Starlink Exploit Allows Customers To Skip The Waitlist, Get Discounted Pricing

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It is close to the end of 2023, and Starlink has been offering satellite internet service for nearly 3 years now. Despite continued satellite launches and capacity improvements, much of the US is still waitlisted. Starlink doesn’t have the network resources to satisfy demand, especially for people living in the midwest and eastern US. Some people, having put down their $99 pre-order deposit in early 2021, have been waiting over two years to get service.

Starlink has done a couple of things to remedy the situation. They started offering Mobile/Roam service, which offers deprioritized, portable service with no waitlist. The Best Effort program was also launched, which gives people on the waitlist early access to Starlink service. Although the Best Effort and Roam service plans have helped with access to Starlink services, the reality is that the most consistent performance comes from the Residential plan.

Customers using Roam for home internet have always searched for ways to convert to Residential, with some luck over the years through various loopholes and exploits. In this article, I’m going to expose the latest exploit. I will explain how it allows people to skip the Residential waitlist, and show you how customers are gaining access to discounted monthly service rates.

Why Expose This Information?

Some may have the opinion that giving out this information to the public is unethical. While I can respect that stance, it is important to understand that Starlink has been aware of this issue for months, and has done nothing to fix it.

Before publishing this article, I reached out to Starlink to let them know about the loophole. I’m not publishing this information to condone skipping the waitlist. Rather, I think exposing the exploit in a public way is the best method to gain Starlink’s attention. If this article spreads around the internet enough, Starlink will make fixing the exploit a priority.

Let me restate my stance clearly: I want Starlink to patch this loophole. Publishing this information is my way of trying to speed up that process. The information I give here is going to allow people to take advantage of the exploit if they wish, but that is just a consequence of brining the issue to light.

How The Exploit Works

Customers in waitlisted areas are able to bypass the Residential availability check with this exploit. It’s very simple, and just takes advantage of a Starlink website loophole. This loophole has been in place for months, so this information isn’t exactly new. Hopefully, this public explanation motivates Starlink to fix the issue, as my private messages with Starlink have not led to any kind of resolution.

Update The Roam Service “Home Address”

The exploit first showed up months ago, when the Starlink account dashboard started displaying a “home address” for Starlink Roam customers. Previously, there was no service or home address associated with Roam accounts. It was just a shipping address on file.

Your home address determines which plan options are available for you to change to. If your home address is in a waitlisted area, Starlink won’t allow you to convert from Roam to Residential. As you can see from my dashboard in the screenshot below, changing to Residential isn’t an option while my home address is set to my real location, because it is a waitlisted area.

If you navigate to your account dashboard, then click Manage on your Roam service plan, you will see the Home Address displayed. The key to this exploit is to change your home address to anywhere with open Residential availability. Starlink makes this easy with their availability map tool. To edit your home address, just click the pencil icon to the right.

Change Your Plan To Residential

Once you have changed your home address to a location with Residential availability, try to edit your service plan by clicking the pencil icon to the right of the currently displayed service plan. As you can see in the screenshot below, Standard (Residential) is now available as an option to switch to.

It is important to note that, when going from Roam to Residential, you might have to wait until the start of the new billing period for changes to take effect. In my case, my Roam subscription was paused (inactive). So the change to Residential was immediate. But if you have an active Roam subscription, you’ll need to wait until the current billing period expires before the change happens.

Change Your Service Address

When you go from Roam to Standard (Residential), Starlink uses your home address as the service address. Since Residential can only be used at your service address, you will need to edit the address back to your actual location.

On your account dashboard, you will see that Home Address has become Service Address now that the change from Roam to Residential was successful. Click the pencil icon to the right to change your service address back to your actual location.

This is where the loophole/exploit is. When you are a Standard (Residential) customer, the change service address tool on the Starlink account dashboard does not check availability when updating the address. So as of this article, you are free to change your service address anywhere, without any concern about the waitlist.

Discounted Monthly Rate Exploit

Starlink has been trying to create incentives for potential customers in high capacity areas of the US. In some places, Standard service is discounted from the normal $120/month to $90/month.

With the service address loophole still in place, some customers have discovered that once applied, the discounted service rate doesn’t update when they move their address back to the actual location. By selecting a home address in a discounted area, it is possible to convert to Residential and pay the lower monthly rate indefinitely, even after updating your service address to a place that isn’t discounted.

Final Thoughts

This isn’t the first loophole/exploit I’ve uncovered with the Starlink website, and it won’t be the last. In the years that I’ve been covering Starlink, there have been multiple times where the Starlink system design allows people to skip the waitlist.

In fact, just a few months ago, when Starlink first started allowing Roam customers to convert to Residential, I reported that there was no availability check. When that information found its way to the Starlink subreddit on Reddit, the website was quickly patched to disable the service change tool. A couple weeks later, the service change tool was back, but now with the current exploit method as its weakness.

I can only speculate on why the Starlink website and app have been prone to so many failures and glitches. But for now, the lack of quality control and testing on Starlink’s end has resulted in many people being able to skip the waitlist and convert their plans to Residential, even in low capacity areas.

If you are lucky enough to discover this exploit and take advantage of it before it is fixed, props to you. I can’t really blame people for wanting to get Residential service. And while it may seem wrong to skip ahead of people still waiting in line, the blame is 100% on Starlink. Their website has allowed this before, and it will probably happen again, even if this current loophole is fixed. I can’t blame people for playing by the rules that Starlink creates.

What are your thoughts on this loophole? Are you going to take advantage of it, or keep waiting? Do you fault people for using it to skip the waitlist? Let me know in the comments or in the community forums.

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13 thoughts on “Starlink Exploit Allows Customers To Skip The Waitlist, Get Discounted Pricing”

  1. A week ago I activated Starlink Roam with intentions of using this loophole, but yesterday I received an email about Starlink being ready to ship the hardware from where I put down the deposit to get residential service. Should I just cancel that order and wait to be able to switch the one I already have to Residential? I’d hate to have to re-buy the hardware and worry about sending this one back when I just got it. Any help would be great.

    • I would appreciate an answer to this as well. In July 2021 we signed up for Starlink service and were put on a waitlist. They were targeting service in our area in mid to late 2021. As of the middle of August 2023 we were STILL on the waitlist so we purchased the roam package. It took two weeks but we received out dish and got hooked up on Sept. 7th. Yesterday we received an email stating, “Your starlink is ready!” Now I have six days to confirm. I honestly don’t know how to proceed. I know we have a trial period with the roam dish so could probably send it back as soon as we ordered the residential plan and get our money back but is that the right action to take? I would like to save $30/mo and have a more stable signal with residential but ……….

  2. Well, I’m gonna try something a bit different. I want to keep my roaming Starlink service but I also want residential. I’m ordering a new complete Starlink system from Amazon.
    If this work around works, I should be able to plug in a residential service address near me “about 10 miles” that has service with the new equipment. If thart works, I’ll pause my mobile/roaming service to only when I need it when camping in the motorhome.

    Any drawbacks to what I’m trying?.

    • I wouldn’t buy the kit from Amazon. Starlink doesn’t sell on Amazon. The kits you see are from individuals who buy kits and resell them at higher prices. You can buy from Home Depot or Best Buy, as those are two approved Starlink resellers who sell brand new kits without a service plan attached. I don’t see any issues with your plan. You should be able to activate the kit for one address, and then update the address to your location to get Residential to work there.

  3. I did it. I bought the roam to get immediate service but residential has been coming in 2023 for months. Why keep paying for a service I didn’t really want to get the service I need? I will say I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how well the roam connects. Better than the hardwire service we had at our last house!

  4. I don’t see a loop hole. Roamers dropped $600 to buy the equipment, others just got in line for residential service. While many roamers.. or what was RV service, wanted residential, they put up the cash, and paid monthly while waiting.. the others did not. I think Starlink has done exactly the right thing here. Taking care of the existing customer base, before the new subscribers. There was a time when cell phone companies did the same. Yes, I moved from RV to residential. And paid for it.

  5. It is tempting. But I’d be worried that if we took advantage of this loophole that Starlink would end up not honoring it, and maybe even suspend the roam service we previously had until the residential is indeed available in our location.

  6. I live in Northern Canada. I have a star link system but have discontinued service because Inam away from my place for an extended period of time. Can Intake my starlink system to Mexico and use it there for five months,

  7. I for one appreciate the information. I understand the conundrum you faced posting this article but I feel you did it in good taste. I look forward to the information you share in your emails.


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