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Updated: What went down with Spark’s weekend outage

31 Jan 17

Spark mobile and broadband services were down on Sunday, with widespread outages impacting some customers across the country from around 9.15am.

According to the telco, the outages impacted 263 of the approximately 1500 Spark mobile sites in New Zealand, predominantly in the Auckland region. Broadband services were also impacted on other locations around country.

On Sunday, Spark says technical teams were working hard on resolving the issues as a ‘matter of urgency’.

The problem was identified as a hardware fault located in one of the core Spark network exchanges, and a fix was put in place, Spark explains.

Most impacted services were restored immediately, and others were progressively self-restoring, it says.

On Monday morning, at 12.30am, Spark says all broadband services were fully restored, while mobile services progressively coming back online. The company said customers may still be experiencing intermittent and residual mobile connection issues.

Spark says this was due to the large volume of devices auto-registering back onto the Spark mobile network, which in turn may have impacted some Spark mobile customers who were not experiencing issues earlier.

Meanwhile, during the outage, Spark’s Facebook page was inundated with complaints from its customers.

“We're aware of issues affecting some people broadband mobile in various places around NZ right now, we're looking into it urgently and will share more info as soon as we have it. Thanks for sitting tight, we appreciate it," Spark said on the social media platform.

However, customers online were quick to demand refunds for loss of service, saying because Spark charges a late payment fee, they should have to pay a no service fee.

Despite the outcry, Spark said they won’t be offering compensation as a ‘matter of course’, but customers who wanted to apply for compensation could do so via their customer service centre.

Updated: A Spark spokesperson says that while the outage affected a large number of cell sites around the country, it is not possible to say how many customers were impacted. The outage was initially in Auckland and then later nationwide. 

Spark says they can never guarantee 100% service on the network, and will not provide a blanket form of compensation. 

"We do apologise to customers for the inconvenience though - we'll be completing a full review to try and ensure this doesn't happen again," Spark says. 

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