Elon Musk Is Flogging a Starlink Trial for $1 in Australia, Yes There is a Catch

Elon Musk Is Flogging a Starlink Trial for $1 in Australia, Yes There is a Catch

Good news, if you’ve been thinking about trying satellite internet: Starlink has a deal going right now that lets you try out its satellite internet plan for just $1, but there is a catch (of course there is).

It is $1 for the equipment cost (with $598 deferred until after the first month) and $139 for the first month of the internet plan, with shipping costs completely wiped. It’s all refundable, making it a much more lightweight internet option to try out, but it’s not really any cheaper than a standard Starlink plan.

Brought to our attention by friend of Gizmodo Australia Neerav Bhatt, the hardware can be ordered for residential plans and addresses for just $1 (normally $599). After setup, an additional cost of $139 will be applied to pay for your internet access.

Naturally, there are terms to that $1, when you proceed through to the ordering page, the remaining costs of the trial (the equipment costs) are explained: “The remaining balance of $598 will be automatically charged 30 days after activation unless you cancel service and initiate the return of the undamaged kit.”

Starlink also buried the cost of its plan, which is still required, in the customer FAQ section. “Service cost still applies, and will be charged upon activation,” Starlink wrote. “Activation is when you power on and connect your Starlink for the first time or 30 days post-shipment; whichever happens first.”

So it’s not really a trial – you’re just delaying the biggest cost of the plan until after the first month. If that’s what you’re after, great! But in my opinion, it’s hardly a ‘$1 trial’.

As part of this, Starlink has also wiped the shipping cost from all plans (previously shipping cost $30), meaning you won’t need to pay anything to simply get the satellite delivered to you. That’s great!

You will, however, need to pay for a mount – the cheapest on offer from Starlink being $90, and the most expensive being $230.

Upon ordering, you must select the ‘$1 trial’ option. This deal is not available to current Starlink customers.

“You may cancel your Starlink service at any time during the trial. If cancelled, you will receive a full refund for your first month of service and for the $1 charge. You will have 30 days from the date you cancel to return your Starlink kit, otherwise you will be charged the full price of the kit. Starlink provides a pre-paid return label for the kit,” Starlink notes.

There’s also no indication of if this trial is a limited-time offer, something the satellite internet provider has been punished over before.

The deal comes shortly after Telstra launched its ‘Satellite Internet’ plans, which leverage Starlink’s network of low-earth orbit satellites and equipment.

At the time of writing, it doesn’t appear that Telstra is offering the same trial, although let’s be honest, the Starlink trial is not that good. You’re still paying the same fee, the equipment cost has just been shuffled back a month.

This article isn’t a takedown of Starlink – it’s genuinely good for a lot of people, particularly in regional and rural Australia – but you’re still paying the high costs for service and equipment. The bulk of those costs have just been shuffled.

Image: Starlink/Gizmodo Australia

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