Make sure you’re not paying a “pensioner premium”
It occurred to me during a conversation with a client recently that it’s not just elderly or vulnerable people that can struggle to keep up with day to day tasks. With increasing developments in technology it’s easier for some of us to keep pace - but what about those who can’t and why are they being punished?
Technology can make lives easier - for some
The client was telling me about an email they’d received about an insurance policy that was due for renewal. “Good job they reminded me” they said “or I would have completely forgotten.”
It’s pretty normal for us to go about our daily lives and rely on technology to make things easy for us - whether that’s a policy renewal reminder or anything else. And, indeed, technology can aid us further by allowing us to shop around for the best deal and maybe even pick up a few incentives or cashback along the way.
But, what if you’ve never even owned a mobile phone?
In a recent article in the Times, there was a lady in her 60s who was paying £57 a month for her landline and internet - but she didn’t even own a computer. Fortunately, a good friend of hers realised and stepped in to offer help - but the package should have never been sold to her in the first place.
Those who do not live their lives digitally seem to be routinely punished by inflated prices. While this has been colloquially called the “pensioner premium” because they tend to be the group most at risk from being excluded from the best deals due to their knowledge gaps in technology. Added to that, they are also unlikely to have their loyalty rewarded either.
According to the Times article, 42% of people aged 75 or over do not use the internet at all and many have no desire to. At the other end of the scale, there are those of us who rely on the internet for everything - insurance, banking and even our food shopping.
The fact is, there’s a whole generation out there that are being treated with disadvantage - the very least some of these companies can do is monitor usage on things like broadband and advise customers of a more suitable package.
If you are an attorney - i.e. you are currently acting on behalf of someone who has lost mental capacity - then it’s absolutely vital that you check these services and act accordingly.
If you would like some more information about becoming an attorney and drafting up a Lasting Powers of Attorney document and would like some legal advice, contact Downs Solicitors to see how we can help.