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The move covers ex-customers from the past seven years and those affected will get an email or...
Photo: NZ Herald
The Rugby World Cup kicks off in 140 odd days in Japan. Otago Daily Times rugby writer Steve Hepburn, who has short arms and deep pockets, won’t be there.

He will be like most of us, watching from his lounge. So that means signing up for the coverage with Spark Sport. In an occasional series, he will chart his progress in getting the service and how well it operates. It starts with signing up for the tournament pass. 

It is hard to believe that 26 years ago this writer managed to pass an information science paper at university. For if there is anyone out there who knows nothing about technology it is yours truly.

Like nothing — this guy’s head for technology is more empty than the New Zealand Warriors’ trophy cabinet.

Social media is avoided like the plague — all that bookface, snapcrap, instaslam — never use it.

Send probably five texts a week at the most.

Never read a book on a kindle, hate reading things on a phone and bought just one thing over the internet — and that was a kid’s bike which rusted more quickly than one of those ships lying on a Bangladesh beach.

If truth be told, the only reason that university paper was passed was copying a friend’s assignments. He ended up living in a flash house in Auckland, once owned by Carlos Spencer. Me, I resemble Frank Spencer when I get near new technology.

So it was with some major trepidation that one tried to get a tournament pass for the forthcoming Rugby World Cup. And this is not lone wolf stuff. There are lots and lots of us out there who fear technology.

As soon as someone says it is easy — including those offering the service — then you instantly know it isn’t.

The advertisement was in there in the ODT the other week. Just $59.99 before the end of the month to see every game live.

There was the thought of heading down to the Spark shop and asking about the pass. But those shops are like North Korea. A different world where one fears to tread.

So on to the computer. The screen came up and a few names and addresses had to be typed in. Including the bank account which one naturally becomes wary of.

It was with some dread the ‘‘confirm’’ button was clicked and there it was — nothing.

Well, for a couple of minutes, anyway, until an email arrived with a secret 10-letter code, confirming that the tournament pass had been purchased. The funds went out of the account and I have access to all 48 games — of which only about half will be watched.

It said to log on and register as a Spark sport user. Tried that but was told I was already a user. Not sure what is going on there but will push on.

Some fancy email arrived the next day confirming the registration as a pass holder.

Now we wait, and wonder.

Like how can we have any faith in this process? I’ve read the horror stories. Surely after registering, a clear and concise email would have been sent outlining what happens next. If it did, I missed it.

Then one wonders how Sky mucked this up. While watching the Highlanders play the Stormers at 2am last Sunday, there were 10 sporting events live on Sky. That’s right — 10!

How could Sky get to a place where it is showing 10 events live on its channels in the middle of the night yet it cannot screen the pinnacle event of its main sport?

I must have missed that bookface post.


others with half a brain will just fine free streams...

No way I was going to sign up for an early bird pass when the technology required to watch it directly on my TV has not been released yet. If the tech was there and proven I probably would have. Now it will probably be a case of delayed or streamed coverage.


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