13th Jul 2017

Are older Australians being shunned by the world wide web?

Are older Australians being shunned by the world wide web?
Leon Della Bosca

Now more than ever, being connected to the internet is not a luxury, it’s simply a necessity. And not just to stay socially connected, although that is important. More and more businesses and government departments are making services and information available online only, so having internet connectivity is a must. Actually, it is a human right.

Currently, around 3.6 million Australians, or 19 per cent of the adult population, are aged 65 and over. Just 51 per cent of them are internet users. Some of them are digitally literate with the help of friends and family, but the ones who don’t have access to this help are effectively shunned by a world where businesses and essential services such as banking, finance, health care, utilities and payment systems are administered.

And then there’s the social aspect. Some people are isolated or have limited mobility that prevents them from venturing into the wider community. Having internet access could at least assuage some of the negative effects of this isolation and ward off loneliness and possibly depression.

It seems that when the Australian Bureau of Statistics groups age brackets, it does so in 10-year increments for those under 65. Yet over 65-year-olds are lumped in with people aged up to 105, so it’s little wonder that only 51 per cent are deemed internet users.



Council of the Ageing’s Ian Yates makes the point that this could be ageism, and that more specific groupings would reveal a far more accurate indicator of digital use among seniors.

Still, it goes without saying that the internet should be an essential resource for older Australians. But do you have a legal right to web connectivity?

The United Nations Principles for Older Persons recommends that governments ensure their older population be able to access decent educational and training programs, remain integrated in society, be able to pursue opportunities for the full development of their potential and have access to the educational, cultural, spiritual and recreational resources of society.

So, while there may be no legal obligation for the Government to enable the recommendations, one could say that web connectivity is a human right.

According to CHOICE, there are other hurdles which prevent older Australians from accessing the internet. Some of these include:

  • the technology is unaffordable
  • there is a fear of being scammed. In 2016, over 65s lost $13 million to scams
  • a dislike and distrust of change
  • fear of looking foolish when trying to learn new technology
  • limited mobility means some people can’t attend classes
  • a lack of ‘senior specific’ plans
  • no one around to help them.

 

Considering the United Nations recommendations, one could make the argument that the Government could do more to ensure that older people have access to a world that is becoming increasingly more digital.

Opinion: Does the Government do enough to help you feel connected?

If having access to the internet is becoming so essential, and services such as MyGov, Centrelink and myagedcare are all becoming ‘more digital’, then surely the Government should do more to ensure that seniors have web connectivity.

A YourLifeChoices survey revealed that up to 70 per cent of  6753 respondents shopped online, with 65 per cent going online two or more times a day, and almost 40 per cent spent two or more hours a day online. Granted, this was a digital survey, so all respondents had access to the internet.

In 2016, the Coalition made grand assurances that if it were re-elected, it would ensure that $50 million was put into a digital literacy program for older Australians.

For many, that was the last they heard about it. And while it may seem as if the program has fallen by the wayside, as do so many political promises, the Digital Literacy for Older Australians program should begin on 1 October, 2017.

In the meantime, older people can access free computer training by visiting Broadband for Seniors kiosks located across Australia in community centres, retirement villages, libraries and senior citizens' clubs.

But is it enough?

One of the more obvious factors preventing older people from getting online is affordability. Many age pensioners can’t afford decent food, let alone a computer. If anything, they may be able to afford a smartphone, and once they learn how to use that to access the internet and make calls, they could get rid of their landline. Anyone with an old phone should get a new one anyway, as the 2G network will shut down completely in September 2017. While, there are few affordable phone and data plans, Amaysim and Aldi offer pay-as-you-go plans.

As far as buying inexpensive computers, WorkVentures is a good place to start. It offers affordable reconditioned computers and laptops, and gives discounts to age pensioners and seniors card holders. Otherwise you could take your chances with Gumtree and eBay.

Maybe the Government could provide other incentives for seniors to purchase computers, such as tax breaks or a part refund for older people who have little income.

Maybe it could simply do more to advertise the services it does offer.

In a world that is becoming increasingly digital, it seems a no-brainer to make it as easy as possible for everyone, especially those who have not had the benefit of growing up with computers and the internet, to have the opportunity to be connected.

Do you feel connected? Could the Government do more to make sure you have internet connectivity? Do you feel you have a right to web connectivity?

If you ever have a technology question you like to ask us, please email newsletters@yourlifechoices.com.au and one of our techies will do their best to solve your problem.

Related articles:
YourLifeChoices tech help
Is the internet taking over your life?
Is your internet provider the worst?





COMMENTS

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Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
10:41am
Most old people simply can't be bothered learning how to use computers and smart phones etc. That to me is giving up living.
AutumnOz
13th Jul 2017
11:47am
Rubbish OG, get your facts straight before making a pronouncement about "most old people" unless of course you have spoken to each and every one of those older Australians.
Many do not have access to mobile phones so smart technology is of little use to them.
Also not everyone wants to be followed around by smart technology or have their kids checking up on them 10 times per day.
You give up on living when you quit thinking not when you acquire a smart phone.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
12:04pm
If you don't embrace technology then you have given up living as that is the way people live today.
AutumnOz
13th Jul 2017
1:33pm
There is no point in embracing technology if it cannot connect to the internet.
You must live in an area with good mobile phone reception and also reliable internet connection. Many Australians do not and there is little chance the NBN will fix that problem.
Imagine what it would be like to go out and buy a new fridge only to find it used smart technology and you could not use the new fridge because it couldn't connect.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
2:43pm
Rubbish AutumnOZ even some of the remotest areas in Australia have good internet.
grounded
13th Jul 2017
3:49pm
Have to disagree with you OG. I have no use what so ever for a smart/cell phone. Having someone texting me a dozen times a day....for no more than telling me the colour of their under clothes for that day, is more than I need.

Very much like FB...where one lets the world know that they are having sausages and mash for dinner....with a pic included. Real ground breaking News....

A basic computer, plus land line phone, keeps me up to date with everything that is happening in the world.
AutumnOz
13th Jul 2017
4:16pm
Grounded, the same keeps me up to date with the world as well
niemakawa
13th Jul 2017
4:39pm
What about sex?? Getting plenty OG or have you given up living???
P$cript
13th Jul 2017
8:23pm
OG, it would be good if you learnt to use the internet, as then you wouldn't make stupid incorrect comments. Learn to search the topic before commenting, done make up alternative facts.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
8:46pm
Ha ha I see some would throw insults instead of learning the real truth.
Rainey
14th Jul 2017
2:19pm
Not an insult, OG. Correct factual response. You are wrong. Certainly some remote areas have good internet, and some not nearly so remote areas have pathetic internet or none. I know a teacher who lives in a major Brisbane suburb who has been waiting for 3 years for a connection and has had to pay exorbitant fees for a wifi dongle for all of that time. A friend who lives in one of the first areas to get NBN reports that her connection has been unusable for her business due to frequency of dropouts and slow speeds. A businessman in my area paid $13000 to get glass to his door because the service was inadequate.

Happily, most retirees can access moderately acceptable internet as they don't typically need the speed and reliability that professionals and businesses require, but your response to AutumnOz is incorrect. And by the way - many retirees have no use for a smart phone. I know some who get by just fine with a landline and ADSL internet. In fact, I know some who are more than content to go to the neighbour's house when they need internet access. To each his own. If someone prefers to spend their time in the garden, sewing, cooking, doing craft, walking on the beach, etc. they certainly haven't given up on living.
Old Geezer
15th Jul 2017
3:25pm
Ha ha Rainey what a lot of rubbish? You don't have to see the internet to get it you know and that's about all the glass would do.

Mot retires like to whinge and get others to do things for them rather than learning how to do them for themselves. That's just being selfish and self centred which it's me, me, me etc. I often wonder what they really get home help to do for them.
Rainey
17th Jul 2017
1:25am
You really are showing your supreme ignorance and arrogance, OG. You obviously know NOTHING about Internet communications technology, or you would know that the NBN has major problems because it uses copper for the ''last mile''. Anyone who has any understanding of pipes understands that if you force high volume from a high capacity cable into a lower capacity cable you are going to cause trouble - and that's the problem with the NBN that has led many who need high speed and reliability to fund their own glass to the door connection.

As for dismissing comment that parts of major cities still can't offer Internet connection.... well, only a total fool would dispute that FACT! There are far too many complaints on file evidencing it to be true, and the government is admitting that it hasn't yet managed to extend connections to all parts of major cities. Yes, we can access wireless in most areas, but it's outrageously expensive and can be very unreliable.

Your entire argument is CRAP actually! I have good friends in their late 80s who live very full lives, doing voluntary work, winning Toastmasters' speech contests regularly, dining out with friends, taking great grandchildren on outings, gardening, sewing, swimming, walking... One was very capable on the computer, having learned at age 65 and mastered it well enough to create newsletters for Neighbourhood Watch and other groups, as well as to hold multiple offices in Toastmasters - including Treasurer, Secretary, Newsletter Officer and even District Officer.

One friend, who did magnificent calligraphy and art work, saw no need to ever touch a computer. The one who mastered the computer admirably and used it daily was terrified of connecting and refused to ever use the Internet or email, let alone do digital banking! That's their choice, and society should respect it.

When someone has lived well and contributed to society for over 80 years, and is still living a full and active life and contributing, only the most arrogant and disgusting individual would criticize them for not wanting to embrace newer ways of doing things. These people have managed for 80+ years doing things the way their generation learned to do things. They should be allowed to live out their lives in peace, properly respected and admired for their achievements - not bullied and condemned for resisting major change in their last years of life!

My grandmother used to say ''I've seen too much change in my life. It's exhausting.'' She was still contributing to society at 100 and was adored by both family and community. To suggest that she had stopped living because she didn't use the internet is just disgraceful, and reflects an extremely shallow view of the world. Obviously the comment of someone who has no healthy values and no respect.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
11:21am
Rainey I disagree with all that rubbish. One has only to walk into a nursing home today and see how many are using tablets and other tech devices. Using technology is far safe than many things people do every day.
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
8:50am
In what stinking vile world does EVERYONE have to accept something because someone you know in a nursing home does, OG? I don't care who accepts technology or how safe it is relative to other things people do. Only a vile and disgustingly intolerant and disrespectful moron would criticize an active, intelligent elderly person who is still contributing generously to society for exercising their right of choice. You really are a disgusting animal!
Hobbit
13th Jul 2017
11:01am
As a former tutor for Broadband for Seniors, I can highly recommend the program. The Qld Library program seems to confuse people, I had quite a few who came to me thoroughly confused by their program. Seniors do need different IT training; allowance has to be made for poor eye sight, arthritic fingers that can't work touch screens but most of all, lots and lots of patience.
Believer
13th Jul 2017
11:02am
I use it because I need it but I am sick of companies trying to stop paper bills and get us on digital because I realise I won't be able to do it in years to come.
God help you if you get dementia where it is only just getting started and you are alone. People will rob you blind!
Old people have not given up living Old Geezer! They just don't want to be wrapped up in a world of stress and traffic and noise.They want to get out and about in peace and quiet to enjoy the remaining years they have left. We don't all love being attached to a world of wars, crime and poverty. The telco's are making a fortune out of you and everybody else! You just cannot see it yet.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
11:31am
Wrong it is just so much easier doing everything online instead of waiting, waiting, waiting now for Aust Post. I save many dollars by not using stamps and envelopes etc not to mention the time in finding a post box etc as well. Now that is stressful!

You also have to find somewhere to store all that paper and what about all the trees that get cut down for all that paper. Ouch!

If I get dementia then it will be so much easier looking it all up digitally then wading through mountains of paper.

Did you know that most old people is nursing homes now have tablets as they have found that they help to keep the mind active?

So stop being ignorant and move with the times by embracing technology.

I pay the telcos less than most people pay to have the phone connected.
AutumnOz
13th Jul 2017
11:54am
I agree with your comments Belivever.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
12:02pm
It is good to see people are now being charged for bank statements and bills though the post as this service is unnecessary in this day and age. Hopefully they will soon charge the true costs of such services.
AutumnOz
13th Jul 2017
1:37pm
Old Geezer, read my comment above about reliable internet connection. You obviously have little or no understanding of what is going on in this country.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
3:19pm
I have been all over Australia and there is very few places without phone and internet access now. Not too sure what you mean by reliable but I can't remember anywhere I have problems with reliability. Yes the internet signal does get a bit weak and the phone gets a bit warm at times but that's to be expected.

Of cause if you rely on anything but Telstra then you will have reliability and lots of places with no phone or internet.
hooha
13th Jul 2017
3:38pm
I love technology but my 87 yr old father doesn't. He picked things up quicker than others in his working life.
Since retirement he left things to my mother and then when she passed 3yrs back he went to the old fashioned way of paper and pay in person.
As frustrating as I find it he isn't comfortable doing it any other way.
I had to fight with Telstra this week because some sales person had swapped him to plans he doesn't need and email statements. I wonder how much he would have been up for if the bills were overdue?

And Old Geezer "If I get dementia then it will be so much easier looking it all up digitally then wading through mountains of paper." show you know sweet FA about dementia.
Nan Norma
13th Jul 2017
8:12pm
my son has only recently got internet to his business and he's only our hours drive outside Brisbane.
Theo1943
13th Jul 2017
9:34pm
Nan Norma, OG said some remote areas have good internet. I think he was talking about outer suburbs. I live 50 klicks from the Perth CBD and my landline is OK, 12Gbit down, (we're getting the NBN in 2019, maybe. Oh boy) and my phone only works because I spent $900 on a rooftop Yagi antenna and signal retransmitter. I keep an old Touchphone 200 plugged in for when the power goes off. That's so I can listen to Western Power telling me to get on the net to find out what and when the power is coming back.

Oh, the internet works great in the outback, whenever a Govt minister is around.
Radish
16th Jul 2017
8:18pm
By law they cannot refuse you a paper bill OR charge you for it.

I got a letter from Bankwest saying I would be charged for a paper bill.

When I rang the bank I was told "no, that is just a generic letter to all customers, seniors do not get charged if they want a paper bill" as not everyone has a computer.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
11:18am
The alternative which is now starting to be used is giving discounts for those who embrace technology where the price of a paper bill is factored into the price and a discount given for no paper bills. So if you want a paper bill thus increasing the costs for everyone not to mention the number of trees cut down then you should have to pay for it.
GrandmaKathleen22
13th Jul 2017
11:31am
My 85 year old neighbour just astounded me after resisting technology all of a sudden has taken to it like a duck to water and she is very good at it.
It is liberating to be able to research, read, play games, learn new things, etc. It opens up the world for people who are housebound like I am.
It is not a costly thing to do as well.
I use an iPad as I can keep it on my lap on a recliner.
I think apart from the government there are plenty of people willing to help the elderly get on the net. It is liberating and a lifeline.
I chat to friends so it keeps me connected. Skype allows us to see our grandchildren.
The elderly and infirm need it more than the young. So glad I live now and now and am not this old in an earlier time period.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
11:49am
They all want a tablet in some nursing homes now.
Theo1943
13th Jul 2017
2:49pm
I don't mind a few tablets, it's the bitter pill I object to.
AutumnOz
13th Jul 2017
11:41am
If the government wants all people over 60 years to use the mygov and centrelink websites they should provide the computers, and instruction, for the 49% of older people who do not have access to computers.
It would also help if it was a lot easier to navigate the above mentioned websites.
Over the past few weeks I have had good reason to contact centrelink, a couple of insurance companies, banks etc. all of them wanted me to contact them via their websites, I refused as some were not secure.
To "prove" my identity I was asked for my date of birth, driver's licence number and other personal information, needless to say I did not provide any of the information ask for which was not necessary......I had phoned each of them in response to a communication from their department, company etc.
I pointed out to all the various people I spoke to that I would not have needed to contact them if
A) I had access to a computer.
B) I could easily navigate their website.
C) The company (or department) had answered the question I had asked while I was present in their office instead of "having to investigate" to give an answer.
Inefficiency appears to be present right across the board and the ignorance of staff is unbelievable in many instances.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
11:47am
Had a young woman contact me a couple of days ago and asked me what apps she could use instead of Mygov and Centrelink. I told her I knew Centrelink had one but hadn't heard mygov had one. She told me that she couldn't get into the Centrelink app so I said use the website instead. She looked at me in disgust. I had previously showed her how to use both websites but websites are old hat with the youngsters today it seems. No app they don't want to know about it.
Theo1943
13th Jul 2017
12:46pm
I gave up on the Centrelink ap as it required new ID and password each time I tried to change from my phone to my tablet.
Old Geezer
14th Jul 2017
5:35pm
The young woman was having the same problems.
KSS
13th Jul 2017
12:37pm
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights has 30 Articles (or rights) and not a single one is about the 'right' to technology of any kind much less specific access to computers or the internet. Whilst some may think it is desirable, or even essential, it is NOT a human right so lets not get carried away here.

Why should it be yet another demand for handouts from the Government?
Theo1943
13th Jul 2017
12:49pm
When my dad was 96, mostly blind and deaf, he got a letter from Human resources that all further communications would be online.
Or he could go to the local office in person.
sunnyOz
13th Jul 2017
1:01pm
Theo1943 - know exactly what you mean. I live in outback Qld where internet coverage is abysmal. Many older people live out on remote properties, and it is a waste of time having internet. But everything is being pushed to 'hop in the internet for details'. My job involves trying to help these people and it is so awful to see older people who are hit twice. First by not being computer savvy, and second, a service that is not available.
AutumnOz
13th Jul 2017
1:45pm
KSS, if government departments are going to insist people deal with them via the internet then it is up to the government to see that computers and the internet is available for all people to use, at the moment this service is not available to many, or possibly most, Australians.
The NBN is a failure until it is either fixed or scrapped. People who will not be connected until the 2020s still need traditional methods of communication with the outside world , unfortunately that also includes government departments.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
2:37pm
The internet and computers, smart phones are available to the vast majority of people in Australia today. I was recently in some very remote areas and I had internet and phone access as good as most people have in their homes. The internet was and still is available using other technology besides the NBN. So no problem there at all.

That just a feeble excuse nothing more.
AutumnOz
13th Jul 2017
4:22pm
OG you believe what you want to believe not what is happening the the real world.
I am aware the internet and phone is still available in remote areas, I live in one, however we have no mobile phone coverage and internet coverage is a hit and miss affair.
My cat has more sense than you do.
Old Geezer
14th Jul 2017
5:34pm
If you pay peanuts the what do you expect? s I have said I had both a Telstra phone and another one on one of those cheap networks. The Telstra one works well in the outback of Queensland but the another one didn't. I was in a remote National Park (Lawn Hill NP) and the internet was as good as most people have at home. Look it up as you don't get much more remote then that.
Rainey
15th Jul 2017
12:36pm
Only Telstra is available in our area - which is NOT in a remote area - and it works badly if at all. Out of service for a full 2 weeks recently. OG, you are full of it. Ill-informed, arrogant, ignorant, and extremely rude.
Old Geezer
15th Jul 2017
3:21pm
Rainey is there anything that works for you? It doesn't seem like it to me.
niemakawa
15th Jul 2017
4:04pm
OG time to pull the plug on you. You are Digitally Discarded from further comments. Shush!!
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
11:21am
Nope afraid not.
Lozpops17
13th Jul 2017
12:37pm
Agree Old Geezer. When I was in the workplace around three four years ago, and now proudly 67, I was showing some of the younger people how to set up their webpages, save into favourites, select homepage, etc etc. Most are so used to their phones and apps that they dont have the opportunity or inclination to use PCs/Desktops.
Some asked where did you learn that, I advised them "known it for years was brought up with technology".
Now I am quite adept at my phone apps etc. It never ceases to amaze me that all of us oldies are lumped into the one Ludite box. No way not me I love technology and being Old school
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
12:43pm
To me not embracing technology is like an old person wanting to use hand signals instead of the indicators on a car to turn corners and stop.

Got one of those modern cars myself and if you are not tech savvy you would have big trouble trying to drive it with it's touch screens and other tech gadgets.
KSS
13th Jul 2017
12:59pm
But at least the 'oldies' would know the hand signals and which to use when the indicator lever jams!
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
1:06pm
Yep I guess we do.
fredlet02
13th Jul 2017
1:03pm
yea ole Geezer a man of my own heart long an short we have a generation that couldn,t live without these plurry machines if this plurry machine says men should sit down 2 p..ss 1/2 the plurry generation would believe it long an short anything u put on the crapbox any bludger in the world could read it
Puglet
13th Jul 2017
1:05pm
Geezer makes a habit of making generalised statements without any supporting data e.g. Most old people can't be bothered .... I help at workshops and courses designed to familiarise older people with technology (they are always booked out). Older people have different needs/wants compared to younger people. Retirees want to use Skype to talk to grandchildren, Facebook for the same reasons, emails, Google etc. Some I know are wary of online banking etc because of security etc rather than because they can't use it. Now I no longer work for pay I have decommissioned my expensive phone and now have a basic one, paying a third of the fees. I am at home a lot of the time now so I now use a powerful iPad instead of a phone with all the bells and whistles or my PC (no longer write huge documents). Saying old people can't be bothered with technology provides an excuse for the government and retirement places not to provide free WiFi etc. BTW there are ongoing studies on the use of iPads/phones with people who have Alzheimers. Listening to music or familiar voices seems to have a positive effect. Some of these people are adept at using the technology although as the disease progresses they need support.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
2:41pm
Can't to OG means can't be bothered as he doesn't accept the word can't from any one and reminds people the word they should use is won't instead.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
1:15pm
One of the funniest things that happened in a nursing home is that the nursing home provided free Wifi for everyone but blocked Facebook and other social media sites. Now all the grandkids use Facebook so the oldies were not happy with this situation. So they took it to the board and the board refused to unblock Facebook. So one of the grandkids worked out how to get around the block and before long nearly all the residents knew how to do it as well.

At the next board meeting it was decided that they would unblock Facebook because they felt that it was only a matter of time before any further blocking was breeched as well.
Puglet
13th Jul 2017
1:32pm
LOL. Do you know why the Board blocked Facebook? It might be because it is scared residents will publish screen shots of the appalling meals! As you say all you need is one grandkid who knows their way round the net and then it's like measles and before long everyone is skilled! A friend's 10 year old great grand child taught her the rudiments of Skype and she is now the village's expert. In contrast to IT buffs who want to explain the 'science' the very young just say - press here, click here and ... off you go.
Theo1943
13th Jul 2017
2:52pm
OG, LOL, you can't make this stuff up. Oh, you did.
P$cript
13th Jul 2017
8:34pm
Oh yes he can and does.
Nan Norma
13th Jul 2017
2:11pm
The cost is a problem for many people and I can understand why they resist when can't see any benefit. Also the cost of internet and paying for someone to install or fix problems can be expensive. I've been using the computer for years and still learning, but I guess that can be a good thing too.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
2:40pm
Cost is less than new TV so that's just another excuse.
Nan Norma
13th Jul 2017
8:07pm
True, but calling for someone to fix a problem can be expensive.
Old Geezer
14th Jul 2017
5:30pm
Nay just fix it yourself. Do what the experts do. Google the problem.
Radish
16th Jul 2017
8:21pm
That is what I do...google the problem.

There is no question that has not been asked before...trust me LOL
Nan Norma
16th Jul 2017
8:39pm
Oh come on now. So a beginner knows how to look up google and follow the often complicated instructions? You've got to be kidding. Learning to use a computer is rather like learning a new language. Something more difficult to do as you get older.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
11:38am
That's why I said if you can't move with the times and embrace the digital world then you are not really living well.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
8:37am
A lot of digital morons are not living well, OG! The folk I know who ignore computer and communications technology and just have an old fashioned landline for making and receiving calls are living better than anyone else I know. They are happy, healthy, loving life, and not bogged down trying to unravel CRAP, deal with Spam, fight with broken web apps, worry about internet security risks, and avoid all the fake news that is pushed at us every day. The small cost of receiving paper statements and bills is outweighed a thousand times over by the savings from not having to replace or upgrade computers and so-called ''smart'' phones and software every few years, not to mention the costs of connection, power, maintenance and technical support.

Frankly, I think most of us would be far better off NOT connected.
Old Geezer
20th Jul 2017
5:33pm
I have a message service on my phone and have all mail now coming online not through the post. I just got my life back as I no longer answer phone or have to try and trace mail. Nothing worse than trying to explain that you didn't pay a bill as you didn't get it. That is what I call dealing with CRAP.

It is certainly good that businesses are now charging for paper bills and statements so the rest of us don't pay for something we no longer need.
Pudding
13th Jul 2017
3:50pm
There are some people who would have great difficulty using a computer. I know two people, a brother and a sister who live together in their own home and I believe would not be able to use a computer. Both have intellectual disabilities and one cannot hardly read or write. They do have help, but mainly they do their own thing. Their finances are handled by a Government Department, so they have no problem with bills being paid. These people are forgotten. I dread the day they may not be able to get money out of their bank account because they cannot use a computer. Don't think they would be able to handle a bank card. There would be a lot more people around who would have problems like these two. It is not a matter of "simply not being bothered to learn" but not able to to do so.
AutumnOz
13th Jul 2017
4:28pm
That is sad Pudding, I hope these two are helped out by the NDIS and/or My Aged Care, although it would probably be cheaper to get private help - friendlier as well.
Pudding
13th Jul 2017
4:39pm
Thank you AutumnOz. One is covered by MyAgedCare and the other person has been registered with the NDIS.
AutumnOz
13th Jul 2017
4:48pm
Thank goodness, at least someone will be avail;able to help them out when it is needed.
Very best wishes to both of them.
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
5:04pm
Sounds like they have all the digital help they need already to me.
alpha
13th Jul 2017
4:11pm
Hey OLD Geezer I wont reply to your remarks because you are one arrogant piece of sh!t.!!
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
4:27pm
Thanks for your kind reply.
George
13th Jul 2017
5:05pm
You carry the voice of the vast majority, alpha.

Technology is a complex area full of security holes and changing designs which make it hard for older people to keep up (not me, as I have decades of experience in it, hence I can make such a statement), and any companies / Govt who want older people to use their services must provide the help & training to their client base to support them to use it (and not via a call centre in Philippines). Many are still trying to understand how to use the smarter mobile phones.
Foxy
13th Jul 2017
8:27pm
..... Congratulates alpha big time for voicing what a lot of people must be thinking about the ridiculous and outrageous comments that Old Geezer is "posting"! No wonder he calls himself "Old Geezer' lol lol - sure suits! :-) wanker!
Old Geezer
15th Jul 2017
3:27pm
Umm that really shows up your ignorance Foxy.
Foxy
15th Jul 2017
5:55pm
....I beg to differ? Surely it shows yours? lol lol lol
niemakawa
13th Jul 2017
4:37pm
"Digitally discarded" sounds painful!!! But there again !!!
Rodent
13th Jul 2017
6:09pm
Wow somebody touched OG's hot button, 21 comments already!!!
Old Geezer
13th Jul 2017
8:47pm
What you want some more useful information?
ex PS
15th Jul 2017
9:21am
Yes OG, I do, can you direct me to someone who can give me some?
Old Geezer
15th Jul 2017
3:26pm
No need I'll give you all you need.
ex PS
19th Jul 2017
11:00am
Sorry O.G, I meant to say reliable information.
Old Man
13th Jul 2017
8:06pm
My neighbour left school at age 14 as did his wife. Neither are users of the internet and do their banking, make payments, keep up with news and get all the information they need from government agencies without the internet. It seems that many people can live, and live quite well without the internet.
Rosret
13th Jul 2017
10:15pm
I have a friend who wants to leave absolutely no digital footprint. So aware of the internet's trail and breaches in privacy and security that this person has gone out of their way to disconnect from email, social networks, banking etc etc. Not sure how you can to that in this day and age but that is the plan.
I was even rebuked when I bought them a years subscription to a hard copy magazine purchased online as a gift. The argument being their name and address was on a commercial database due to my purchase.
niemakawa
13th Jul 2017
11:41pm
It is virtually impossible to close an account once you have signed up anywhere on the internet. Even this website will store your information for eternity although you may unsubscribe. I remember a song from the 70's by the singer Carly Simon. It went like this " We have no secrets we tell each other (almost) everthing" So by using the internet you are giving them all away. We have all been duped in believing that technology improves our lives, yes it does to a certain extent, but it also acts as a mechanism for Governments to control us. That is its main aim. Freedom comes freedom goes we are in the go phase.
Bonny
14th Jul 2017
8:15am
A young girl I know applied for a tax file number through the post so she could do casual work after school and on the weekend. Within a couple of weeks she had letters offering her credir cards and lots of other stuff. The only people who knew her details was the ATO.

Another young fellow got his drivers licence which then triggered his enrolment in all the electoral rolls as well.

So if you want to earn money or drive a car your details will have a life of their own in the digital world.
niemakawa
13th Jul 2017
11:41pm
Um!
jeffr
14th Jul 2017
12:27am
I will add my üm"to yours niemakawa...perhaps OG might like to add his?
niemakawa
14th Jul 2017
1:20am
OG may have given up living, obviously he is not getting enough of ....
Old Geezer
14th Jul 2017
5:29pm
Nay too much a good thing.............
Foxy
15th Jul 2017
5:57pm
... is OG here to simply "stir the pot"? lol lol ........
bobby
14th Jul 2017
9:43am
I was enjoying the internet until I signed up for the NBN. They came and said I had a
faulty connection. Later the same day, I was disconnected. Since 12 May I have no internet. They said they would come back in August. I have complained to NBN, the service provider, local federal member to no avail. Nobody seems to care.
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
11:22am
Sign up with some one else instead. Why not try Telstra and they are very helpful?
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
8:45am
I have no option but to use Telstra and they couldn't be more UNHELPFUL. A nightmare to deal with, they hire support staff who can hardly speak English and have no idea about technology, but can only barely read from a ''cheat sheet'', so give senseless responses. I spent years trying to resolve a problem that Telstra techs claimed could not be solved with existing technology. Then I bought a software product from a US company and happened to mention the issue to a sales person who gave me what proved to be the easiest solution in the world and free!

Recently I tried to change Telstra plans and I had to argue with six salespeople pointing them to the advertising on Telstra's website before anyone would even acknowledge that the plan I wanted existed. Then they quote me $89 a month for a $30 per month plan. Finally a supervisor I yelled at in frustration admitted the plan existed and was $30 a month, but added I could have it for $24 a month if I phoned a different division. It took a total of 6 hours on the phone to switch to a plan they advertise prolifically!

Out of service recently for 2 full weeks, Telstra refused any credit. I eventually threatened a complaint to the TIO and they conceded and gave me half the fixed monthly charge as a credit. That took 2 hours of arguing (almost not worth the effort and time cost!)

Best one of all - a relative moved house between Brisbane suburbs and advised me of new phone number and that it had just been connected. I dialled and a stranger answered and asked what was going on as she had DISCONNECTED the day before. Six weeks later, the relative finally got a phone connected and advised that Telstra had reconnected the disconnected neighbour instead of connecting the new service ordered and it took 6 weeks, an appeal to the TIO, and at least 24 phone calls to convince them they got it wrong and get the connection fixed. She is still fighting for compensation which Telstra claim they don't owe because ''we connected within 2 days of the request''. Yep! To the wrong address!
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
12:20pm
Well I have had a great service from Telstra and they even compensate the few outages I get. The home phone was recently not working and I was 3000 klms away but rang them and they organised with my daughter to get it fixed promptly. They also give me a free home phone on the old copper network with all the extras with my NBN connection.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
8:39am
You must have friends in high places, OG. Telstra is renowned nationwide for its appalling service, and you only have to read the TIO reports to see how rarely they pay compensation willingly.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
1:32pm
Never had any trouble with Telstra Rainey but can't say same about other telcos.
Rainey
14th Jul 2017
2:33pm
I suspect most over 65s can access the world wide web and email if they so desire, but I object to the continual drive to force us all into a digital world that is insecure and unreliable and in which programmers and webpage creators use technologies that are raise significant compatibility and performance issues. I worked in the IT industry for decades and can build webpages and design software, and I use technology extensively, but I am constantly finding major holes in government and major corporation websites and apps that cause problems for users and put their security at risk. We need to slow down and start getting it right before forcing everyone to accept technology.
niemakawa
14th Jul 2017
2:42pm
I agree. Not a day goes past without a message appearing on a device "updates are available" Are they all really necessary? probably not. Some websites continually changing the layout of information so having to go through the process of adapting to the new formats can be a daunting task.
Old Geezer
14th Jul 2017
5:29pm
Rainey it is not safe to cross a road or drive a car either so what's different with the internet? Funny I doubt if it will ever kill but crossing the road or drive a car may.
Rainey
15th Jul 2017
12:32pm
Oh, there are dangers in our world so that makes it okay for governments and major corporations to carelessly or deliberately compromise our lifestyle and security? DUMB COMMENT, OG!
Foxy
15th Jul 2017
5:58pm
.......... most of OG's posts are dumb! :-)
Old Geezer
17th Jul 2017
11:25am
Nothing compromises one's lifestyle and security more than all the problems associated with snail mail today.
Rainey
18th Jul 2017
8:36am
What problems, OG? Aust Post is still very efficient despite reducing deliveries some. Very little gets lost or seriously delayed. I can't see how ''lifestyle'' or ''security'' can be compromised by snail mail. The Internet is known to present major security problems. Snail mail does not.
Old Geezer
18th Jul 2017
3:28pm
You obviously haven't had any mail stolen Rainey and let's hope you don't either. If you have mail delivered to your house you have big security problems.
Rainey
19th Jul 2017
8:31am
Had my mail delivered to my house for 50 years - at least 15 different addresses in at least 8 different cities/towns and have NEVER had a problem. Not only that, I don't know of anyone who has! Among thousands of friends, acquaintances, employers, employees, customers, clients, suppliers, relatives, etc... not a single one has EVER had a problem with mail delivered to their house. BUT I could rattle of dozens of instances of cyberfraud hurting people I know... and me personally (though I successfully detected the culprit and had the matters put right, on multiple occasions!)
ex PS
19th Jul 2017
10:57am
These days it is far easier to hack into someones Cloud Account than to pick the right time to rifle through someones letter box to find something valuable to steal. First off you can hack an on-line account from a country on the other side of the planet, whilst to steal mail you have to be at a certain place fully visible at a certain time, secondly once you hack into an on-line account you can take your time and long as you don't alter anything you can wait for the right opportunity and take everything, whilst when stealing from a letter box you only get one chance as you can't tell if you have been noticed or not.
O.G's statement regarding the security of doing business on-line is based on mythology not fact.
Old Geezer
19th Jul 2017
1:30pm
It is so easy to get your identity stolen from your mailbox or wallet but unless you are very careless indeed you won't get it stolen off the net. I have had lots of cheques etc stolen over the years from my mailbox so much so that I don't like people sending me cheques.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
3:13am
Most of OG's statements are based on mythology, or else are just knowing lies. He never deals in FACT.
Rainey
20th Jul 2017
3:16am
OG also says most of his neighbours are pensioners living in million dollar homes. I'm glad I don't live in an area like that. Thieving, scheming over-privileged rorters, apparently!

My neighbours are hard workers, battlers, scrupulously honest, and would only take mail from my box to look after it when I'm not around to collect it promptly (as they do regularly!). We all live in modest homes - not worth millions, that's for sure. And we have no security issues, ever! Maybe battlers are just better people?
Old Geezer
20th Jul 2017
5:25pm
There is nothing wrong with my neighbours at all. However we have a postal service that keeps losing things. So far this month I have had a cheque go missing in the mail and 2 parcels. All came from Victoria which is a real concern.


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