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Silver surfer shopping habits revealed

18 November 2014 - 13:02 by Simon Crisp

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Older people who use the internet have long been referred to as silver surfers, but now a new study, from Comparethemarket.com, has found that many people actually tail off in their online shopping habits after the age of 71. This can end up costing them a significant amount in missed opportunities to make savings, according to thisismoney.co.uk.

Seventy one is the typical age at which consumers from the UK apparently stop using safe shopping online to procure the best possible price, for everything from home insurance to their energy bills. This is a problem because they could be costing themselves up to £660 a year by ignoring the web-based resources that are available to them.

Indeed, this is all the more surprising given that today’s pensioners are not being freshly exposed to the internet, but have, in fact, gone through over two decades of its development, during which time safe shopping online has become commonplace.

The problem then is not how to get older people to start using the internet, but rather how to encourage them to keep up their old habits and compare prices online, rather than settling for a less than optimal deal elsewhere.

The real issue here comes from the fact that many people, not just those in their 70s and beyond, do not realise how easy it is to get a new package for energy or insurance online. This means they stick with the same provider at an unfavourable rate for long periods, over which time costs can really start to accumulate.

Price comparison and online shopping may seem like something that only the young can find the energy to do. So perhaps it should be the responsibility of younger generations to help their elders to get the best deals and keep using the internet to its fullest.