Pensioner Broadband Plans?

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

Post by Midnight Rider » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:03 pm

I work with several pensioner groups, and I can tell you that their needs are no different to the needs of anyone else in the community, only the sites they visit, and the things they download, are different.

And it's wrong to say they do not need offpeak, as many pensioners that I know stay up till very early in the morning (3 or 4 am is common), doing research on various subjects, of communication with friends or relatives in other countries. They stay up late because they can... they don't have to get up early the next morning to go to work or school.

It's also wrong to think they do not need SMS. For many, the main reason they have never used SMS in the past was because their old or infirm fingers could not negotiate those damnedly tiny mobile phone keypads, plus the concept of selecting characters from behind the numbers is often too difficult for older minds to grasp. I have seen the delighted looks on the faces of several older users when I showed them the Exetel desktop SMS utility, and they discovered that they could easily send an SMS to a younger friend or relative, by using their computer's keyboard.

The current range of Exetels plans are fine for pensioners. Like any other group, they can choose a quality internet plan that best suits their needs from a range of the best value plans in Australia.

Pensioners already receive allowances for telephone and internet (if they have them), and Exetel's plans, being the best value in Australia, do not need to add any more.

What would probably be appreciated by pensioners (and others), is better access to the informtion that is already available from Exetel. By this, I mean setup and basic trouble-shooting information. I know it's all there, but it's often difficult for users to find.

I consider myself to be very knowledgable in most matters technical, and I have a good knowledge of the Exetel website roadmap, and yet I still often have difficulty finding information on your website. Perhaps that's because there's so much of it... I don't know.

What I do know, is that while Exetel staff might have a good idea of where everything is, and it therefore might look to be fine in your eyes, your customers need to have an easier way of finding what they're looking for. A simplified "For Dummies" version if you like. I'm only talking about a few links here and there, and the odd bit of text, so it surely wouldn't be too much trouble to impliment.

If you did something like that, perhaps you could include a couple of sections for "Newbies" and "Pensioners", giving them access to important information they should know before joining. Things like "don't cut off your old internet before your new Exetel plan is up and working" (for the newbie churners from bigpond for example), and "check how to set up your model of modem with Exetel HERE, before you lose access to your current internet connection" (for newbies and pensiones, coming from another ISP)

Having that sort of information easily available and thrust before their eyes IN BIG BOLD LETTERS before they sign-up, would doubtless save many hours of support time for Exetel after they've churned, not to mention less grief for the new customer.

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by Bumblegrum » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:05 pm

The possibilities here are endless. Pensioners (myself included) absolutely look for bargains all the time and tend to stick with those companies who continue to offer them good service at a reasonable & discounted price. I am happy with the plan I am currently on and would not be looking to change but many of my friends simply can't afford to take on additional debt in these times of rising prices without a corresponding rise in income.

Today's average pensioner really is doing it tough and it makes life just that little bit easier when you can actually save $5 a month and spend it on a meal of fish n chips to celebrate your good fortune.

Guys, I would love to see one of the current lower end plans introduced for pensioners with perhaps a modification to allow them a 2gb download limit and a monthly cost of say $20-25 instead of $30. If this plan could also reflect a discount on the connection fee then so much the better and that would be a great bonus for Exetel's publicity.

In fact, I would be happy to have my current download limit reduced - say by up to 10gb per month - to allow pensioners to have access to included downloads.

Just a couple of comments though. (1) A pensioner account should be a 12 month contract to allow Exetel to recover some of the cost of providing this service, and (2) It is also pretty much impossible to prove you are a pensioner these days without personally presenting the original of your entitlement card because, if you scan your Centrelink pension card you can also alter it to reflect whatever you want it to making it difficult to establish the credentials of those applying for a pensioner account.

There are good points and bad points for establishing a pensioner account and I think the good outweigh the bad by at least 2 - 1.


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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by soaper » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:10 pm

i thank exetel for the consideration. :D 8) has some minor concessions for pensioners.
didnt suit me at all...not enough download for me

i would hate to see this thread become like one i saw on another forum that became, what i thought, was very very ugly.
with fit young, obviously successful workers, really going hard for pensioners.
can i suggest that i too was ONCE extremly fit, young, scary with my efficiency and altho i didnt earn that much.........was successful professionally.
many of us oldies were you know :)

that can all pass in the blink of an eye, an unlucky break (literally) or just bad choices .
ones hopes for decent superannuation, but as the sole support of one dependant, i didnt get teh chance to build up that much super.
males, who dont have to chop in and out of the work force to keep up with child minding obligations, do better .....and that is a statistical fact.
many woman are in teh same situation as me.............i am grateful for every last cent i get from the government , i am on over a years waiting list at least for surgery in a public hospital so please dont tell me how us oldies are doing it good.

i know self funded retirees......they are my friends. mostly they worked for government or similar where good super was always the go.
not just something that has come up in the last 10-15 years.
they are ok. they can afford the private health insurance and they are the grey nomads that one sees so much about.
then there are those whose only support is the pension :cry:
and those who have part external income and part pension

i am merely stating how it can be.....not making a complaint.
i think some people dont know how it was back say even 20-40 years ago for workers.

*i see it often mentioned that people have set their parents/grandparents up with internet and VOIP. i think that is great and the support that they offer to those parents /grandparents has real meaning . It gets them and keeps them as exetel clients

* there are people who dont have someone to set them up.................this group, assuming they knew of exetels plans, could be well served by agents.

*i have friends who pay someone to come and sort out their minor internet issues and to set them up with ISP.......the ISP usually the choice of the setting up person from what i can see

i do my own internet connections .....modems and VOIP and always have.
i share a plan with a live in descendant. we hardly touch the off peak. we are increasingly using more peak hour download. that is probably explained by the fact that i have been stuck in bed mostly for some months and my computer ........which was once sooooo now a life line to friends world wide, and information of soo many kinds.
i have used my computer for 10 years to keep up to date with one hobby and a few interests. it is critical to me in those terms.
i rely on it for my daily news and for some entertainment in the form of ABCiview and a bit of youtube.
older peoples brains dont simply turn off when they get a pension.
however i think that many people who might find interest on the internet are simply ignorant. they will forever be non users or sub prime users.
and some genuinely dont have a reason like i do, to use the internet so much. they have different interests.
have just had to help a family member sort out internet issues some distance.
this involved calling her ISP to sort out the basice issues like email problems, configurations for overseas set up.
those issues were sorted out by the other ISP, quickly, professionally , helpfully and with such good will towards me who was not a customer even ...........that i was impressed.
of course that service costs , but it is the sort of service i see many older/dont want to know about technology, people needing..........just that bit of kindly support when u get into the *duhhhhhhhh * zone.
we all have *duhhhhhhhhhh * zones on one subject or another.
and it seems that many will pay to have the *duhhhh* take care of

some realities------------

the government sets the criteria for all pensioners of whatever kind......and monitors it with income comparisons with the tax dept.
any external income is taken into account and pensions decreased accordingly.
sole parent, disabled and aged pensioners get the same .
the unemployed get considerably less.
however u look at it........if u are on the pension and have no other money coming in .....$225 for a single person a week dosnt go far... especially if u have medical costs and house to maintain.
any few dollars gained is gratefully received.
worse yet is someone, on any pension, who has to pay private rental.

i know i have ranted all over the subject but i feel there are earlier statements that needed someone to counter them.

exetel can easy ask for proof of pension is required all over the place anyway.
in offering such a cut exetel could look at whether it might try and get more pensioner clients.
such a move would require added support i belive. the sort of *duhhhhhh* support i got from my rels ISP yesterday.
how do u cost it/do u even bother ???

i think there is space for some sort of advertising by agents .......or somthing pick up this group.

i think the idea is a very very kindly one and is yet more evidence of the basic humaneness of exetels owners.
however it might be executed .......if it is .......i am sure there will be a lot of discussion.
maybe it is as simple as cutting a huge hunk of the off peak download........if that has much monetary value that can be passed back and /or deleting the admin fee, or simply offering a few dollars off each month on any plan without making a judgment about who/what a pensioner might be, or what they might use.
the reality is that pensioners are as differnt in their older age as they were when they were younger

i have had VOIP for over 2 years and think it is the greatest invention since sliced bread. i dont use SMS much but when i do i looooooooove that little
program 8) .
i have to have a very basic mobile and i would rather it was with exetel than elsewhere

i have said enough. :oops:

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by Scuzzbucket » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:19 pm

I totally agree with frugalest as I am a 57yr old Pensioner/carer and use my quota (18gigs) each and every month and about 2/3rds or my off peak allowance.(I also have a son in High school living with me and I have to consider his online needs as well).

Pensioners are not all old feeble minded folk. I build my own PCs and fix them for friends to earn a little extra income. My wife is disabled and I built her a lappy from second hand parts so she can keep in contact with relatives in New York using Skype.

We get, as a pensioner couple, $472/week and have a Mortgage (so much for being better off than a worker!!!

I am just waiting to port my home phone number for Exetel's voip plan as soon as it is possible and moving to naked adsl.

Just give a "Pensioner" discount to all plans as we pensioners are a mixed bag with as much varying needs as anyone else.
In three words I can sum-up everything I've learned about life: It Goes On !

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by soaper » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:23 pm

julie wrote: many aged pensioners have big savings in the bank, some dont... everyones circumstances are different so if you are going to offer pension discounts then make them available to all pensioners.y.
Aged pensioners are no different to sole parent or disability pensioners in that they must make and keep updated with centrelink, record of all and any money in the bank, invested or earned

no one group of pensioners is treated any differently

all can and do have pensions reduced if they have too much assetts or income beyond a certain point

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by soaper » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:39 pm

peterh_oz wrote:
* you will be excluding self-funded retirees, who it could be argued have less $$ than pensioners!

Be aware that if a customer travels overseas, they will be REJECTED as the PCC is suspended whilst they are overseas

peter how can self funded have less than pensioners???

anyone who is self funded can go to centrelink today and ask to be assessed for pension entitlement.
it has always been so

i know of quite a few self funded (and it has been well publisized) people who have lower income now from shares with the recession.
they are perfectly entitled to go to centrelink and be assessed again re eligibility.
the ones i personally know who have been to centrelink have all come out of it with a pension of some level, plus whatever they get from their investments.
centrelink has always monitored the value of investments in working out a deemed income for anyone who lists their investments as they are required to do upon application for any centrelink benefit

i thought that people who travelled has to merely notify centrelink of their absence for whatever period

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by Bowersub » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:42 pm

Wow, 5 pages of responses already?! Good topic, obviously. I don't have time to read through them all, but a few things I've picked up on.

Firstly, couldn't agree more --- a fax, photocopy, or scan of one's pension card to verify that one is a pensioner is all that is needed. Have the option on the online form for it, but make it clear that the account will not be activated till verification is made. Perhaps have a $10 charge if one can then not verify it, and the account cancelled.

Exetel should also consider its place in the market. I don't know of ISP who offers discounts to pensioners - not even BigPlop (uh hum, I mean BigPond). And even with the pension discount I was getting from Telstra, Exetel's minimum cost was cheaper! (excluded Telstra's included calls).
My father is with Telstra for the phone and Foxtel. I could not convince him to swap over to Exetel for phone and net during the ADSL2+ bundle. So, we use ADSL through Exetel, and Telstra for phone/Fox. He receives a discount from Telstra on both, and would similarly, if he changed to BigPond, due to him a) being a pensioner, and b) having them bundled. So, ISP's DO offer discounts to pensioners, but they're often hidden through loopholes.

For instance I would think there would be no need for much download allowance and no 'off peak' allowance at all.
This, I entirely disagree with. I want to make something clear, here. I am NOT a pensioner. I am a 24 year old student. I am working fulltime on my Masters degree at university. I get by with no gov't support (as they don't recognise postgraduate students as students... don't get me started), and on ocassional contract work and tutoring. Declaring the money I earn, I do not earn enough to pay tax: irony, despite earning so little money I don't pay tax, I am not classed as a low income earner, thus miss the stimulus bonus.

Now, I use the internet as I live at home with my pensioner father (i.e. he's in his 60s, and has a penisoner card). I do a lot of gaming. I use the net a lot for university. As a photographer, I do a lot of browsing of photos. I do a lot of music downloading through iTunes, etc. I think reducing the download allowance and off peak allowance is wrong.

a) It discriminates against age; "Oh, you're old, so you won't download much. Here, use it for online banking and email, it's all you'll be able to do." I know people in their 60s who do online gaming as much as the 15 year old kid I tutor.

b) It excludes retirees/pensioners who still have school age/university age students living in their home. I try and help financially where I can, but it's not really doable for me. So I normally help in other ways around the house (cleaning, cooking, yardwork). Thus, the financial burden of internet falls on my father's shoulders.

What is wrong of, instead of making "persioner broadband plans" or, as it seems to be worded, "old people who won't use the internet much" plans, creating a simple discount for pensioners who pay the bill. Say, even somethign as simple as pensioners not paying the credit card charges for the month. Sure, it's only $2 or $3 a month, but it all adds up by the end of the year. I disagree with pensioner plans, but think a pensioner discount, no matter how small, would be great.

This also makes it easier to 'monitor'; one signs up for a normal broadband plan, then submits a scan/copy whatever of their pensioner card and the customer than has the discount applied to their account AFTER, rather than trying to figure a foolproof way to verify pensioner statuses before plans go active.

That all said, my father and I are always grateful for Exetel for considering such suggestions from its users. It's great to use the services of such a customer-orientated company. I just think some things need to be more carefully worded before considerations are publicised.
Last edited by Bowersub on Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by hbfix2 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 4:47 pm

There have been many comments made here, many pointing out the difficulties of verification and authentication of users pensioner status.

Wouldn't it be easier and cheaper to avoid all the costs of verification of status by simply designing a low cost account that is available to all users?

The benefits to Exetel include:

1. Avoidance of costs of verification of pensioner status.

2. Simplified administration as a result of 1.

3. Reduction of support cost by making support for the basic account 'user pays' basis. Signup via agent network could also help to offset Exetel support cost.

4. No or low offpeak period reduces cost, reduces competition impact on other Exetel products.

5. ADSL1 offers greatest coverage for this type of plan.

There should also be a new contract clause allowing plan fee increase within contract if plan costs rise to point of causing loss situation - "Prevention of nett loss clause"

The HSPA low cost products should also be promoted where service coverage exists as they already have some of the above features and can be very low cost if only used for email and such.

These are just a few suggestions, what do others think?

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by aybiss » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:03 pm


Just wanted to chip in as someone who 'puts the internet on' for people all the time. I'm also a recently signed up Exetel reseller, but I'll say at the outset I'm not sure what other ISPs are already doing in this area.

You mentioned that you currently offer your plans with low margin, something we all appreciate. I would think however that a 'pensioner' would be someone who has very low bandwidth demands and is used to paying monthly fees for no actual benefit, like Telstra's line rental :-). What I'm getting at is that unlike your 'mainstream' users these people might offer you a higher margin if you offer them low speed, low quota plans with no excess charges (ie capped plans).

I think there is a need for smaller cheaper plans in your range, and there is no need to limit yourselves to selling this to pensioners. I think that's an unnecessary headache for you guys to manage. From what I've seen I would suggest that 512k download speed and 3 or 4 Gb a month would be more than enough for the 'target audience'. You could offer this for ~$30 a month, which most people would consider only a small fee for something they can use any time without the hassles of 'dialing up'.

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by bigruss09 » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:05 pm

Hi i am a disability pensioner i am only 46 years old and have been with exetel for 4 years i am happy with pricing of plans i would like adsl2 to my exchange i think free connection would help get pensioners stated as your price of plans are affordable for pensioners thank you :D

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by maxemum » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:29 pm

In selling any sort of plan you Exetel want to get a return.
Maybe that return may not need to be in a pure finacial way

How about those retirees and pensioners who are touring around this great land of ours
That caravan bunch, Ulysees MC Club mob etc.
Exetel may only break even with these sorts of groups, but the publicity could be huge
These people become wandering sellers

Which brings me to the next
I know that there are already incentives for all of us to reduce our account/ bill by getting a friend to sign up
This could be part of the pitch to pensioners
"get your kids or relatives to sign with us and get discount ADSL" someone who is not on the pension
a sort of two for one, or supplimental income for the seller

let the pensions see how easy it is and let them sort of go out and onsell Exetel products

A pensioner and or unemployed has a Health Care Card and has a Centrelink number.

Give each of these Pensioner Sellers a special code that they use for Their Account and give to their clients - who they've sold to etc

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by Gotz » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:34 pm

Let's keep it fair: Exetel provides excellent service at a very good price. It is in everyone’s interest that it stays like that. I find it pretty greedy to ask for an even better deal called ‘pensioner discount’. Why only for pensioners? How about a discount for single mums, widows, refugees, fire & flood victims and everyone else who has a tough life?
Here are some numbers to think about:
If the average pensioner spends $30 a month on Internet access, a generous 10% discount would be $3; -The equivalent to a cup of coffee or a few minutes at the poker machine. I know that is a lot of money, so look at your stimulus pack as your internet discount for the next 25 years. For further discounts check out Bigpond and think.

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by mrDabolina » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:40 pm

I do not think there is any reason to make a special plan for pensioners. Exetel is already the cheapest high value provider around today. The majority of pensioners are those that fall into the category of older people who would need more help setting up their connection - Exetel is not suited to provide that help without the cost of it flowing on to me and other normal rate plan customers.

The thing that got me signed up with Exetel was the part in the FAQ that said something along the lines that Exetel does not provide phone help in order to lower the cost. I was impressed with that because I have been sick of subsidizing people who can't help themselves. Don't go and change your strong points for people who are not going to add much revenue. Every time I go a gb over Exetel get another $3, how much will a half hour help line call cost Exetel?

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by hoolie » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:42 pm

I read all the previous posts and most of them make sense. I am an age pensioner and an Exetel customer for some four or so years. I also live in an area which has a large pensioner population. I have introduced about 16 of them to Exetel and all are generally satisfied with the plans, although a 512/128 plan with 2gb download for about $35 would suit them all (don't know whether that is feasible or not). The main reason why many pensioners are sucked in by Bog Pond and like companies is because of the setup fees or lack of them in Bog Pond's case. Many of the only go to Broadband because their family nags them. They don't have any idea of the ins and outs of speeds, download limits, the fact that in some cases the uploads count and in some they don't. So many end up as Bog Pond customers because some sweet young thing phones them and says that they can get broadband FREE. FREE modem, HALF PRICE for the first six months etc. No mention is made of down loads and uploads and the small limits. So some end up with bills from $169 for a month to one for $3000 for a month (I kid you not). So what I'm saying in a long discourse is that the area where "Pensioner" deals could make a difference is in the set up fee. If you have a setup fee of $130 and a basic modem for say $55 plus payment in advance for any part of a month's plan, you are looking at about $200. Now that is almost a full week's pension for age pensioners and every time I mention that cost they hesitate and often take the offer from Bog Pond etc. I'm not trying to be an advocate for pensioners but as the email I received asked for comment and I am right in the middle of the scenario the email was about, I thought I should contribute.

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Re: Pensioner Broadband Plans?

Post by peterh_oz » Wed Apr 22, 2009 5:55 pm

soaper wrote:
peterh_oz wrote:
* you will be excluding self-funded retirees, who it could be argued have less $$ than pensioners!

Be aware that if a customer travels overseas, they will be REJECTED as the PCC is suspended whilst they are overseas

peter how can self funded have less than pensioners???

anyone who is self funded can go to centrelink today and ask to be assessed for pension entitlement.
it has always been so

i know of quite a few self funded (and it has been well publisized) people who have lower income now from shares with the recession.
they are perfectly entitled to go to centrelink and be assessed again re eligibility.
the ones i personally know who have been to centrelink have all come out of it with a pension of some level, plus whatever they get from their investments.
centrelink has always monitored the value of investments in working out a deemed income for anyone who lists their investments as they are required to do upon application for any centrelink benefit

i thought that people who travelled has to merely notify centrelink of their absence for whatever period
The reason I said "it could be argued" (and I am not taking sides either way) is that self-funded get no discounts anywhere (except the sensiors card). They pay full price on rates, water, electricity, phone, often public transport, car rego, the list goes on. All those discounts add up, and could bean that a person just below the pension means-test line actually has more $$ than a self-funded slightly above the same line.

Regarding travelling, yes you can notify centrelink but your PCC is still suspended whilst overseas. So if exetel check your eligibility, your will show as "not a pensioner". For privacy reasons the only answer from centrelink is "yes" or "no", not "yes but temporarily overseas". I know this because, as I said earlier, I worked with these issues on a daily basis for many many years.

Again, I'm not taking sides nor am I denigrating pensioners. 99% of them get very little, and deserve much more. I am simply stating that I would rather see a plan for aged persons, whether self-funded or not, rather than a pensioner offer, as the ongoing cost to exetel in checking etc would be less, and others get discounts paid in other ways (eg the quarterly internet / phone rebate). I wonder how many didn't know about the internet rebate prior to today?

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