Elderly couple told they still can’t watch Rugby World Cup even after putting router in centre of lounge

Spark is bracing for a customer backlash as rugby fans all across the country struggle to get a picture on their wireless router.

Spark is bracing for a customer backlash as rugby fans all across the country struggle to get a picture on their wireless router.

With the Rugby World Cup fast approaching, an elderly Taranaki couple are furious after being told that they still won’t be able to watch the tournament, even after placing a router in the centre of their living room.

Michael and Alice Duncan, 83 and 85, have been avid All Blacks fans for most of their lives, and are typically found curled up in their chairs, cheering on the boys in black on Sky Sport, which they had set up by their son, Tim, on their modest 18 inch television.

But the news that this year’s World Cup would be broadcast live via the internet, rather than on satellite TV, forced the elderly pair to come to grips with technology that had never before been necessary.

“We’ve never had an internet connection,” said Michael. “We just didn’t see the point. The post box still works, and we’re not interested in these cartoons and wacky pictures, and I’ve got a stash of old magazines, so we never did see the point. But now my son’s telling me, it’s on the website, dad, the rugby’s going to be on the website, so I thought, oh, here we go.”

Michael said the process to get the internet working and subscribe to Spark Sport had been nothing but “a nightmare” from the very start, and he’s “fed up” with “the whole bloody thing.”

“We don’t want to watch it on the computer,” said Alice. “We want to watch it on the TV.”

On their son’s advice, the couple called Spark, with whom they already have a landline, and were told they’d need to purchase a router before they were able to watch the rugby live in their home.

“I didn’t know what that was,” said Michael, “but anyway, we got on the bus, and we went and bought one of the bloody things.”

But even after removing their television, purchasing the router and placing it on the table where the TV used to be, the Duncans are now being told they still can’t watch the rugby.

“We bought the modem, we put it on the table, we plugged it in, but it just flashes red lights,” said Alice. “I don’t know what more they want us to do.”

When asked for comment, Spark said that while they understood the process of adapting to new technology was surely “frustrating” for the Duncans, there were “only a few more steps” to go before they’d be “up and running.”

Michael says he isn’t buying it.

“They always says there’s more steps, there’s always more steps,” he complained. “Why does it have to be so complicated? The way it was before, you turned on the TV, and it was on.”

He now says they might be forced to listen to the All Blacks on the radio.

Alice blames the Prime Minister.