Price Crash: Starlink users face payment hurdles in Nigeria

Nigerian internet users are experiencing difficulties paying for Starlink satellite internet service after a significant price reduction triggered by the naira’s recent appreciation against the dollar.

Starlink, owned by SpaceX, slashed the hardware cost by more than 45 percent, bringing it down to N440,000 from a previous price of nearly N1m.

Customers are encountering technical difficulties while trying to make payments on the company’s website.

Starlink advertised its service as “unlimited high-speed internet for NGN38,000 per month, available everywhere in Nigeria with speeds up to 160 Mbps.”

The hardware kit, now sold for N440,000, is typically installed at residences, enabling users to engage in activities that have historically not been possible with satellite Internet due to Starlink’s constellation of highly advanced satellites operating in a low orbit around the earth.

Frustration is mounting among Nigerian Internet users, who are venting their disappointment on X, a social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Many users reported issues using their naira cards to pay for Starlink on the company’s website.

Stanley, a disgruntled customer, expressed his dismay on X, stating, “After we just finished paying N1.8m to buy two of your products just two weeks ago, I feel like just crying.”

Several other users echoed Stanley’s concerns, highlighting the website’s rejection of naira cards and the price disparity for early adopters.

Paul Ehrima pleaded for alternative payment methods, stating, “I have used numerous naira and USD cards to make a purchase, but it didn’t go through. Kindly give us a better alternative payment method.”

Others, like Justin, reported successfully receiving their hardware but being unable to activate their subscription due to payment failures using naira cards.

Florence Abebe speculated that the website might be malfunctioning, hindering deposit verification.

“I tried to register, but it appeared your website may have an issue. It is unable to verify the deposit due,” she explained on X.

Agozie Ani and Jasper Nwoko chimed in, adding to the chorus of frustration regarding payment issues and the significant price drop.

Meanwhile, recently, the naira rebounded against the dollar, experiencing a significant recovery.

The naira has appreciated since early January, with rates improving from around N1,900 to now being in the region of N1,300.

Starlink Internet service in Nigeria, despite its high-speed capabilities, remains prohibitively expensive for the average Nigerian consumer due to the high upfront equipment cost and monthly subscription fees.

It has also partnered with Jumia, Nigeria’s most popular e-commerce platform, to market the product.

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