Astrill, a Seychelles-based VPN provider and self-proclaimed “market leader,” claiming to offer the “best VPN solution for web surfing” is facing some major backlash amongst its users in China – and for good reason.
Service complaints started rolling in around the 5th of February when Chinese users began noticing disruptions in their VPN service. Just a few days later – at the start of the Lunar New Year – many more users reported that Astrill was intermittently inaccessible over the course of the seven-day holiday.
Normally, this is where any other (customer service oriented) company would step in, apologize for the disruption to the service, and perhaps offer some incentive for current users to remain loyal to the service. Unfortunately, that’s not quite what happened.
Astrill could do with a lesson in PR
Instead of remedying the ongoing issue, Astrill chose to go a different route. As seen in an Astrill notice posted online by one of its users, the company insulted their client base by essentially calling them stupid.
The notice starts off by saying that some users are “not that smart” and that by spreading the news about Astrill’s new software they are “helping Chinese censors.” As ridiculous as that statement might seem, Astrill didn’t stop there, but instead continued their baseless rant and further alienated their paying customers. “We can invent new technologies … but we don’t have a solution for stupidity. Dear ‘journalists,’ please spread this message as usual, all over the Web and join DUMB CLUB,” it read.
This notice, specifically the company’s impolite attitude, sparked rage in a number of Chinese netizens. The company’s social media accounts were/are being bombarded with refund requests, and countless comments pointing out that Astrill should take more responsibility instead of blaming its customers.
What the future holds for Astrill
Although it’s unclear how Astrill’s PR team (if they even have one) plans to deal with this scandal in the long term, the company is currently offering two weeks of free service to customers affected by the “outage” earlier this month. Unfortunately for Astrill, many users aren’t having it and have said to be leaving for good.
If you’re one of those people, or if you’re just looking for a more customer friendly and reliable VPN provider to use in China, I’d advise that you check out this article. To summarize, going with a trusted provider like IPVanish or ExpressVPN is sure to bring a much more enjoyable VPN experience that is as feature-packed as it is reliable.