I work as a research analyst for a prepaid wireless company and have been in the prepaid wireless industry for many years. Some of the most frequent customers we get at Best Cellular are senior citizens. Typically, they want to port out of their current carrier. Most people have a cell phone plan already. However, often they’ve been mistreated by outsourced “customer service” or ignored when they want to keep their trusty flip phone. One of the most shocking factors is how much they’re being charged by their previous wireless carrier!
It is my job to research and write about industry trends in order to make sure Best Cellular stays competitive. We’re constantly working to offer the best deals, so I keep an eye on pricing trends. When other wireless companies offer a great new feature or discounted pricing it gets my attention. Often the deals that our competitors offer inspire us to modify our own plans or services. However, today I’d like to focus on some of the more malicious financial tactics in the cellular marketplace. If customers stay informed, they can make better financial decisions for themselves and their families.
Elderly Financial Exploitation By Phone Companies
When I started work on the best cell phone plans for seniors, I discovered a few major carriers seem to be taking advantage of senior citizens while marketing senior citizen phone plans. Take a look at the chart on the page linked above. You’ll see that one company is charging 35 cents per minute on talk overage. What if you have an emergency and you end up going over your minutes? The company would charge you an additional $21.00 for every hour! This could quickly mean an incredibly high bill, which would only add to any stress. Many seniors don’t spend a lot of time on the phone but if a family member ends up in the hospital or if there’s an emergency, $0.35/min is a ridiculous price to charge for overage. The company referenced in the comparison does offer some helpful low-price, monthly add-ons that could be useful. However, you should be aware of these high-rate overage charges before going ahead with a plan “for senior citizens.” We always advise consumers to do their homework before signing up for any service, including our own.
Why Are Senior Citizens A Target For Financial Abuse?
Honesty and integrity were much more important in our society when today’s seniors were the working-class of America. There was truth in advertising and you didn’t expect scams around every corner – a company’s word actually meant something. Unfortunately, the marketing landscape has changed drastically since then. Blind trust of a company can get you in trouble real quick these days. Many advertisements use shock and awe to distract you from the fine print. Bait-and-switch tactics are commonplace since many carriers rely on expanding their user base to increase their bottom line. True customer service is becoming a thing of the past and its absence amounts to elderly financial abuse. We encourage everyone looking at phone plans to research their options before signing up.
Another company we’ve examined advertises with the elderly in mind. Their plans target low users, but when you run the numbers many people would be losing out. Their pricing tiers only benefit certain user cases, and anything slightly above average (whether in talk, text, or data) means customers pay exorbitant fees. Again, we urge anyone shopping for cell phone plans to check out the details! If you need to determine the best plan for your needs, just give us a call and our friendly American-based customer service reps will be glad to help.
Why Do Cellular Companies Want Senior Citizens As Customers?
Senior citizens are usually the perfect customer for any phone company. This is because on average, seniors are financially stable. They typically pay their bills on time (or even months in advance) and have a set budget for every month.
Normally, their usage doesn’t differ from one month to the next either. I do work for a prepaid wireless company so this information is based on facts from actual customers. On average, Senior citizens use fewer minutes of talk time than other customers. Seniors often don’t text message as frequently (or at all) and the average senior has WiFi at home through their internet provider. This means they will use less mobile data than the average customer of a younger age. Phone companies end up paying less for the wholesale usage of talk, text and mobile data because seniors don’t abuse their monthly plan.
Cell Phone Plans for Seniors
It’s unfortunate, but many of our friends and family who are 55+ don’t understand the high-tech world in which we live. Cell phones have actually only been around since 1973, so many people using a smartphone now never had one growing up! Add to that the fact that new devices are released every year, and it would be pretty easy to feel like you’ve been left in the dust! Thankfully many companies (Best Cellular included) still support the basic flip phones, and we take the time to educate our customers on newer devices as well.
What About Seniors With Best Cellular Service?
Our goal is to care for our customers, first and foremost. As such, we work hard to keep them informed on industry development as well as providing the best American customer service we can muster. Our elderly customers receive the respect and assistance they deserve. Whether you only need a $15 plan to get by on a few minutes a month or a smartphone plan $40 or higher, we’ve got you covered! If you have any questions on phones or plans suited for seniors, please don’t hesitate to reach out.