A friend’s grandfather is 86 years old. He has poor eyesight and his fingers shake a little. He still drives a car, but my friend has told me stories of near misses when grandpa turns a corner. My friend also talks about how grandpa is a regular target for unscrupulous salesmen who call his number and try to sell him magazines and tonic pills.
The latest story, that is true, happened a few weeks ago when grandpa visited the local shopping mall and entered DNA’s mobile phone shop because he thought that the battery on his mobile was playing up. Grandpa was asked about replacing his three year old Huawei mobile phone’s battery.
The young salesman explained that Grandpa could solve his battery problem by enjoying the fruits of new and faster technology, and get a great deal by buying a new Samsung 5G phone and 5G package. Grandpa said that he could receive a huge discount for 6 months on the price of the package. No replacement battery was offered, which would have cost €53.
Grandpa was impressed with the sharp looking Samsung, although he had no clue why a 5G phone was better for him since he only made a few calls to a few friends and family members.
My friend met his grandfather a week later, and the first thing grandfather did was show off his brand new phone.
My friend told me that he was surprised to see his grandfather holding up a brand new, expensive looking phone. “Grandfather, why did you buy this 5G phone what did you pay and what wrong with your old one you bought two years ago?”
“I got a good deal – the 5G package is the same price as my old one and this has a better internet coverage and longer battery life”, replied grandpa.
“Show me how you use the internet,” asked my friend.
Grandpa then fumbled with the phone and said that he could not use the internet on the phone because the text was too small. He said that his reading glasses were too old – that was his excuse…
“Why did you buy a phone that only has small text? Show me your invoice, grandpa,” my friend asked nicely even though he was already exasperated – grandma, who was sitting on the sofa, had a small smile on her face…
Grandpa produced the DNA invoice which had a monthly package price of €32 from day one, and a cost of €370 for the phone. His former monthly 4G DNA phone package had cost €18 a month and it was clear from past meetings that grandpa had never used the old phone either for surfing the net. My friend knew that grandpa had paid monthly phone bills of over €80 because he called the local Finnish “020202-Service” company for phone numbers, instead of looking them up on the internet! A single call costs €3, plus €1 for every 10 seconds!
“You just told me that you received a deal on the price, grandpa?”
“Yes, the first six months are the same price as my 4G phone package.”
“But there is no mention here on the invoice,” my friend replied.
“Then there must but another contract somewhere…” grandpa replied meekly.
“And look at this , €470 for a new mobile phone, when a DORO phone for elderly people would have cost €100. Did they show you such a phone – and why do you need 5G. Nobody in our family has 5G – it is almost double the price and there are no clear benefits for normal users and absolutely nothing for you!”
Grandpa sank deeper into the sofa – there was no more discussion. He had been well and truly duped into buying something he really did not need, once more…