Starlink nightmare: Moving service location a few feet delays orders until 2023

A Starlink satellite dish mounted on a roof.

Enlarge / Starlink satellite dish.

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34 with 30 posters participating, including story author

Some people who preordered Starlink broadband say they made tiny changes to their service locations on the Starlink website and immediately had their delivery dates delayed by a year or more.

This isn’t a case of changing an address from one city to another; people say that using a newly prominent map tool to more accurately pinpoint their house essentially sends a person who preordered to the back of the line. One Reddit user wrote, “I moved it from the end of my driveway to my house this morning and just looked back and [the availability date] had changed to 2022-2023.” This person made the change because “it said to check your service address, and it didn’t tell me it would affect my pre-order! My driveway is about 1/4+ mile long, so it made sense to put the cursor at my house.”

“I fell victim to the shiny new map on the Starlink website,” wrote one person whose delivery date changed from late 2021 to late 2022 or early 2023. Another person wrote that moving the map pin “a few feet” made the delivery date go from mid-to-late 2021 to late 2022:

I’m gutted. I emailed SpaceX, and I’ve got my fingers crossed that they can revert it to the original data or something. It’s nuts that a trivial adjustment could have any impact enough to auto-bump people out of line. That’s no way to treat your most enthusiastic customers. Hopefully they tell me it’s some kind of website glitch.

Another person wrote, “I corrected the dot 20 feet to be on the house,” and the delivery date went from mid-to-late 2021 to early-to-mid 2022.

“DO NOT update your service address”

You can find more of these complaints and pointed warnings in this Reddit thread that began three days ago. A Starlink beta tester who started the thread wrote:

If you have already pre-ordered, DO NOT update your service address. Do not move the little map marker, do not change your location in any way! Doing so will move you to the back of the line!

Obviously, if you have moved your residence, you need to update your address. Other than that, don’t touch it!

If Google Maps is wrong, leave it alone. Starlink will still work. I’m a mile away from where Google Maps has me, and I still have excellent service. Too many threads here with people lamenting that they moved their service location and now they are at the back of the line.

People who preordered may need to update their shipping address to receive the Starlink equipment, but that isn’t the same as updating the service location, according to other posts in the thread.

Starlink website last week to reflect the service’s exit from beta, which may be why a number of people who had preordered visited the website. Based on Reddit posts, it sounds like the map tool already existed but was previously unknown to many people. SpaceX apparently began featuring the tool more prominently on the website a few days ago.

We first heard of this problem Tuesday in an email from a Washington State resident named Brad, who said he ordered in February right after preorders opened. “My account has always said service by late 2021 until I updated my position on the map by maybe a couple hundred feet because Google Maps had my address down the street for some reason, and then it instantly changed to mid-2023,” Brad told us.

Brad lives in a rural area and said his current Internet service provides just 0.5Mbps “on a good day.” Brad noted that people who pre-ordered Starlink have been “checking our accounts constantly because we can’t wait, and I just decided to check it a couple of days ago and they added a map with a notation above it saying to ‘check your address, name, and service location for accuracy.’ It wasn’t accurate so I corrected it, and I paid the price.”

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