A phone deregulation bill is bad for Wisconsin seniors.
That's according to AARP Wisconsin . Spokesperson Jim Flaherty says the proposal at the state capitol would allow phone companies to charge their customers more money for basic service … depending on the time of day and length of call.
"The way I understand the phone deregulation bill is phone companies would be at liberty to be able to charge consumers based on the length of calls – for even local calls – and the time of day. They could set different rates for the time of day that they would be calling."
Flaherty says this would be bad for senior citizens, many of whom don't have cell phones and rely heavily on their land lines. And for many seniors, their phone is their primary source of communication with their adult children and friends, who often keep in touch frequently just to make sure all is well.
"That's the whole basis for our objection to the bill is that we don't believe that it has … it's enough of a watchdog over the companies to make sure that those older phone users are protected adequately."
Flaherty says if the bill ( SB-285 ) is passed into law, the older population may be forced to subscribe to services they neither need nor want.
NOTE: AARP Wisconsin President Patricia Finder-Stone testified in opposition of the bill last week at a capitol hearing.