A frustrated Spark Sport customer is considering illegally streaming Rugby World Cup games after being told to turn on and off his router and offered a 10 per cent discount off their World Cup Tournament Pass.
In order watch a World Cup game without the footage "lagging and skipping every couple of seconds" the disgruntled customer contacted a Spark technician when he couldn't watch Saturday evening's games.
After running a speed test that showed his fibre connection running a speedy 36 megabites per second, the customer was told restart his router, to no avail.
He was then told his internet connection was completely fine and nothing more could be done to help and offered a "pathetic" 10 per cent discount on the service.
The tech support was "literally the cliche of 'have you tried turning it off and on again?'," they said.
The fan watched last night's games on mute, as the stuttering sound of the lagging match was too distracting, he said.
No home visit for further testing was offered by the technician and the customer is now considering streaming future games illegally.
"In my mind, I've paid for that copyright product, so I don't have any qualms about going on an illegal streaming site and I'll get better coverage and better commentary."
He said if an overseas tourist asked them how they should watch the game and whether to buy a Spark Sport pass, they would say "not in a million years."
"You're better to go to a bar and watch the game," he said.
Many other rugby fans have contacted the Herald with similar gripes.
"It is absolutely useless," One wrote today. Pausing every few seconds. Spark is not even worth contacting, they not got a clue whey these problems are happening. Bring back rugby on SKY."
Another wrote: "Unbelievable... 24 games and 16 days in - still utterly unacceptable coverage. 2 to 3 second freeze every 3 to 10 seconds by latter stage of Australia Uruguay match. Went to bed disgusted and missed next two matches."
Dave Carol Jenkin said the screen pixelated a couple of times and froze for about 10 seconds during the All Blacks v South African match. But their coverage had been great since.
"Since then everything has worked perfectly - great quality pictures with no issues at all.
"Really happy with the value for money - The whole tournament for less than it used to cost me for 1 month of Sky - and that was when I was forced into a years contract."
The latest complaints follow yesterday's report a group of irate rugby fans plans to sue Spark for $250 million for failings in its livestreaming service of the Rugby World Cup.
Continued criticism of the service prompted Spark Sport to confirm it is offering additional "customer care measures" last Wednesday.
A Spark spokeswoman says a vast majority of customers are having a good experience streaming the games but that doesn't take away from the experience of those people who have been having difficulties.
In a majority of cases the issues are usually related to the broadband within the house or the device they are streaming from, she said.
Spark Sport is offering a Freeview streaming device to those customers it believes an alternative device will offer a better streaming experience.
It is also making home visits to a small number of customers to run more advanced diagnostics and tests, on a case-by-case basis. Refunds are also offered when issues cannot be resolved.
"If customers aren't happy with the experience they're getting with us, they're entitled to a full refund," the spokeswoman said.
The spokeswoman added that customers who had suffered a poor experience of a specific match, but wished to carry on with the service, were offered a partial refund of their Tournament Pass price.
"As the customer has only been offered a partial refund, that indicates to me that he wishes to continue to watch the Rugby World Cup on Spark Sport.
"If a customer has been unable to resolve their Spark Sport RWC viewing issues with our Care Team using standard troubleshooting, then they are able to cancel Tournament Pass for a full refund, less any amounts already refunded."