

Starlink customers are at the mercy of the app, he said, and are often left waiting for a reply.

MacCuspic's internet is up and running again but he was never told why there have been so many disconnections.

CBC requested comment from SpaceX but did not receive a response.