Starhub faces fuming WoW gamers

Following the 4.0.6 patch, thousands of Starhub subscribers are fuming with rage after experiencing severe lag spikes that make World of Warcraft (WoW) unplayable, though many of them have the Maxonline Ultimate broadband connection.

Some gamers have even gone to the extent of permanently quitting the game or terminating their broadband contract and switching to SingNet.

According to gaming experts, the problem lies with Starhub rather than Blizzard because the same patch is distributed to players all over the world and it should affect all ISPs or region if it had any issues.

How this problem arose could be due to the certain form of packet StarHub uses, their prioritisation of data flow, or even many simultaneous BitTorrent downloads on the same network.

Besides Starhub, a minority of SingNet subscribers reported a similar problem, but this was soon fixed by technical engineers.

A local WOW gamer nicknamed "Sodaprincess" wrote on a forum that she called Starhub every day for one week and the response she got was "everything was perfectly fine".

Aaron Tiong, 38, business development manager, thinks Starhub should work out a solution with Blizzard and solve the problem instead of giving subscribers the run-around, asking them to do trace routes.

"The community is providing you with information to resolve the issues, and instead of taking the problem off your customers' hands and dealing with Blizzard directly, you give us reason to perceive it as a blame game," he said.

"Effectively, you are making it our problem although we are paying you for the service. One sentence : BAD PR management, forgetting that customers come first," Aaron proclaimed in an enraged tone.

A possible workaround for gamers to evade the lag issue is to purchase a VPN (Virtual Private Network) in a country in Europe or North America. This similar solution is also frequently used by Chinese Internet users who want to surf sites such as Facebook or YouTube, which are blocked by the government.

Meanwhile, Starhub's biggest competitor SingTel was recently subjected to a virtual tongue-lashing by frustrated football fans for its aggressive sales tactics, as they had to fork out an extra $3.15 to watch the Carling Cup Final between Arsenal and Birmingham, even though they have subscribed to the English Premier League and Champions League channels.

The writer is a 16-year-old technology blogger who loves social media and gadgets. He is also Singapore's No. 1 Twitter user, with 180,000 followers.

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