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Spark Sport introduces additional customer care measures

Spark Sport has this week brought in some additional customer care measures to help some customers who are still experiencing issues watching Rugby World Cup matches that haven’t been resolved through standard troubleshooting processes.

Most Spark Sport customers are streaming the Rugby World Cup successfully. The Spark Sport platform technical delivery has worked well for 17 of the 18 RWC matches to date (the exception being the well-publicised issues during the New Zealand vs South Africa match).

Since the tournament began, we’ve helped thousands of New Zealanders with their home technology setup so they can get the best viewing experience available from the comfort of their own home. The best solution for each customer depends on a wide range of factors including their broadband connection, their in-home connectivity (WiFi proximity and location, etc), and the devices they are using to stream matches.

From an expected peak over the first weekend of the RWC, we’ve seen a significant decline in the number of people needing assistance from our care team. The volume of care interactions last weekend was 80% lower than the previous weekend, even though Spark Sport viewership was similarly high on both weekends. We’ve managed to help most of those customers who experienced challenges with their set up during the early stages of the tournament through our standard troubleshooting process when they first contact us (phone call or live online chat).

However, there remains a small percentage of customers who for a range of reasons, it has been challenging to find a resolution to their issues via our standard troubleshooting processes. Based on what we understand about these customers’ situations, they should be able to have a good experience watching Spark Sport from their home but are still having issues.

We know these customers have had a frustrating experience and we’re sorry for that. We want to do all we can do help these customers, so in addition to continually evolving and improving our troubleshooting processes, we’ve decided this week to bring in some additional customer care measures.

First, we’ve identified some customers for whom we think an alternate device is likely to provide a better streaming experience. Spark Sport will offer to courier a Freeview SmartVU streaming device at Spark’s cost to customers where we believe that this could solve their issue. We will determine which customers will benefit from this on a case by case basis through a diagnostic set of questions.

Second, we have begun making home visits to a smaller number of customers free of charge, so that the Spark Sport care team can perform more advanced diagnostics and tests, again on a case by case basis. This is an important step to help resolve complex in-home customer challenges and it is also helping to identify patterns of problems that we can then use to help more customers with similar challenges. Initial home visits have been successful in resolving most customer issues – and for those customers where it has not, we are offering refunds.


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