These days, having a reliable Internet connection at home is incredibly important, especially in the middle of a global pandemic. More and more people are working from home, attending virtual school, and so much more. As a result, the Internet is an indispensable tool. Even for people who are now retired, the Internet has gained additional importance. Sheltered in at-home, many people use the Internet as a proverbial lifeline, streaming news, and entertainment into their homes. However, for many people, monthly Internet packages are out of their price range, and this is particularly true for senior citizens on a fixed income.
Some Internet companies recognize these budget constraints and offer a wide range of discounts. Below some of these Internet discounts are explored, as well as discounts in cable television and landlines.
Before exploring the specific Internet deals and other offers below, it is important to offer one caveat. And that is: Buyer beware! Often people are attracted by low-priced offers. But, they forget to read the fine print or overlook services that may not be included in the relatively cheap package. It’s not uncommon for a once really inexpensive package to suddenly increase in price with little to no warning. Therefore, it is essential to compare the package services with the services you actually want and use.
Internet discounts for seniors are not as widely advertised as cell phone discounts and some other senior offers. Therefore, it is crucial to do research and ask the providers that you are interested in using. Information is power, and you will not know if you don’t ask.
Unlike many Internet providers, Charter Spectrum recognizes that Internet services can be price prohibitive for many seniors. Therefore, it offers a discount program that is aimed at seniors over the age of 65. To qualify, you must be over the age of 65 and receiving Social Security benefits. Qualifying individuals or families can get their monthly Internet for only $14.99 per month. This low-priced alternative, however, is only a modem Internet service. If you want to upgrade to WiFi, which many people do, it will be an additional $5 per month.
Comcast is one of the largest Internet providers in the United States. But, like many Internet providers, it does not offer dedicated discount programs for seniors. However, there may be some discount programs that do apply to older users. For example, it boasts a $9.95 per month Internet Essentials program for people who qualify for a wide range of public assistance. The benefits of this program are myriad, including: its low cost, no term obligation, and the fact that it does not require consumers to qualify via a credit check. On the downside, the Internet capabilities are somewhat limited. It only offers 25 Mbps.
Comcast also offers a package that allows senior citizens to buy a computer and get Internet access for a set $149 price. This may be an appealing entry point for seniors looking for an affordable way to stay connected with their families.
There are other relatively low-priced bundles that seniors can choose from that offer a wide range of Internet speeds, as well as access to cable television channels.
Although many people think of AT & T as primarily a cell phone company, AT & T offers attractively priced Internet services in many regions of the country. The Company’s most reasonably priced program is the Access Program that is priced at only $10 per month. This discount program is based on income, not age. But, many seniors on fixed incomes will qualify to participate in the Access Program. Another perk of this program is that there is no initial activation fee and customers do not need to sign a contract. This offers great flexibility.
It is also important to remember that not all Internet providers operate in every region. Therefore, you should research what Internet providers are in your neighborhood. Once you know this information, you should call each of them and see if they have any attractive discount options.
Century Link also offers an attractive discount program targeted at low income individuals across the country. This program is named the Internet Basics program and it offers high speed Internet services, and additional perks, such as 24/7 technical support. Users may also qualify to buy a basic computer. However, there are downsides of Century Link’s program. Unlike many competitor programs, Century Link charges an activation fee, and customers are also locked into a one-year contract.
Many people, especially sports or news junkies, are not satisfied with merely having a small range of network TV options. Instead, they want to have cable television. But, the downside is that cable TV can be extremely expensive. The good news, though, is that some cable television providers offer attractive discount options for senior citizens. Unfortunately, these discounts are often not advertised. Therefore, you are likely going to need to make some phone calls and ask questions.
Some of the most attractive cable deals are with Spectrum, a company that we already discussed above. Spectrum offers its cable television package deals to AARP members. Remember, anyone over the age of 50 can purchase an AARP membership for a low annual price. For more membership information, visit their website. One Spectrum deal is one month of free cable television for every 12 months that you pay for. As an added perk for joining Spectrum, Spectrum may also offer up to $500 to help buy you out of an existing contract with another cable provider.
Comcast also offers a 10 percent discount on its cable services to older customers. However, this discount is not nationwide. It only applies in some geographic regions. Therefore, it is important to call and ask questions. This is advice that you should follow for any cable or Internet provider that you are considering.
Dish TV may also be an attractive option for seniors who are looking for a wide range of channels at an affordable price point. For seniors only, Dish offers a package that is priced at $59.99 per month. Two of the biggest benefits of the Dish TV option are flexibility and guaranteed prices. The flexibility of Dish TV allows you to select which channels are most important to include in your package. And you know that when you sign on to Dish TV you are guaranteed to have the same attractive $59.99 monthly price for the next two years. This makes budgeting straightforward.
Cox TV may be a great option for seniors who are looking to get basic cable television services without breaking the bank. The TV Starter plan is Cox’s lowest priced alternative at only $25 per month. However, it only offers 75 channels. For people looking for more viewing options, they may be interested in upgrading to the Contour Package. This package doubles the number of channels available to viewers, but also increases the costs to $64.99 per month.
For seniors who are already using AT & T for Internet and mobile phone services, it may make sense to bundle and use AT & T’s UVerse for television viewing needs. At the moment, there are no senior specific discounts available on this television option. However, there is a 10 percent discount for all users if they bundle this television service with AT & T’s Internet options.
However, there one other option that may be appealing to many seniors…
Again, like with many of its competitors, Sling TV does not offer senior-only discounts. However, many of its pricing packages are very attractive to people who are on fixed incomes. The Orange Plan is the least costly, entry package for Sling TV and is only $25 per month. The Blue Plan is also priced at $25 per month and offers more viewing options than Orange. But, there is a downside for sports lovers. It does not offer ESPN. You can also combine the two packages for Sling Orange + Sling Blue for only $40 per month.
Many people have given up their home phones/landlines and have transitioned solely to cell phones for their communication needs. But, some people still want to have a landline, especially seniors. Often seniors find security in having a home phone in case of a medical or police emergency. It is a comfortable device that they know how to use. Like some of the services mentioned above, senior discounts on telephone services are not widely advertised either. But, by making phone calls to your local providers, you can find out more information. Also, discounts may be available if you bundle your phone services with Internet and cable services.
Some of the largest landline providers, such as AT & T, Century Link, Verizon, and XFinity, do not have specific discounts on landline contracts. However, you may qualify for discounts if you bundle with Internet and/or cable services.
Also, some people in certain regions of the country may have other options for landline services. To figure this out, dial 1-700-555-4141. This number will let you know the service providers in your area. Once you have this information, you can then shop around and determine if there are any attractive discount options.
People want to communicate and interact with the world around them, even when they are at home. This communication and interaction can happen via the Internet, cable television, and the telephone. These essential services can also be costly, pricing many people, especially seniors on fixed incomes, out of the market. The good news is that discounts may be available for senior citizens. The downside, however, is that these discounts are not widely advertised. Therefore, customers need to reach out and make phone calls and ask questions. Lastly, customers should always remember the caveat: Buyers beware!