There is a bit of confusion around the Starlink return policy. While Starlink is an innovative product with a promising future, it works better in certain areas.
Thus, while you may have coverage, Starlink may not perform as well as you want.
Starlink doesn’t have the best customer support, and many consumers have to contend with long wait lists. As such, this may make you reluctant to try Starlink.
Starlink’s equipment is expensive. If you’re dissatisfied with the service, can you return it and get a refund? How does the process work? This guide will answer these questions.
Understanding Starlink’s Return Policy
SpaceX highlights Starlink’s return policy on its terms of service page. Unfortunately, it’s mostly hidden behind a large wall of legal text.
Legalese is essentially written to confuse the consumer and protect the company.
So, let’s simplify it a bit. First, you must understand how Starlink’s return policy applies to rentals and acquisitions.
Starlink’s equipment can cost between $599 and $2500 in addition to a monthly subscription fee. You can pay the equipment fee outright or rent it.
[Document with Return Policy Written On it]
Return Policy for Rent-A-Starlink
When writing this guide, SpaceX’s Rent-a-Starlink service was available in a few select markets, not including the US and Canada.
However, consumers in these areas can still rent Starlink from a third party, such as BorrowStarlink.
Since their return policies will differ, we’ll focus mainly on Starlink’s official service. SpaceX requires an initiation fee for rentals.
In European countries, it can cost as much as €50 ($52+/-).
If you elect to cancel your rental (and subscription) within thirty days, Starlink will give you your money back. However, there are some caveats.
You must return your Starlink kit within thirty days after cancellation. If not, you may incur a retail penalty fee. Furthermore, the Starlink kit should be as near its original state as possible. It should be undamaged and unmodified, or Starlink may force you to pay the full price for the kit.
Return Policy for Full Purchases
Return policies for full purchases are similar to those for rentals. Customers must return equipment (undamaged) in 30 days to qualify for a full refund.
Starlink also allows you to return equipment within a year (12 months).
However, this will only qualify you for a partial refund determined by how long you’ve had the equipment.
Nevertheless, the rules are slightly different if you want to return and swap your equipment because it’s faulty. Starlink has a limited warranty for its kits.
The company understands that the technology hasn’t been around for a long time and, thus, hasn’t been tested long-term.
The warranty period is dependent on your region and kit type. Starlink’s high-performance kit has the longest warranty period (24 months) regardless of what country you’re in.
The standard kit has a 24-month warranty for regions in the EU and UK and 12 months for the rest of the world. Devices and accessories you’ve bought separately are subject to the same rules.
Customers on the waiting list who have paid a deposit can cancel, too. SpaceX will fully refund their deposit.
[Starlink satellite dish]
If you’ve fully purchased your equipment, you may be subject to certain charges even after meeting Starlink’s 30-day return policy.
These charges may be deducted from your total refund. These charges include:
- First Month Service: Starlink bills you for the first month after the first 14 days, regardless of whether you’ve used the service. Bear this in mind before canceling the service and returning the kit.
- Starlink Kit Damage: The company may accept a few superficial damages (minor scratches and dents) but may deduct a fee for minor functional ones. If the equipment is completely inoperable due to misuse on your part, Starlink will not disperse your refund.
- Shipping Costs: You may be liable to pay for equipment shipping and delivery costs depending on where you live.
How to Return Starlink’s Hardware
You must package your Starlink equipment carefully if you hope to secure your refund.
Any damage the hardware incurs may disqualify you from a refund. Make sure that all equipment is accounted for.
This includes the base, router, power supply, cables and other accessories that your kit came with.
Once that’s done, you can begin the Starlink cancellation process.
Step 1: Cancel Your Starlink Service
You’ll need a return label to ship the equipment, which Starlink will send to you only after you’ve canceled your service:
- Navigate to Starlink’s website and log in. Alternatively, you can use the phone app.
- Next, select your account’s MANAGE button under the YOUR STARLINKS section.
- Click/tap on the CANCEL SERVICE button underneath the name of your subscription.
- Confirm the cancellation.
Once you’ve completed the above steps, the website/app will return you to the previous page.
It will inform you how long you’ll have access to Starlink’s services before they terminate.
If you get cold feet, you can also reactivate your subscription and terminate the cancellation process.
However, Starlink may reject your reactivation request, so think carefully before you proceed.
Once you’ve successfully canceled your subscription, Starlink will email you a shipping label in the next few hours.
The company will also send you instructions, including the carrier you should use to ship the kit.
Once you’ve received and printed the return label, you can start stowing the hardware.
Step 2: Stowing Your Hardware
First, you’ll need to stow the Starlink base (aka satellite dish/antenna/receiver).
The Starlink must be turned on (connected to a power supply) and connected to your network. Open the Starlink mobile app, then:
- Tap on Settings
- Next, tap on Starlink
- Select and slide the Stow Starlink option on the next screen
Following the above steps correctly will make you notice the base fold/tilt forward.
[Unstowed Starlink Base]
However, if you struggle to stow your Starlink satellite base automatically, you can attempt the following manual steps:
- Remove the Starlink receiver base from the mounting bracket while it is connected to your network and turned on.
- Place it face-down (mast/leg up) on a flat surface and wait until the base moves into the stowed position.
- Finally, you should be able to disconnect it from the power and network.
Step 3: Packing The Starlink Kit For Return
[Top View of Woman Packing Equipment Away]
Before you package the hardware for shipment, it’s best to ensure it’s clean.
Use a dry cloth to remove and eliminate moisture from the base, router and all other necessary hardware. The aim is to try to get a full refund. This will improve your chances.
You need to avoid being too rough with the equipment when disassembling it. For instance, avoid forcefully pulling on the cable to remove them.
Instead, try disconnecting them from their inputs or outputs using their heads.
Regarding packaging, using the original box that your Starlink hardware came in is best.
We also highly recommend procuring anti-static bubble wrap and protective sheets.
This will guarantee that the base and router are protected during the shipment and delivery.
Package the equipment as carefully as possible. Once you’ve secured and wrapped your package for shipment, please print out the return label and place it on the box.
You can then drop the package off at Starlink’s preferred carrier. You can also order a pickup if the carrier allows.
The Starlink return policy is pretty clear. Stowing your base, packaging, and returning your equipment seems to be the hardest part of the process.
Nevertheless, if you’re just demo-ing Starlink, you should give yourself at least ten days to assess how much you like it.
If you’re unhappy, you should begin the return process immediately.
This will allow you to avoid additional fees and increase your chance of getting a full refund.
Once Starlink receives the package, they’ll process your refund. Starlink support will contact you if they find anything wrong with the equipment or your return request.