There aren’t many plans out there that ‘target’ seniors, and that’s actually a good thing. The last time plans were available that were heavily marketed to seniors, they were 200MB broadband plans that charged for any usage above that amount. These internet plans eventually disappeared after some companies suffered terrible press and Ombudsman complaints over shocking bills that tallied thousands of dollars of charges. Many elderly customers, who previously might have shown significant brand loyalty in a way younger consumers do not, have been forced into being wary consumers, always looking for the catch that will bite them in the tail.
In our experience, we’ve found senior consumers to be as diverse as their younger counterparts, and despite not being as technologically adept as a group, seniors tend to be much cannier consumers overall. Moreover, the idea of all elderly consumers being technological babes-in-the-woods is rubbish- computer programmers and scientists get old as well. And many retirees are just fine with learning new things, from social networking to gaming to programming, and they all need a good cheap plan as much as their children and grandchildren.
Luckily, there are many plans that suit seniors much better than others. We have used the following criteria to determine the best suited plans:
Note – Many customers ask for senior or pensioner discounts. At this stage, Centrelink discounts are only available on your telephone line rental, and only through Telstra. The net saving is usually less than what you save by going with a cheaper provider.
Good customer service. You would think this would be a given for all companies, but each company has a different culture, and not all of them are customer focused.
Good price. Not cheap price, because often the cheapest providers are cheap because a lot of the after-sales support is do-it-yourself. What’s needed are well-priced plans that offer real value.
No hidden fees. Some plans, more than others, have a certain amount of honesty about them. Others don’t. We’re focused on the first category.
Calls included. Most competitive plans are offered on ADSL2+, which is a connection that runs over your phone line. In most cases, you must bundle in a phone service as part of your internet package, even if you don’t plan on using the phone. While most consumers are moving away from fixed line connections to use their mobile, many senior users are happier with the reliability of their copper-line home phone. Some providers are offering excellent deals that include phone calls. And some seniors, like the rest of the public, want Naked Broadband, with no phone service at all.
Light plans don’t always offer the best value. While it's true that seniors use less data, they still usually use more than they think. We have recommended a mix of light, medium and heavy plans, but the difference in price rarely varies by more than $10 or $20. Sometimes it's easier to go with a plan that has more data than you need, so that there's one less thing to keep track of.