Starlink, Elon Musk's internet space company, emailed customers late Tuesday night who put down a $100 deposit to secure a dish were being delayed for up to a year or more. Only days ago, Starlink customers reported on the Starlink account portal homepage that their expected order delivery time was late 2021.
The delay comes as no surprise. Musk is a notorious salesman who overpromises and underdelivers for some of his companies, especially Tesla. Last month, the world's richest man told Starlink users, "Should be nationwide rollout by the end of the month."
Should be nationwide rollout by end of month. Note, still limited by peak number of users in same area.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 7, 2021
This will improve as more satellites are launched.
Wait. So what exactly changed since early October that Starlink would have to delay orders for up to a year for some? Here's the email:
Thank you for being a supporter of Starlink! Over 14 million people have inquired about Starlink service in their area and today Starlink is available in over 20 countries (and counting).
The Starlink team has been working hard to expand service and increase capacity while continuously improving quality of service. We will be able to accommodate more users per area as we increase the number of satellites in orbit.
Check delivery timelines in your account
Silicon shortages over the last 6 months have slowed our expected production rate and impacted our ability to fulfill many Starlink orders this year. We apologize for the delay and are working hard across our engineering, supply chain, and production teams to improve and streamline our product and factory to increase our production rate.
You can check estimated delivery times by logging into your account page on Starlink.com. You will still receive an email from the Starlink team when your order is ready to ship, and you may cancel your order at any time for a full refund of your deposit.
Latest Starlink now in production
We recently released the latest version of Starlink which was designed for high volume manufacturing. The latest version of Starlink has comparable performance to the previous version and will begin to ship globally next year.
Expanding to more countries across the world
Since our October 2020 launch in the United States we have expanded our service to 20 additional countries: Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, New Zealand, Australia, Austria, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Switzerland, Portugal, Chile, Poland, Italy, Czech Republic, Mexico, Sweden, and Croatia. Pending regulatory approval, we are planning to launch in an additional 45+ new countries by the end of 2022.
More satellites in orbit with newer technology
We recently completed our 31st Starlink launch with our latest generation of satellites that are equipped with inter-satellite laser links, which enable our satellites to transfer data between each other. Once fully deployed, inter-satellite laser links will make Starlink one of the fastest options available to transfer data around the world.
The delay angered many users on the r/Starlink subreddit forum. Some said they wanted a refund.
"Whole thing is feeling like a ruse. Pre-order money was used to get everyone on the hook. Started at mid 2021, moved to late 2021. Now maybe late 2022. Complete farce. Beyond pissed. Rejected at pre-beta, beta, and now F-me, ... So frustrated right now, I almost chucked my phone!!!" one Redditor said.
Another Redditor said it could be until mid-2023 until they receive the dish. They said, "Just submitted my refund request. I'm not waiting it out due to T-mobile Home Internet off their nearby 5G tower. $50/mo, no data caps, fast up/down speeds. Verizon has a similar service, just not in my rural area atm."
"My pre-order Feb 9 2021 now targeted for 2023. I think I'm out. Why say "mid to late 2021" if you couldn't make it happen? I just gave Starlink a free loan for almost a year with no return," someone said.
The list goes on and on of angered Starlink customers who pre-ordered the space internet, waited months, if not more than a year, to only be crushed by a late Tuesday night email about the delay.
None of this is surprising, considering it's a Musk company. We leave you with this, as one Redditor asks: "I wonder how many deposits are going to be refunded?"