'STOP!' Countdown sends out mass message in the middle of the night

A Countdown supermarket building

Countdown customers are angry after being woken up by a text message the supermarket sent out in the middle of the night.

The message, promoting a fuel discount, had phones beeping away in the wee hours of Sunday morning. But Countdown may not be to blame, with the Spark mobile network experiencing issues overnight.

An Auckland woman and her family woke up with a fright when her phone went off at 1.19am.

"You don't expect something from Countdown in the middle of the night. You just panic," she told Newshub.

"I'm staying in a small room at the Notovel Hamilton, and it woke my entire family up.

"I was pretty angry. It took me a long time to get to sleep."

The woman, who would prefer to remain unnamed, said she doesn't even shop at Countdown, and says Pak'nSave will have a similar deal running "so it was a waste of bloody time telling me about it anyway".

She said she would like an apology. 

The text message from Countdown reads "Save 40c/l on fuel with $200 spent in-store at Countdown this Sat 28 - Mon 30 Jan 2017. T & C in-store or ph 0800404040. To cancel Onecard alert, reply STOP." The reply is "STOP".
One woman didn't get back to sleep until after 3am (Supplied)

"I don't know how many people it would have affected, but it affected me. Grumpy mum for the kids today."

Karolyn Timarkos was woken by the same message at 6.45am on Sunday.

She replied to the text with: "It's 6.45 on Sunday ****ing morning! PISS OFF."

"I've calmed down now - everyone makes mistakes - and my guess is it was supposed to go out at 6.43pm, not am," she said.

"But the Sunday morning of a long weekend? Grrrr."

Countdown has apologised to customers who had their sleep interrupted by the message.

Spokesperson James Walker says Countdown had arranged for all messages to be sent out before 10pm.

"However, it appears some customers received texts later on. We are investigating with the telcos to see what has happened, as they deliver the texts. No texts should have gone after 10pm."

In a Facebook post, Spark confirmed there have been issues affecting broadband mobile around New Zealand.