Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Discussions regarding new & existing plans and other Exetel initiatives
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saltire
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Apr 24, 2009 3:08 pm
Location: Sydney

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by saltire » Tue Apr 28, 2009 4:49 pm

My wife and I are both pensioners and find that the 6GB download allowance more than adequate and would be happy to have it reduced somewhat. As for the cost, we think that it is reasonable as it is particularly if by reducing cost to us oldies means an increase to other users or a lower quality of service. We have been with Exetel for 4 years and the personalised service on two particular occasions would not have been available from the big ISP players. Defining 'pensioner' can be done in a couple of ways: holder of a seniors card in NSW (although as a JP I am aware that there are scams around in this area); recipients of a government (Centrelink) pension.

salco
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Location: mount Tamborine

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by salco » Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:03 pm

Thank you for allowing/encouraging your customers to express their opinion on matters such as these.

A pension card should be adequate to provide identification in matters such as these.
Exetel's problem would be to control "Double Use" of this card!

I will personally be in this league in 1 1/2 year!

I believe that - as pensioners have a lot more opportunity to direct their downloads in the "Off Peak" period, I would suggest a plan that reduces the (for Exetel) more costly "On Peak" traffic and redirects such to the "Off Peak" period.
Such a plan should retain a good volume of Download at a reduced price (to suit the pensioner's budget) whilst it does not compromise the "Commercial Viability" of Exetel!. As I am quite active and vitally interested in new ideas, my downloads will certainly NOT REDUCE when I retire!My spending ability certainly will though!!!!

As to modems, I would offer them at the normal pricing (as currently) and if pensioners - or anybody else for that matter - can source a cheaper deal they might as well take it!

I believe that VOIP inclusion is very important in order to contain/reduce the cost of Phone Bills for pensioners. They can then ring their kids or grandkids!
They also can maintain their social circle of friends.

Once again, thank you for the opportunity!

angelspheres
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Location: pambula nsw

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by angelspheres » Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:05 am

thank you for giving us the opportunity to comment on possible pensioner reductions.

there's yet another kind of "pensioner" out there, all those mothers and fathers who raise their children on their own. many of us are centrelink pension receivers and thus "pensioners" as well. for all single parent families with no or very little extra income, it is obvious that any change that positively influences the cash flow will be appreciated - just as will anyone else, be they in a financially tight position or not. and to be fair, someone working full time in a very low paid job will have just as little money coming in as some pensioners, especially if the parent receives high child maintenance payments.

we all appreciate paying as little as possible and if we wanted to do everyone justice and introduce a plan for people in financially restricted situations, we'd have to be fair to those who do their best working all week but still earning little just the same. and how would we know it's not someone's personal choice to work little and thus earn little? so, this would result in a system based on say, one's tax return - and who would want that? i personally don't mind saying we're on a pension currently, but i doubt that everyone would want to share their taxable income etc. and all the clauses and but's and if's there would have to be - too complicated.

if you wanted to grant a reduction or offer a specific "pensioner plan" than all you'd need to do is ask for the current centrelink customer number and a photocopy of their current centrelink card, that way you'd not get too many cheats, i would hope. anyone over a certain minimum income loses their centrelink card. you can verify the validity of the card with centrelink. this, however, would be costly to exetel, for someone would have to be paid to do this, since you most likely won't link up to their systems for automatic verification (possible). you could also ask for the latest payment advice the person has received from centrelink and that it should be no older than 2-3 months - we constantly are sent updates to our payments. should such a letter not be available, the person would have to organize a copy with centrelink themselves to make your work load less. after all, it's the pensioner who wants the benefit, so it's ok for us to do the walking and organize the necessary papers.

as for reducing voip and sms options:
anyone interested in saving money, be they pensioners or not, will value an easy system such as virgin offers - you're sent a modem/router into which you can plug your conventional phone and computer for surfing. the phone calls will then be routed via the net - thus using voip. i, personally, would love for exetel to have offer such a deal. virgin's deal is a 3g version, where one pays $80 per month for rental of the modem/router and all local phone calls and some surfing are included. maybe a similar package - be that using adsl 1 or adsl2 or 3g could be offered that is even more attractive? to me, that would currently really seem like the best option to make things easy for those who are not so technically savvy, yet still would like to benefit from making cheap calls through voip and keep their costs under control and know exactly what they're going to spend each month. makes for easy budgeting. exetel's adsl plans are excellent already, they are a terrific deal in my eyes. i don't think it would be good to cut the voip option. but maybe, upon signing up, one could tick different boxes whether voip and sms functions are desired - and by ticking the boxes, the price would go up slightly.

i suppose, another plan for really low download (up to 1gb for example) still offering a good download speed though, could be a good option for a cheap plan. not everyone needs 6gb download minimum! for such a plan, i don't think off peak would be necessary, for these people don't care anyway, since they only would use their internet for emails and little surfing, possibly voip and things like that. still plenty of data available for those sorts of users. i could imagine that a high amount of exetel users are with exetel, because the download limits are so generous for the price they cost. possibly, a lot of low end users could be gained by offering everyone a dirt cheap plan with good download speeds and only 1gb data volume - or again, click a box for every 500mb the price goes up - that gives everyone total free choice as to what they want on such a plan. then, of course, you'd still have your "conventional" plans to choose from.

last but not least - thank you to the exetel crew for giving us such a wonderful alternative to telstra and other companies of that sort. i appreciate the ethics and efforts you do for providing us with good service and not just thinking of your own financial gain, but also keep an eye on environmental issues. blessings to all.

steffo
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Joined: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:30 pm
Location: Brisbane

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by steffo » Wed Apr 29, 2009 4:25 pm

Hi, I am a pensioner and I use the internet a lot and don`t mine paying full cost for for my use but there are 1000s of pensioners out there still using dial up because of the cost of getting adsl if you had a pensioner plan say maybe 5gig download at maybe $20.00 to $25.00 a month and maybe cut the setup cost a bit if they sign for a 12 month contract. I think you would entice a lot of pensioners over and if they found out later that they needed more they can always upgrade. What I found in my case at least that when I changed from dial up to adsl my internet habits changed because of the difference in speed because I found I could do a lot more than waiting around for dial up. Just as an instance a friend of my who lives in Brisbane and her kids are in Canberra used to talk to them about 2 or 3 times a week when they had dial up and now with adsl it is nearly every night. So I can see a win win situation for both pensioners and exetel. The thing is you will find that word of mouth advertising spreads pretty fast through pensioner ranks as anything good and cost cheaper spreads fairly quickly and finally I think that anyone that has got a pension number no matter what it is should be called a pensioner.
P. S. These are just my views and exetel may not be able to implement them as they have to make a profit too.

raycilia
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Joined: Thu Apr 16, 2009 3:49 am
Location: Heathcote

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by raycilia » Thu Apr 30, 2009 9:00 am

As pensioners we use the internet the maximum times available.
We occupy heavy on line for extended time advocates.
Lenth of time is the biggest critical use for us #####################################.
The only reason we do not download maximum limits is because of costs.
The only reason I keep my sanity is because I can occupy myself online, as the cheapest form of keeping myself occupied.
I am sure other pensioners will learn this, and they will use all available abilities, once they learn about everything that is available on line.
As pensioners, we have maximum time available to use the INTERNET.
As a resource, we are available all that time.
We are in the best situation to learn when it comes to us having that time resource.
Maybe you could set up training for pensioners, so we can learn more.
Regards Ray

cerise
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Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:24 am
Location: Sydney

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by cerise » Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:03 am

What is a pensioner?
A pensioner should be taken to mean anybody with a pension card, whether it be veteran, old age or disability etc. I would like to suggest that disability pensioners particularly are usually not wealthy people and often struggle to get by week to week due to the costs of everday expense just to keep life going (medication, wheelchair repairs and services, medical equipment, taxi fairs because they cant drive a car, and all sorts of aids for everyday tasks that mainstream people take for granted).
If any group should be offered a discount on internet serices I think pensioners should absoluetly qualify.

I think it is untrue to assume that just because a person is a pensioner that they would require smaller downloads or less speed. While this could be true for some pensioners (generalisation there) think of the many people who may be socially, geographically or physically isolated from accessing the community due to a disability, if anybody would be requiring more downloads would it not be these people?
In some cases the internet may be their primary contact with others outside their home, thru services like VOIP, Skype, email etc but also for entertainment; downloading music or tv shows, or just accessing information that interests them.
The internet is an invalueble asset for many people with a disability but many times they cant afford the costs due to other basic needs which take priority (things that mainstream people often take as a given).

LordS
Posts: 149
Joined: Thu Jun 26, 2008 11:56 pm
Location: Australia

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by LordS » Thu Apr 30, 2009 12:59 pm

I think Exetel should start to offer lower usage plans also, 256 or 512 with 10 or even as low as 5GB per month (no on/off peak usage) for < $30 a month. (Shaping would be required also)

VOIP and SMS should be left as only those who want them use them.... a service free of charge not being used is of no cost to Exetel and shows extra value to those who want it.

Signup costs and modem/line filter purchases could be reduced when applying for a 12 month contract... ?

I know lots of single parents and elderly people that would take these plans up.

xywolap
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:27 pm
Location: Newcastle NSW

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by xywolap » Thu May 07, 2009 1:46 pm

Just a brief comment on this topic.. BTW I am a pensioner.

1. Do not sell a service at a loss. This is not being considerate of the current customers who would like their service maintained or made even better.

2. I find your ADSL2+Phone package far better than any available anywhere already, so why make a cheaper one?

3. For those that cannot access ADSL2 the current offerings for a 512 plan are quite adequate and offer great value.

We all would like things to be cheaper, not just pensioners. Pensioners are well off in todays environment, better than a lot of employed people, so no special benefit is warranted in my opinion.

If cheaper access was deemed worthwhile for pensioners I don't believe that ISPs operating on minimum profit should foot the bill. The government could offer more in the way of connection fee rebate and maybe a bigger allowance.

On a pensioner discount plan I vote NO.

ForumAdmin
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Location: Sydney

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by ForumAdmin » Thu May 07, 2009 9:18 pm

AS Exetel consistently offers plans that make very, very little profit at all it is very difficult to offer the sorts of plans being suggested.

From the suggestions made the best we could do is to offer the plans at our cost (we can't make a loss as it would be irresponsible).

We could bring the ADSL1/246k speed back but that is no good for VoIP because of the 64 kbps back haul.

So we are a bit constrained.

We will try with a 256, a 512 and an ADSL2 plan with and without telephone.

peterh_oz
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by peterh_oz » Thu May 07, 2009 10:12 pm

Although VoIP works on 512 I've found it is much more reliable on a 1500 plan. Especially if there's 2 people in the house, you don't need to do the "get off the internet, I want to use the phone".

Having put both my parents on the PAYU 1500 plan, they're still paying under $40 per month ($37.50 + data), enjoying a $21 line rental (can't get ADSL2) and 100 free calls. So a $61 total phone & net bill is very much appreciated by them!

LordS
Posts: 149
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Location: Australia

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by LordS » Fri May 08, 2009 9:04 am

ForumAdmin wrote:AS Exetel consistently offers plans that make very, very little profit at all it is very difficult to offer the sorts of plans being suggested.

From the suggestions made the best we could do is to offer the plans at our cost (we can't make a loss as it would be irresponsible).

We could bring the ADSL1/246k speed back but that is no good for VoIP because of the 64 kbps back haul.

So we are a bit constrained.

We will try with a 256, a 512 and an ADSL2 plan with and without telephone.
Yay :)

Can't wait for the low usage 256/512 :)

/me can't wait for the referrals.

maggie
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Location: sydney

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by maggie » Sun May 10, 2009 2:05 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:We have received a number of suggestions that we should offer discounts for pensioners via the suggestion box recently.

Our reasons for not doing this in the past have been that we have almost no profit in our broadband offerings as they stand to make any discount.

However, if there was a demand we could constuct some broadband plans at our cost as a minor contribution to the possibly harder times that may happen in the not too distant future.

We would welcome any suggestions on:

1) What is a 'pensioner' and how can this be qualified on an on line order form?

2) What 'plan profile(s)' would be applicable.

For instance I would think there would be no need for much download allowance and no 'off peak' allowance at all.

I would think that someone wanting to save money on their broadband expenditure would already have a modem.

I would think there would be no need for VoIP or SMS inclusions.

However we may be quite wrong and would welcome suggestions - especially from 'pensioners'.
Pensioners can be many different people in many different types of households. It would be a mistake to think of just one type of profile. The only thing they have in common is a low fixed income and little prospect of upwards mobility. Social needs vary. Old Age pensioners as a single or couple perhaps just keeping in contact with a dispersed family by email or perhaps taking up new studies or forum involvement now that they have time on their hands to pursue their interests. Single parents and their children keeping in contact with all their friends and needing the internet for school studies and back to work training or just some time out web surfing. Disability pensioner may be house bound and the internet their main avenue to access the wider world and in many cases an absolute life line. Unemployed looking for work opportunities and time to explore new things until work comes their way. Carers looking after their young or elderly seeking outside interests and entertainment and support. The types of service required will vary from one pensioner to another from one household to another. I would not like to see voip or SMS or off peak or anything excluded but perhaps they can be optional tick a box type of thing. Some people will make no use of them while others will be heavy users. Perhaps there may be the possibility to make a light/ medium/ heavy user plan varieties for pensioners? Depending on what is possible at Exetel's end. Also having the telephone line rental ($15 compared to telstra $25) option with the ADSL would be of great benefit to many people.

I strongly suggest that Exetel make use of the Centrepay system. It will reduce your administration costs and the need for ongoing and costly verification at your end. It costs nothing for the pensioner to use and makes budgeting easier and just takes a phone call to set up. By agreeing to pay for their internet using Centrepay deductions Exetel can be sure then that the person requesting this service is in receipt of a Centerlink pension or payment. If for example, someone gets work and is no longer receiving unemployment benefits then they will no longer be able to use Centrepay either and will have to go on to a normal credit card or direct debit payment. Others with permanent conditions will continue to receive Centerlink payments. As all pensions are paid fornightly Exetel may need to set up a different payment cycle for these plans. On the page where one signs up people could self select for a pension plan by ticking a box. If they do this they have to agree to paying by Centrepay (at no cost to them and just a phone call to Centrelink-number provided or email if they are set up at Centrelink for self service) They need to provide their Customer Registration Number (pension card number) the name and address of the applicant must be the same as the name and address of the pensioner and only one name per account and per CRN to prevent people signing up for friends and family. I think that logistically should work with the minimum amount of fuss for all concerned.

Thanks for even thinking about this Exetel and I hope that you have not been put off by some of the judgmental comments. For me this is one more reason to stay with you and recommend you. You are not just like every other corporation. I hope this can work out for all concerned.

peterh_oz
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by peterh_oz » Sun May 10, 2009 3:03 pm

soaper wrote:centrepay is a vastly under used service

i think that in using it that one needs to keep a good eye on it that it dosnt get cancelled or otherwise messed with (by centrelink i mean) ....but it is a free service to any or all pensioners who wish to use it for any utility or fixed payment.

it is readily put into place with usuallly a phone call.

it is a good budgeting strategy also, as the money comes out and is thus not available for other spending
Centrepay is a very expensive service for billers. In a previous job I had a quote of $1 per transaction (that's $26 per year, fortnightly payments) compared to 10c per transaction compared to direct debit costing 10c per transaction ($1.20 per year paid monthly).

Whilst I don't know what Exetel's transaction costs are, I would assume based on their size and monthly revenue volumes that they'd be very similar. As Centrepay would be $25 per customer per annum more expensive, plus any discount offered, I doubt that this would be an option for Exetel. The larger ISPs may offer it, but when you consider the higher charges they charge you can see how they can afford that offering.

maggie
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by maggie » Sun May 10, 2009 3:30 pm

Centrepay is a very expensive service for billers. In a previous job I had a quote of $1 per transaction (that's $26 per year, fortnightly payments) compared to 10c per transaction compared to direct debit costing 10c per transaction ($1.20 per year paid monthly).

Whilst I don't know what Exetel's transaction costs are, I would assume based on their size and monthly revenue volumes that they'd be very similar. As Centrepay would be $25 per customer per annum more expensive, plus any discount offered, I doubt that this would be an option for Exetel. The larger ISPs may offer it, but when you consider the higher charges they charge you can see how they can afford that offering.
Yes, it is .99 cents per transaction I believe. It is also a tax deduction since it will be a business expense like rent, wages and other costs of business. Perhaps there is an option for them to recieve payments every 4 weeks. This could be discussed with Centrepay. Exetel will know if it will work for them or not. It may reduce their overheads in chasing up non payments, bounced bank debits and credit cards for lack of funds though and pay for itself in bringing new business to them also.


I also wanted to suggest to Exetel that 'self funded' retirees and Seniors card holders not be included as this group (only Centerlink recipients) are often quite to very high income and assets, who I am sure Exetel are not meaning to include in this plan.

neb
Posts: 92
Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:26 am

Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by neb » Tue May 12, 2009 12:50 pm

maggie wrote:
Centrepay is a very expensive service for billers. In a previous job I had a quote of $1 per transaction (that's $26 per year, fortnightly payments) compared to 10c per transaction compared to direct debit costing 10c per transaction ($1.20 per year paid monthly).

Whilst I don't know what Exetel's transaction costs are, I would assume based on their size and monthly revenue volumes that they'd be very similar. As Centrepay would be $25 per customer per annum more expensive, plus any discount offered, I doubt that this would be an option for Exetel. The larger ISPs may offer it, but when you consider the higher charges they charge you can see how they can afford that offering.
Yes, it is .99 cents per transaction I believe. It is also a tax deduction since it will be a business expense like rent, wages and other costs of business. Perhaps there is an option for them to recieve payments every 4 weeks. This could be discussed with Centrepay. Exetel will know if it will work for them or not. It may reduce their overheads in chasing up non payments, bounced bank debits and credit cards for lack of funds though and pay for itself in bringing new business to them also.


I also wanted to suggest to Exetel that 'self funded' retirees and Seniors card holders not be included as this group (only Centerlink recipients) are often quite to very high income and assets, who I am sure Exetel are not meaning to include in this plan.
Given Exetel factor in and charge $1.10 for credit card billing p/mth, this seems to be a cost saver to them, not an extra outlay.

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