Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Discussions regarding new & existing plans and other Exetel initiatives
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peterh_oz
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by peterh_oz » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:06 pm

James wrote:
frotac wrote:How would you justify if a pensioner is actually using that account - i could easily just ask my grandmother to subscribe me! I think everyone should just pay equal - The prices are cheap already for everyone - and i am sure if a pensioner wants a cheap internet account their are some already!
Exactly! It would be too cumbersome identifying pensioners, and there are too many dishonest people out there that would take advantage of this.
If Exetel was to regularly verify the account, the postcode could be part of the verification process (check the postcode on the card with the postcode for the service address). HSPA would still have a loophole of course.

uncybob
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by uncybob » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:19 pm

I think your rates are more than reasonable already so no plan for pensioners would be necessary unless you saw a very large demand for such. Even then I would only look at such a scheme in terms of what ancillary business it might create.

peterh_oz
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by peterh_oz » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:27 pm

4miler wrote:a 3rd party VoIP ... They're currently under contract, so I wonder if Exetel would allow pensioners to break the contract to shift to the new pensioner plans.
Exetel have never prevented a customer changing plans whilst on contract, as long as they stay in the same "family" of plans. Eg if they're on ADSL1 512, then choose any of the other ADSL1 512 plans. ADSL2 would be a contract break.

Also, by switching to the currently-offered plans, they would:

1. avoid the $3 admin charge (if they are paying it)
2. receive 100 free VoIP calls every month and have no monthly fee on their voip service.

It might be worthwhile investigation the new/current plans rather than the one they're on (assuming it is a plan which is no longer offered).

psalm23
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by psalm23 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:34 pm

My personel view is that Exetel has already provided many broadband plans which are comparatively cheaper than other ISP. Well, as for a special plan for pensioner I don't think it is necessary. As you know not all pensioners have the same needs. I am also an age pensioner and I subscribed to ADSL1 - TLBB plan which I find that it fulfills my needs. However, I think all pensioners would appreciate very much if Exetel would provide a concession on the plan of their chose by the way of a % discount or waiving of fees when paying by credit card.

Jinster
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by Jinster » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:39 pm

Like many things in life, a debate on the definitions of things is rarely helpful if not in the context of certain objectives.

The focus should be on what Exetel's intent is.

If with this "pensioner plan" idea, Exetel originally intends to provide cheaper Internet to people who are old, retired and don't heavily use Internet for large downloads, faxes, and SMS, this would be a great idea and a workable plan. For those keen to define things, "pensioner" can be defined simply as old and no longer employed (with the exact cut off for "old" to be determined)

If with this "pensioner plan" idea, Exetel intends it as some sort of social charity to socially and politically defined pensioners, then we can take the Centrelink's definition of what a pensioner is. But you run into problems here, because this definition of pensioners would encompass too large a variety of people to be catered by a single broadband plan.

We must remember that Exetel doesn't have to provide a separate plan for "pensioners" if the exact definition of pensioners becomes a problem. Exetel can simply state what it's trying to achieve and call the whole thing by a different name. How about "Retirement Broadband Plan"? And if people want to stir and debate that young people can be retired too, then what about "Retired after Paying Lots of Taxes Plan"?

Personally, I think it would be very difficult to provide a singular plan to cater for all "pensioners" if pensioners are to be broadly defined. Such a market segment is not marketable. However, I think there is great merit in providing older, retired people with a plan that suits their needs of emails, daily surfing, occasional downloads and VOIP; without the need for fax, SMS, and large off peak allowances. Think of it as a trimmed down, basic, no fat service. If such a plan can be provided cheaper than existing plans, then it's very marketable because the market segment is clearly defined AND those within this market would all have the similar needs.

Whether we call this a "pensioner plan" or not, doesn't really matter. If people object, simply change the plan name.

sonicBlue
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by sonicBlue » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:43 pm

If Exetel had a plan for around $15/month for 2-3GB I'm pretty sure my grandparents would sign up to it :)

They are looking for a plan for around $15/month and don't need much download. Currently their only option is 3 mobile broadband for $15/month for 1GB. I suppose if Exetel could offer something slightly better than this you could get these types of customers.

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thomashouseman
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by thomashouseman » Wed Apr 22, 2009 2:43 pm

ForumAdmin wrote:
I would think there would be no need for VoIP or SMS inclusions.
I've setup VOIP for my parents and they love the cheap 10c calls to anywhere - I.E. no STD rates.. (They live in the 0265 area code)

T.

WHISPERS
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by WHISPERS » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:07 pm

GREAT IDEA.
1. any one receiving a pension ( aged-disability-war-etc) card # supplied
2. adsl1 only
3. 2-4 gig
4. no sms - no off peak - no frills whatever
5. Setup program should be supplied
6. Cost $20-$30 and less if GOV help

TADAUST:
This ISP is great for dial up Pensioners , about $20 to sign up and then $6.60 per month unlimited which is suplemented by the GOV. But nothing for adsl

whispers

m.wolterding
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by m.wolterding » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:25 pm

I can't speak for other pensioners only for myself. I am a Pensioner, I have both a Seniors Card and a Health Care card, cards only available to those above a certain age, and on a limited income. I have had broadband for over a year but usually use less than 10% of my monthly download allowance. However, needing less sleep than younger people, much of my internet activity is off peak (at 3 am!). I regularly send SMSs from the web but have no idea what VoIP even is. I don't believe I'm all that different from most on line seniors save for my early morning internet activities. Cheers,

Martin

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Mag
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by Mag » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:34 pm

Well after reading through the threads so far, there's been some great and valuable comments and suggestions.
I think if Exetel are serious with the 'pension' plan, then they should offer it VIA Centrelink, with those who are financially distraught/low income to Community Legal Centres, Church/Charity groups like Vinnies, Salvos etc. That's pretty much how you can easily identify those that you possibly want to provide the service to.
These organisations will do all of the administrative work regarding verification and income levels and Exetel could provide a competitive service to TADAUST (which is expensive as they outsource their Broadband plans). All Exetel has to do is to contact these organisations, who will in turn refer those in need on full Centrelink pensions, students living away from home, single parents, full-time carers, or others on low incomes.
Exetel can then provide a suitable service at minimum cost for a contracted period of time. These organisations are 'people networked' and news will travel fast.

Don't forget that all machines need about 100+MB per month for updates for Windows/Antivirus etc. That download tax should be kept in mind.
Communication is vital to everyone and I would rather see some kind of phone plan as an option (a 512/128 plan with VOIP and dependable hardware pre-set to Exetel settings- plug and play), for those who can afford it. Shaped plans don't work too well with VOIP however.

The internet is getting like air nowadays - basic use should be free, not that anyone can do anything about that. You are becoming more disadvantaged if you don't have it because can't afford it.
Last edited by Mag on Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

lancey
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by lancey » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:36 pm

My wife and I are on disability pensions.
we are currently on the TELO (8192/384) $85.00 per month plan.
We don't use the SMS service, nor do we have VOIP.
Yes we very happy with Exetel.
At $85.00 per month this does eat into our budget and yes we would like a little discount, but hey we have a daughter that lives on the internet.
So this is the sacrifice ($85) we live with.
Exetel is still the cheapest ADSL1 we can find in country NSW (Wagga).

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vk3xem
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by vk3xem » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:38 pm

Peterh_oz has demonstrated that it is technically possible to automate a Pensioner system, so verifying who is and who isn't a pensioner is not a problem.

For those who claim they are on a private pension, I would argue that they are actually a self funded retiree so do not fall into the definition of a pensioner.

I am personally on a Disability Support Pension but luckily enough able to do occassional work, the Black Saturday Fires proved once again that I am unable to resume any regular work unfortunately with me being hospitalised twice during that time. The occassional work I do does support my Inerternet usage so I would personally choose not to take up Exetel's offer.

As pointed out by many in this thread a one plan will not suit all pensioners. I would suggest maybe a flat rebate (dollar figure) for eligible pensioners would be more appropriate and possibly easier to automate, especially with Peterh_oz suggestion.
The views I present are that of my own and NOT of any organisation I may belong to.

73 de Simon, VK3XEM

peterh_oz
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by peterh_oz » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:39 pm

m.wolterding wrote:I can't speak for other pensioners only for myself. I am a Pensioner, I have both a Seniors Card and a Health Care card, cards only available to those above a certain age, and on a limited income. I have had broadband for over a year but usually use less than 10% of my monthly download allowance. However, needing less sleep than younger people, much of my internet activity is off peak (at 3 am!). I regularly send SMSs from the web but have no idea what VoIP even is. I don't believe I'm all that different from most on line seniors save for my early morning internet activities. Cheers,

Martin
Martin

VoIP is where you plug your telephone into your modem (if it takes VoIP) or into an adapter box (and then into the modem). The box/modem sends your phone call out via the internet, instead of the old way of via Telstra. It then pops out of the internet at the other end and becomes a local call.

Exetel offers 100 calls to landline every month for free with all currently-advertised plans (old plans not applicable - you may have to change plans) AND any calls over the 100 are 10c each. Local and STD, all are the same price and all are untimed. Similarly, calls overseas are extremely cheap - from 2c/minute.

My father is on Exetel's voip, and has therefore been able to reduce his telstra line rental cost to the cheapest (he doesn't care that they charge more for calls, cos he isn't using them for calls!).

peterh_oz
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by peterh_oz » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:40 pm

vk3xem wrote:Peterh_oz has demonstrated that it is technically possible to automate a Pensioner system, so verifying who is and who isn't a pensioner is not a problem.
Semi-automate. You still have to deal with those who get rejected (eg returned to work, failed the means test OR travelling overseas).

I would lean towards the PAYU plans, and making them a 5Gb (no peak, no offpeak) service without having the hassle of pre-purchasing data blocks. Available for all customers, not just pensioners.
Last edited by peterh_oz on Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

frugalest
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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by frugalest » Wed Apr 22, 2009 3:41 pm

I'm disgusted with a few of the comments, some even by pensioners themselves. One even suggested pensioners are better off than the employed! Another intimated a $12/hr job is equal to or less than a pension. Well an 8-hour day @ $12/hr for 5.5 days (typical teenager @ GoLo type job) = $528/week. A single pensioner gets about HALF that (and a couple less than half that each again). Yes of course they receive other discounts, and there's a reason for that... It's generally recognised pensioners have no capacity to increase their earnings - through old age or permanent illness (otherwise they would not qualify for a pension) - for the remainder of their lives. So whilst the pensioner probably pays most of their pension out just in rent each week, the $12/hr GoLo teenager is probably living with parents, or friends sharing rent - and has decades ahead of them to increase their income/career.

Don't get me wrong... I'm not saying pensioners definitely SHOULD get a discount. But to state they should NOT because they are "well-off financially" compared to people who work/(or even can WALK) - is simply offensive.

Now, to answer the questions:

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

As several pointed out, the most practical way of determining this would be to follow Centrelink's assessment. In other words, all pensioners have a blue pension card. Exetel could ask for a scan/photocopy/email. Pensioners can also request an "income statement" from Centrelink that could be emailed/mailed in. Or, if a pensioner has signed up for online access with Centrelink, they can download their income statement as a *.pdf file that could be emailed.

Those last two would calm the fears of those concerned about people signing up relatives. (Because the address on the Centrelink letter should be the same as the Internet connection.) The *.pdf file also means no document tampering - although they do have the legal right to block out any text they don't want made public (so scans/photocopies of that document would still need to be allowed).

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

Some have generalised pensioners only need plans with reduced features. I don't agree. Only *IF* a pensioner discount is applied, why not just apply it to the same plans everyone else gets. Those who don't want to use VoIP - won't - and those who do want SMS (etc) - still can.

As for a reduced download allowance, a few people already pointed out pensioners are of all ages and/or maladies (not just old age). I myself fall into this category, being 40 - and receiving a disability pension. Because of the nature of my disability, I utilise the Internet a LOT for MANY different things, and so I use most of my (peak) quota each month. Because I'm not able to afford to rent DVDs, I download mov... er... video. I do online banking; ebay; email; listen to online radio occasionally; product research; news; online forums; paid surveys... In other words, the same stuff (but probably more of) that non-pensioners do.

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

I was planning to start using SMS - and possibly VoIP as well in the future. As I already mentioned, why complicate things - just keep it simple if possible. *IF* a pensioner discount is offered please don't remove features.

As for what TO do... I really don't know - perhaps waive the $3 processing fee!?

One thing I would personally like to see is more clarity on who gets what with their plan. The other day I read in the forums that we get 20 free faxes. Now I'd not needed this before, and I needed to order something from an online store. Their website stated they accept phone, email, or fax orders. I wanted to save the cost of a long distance phone call, but didn't prefer to email my bank details. So I thought I'd use one of the free faxes. Only after sending, did I realise I was charged 10c for the fax! The last time I sent one, it was 3c - and I had read on the site that we get 20 free ones. It turns out that because I am on an "old" plan, I don't qualify for the free faxes!? It would have been nice to know this beforehand and I would have emailed the company instead.

And yes... Wanting to save TEN CENTS shows how much pensioners really do appreciate any discount they receive.

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