Tuesday May 21, 2013
Cellphone Contracts Ignore Elder ConsumersBarry Lee Coyne Salem-News.com
Let's boost legislation to revamp the system.
(SALEM) - The term "disconnect" does not seem to be in the vocabulary of those who author contracts for the cellphone firms that pretty much control the communications channels of America.
That lack of capacity to terminate a 2-year ironclad contract for a disabled consumer is nothing short of a travesty. Consumers are given two choices: either stay trapped in that contract or else die off. There is no middle ground!
However, the course of life for most of us includes a "twilight zone" period. Fading health often intervenes. That is the reality of an expanded lifespan. This critical fact is ignored.
Let me pose several scenarios that should be eligible for contract cancellation:
1. MEMORY LOSS: What if Dementia takes over? One cannot expect a person saddled with a shrinking vocabulary to sustain a phone conversation like before. 2. STROKE VICTIM: Loss of the ability to speak coherently makes phone calls moot. Yet the cellphone corporate folks appear deaf to anything that curtails their income flow.
3. FAMILY ATTRITION: There are many cases across the US of older phone users who end up with most of their siblings and friends not surviving them. Unlike teenagers, the circle of contacts radically decreases. Paying a cellphone bill merely for calling the 1 or 2 remaining family members is unrealistic. When that circle diminishes to none, why continue to keep the contract?
Let's boost legislation to revamp the system. If married folks are allowed to divorce, what sense does an "until-death-do-us-part" make for cellphone users? All we seem to receive is static.
NOTE: B. Lee Coyne first emerged as a Caucasian cub reporter for the Black weekly NY Voice and was assigned to cover numerous civil rights struggles. It has left its indelible mark on his mindset. He can be contacted at: email@example.com.
B. Lee Coyne, a NYC native, blends three careers: Journalist, Counselor, Educator. His writings have appeared in newspapers and magazines on the East and West Coasts and the Southwest. He loves the art of the interview and has covered such persons as Dr. King's 1963 "Dream" speech and Sen. William
Proxmire as an advocate for the environment. A global traveller to some 30 countries aboard, he speaks Spanish semi-fluently and very rudimentary Russian, Tagalog, German, Arabic and Hebrew.
Lee's legacy here in Salem includes launching the Salem Peace Mosaic at the YMCA and doing a radio talk show for KMUZ/88.5 FM. It airs Mondays and highlights lives of proactive, productive senior citizens. He invites you to contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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