Offline consumers are £440 worse off (and that’s mostly poor people and old people)
We know. Everyone is online these days, and in many cases it’s actually more difficult to get things done offline rather than online. Now, new figures from the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) show that as well as being a pain in the proverbial, being offline actually costs more- and it’s those who can least afford it who are suffering.
The total additional cost for offline households has been calculated at a massive £440 a year than for those who do have access to the internet. This equates to an unnecessary charge of approximately 4.4% of household income, rising to 5.4% for the over-65s.
The biggest average savings offline households miss out on are the discounts offered to energy and telecoms customers for buying online and switching to paperless billing, which together account for around £139 a year. Typically, online telecoms customers get a 30% saving, or £88 on average and energy companies offer a 6% discount, or £51 on average.
Other online savings missed by offline consumers include 16% off package holidays and accommodation, 15% off TVs and computers and 10% off food.
Figures estimate that there are 7 million people in the UK who have never used the internet, but over 70% of these, a massive 5 million of the people forking out more to not have the latest technology, are elderly or receiving benefits, and possible least likely to have a spare £440 lying around.
A recent report by the Nationwide Foundation and Sliced Bread highlighted the plight of vulnerable members of society- quoting from an offline customer who lamented the common £2 charge for paper bills £2 discount for online bills. As he put it, "when you've got five or six of them at £2, that's a week’s shopping when you're on benefits, you know."
So could you imagine going back to pre-internet life? Or do you agree that being online should be a choice, rather than an (financial) obligation?