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Spark business customers could get compo after outage

Some companies lost service for most of the day.

Tue, 31 Jan 2017

Spark's business customers could get some form of compensation following widespread outages that hit the company's network on Sunday.

"The priority yesterday was to get the network back up and running but I did speak to a lot of customers.  For most of them it was an inconvenience, but for some customers, especially in business, it’s a lifeline for them, and again we really appreciate and our approach is to always do the right thing by our customers. So if any Spark customers yesterday had an impact, give us a call," chief executive home, mobile and business Jason Paris says.

Compo will be "on a case-by-case basis for those who experienced material financial loss as a direct result of the outage."

Problems began at Spark's Pakuranga data centre around 9.20am Sunday morning after a hardware fault occurred and a backup system failed to automatically re-direct traffic – meaning engineers has to step in for a manual restart.

Landline broadband was quickly restored and mobile service came back around midday but, at that point, Spark's network became overloaded due to the number of phones trying to re-authenticate at once. The company then switched tack with a phased restart, bringing groups of mobile customers back on at a time. Some did not get full service restored until late evening.

“We take a lot of pride in our network. We think it’s the best in the country. But we let ourselves down yesterday," Mr Paris says.

The chief executive says the cause of the backup failure has been identified and the company is taking steps to make sure it doesn't happen again.

He also apologises. “We’re not underplaying the impact it had on people’s lives,” he says.

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Spark business customers could get compo after outage