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The Internet Not for Old People 607

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the it-says-so-right-here-in-fine-print dept.
Alien54 writes to tell us the Daily Mail is reporting that if you want an internet connection and you are over 70 you may be in for a surprise. From the article: "After walking the Great Wall of China and making plans for a trip to Russia, Shirley Greening-Jackson thought signing up for a new internet service would be a doddle. But the young man behind the counter had other ideas. He said she was barred - because she was too old."
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The Internet Not for Old People

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  • Email (Score:5, Funny)

    by PoprocksCk (756380) <poprocks@gmail.org> on Sunday September 03, 2006 @01:49PM (#16033242) Homepage Journal
    But the Internet is a prerequisite for email, which in turn is only for old people. I'm confused.
  • by LiquidCoooled (634315) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @01:49PM (#16033243) Homepage Journal
    I know I've spent too much time because whilst reading the article (another sign - I'm not actually meant to do that) I noticed something in a quote:

    "Somebody has decided when you turn 70 you lose a lot of your mind. I find this is ridiculous."

    This lady is obviously intelligent, she spelt rediculous correctly...

    People should have to pass a test to get on the internet, it should consist of lots of to/too there/their/they're type questions and only if passed you get access (I would have years of my life back because I would fail it)

    I wonder if it can be retroactively applied though and if it was, would slashdot have managed 1 million user accounts?

    Having said all that, the guy who rejected her should get reprimanded for his actions, if a person is competent enough to go into a store and is prepared to go through the motions of ordering they should be supplied the product. Its not like she was an anonymous web packet arriving with credit card information and an order.
    • by deft (253558) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @02:14PM (#16033352) Homepage
      He's following company policy. He works there... it is not his problem, it's the companies.

      Thats like getting mad at the cashier because your Big Mac went up 20 cents. I assure you he doesn;t set policy.
      • by KingSkippus (799657) * on Sunday September 03, 2006 @02:57PM (#16033569) Homepage Journal
        He's following company policy. He works there... it is not his problem, it's the companies.

        He's a representative of the company. Even if he doesn't personally set the policy, that doesn't make him any less legitimate a target of one's anger. I have friends who feel the incessant need to explain to cashiers are other service reps, "I understand you're just doing your job, but..." That's silly.

        Companies hire these kinds of people specifically for the purpose of you getting mad at them so that, if they're lucky, you won't do something that might bother the higher-ups. So feel free to cuss and fuss to your heart's content, that's what they're there for. (And yes, I used to be one of them, and until very recently, part of my job involved appeasing angry people.)

        Of course, by the same logic, one should also realize that other than as a cathartic release, fussing and cussing at these people doesn't do any good, because like I said, part of their job is to make sure your ranting ends with them and doesn't bother the people-in-charge. If you do want to make a difference, you'll have to figure out some way to go around these paid bullet-takers to get to the people who actually can make some sort of difference. If they get bothered enough, believe me, the policy will change.

        At my job, when people did go over my head or otherwise around me and my boss got bothered, guess what. Whoever's problem that was suddenly became my top priority, whether it was legitimate or not. And if someone went over my boss's head or otherwise went around him, well, I'll leave it to you to imagine just how much attention the problem got.

        In an ideal world, if you fuss and cuss at the lowly service rep, what he should do is report to his manager that this customer is very mad and feels like this is a very important problem. If his manager gets enough of these types of complaints, he'd report it to his boss, and it would eventually propagate to someone who sees a pattern of people getting very angry at the service reps, which impacts the company's bottom line, and would make a change. Unfortunately in today's corporate society, what happens more often than not is that the service rep's feedback isn't seen as the constructive feedback that it is, and the rep gets fired for making a stink instead of just keeping his damn mouth shut, so the service reps just sit on these types of problems instead.

        A couple of years later, when the company's stock price has tanked because everyone has figured out what lousy customer service they have, the board of directors sits around in a meeting scratching their heads over why things are going so badly, and they end up laying a bunch of people off, thinking that somehow solves their problem.

        *shrug* Welcome to the corporate world at work!

        • by Duds (100634) <dudleyNO@SPAMenterspace.org> on Sunday September 03, 2006 @03:23PM (#16033682) Homepage Journal
          So it's ok to treat people with no control over things like shit because you have a self-esteem problem.

          Gotcha.
          • by pthisis (27352) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @03:34PM (#16033721) Homepage Journal
            No, but it's okay to talk about poor policy with people who accept a company's policy and profit from it. The idea that the corporation is an entity unto itself controlled only by people in central offices where the front-line workers have no responsibility is BS. Every worker at a company has some responsibility for the company's actions and policies, especially the policies they enforce themselves.
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Duds (100634)
              talk yes.

              Shout and swear as was implied. NO.
            • by BVis (267028) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @04:03PM (#16033848)
              What color is the sky on your planet?

              The idea that the corporation is an entity unto itself controlled only by people in central offices where the front-line workers have no responsibility is BS. Every worker at a company has some responsibility for the company's actions and policies, especially the policies they enforce themselves.
              The idea that the corporation is an entity unto itself controlled only by people in central offices where the front-line workers have no POWER is what's accurate. The front line workers might have some responsibility, but which is the larger? Their responsibility to try to change corporate policy or their responsibility to their families, who will go hungry if they get fired? Because I can promise you that in 99% of the cases, if a customer service rep tries to change corporate policy, they will be informed that they are not authorized to do so at BEST, and fired for ruffling the wrong feathers at worst.

              Customer service reps are there to make the company look like it gives a flying shit about its customers. They're not there to improve the quality of the product or help the customer beyond a very rigidly proscribed set of circumstances. Management doesn't want to hear what customers want or need, they want to know about how much money they're making. The only time customer service enters into their consciousness is when someone's bitching about how much they're paying their reps or when they make such a massive cock-up that it starts actually biting into the profits. (Which then is typically handled by firing all the reps and hiring new ones... which is usually still cheaper than actually fixing the cock-up.)
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by dubl-u (51156) *
                The idea that the corporation is an entity unto itself controlled only by people in central offices where the front-line workers have no POWER is what's accurate.

                It's accurate only as long as people like you keep justifying the behavior of people who support systems like that.

                Back before spam became a fact of life, I spent a lot of time tracking down individual spammers and getting them banned. I ended up talking to a number of them, and you know what? It was never their fault, not really. It was just that
            • by supersocialist (884820) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @04:04PM (#16033858) Journal
              You might have a point when you get up to store managers, but even they have very limited power in a lot of chain stores. The wage slave actually manning a register only has any kind of power if the store is run by a reasonable manager, and all you do by yelling at some poor kid is vent your frustrations and get a black mark like "URINATES ON DVDS--DO NOT RENT!!!" on your account.

              For that matter, all you get out of talking about policy with peon-level clerks is maybe some sympathetic "uh huhs" and "okays" but the policy won't change and the best they can do is fetch a manager to make an exception in your case--this probably won't happen if you're rude about it. Most of the time, regardless of how calm you remain, all you'll do is hold the clerk up while lines build, other work piles up, and he has to stand there, all smiles, pretending he really, really cares why you think you should be exempt from the policies that are set well over his head.

              Seriously, if you're angry enough to make some high school girl behind the register cry over your abuse, take it to the manager. You can even ask to see the manager in your scariest, angriest voice if it makes you feel better about yourself. A store manager may have the power to help you, if they want to, and they're probably seasoned enough to take a little abuse--tell you to fuck off when you well deserve it.

              This shit is why I miss washing dishes. The only customers I hated then were the ones with gum.
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by Kohath (38547)
            Where have you been?

            A self-esteem problem is a suitable excuse for any behavior these days.

            Other all-purpose excuses:
            - I was abused as a child
            - I was alienated by US foreign policy
            - I'm a minority
            - Gambling addiction

            I'm sure there are more.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by penguinbrat (711309)
            What your talking about is being abusive, I know your being a smart ass, but there is no gotcha about it - no legit excuse for it, regardless of reasoning...

            What the parent is talking about however, more or less, is that those in charge of these corporations are the ones being abusive - only in an inderect and backwards way, they know there customers are going to be pissed, and they place pawns between themselves and those very customers - consequently, abusing those pawns.

            I would take it a step further and
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Brandybuck (704397)
          He's a representative of the company.

          Precisely! If you are unwilling to be a representative of the company, find another job!

          I was in Best Buy last week. It was my first time I've ever been in one. And because of my experience, will probably be the last as well. I was given very poor service by the "representative" in the computer section. No need to go into how bad his service was, because the kicker was the cashier at the front counter. I told her about the bad service, and she smiled and said, "here's a
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by It'sYerMam (762418)
            Well, did you fill out the form? If so, did it get answered? If you couldn't get anywhere, did you ask to speak to a supervisor or manager? A complaint form is a perfectly viable method of dealing with problems, as long as it's taken seriously. Just because you don't get to inconvenience a cashier is no reason to label the procedure bad.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by linguizic (806996) *
          Here's a phrase that's worked quite well for me, and I don't mind spreading it around:
          I would like to speak to your manager.
          Don't take out your anger on the little guy, aim it at the right person. And besides, who says that you have to be angry about it. I think people are getting much to adversarial.
      • by Joe Random (777564) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @03:10PM (#16033615)
        He's following company policy. He works there... it is not his problem, it's the companies.

        It most certainly is his problem. From TFA:
        A spokeswoman said: "It is not our policy to refuse business from adult customers of any age group. However, we do ask our agents to use their discretion when dealing with older customers."

        So the entire thing was at the agent's discretion, and he decided to deny this woman service based on her age. My sentiments are the same as the GP's: I hope this guy was reprimanded.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
        He's following company policy. He works there... it is not his problem, it's the companies.

        Are you selectively reading the article? That's almost as bad as not reading it. The same article, a mere two sentences later, says it's up to the discretion of the agent.
  • FTA:

    "Later a young lady said company policy is that anyone over 70 might not understand the contract. She said, 'If you would be prepared to go to the shop in town and take a younger member of your family we might give you a contract.'"

    "She added that the discretionary rule had been introduced in response to complaints that staff had mis-sold products last year."

    So apparently they want younger (and probably more technical) people to read the contract so the 70+ people know what they're getting. Stu
    • by Elemenope (905108) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @02:00PM (#16033287)
      Rarely is it that rules exist for no reason, but this one is kind of like the king whose subjects suffered from paper cuts, so as a solution he banned all the books.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 03, 2006 @02:00PM (#16033288)
      So apparently they want younger (and probably more technical) people to read the contract so the 70+ people know what they're getting. Stupid, but it's not a rule without a reason.

      Maybe if you need a "younger" person with you to read the fine print in the contract, maybe the problem isn't with being over 70, maybe the problem is too much fine print.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anne Thwacks (531696)
      Meanwhile in the real world, older people are more likely to understand the subtle implications of the fine print, while younger people are impatient and will happily sign their lives away.

      As for technical ... the world moves on .. there are people in their 70s who were programmers in the 1960's. How old are Kernigan and Richie? (IBM's expert witnesses) they are older than me and Bill Gates anyway!

      Damn right e-mail is for oldies. The youngsters can use skateboards to visit their friends :-)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by masklinn (823351)
        Wikipedia sez Brian Kernighan is 64 and Dennis Ritchie is 65. Ken Thompson on the other hand is a youngster, barely 63.
    • >

      A preschooler maybe?
    • by Nutria (679911)
      So apparently they want younger (and probably more technical) people to read the contract so the 70+ people know what they're getting. Stupid, but it's not a rule without a reason.

      Except there are lots of brainless sub-septuagenarians.

    • by schtum (166052)
      Couldn't the salesperson explain the fine print? Isn't that their job? Or is this company admitting that their sales people are so dishonest/incompetent that you shouldn't buy anything from them without a third party present to advocate for you.

      Wow... I just had a dark vision of the future. Everyone who can afford it retains a gimp lawyer who follows them everywhere they go on a leash. The gimp conducts all of your arguments, goes over all of your contracts, and generally intimidates anyone who does busines
  • by shrtcircuit (936357) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @01:50PM (#16033246)
    The amount of old-people porn on the Internet will dwindle rapidly if the old codgers are prevented from signing up for broadband!

    FREE THE GERIATRICS! Bottles of Ensure and Cable Modems for ALL!
  • Another idea (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Flyboy Connor (741764) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @01:51PM (#16033249)
    Personally, I think you would have to pass an intelligence test before you should be allowed to have an Internet connection. You should show that you posses the basic common sense that ensures that you won't let your PC be turned into a zombie. Of course, that means that about 80% of the current population would be barred.
    • by rbochan (827946)
      ...Of course, that means that about 80% of the current population would be barred.

      Not to mention 99.999999% of the myspace accounts.

    • by lecithin (745575)
      Are you proposing that Internet Access should be regulated, licensed and taxed?

      • by Nutria (679911)
        Are you proposing that Internet Access should be regulated, licensed

        Yes.

        The person-of-record on the Customer Agreement should pass a Computer+Internet Literacy Test, in order to demonstrate that the person knows how to secure the machines at the site against all the variations of types of viruses & worms that can infect the operating systems at the site.

        and taxed?

        No.

    • by debilo (612116)
      Personally, I think you would have to pass an intelligence test before you should be allowed to have an Internet connection. You should show that you posses the basic common sense that ensures that you won't let your PC be turned into a zombie. Of course, that means that about 80% of the current population would be barred.

      And while we're at it, let's make sure that only mechanics are allowed to get a driving licence in order to make sure you won't leave your car on the road when it breaks down. Oh, and
    • by AnyoneEB (574727)
      Good thing tests like that [wikipedia.org] have never been abused in the past.
    • I think to be allowed you shouldn't be able to say things like "basic common sense", when "basic sense" and "common sense" seem to do the trick all by themselves.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RexRhino (769423)
      Cuba and North Korea already have this. You have to pass a rigorous government screening process to access the Internet. They make sure no stupid people use the internet (and, of course, if you question the government, or it's policies, or the ideology it is based on, then you are obviously stupid and don't qualify for using the Internet).

      But, we are all so open-minded freedom-loving democratic people in the western world, that we would never use government licencing or regulation to supress dissenting poli
  • A trip?! (Score:2, Funny)

    by Poromenos1 (830658)
    MAKING PLANS for a trip to Russia?! My, aren't we adventurous?!
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Aurisor (932566)
      In Soviet Russia trips plan...

      Oh, hell. You people don't even make it challenging anymore.
    • Re:A trip?! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Bodrius (191265) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @03:13PM (#16033627) Homepage
      I fail to see the Funny. (did the moderators RTFA?).
      This comment does seem a bit disrespectful.

      The lady said she completed a VISA application to go to Russia, and went to China last year.
      She was legitimately comparing the complexity of Passport/VISA requests to a common subscriptions service contract.

      Now, I don't know if either country has particularly complex VISA application processes, but even if they are not the accumulation of absurdities, redundancies and mistranslations that government forms often are, they should be definitely comparable.

      Perhaps it wasn't the most interesting quote ever, but there is no reason to be condescending.

  • I little shallow (Score:3, Insightful)

    by el americano (799629) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @01:52PM (#16033255) Homepage
    Unusual case. Surely this strange store policy in the UK doesn't warrant the headline, "The Internet Not for Old People." I have no doubt that she eventually got her connection.
  • When the bulk of baby-boomers hit their 70's, I suspect we'll find that they tend not to retire, partly because they can't afford to, and partly because onone wants them to (including themselves). Then, I suspect we'll find all kinds of age-related discrimination and preconceptions will fade from our culture.

    Where will you be at 70? Still /.-ing? :-O
    • by Cederic (9623)

      I think you'll find they can afford to retire.

      It's the next generation that wont be able to. Shit, that's me!
    • When the bulk of baby-boomers hit their 70's, I suspect we'll find that they tend not to retire, partly because they can't afford to, and partly because onone wants them to

      Speak for yourself - If the boomers don't retire, that'll make it harder for us (now) 30 somethings to move into VP and director style positions.

    • by AnyoneEB (574727)
      Then, I suspect we'll find all kinds of old-age-related discrimination and preconceptions will fade from our culture.

      Fixed that for you. I am not sure I agree though.

  • Seems fair. (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jb.hl.com (782137)
    Bear in mind that many elderly people have trouble understanding the workings of computers and the Internet (insert Ted Stevens joke here). This is more of a cover-your-ass routine so that people with little prior understanding of technology don't buy something completely unsuitable then come back ranting and raving.

    I'm sure it's an inconvenience to elderly people who do understand the Internet and computers, but then I'm sure speed limits are an inconvenience to people who can safely and skilfully drive at
    • but then I'm sure speed limits are an inconvenience to people who can safely and skilfully drive at 100mph.

      Damn straight.

      /lead foot
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by EnsilZah (575600)
      Only you can't kill anyone with an internet connection.
      Believe me, i tried.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dema (103780)
      You've obviously never worked in tech support. 95% of the population knows jack shit about computers, the internet, and/or contract language. If "covering their ass" is what they want to do they should administer a test based on the contract -- but it's far easier (and cheaper) to just enforce an arbitrary limit on age.
    • by John Jorsett (171560) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @04:51PM (#16034027)
      This is more of a cover-your-ass routine so that people with little prior understanding of technology don't buy something completely unsuitable then come back ranting and raving.

      Are you saying that only elderly people can be technological lunkheads? I've run into plenty of people whose microwave oven clocks are still flashing 12:00. If you want to have a restriction aimed at keeping the ill-informed and "unsuited" away from the internet, then maybe the store should administer a technology test to every applicant. That would make way more sense than some arbitrary cutoff based on age. Which is still damning the idea with faint praise.

  • by fuzznutz (789413) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @02:18PM (#16033373)
    After all. Who wants them poking along on the Internet, slowing everybody down with the left blinker on?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by cashman73 (855518)
      Ok, fine! I'll stay off your damn lawn! As long as they stay off my internets! :-)
  • by plcurechax (247883) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @02:18PM (#16033374) Homepage
    Carphone Warehouse is normally packed with sales people in their early 20s working primarily for commissions (e.g. for selling extended warranty, and some manufactorers pay a commission for selling their new high end models). Their technical knowledge is normally about the same as the kid who doesn't shave yet working at Radio Shack, althought I've personally known a couple of knowledgeable sales people from Carphone Warehouse.

    They most likely created the policy after too many complaints of pressuring older people into buying a fancy but complicated phone or expensive cell/mobile phone contract.
  • However, we do ask our agents to use their discretion when dealing with older customers.
    She added that the discretionary rule had been introduced in response to complaints that staff had mis-sold products last year.

    I can see the point of being more careful with older customers - for a cell phone contract for instance you want to make sure they understand ALL the monthly billing costs (taxes, regulatory fees yada yada) and the contracts cancellation or change of plan terms, and then make sure they can actual

  • by davidwr (791652) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @02:20PM (#16033382) Homepage Journal
    Appearently they'd sold service to a few people who didn't need it who also happened to be 1) old and 2) unable or unwilling to read and/or understand the fine print.

    The solution is to
    1) make the fine print bigger, say, newsprint-size.
    2) make the fine print easier to understand, say, newspaper-reading-level.
    3) go over the fine print with every customer to make sure they understand it.

    After all, if companies can find a way to sell a 70-year-old a reverse morgtage without getting complaints, surely they can figure out a way to sell internet services.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015)
      I think the contract fine print is there deliberately to screw over the users. I doubt that will be fixed unless there is some external pressure, like with disability protection laws or anti-discrimination laws. "The market" seems to tolerate it, allowing plenty of room for abuse so I think it would have to be fixed with consumer protection laws.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Phroggy (441) *
      1) make the fine print bigger, say, newsprint-size.

      This would require more paper, which would cost more money.

      2) make the fine print easier to understand, say, newspaper-reading-level.

      You'd run the risk of people actually understanding what they're agreeing to before they agree to it, which could be devastating to business.

      3) go over the fine print with every customer to make sure they understand it.

      This would take a lot of time, and time costs money (while one employee is busy explaining to one customer, t
  • by PizzaFace (593587) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @02:27PM (#16033412)
    This is really about the ISP wanting to be able to enforce its contract. If the terms were fair, it wouldn't be an issue. The terms probably aren't fair, so the ISP is worried that she'll cancel the service and claim ignorance of the contract's disclaimer of sevice warranty, authorization to throttle bandwidth, permission to share private information, multi-year commitment, punitive cancellation charge, multiple hidden monthly fees, restrictions on ports and services, and advance agreement to any additional unfair terms the ISP's evil lawyers can dream up.

    Young people are probably even more casual than old people about signing such agreements, because young people haven't been burned by them yet, but the ISP doesn't care whether the customer actually agrees to the terms. The ISP cares only about being able to enforce the terms. If a customer was able to read and understand the terms, the terms will probably be enforced against her. The ISP has more trouble proving agreement to the terms by a senior citizen.
  • by owlnation (858981) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @02:48PM (#16033519)
    ... people over 70 are in no way lithe enough to surf through a series of tubes.

    It's for their own good.
  • Nonsense (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jmenon (576558) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @02:50PM (#16033530) Homepage
    Hey everybody, lay off the old people, okay?

    My grandmother is 88 years old and is an active and intelligent Internet user. She bought her first computer at the age of 77 and has upgraded it twice since then. She walks into the computer store and the salespeople try to steer her toward little useless beginner machines, until she straigtens them out and tells them the specs she needs.

    She uses scanners and digital cameras, and does almost everything a normal Internet user does. Email is still the best way to reach her.

    For people who pride themselves for being on the cutting edge, a lot of your opinions on this issue are retrograde to say the least. Welcome to the 1960s, everyone.

  • by RexRhino (769423) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @03:10PM (#16033614)
    If you sell contracts to old people that they don't understand - then people are going to complain you are taking advantage of old people.
    If you don't sell contracts to old people who may not understand - then people are going to complain you are discriminating against old people.

    Sorry, you can't have it both ways. You can't give certain members of the public special protection, without taking away some of their rights. You must either treat old people as total equals to young people, or you must treat them like children. If you want to "protect" seniors as a group under the assumption that they are more easily taken advantage of, there is no way you can treat them as fully responsible adults. The two are mutually exclusive.

    I think we have reached the point in society where no-matter what you do, how you act, or how honestly you are trying to do the right thing, people are going to be perpetually outraged and trying to destroy you.
  • by wsanders (114993) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @03:20PM (#16033671) Homepage
    This is all because AOL dropped dialup service. (Could you ever get it in the UK? There must have been an equivalent.)

    My cousins conspired against me and gave my mother a computer last winter. Now she is calling me with questions like "how do I get the email into the computer?" and "Do I have to plug the computer in for it to work?" I TOLD her not to sign up for broadband but she did anyway and has had it for six months and never AFAIK seen a single web page or sent a single email.

    If I had the time I would develop a Linux liveCD "GrandpaOS". (Knoppix and the ilk come close but still have too many bells and whistles.) Instead, I will give all my cousins' small children drum sets next Christmas.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @05:13PM (#16034097)
    My guess is that their experience is that old people have a hard time grasping the concept of the 'net, thus creating many (too many) support calls. They aren't shopping online, they are not buying ringtones, they don't follow the latest fad and hype, in other words: They cost money and create none.

    That's what this is about, in a nutshell.

    There is a load of clueless morons on the 'net, also causing support calls (and, trust me, the most inane you can imagine), but they at least swallow the whole online crap (because they're too ignorant and unwilling to figure out how to toy with it 'til you get it for free (and legally so)). They cost, but they also make you money. So that's "acceptable".

    They are, though, the real problem of the 'net. Not old people. Old people don't download spyware loaded screensavers, they don't start any junk sent to them just 'cause it's labeled "free pr0n", they are usually very cautious and few of them actually cause a real problem to the 'net as a whole. Only to their provider with their calls.

    Unfortunately, that's who they need to connect.
  • tubes (Score:3, Funny)

    by spikexyz (403776) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @06:14PM (#16034288)
    Old people think the internet is a series of tubes.
  • story is fishy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by kencurry (471519) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @07:28PM (#16034497)
    The women in the story is presented as savvy, experienced etc. yet she receives horrible service, and she doesn't know what to do other than complain to the media?

    Of course not, she wouldn't waste another second in that store full of idiots, she would find another ISP pronto.

    Story smacks of BS to me.

  • by Shanoyu (975) on Sunday September 03, 2006 @09:12PM (#16034884)
    I do telemarketing at a well known and legitimate call center agency. My department signs people up for one of any number of services, and generally speaking the individuals in question who actually do sign up for the service are quite old. However, they're also the least likely to get screwed because they have a) the time and inclination to cancel or raise hell b) the incentive of a more limited budget.

    It's likely that the company in question is making some questionable upsells with their service, or doing something rather nasty in the terms and conditions. It's probably more along the lines of avoiding a lawsuit than being genuinely concerned about the elderly.

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