11.04.09

The Jitterbug Cell Phone: Senior Bilking?

Posted in Scams at 11:48 am by admin

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Jitterbug Phone

Don’t Fall For a Too Good To Be True Ploy

The Mobile Phone has become a staple in society and a symbol of the
digital world. But not everybody uses them. Senior adults often find
them infuriating. The buttons are too small, the screen is too dim,
and the icons and options are overwhelming. Many would rather bring
change for a pay phone than carry one.

With this in mind, one company has launched a massive campaign for its
senior friendly phone: The Jitterbug. The premise is simple: It’s a no-
contract phone with a tenth of the functionality but twice the price.
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We’ll look at the positives first. There is no contract that a senior
will get locked into. The numbers and the display really do make
calling easier for people with vision loss. And the fact that there
are “old time style” operators that can assist not only with directory
assistance but with calling from the customer’s own contact list is
appealing to many.

But the cost of using a Jitterbug is simply way, way too expensive for
what it gives you. The phone itself is $147, and their rate plans
start at $14.99 for 50 minutes per month. That is a total of more than
$0.30 per minute! And unlike every other major cell phone service,
there are no Nights and Weekend minutes or mobile to mobile
privileges. The only conceivable reason anyone would buy this plan is
for emergencies.

The more popular plans are $29.99 for 200 minutes, $39.99 for 300
minutes, $49.99 for 500, $59.99 for 700, and $79.99 for 1000. Each of
these include 500 Nights & Weekend minutes and no mobile to mobile
minutes. For those who are familiar with cell phone pricing, this is
obviously and unnecessarily expensive. Basic cell phone service for
AT&T begins at $39.99 for 450 minutes. 5000 (that’s thousand, not
hundred) Nights and Weekend minutes, and unlimited Mobile to Mobile.
And from there, the deals get better, offering unlimited talking time
on nights and weekends.

What does this mean for Seniors? With a little help from their loved
ones (people like you), they could get set up with a cell phone with
simple functionality, big buttons, and much, much more freedom to call
when they need to. Many of the big-button older phones are still
available online and can easily be set up for service. And I can
guarantee you they’re not going to charge anywhere near $147!

The funny thing about Jitterbug’s tiny calling allowances is that most
seniors I know enjoy talking on the phone to their families. If the
point is to give them freedom, why not give them more minutes to
actually exercise that freedom? Wouldn’t that be better?

But Jitterbug is more concerned with condescending to Seniors and
bilking them for all their worth. The Jitterbug is dramatically
overpriced, but many will pay it, because the man on the TV said it
was a good deal. But it is not a good deal.

If your loved one is considering buying a Jitterbug, make sure they
understand what they’re getting into, and present them with options.
If they have plenty of money, it’s not going to be a big deal. But
most are on a fixed income, and could do without the bilking, thank
you very much! [ad#ad-1]