Age and the internet.

Dave

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We have to remember as well that however 'nice' local shops might be, the fact remains that big companies can be cheaper and more diverse, while the internet even more so. All hail the internet :)
They could! However, in practice. you find the same chain shops selling the same products: their products and decor all determined at a corporate level. That in turn makes every street in every town look the same. It is what sells best and what people buy that determines what is stocked. My point is that if people really want it to change then they need to show it with their spending. It is no good complaining about it while secretly really liking it.

The problem is that even the chains are leaving the High Street now. I think we will regret that. IMHO even if you go into a shop, try out the product, then order it online and have it delivered, we still need that local High Street presence, but I cannot stop the tide turning.
 

Astro Pen

Write now.
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The vulnerability of old people to online fraud is staggering. I contemplated getting my old mother a PC for emails and nostalgic browsing but decided that the risk was just too great. She would not be able to tell the difference between phishing and genuine emails for example.
What is needed is a limited "Geriweb" browser loaded with safeguards like we use for kids. But I think internet banking for that generation is best avoided altogether. They will be the last 'net illiterate' generation so it is a transient consideration.
 

Foxbat

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The vulnerability of old people to online fraud is staggering
I'm off topic slightly but vulnerability in real life too.

During lockdown, my mum was visited by two people in face visors telling her they could get her a cheaper energy deal. She had the good sense not to let them in. My thoughts when I found out were why the hell were they doing this in the middle of lockdown? I told her at the time that if anybody like that called again to phone the police. It could have been genuine but if it was, the company responsible was being staggeringly incompetent or simply heartless and cynical by cashing in on the crisis.
 

TheEndIsNigh

...Prepare Thyself
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I understand the sentiment @Foxbat but I expect that among that 4.2 million people over 65 there will be a large proportion that cannot read
Dave, because of the screen width/formatting this is how your post appeared to me.

Wow!!! I thought, that Dave doesn't hang back. He's not scared of who he upsets.

Then I moved to the next line. Oh well...
 

Dave

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@Foxbat I think that it might have actually been genuine. I heard they were still door knocking. How they could defend doing that during lockdown I have no idea. One of my own current jobs, as a recycling adviser on doorsteps, is not possible for the foreseeable future. I can't see how these energy providers can do it. This changing of energy providers seems like a scam anyway.

As for elderly being vulnerable online then I've already said in the Pet Hates thread how despicable I think the scammers are. They deliberately target the most vulnerable and if they are successful then they share lists of the people who fell for the scam. Even some "reputable" charities are no better. When my father-in-law died we found multiple direct debits from his bank account to the same dogs charity. Chuggers should be banned too!

I think that as far as banks are concerned, they have the best anti-spam defences there are. They just stopped a Premiership Football club from giving away £1 million to scammers. However, these scammers will always find a way and pension funds are like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow to them.
 

mosaix

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Talking about changing energy suppliers, I’ve been a member of the Consumers Association (they publish Which?) for years. They offer a switching advice service on their website. You give them details of your gas and electricity usage and they give you the details of the best provider for you. Except they don’t.

It has come to light that the list of providers that they give are biased towards the providers that offer the best commission to CA for the referral. The best provider (cheapest) for an individual might even be on the second page of the list!

As an additional but related rant a representative of CA was interviewed about this on the Today program on BBC Radio 4 and was allowed to waffle on about it by the interviewer without actually saying why the best deal wasn’t top of the list.
 

Phyrebrat

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I work with people who have no access to cards (plastic debits cards) due to poor income/credit checks or immigration status. There are more and more places where these people cannot use cash (such as on a London bus) and struggled even getting into the career ladder legally.

Argos’s decision is just a manifestation of what we’re going through now in a larger sense. Moving to an e or online-only market oppresses the poor and leads to the vulnerable and needy being sidelined.
 

AlexH

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I hate that everything is moving online and to apps. I've been unable to complete transactions at times because I've been unable to receive a text or e-mail to authorise it. HSBC tells me it's Verified by VISA's fault, and Verified by VISA tells me it's HSBC I should complain to. The funniest of these occasions was when I was actually in an HSBC bank, on the phone to HSBC employees somewhere else in the world.

There have been two occasions where I needed an app (which I couldn't install on my mobile phone) to buy a ticket for gigs I wanted to attend. I had difficulty finding someone to contact to make sure I got into these gigs, but someone did eventually sort it out for me (once the band's record label, and another time someone at the venue). On another two occasions, I was able to buy tickets via an app for gigs, but the tickets didn't become available on the app until an hour before the gig (to beat touts, apparently). Yet I had no Internet access to get the tickets, as I had to leave home/accommodation over an hour before the gigs started.

I appreciate how much more difficult it must be for people who don't use the Internet and never want to. Relying on technology is a bad idea. I've said for years that technology will be the death of a big chunk of human civilisation (perhaps not in my lifetime), as it has been when technology has become 'too advanced' for various civilisations of the past.
 

Dave

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I'm not sure it I've told this story but I came across someone crying because she couldn't get into her house. However, she hadn't lost her key. Her door didn't have a mechanical lock and key, but an electronic lock opened by a phone App instead. Her phone battery was dead and she couldn't find anywhere to charge it. Without her phone she couldn't open her front door!

I also tried to order a repeat prescription today. I rang the chemist as always but was told that I had to order it online now via something called Patient Assist. This is because of Covid-19, and it ought to be easier for me to do, had it actually worked. I signed up, then I had to link it to my doctor's practise surgery. When I then tried to order it said that the surgery did not currently subscribe to this service. I think that it's because I need a letter that is being sent out from the surgery that I haven't received yet, but there was no explanation. I rang the chemist back. They said I had to email the surgery instead, which I did, but it's Sunday and no one is there. I will sort this out tomorrow, but as with the previous examples already given, what if I didn't have access to a computer? What if I didn't have email? What if I was confused about this change that I haven't been informed was happening? What if I really needed my medicine right now? It is assumed that everyone is able, has full mental capacity and is totally computer literate, when the reality is quite different.
 

AlexH

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I'm not sure it I've told this story but I came across someone crying because she couldn't get into her house. However, she hadn't lost her key. Her door didn't have a mechanical lock and key, but an electronic lock opened by a phone App instead. Her phone battery was dead and she couldn't find anywhere to charge it. Without her phone she couldn't open her front door!
This kind of thing is one reason I refuse to rely on a phone for anything. If I need a map, I still take paper maps. My mobile phone is also faulty and John Lewis wouldn't do anything about it because of COVID. Eventually, it looks like I'll have to return it for repair. So if I used a mobile phone for banking, key locks etc. - I wouldn't be able to access any of that.
 

JohnM

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Soon... you will be forced to use the internet only for everything....

Secret Global Internet Control Group
 

Robert Zwilling

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There are enough new young people coming on line every day who can replace any sales lost by those not using it.

In the 90's you could use it to look up information and search engine results showed you the best, the most looked at, the most amount of information, without any payola. When they started giving you offers to buy (buy a Shakespeare, best prices!) instead of web sites to learn about something, I didn't like it. I like it even less today. Having to use the App on the phone instead of being able to see it on a website format is an easy choice. I wait until I get home where the desktop, so far, doesn't subscribe to the you only see what someone has paid for you to see philosophy.
I use it as a tool, to find the best price but only from a very limited set of websites. Anything I can get locally at a good price I drive to get. The drive to make internet browsing an exciting experience has created a product I have little interest in using. For me, the appalling lack of security makes it a pathetic piece of junk. But I use it. It is like everything else, if it was properly made, the nameless they wouldn't be able to get rich off of it. Since it is a pathetic piece of junk, the losses are incurred by the users and not by the owners or sellers. Any programs needed to make it safe to use should automatically be provided and be free to use.
 

Stephen Palmer

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It's the same with cars. I drive a 2012 car, when the level of absurd technology was lower. These days, as observed above, technology overwhelms mechanics every time. We heading into a homogenous society.
 

Dave

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It's the same with cars. I drive a 2012 car, when the level of absurd technology was lower. These days, as observed above, technology overwhelms mechanics every time. We heading into a homogenous society.
Totally agree about cars (and other pieces of domestic equipment). When they were mechanical, most things could be repaired with a little knowledge and the right tools, and maybe a replacement part; maybe even a bang with a hammer! Now they are electronic they become obsolete when they break. Often that obsolesce is deliberately built-in to make you buy new, and the sheer waste of resources of that is eye-watering. On my car, the "fault" is quite often a faulty 'fault sensor' rather than any actual real fault. You cannot even detect the "fault" without expensive electronic kit, and you simply cannot repair it; it must be replaced. Sometimes that means replacing additional parts that were working perfectly well.

To return to the OT, the generation above mine was used to "do it yourself" fixing and car mechanics. I used to regularly see men tinkering with their cars at the weekends, but today you rarely see a car bonnet up or a car on a jack. I have to admit that I don't even know what some of the dashboard switches like "traction control on/off" actually do!
 
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