Friday, September 2, 2016

Optus faces deluge of complaints from English Premier League fans over soccer app performance

FRUSTRATED soccer fans have lodged a complaint with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission red-carding Optus’ coverage of the English Premier League.

Optus has been flooded with complaints from frustrated fans, who have reported frozen screens, the app failing to load and jumpy pictures when they tune in to the exclusive Australian service.

Fans forced to stream the world’s most famous soccer league online for the first time this season have also complained about matches billed as live being shown on delay.

Others whose app has crashed as soon as it loads, or who have been left staring at a blank screen, have demanded better service, compensation or their money back.

In a bid to keep customers happy, the Singapore-owned telco has hired a 24/7 team to try to solve glitches, but admitted the system was not perfect.

Optus, Australia’s second-largest telecommunications company, last week admitted subscriber delays in coverage were “caused by limitations in the technology used’’.

Optus spokeswoman Gab­rielle Crittenden acknowledged “some initial teething problems and some complaints from customers’’ but claimed “the vast majority’’ of customers had a “great’’ experience.

“We are only a few rounds into the EPL season and we have had a good start to our EPL broadcast coverage and service to date,’’ it said.

But a 50-second streaming delay has sparked considerable angst among fans.

A complaint made to the ACCC during the week said in part: “the service offered was numerously described as being ‘live’, it is clearly not live.

“And so Optus/Optus Sport need to compensate their customers for the degraded product being offered.’’

Fans already angry they had to join Optus to see EPL matches live have also complained they’ve been charged for using data while watching on an app they were told would be free.

Viewers claim broadcast quality is not as good as it was on Fox Sports.

Optus had hoped to score a winner with fans by signing a three-year deal believed to be worth $180 million for Aussie EPL rights. Instead, it scored an own goal with fans when transmission was cut to coverage of one match in the opening round and has copped constant criticism over the quality of streaming since.

Optus will publish a new app upgrade this week that it hopes will improve service.