I’ve spent most of the day helping an elderly relative get better plans/pricing for their phone/TV/internet needs. In fact, I managed to save them almost $120 by cancelling their “bundle” with one provider, eliminating their cable altogether, and keeping only the basic landline (which they insist they cannot live without).
I’m not sharing this to get a pat on the back. I’m sharing it because someone needs to make an organization, perhaps a non-profit, that can tackle these kinds of issues for our aging population. This is one elderly person out of how many? I can’t help everyone. It took hours of checking rates, calling providers, haggling and negotiating, etc. But it should be considered basic Consumer Protection for people who can’t navigate the digital world as well as others.
And, no, it isn’t just an age thing. There are many reasons why someone wouldn’t be internet savvy, whether they’re older, from a culture/country that didn’t have the same technology, they’ve been in prison or in a coma for years, etc.
I’m not judging who “deserves” to have internet, phone, TV, etc. I’m concerned for people who, as of today, have every right to set up and pay for plans that work for their needs and circumstances.
“Why can’t they just figure it out themselves?”
I hear you, oh purveyor of bootstraps.
The truth is, we’re all going to find ourselves unable to keep up with advancing technology one day, even if it’s just because we’re blessed to live to a ripe old age. I don’t want some mega-corporation taking advantage of me just because I’m alone and don’t know how to argue back.
This person knew they were being ripped off but didn’t have the language to fight it, nor did they understand how to access the other possible options.
Anyway, I’m done ranting.
Someone out there has to have the time and money for a Digital Literacy Non-Profit.
And, please, have a heart. If you have anyone in your life who could be in a similar situation, try and see if you can help them out. You could really make a difference in their life.