Spending on Cell Phone Service Increasing for Older Consumers

Cell phones have become ubiquitous-90 percent of adult Americans now own one-and that has impacted overall spending patterns for telephone service. Analysis of the latest federal Consumer Expenditure Survey finds that spending on cell phone service by consumers aged 50+ is continuing to increase while spending on traditional residential landline service is decreasing. Spending by consumers aged 50+ on telephone service grew in 2012, even as overall spending for utilities fell. A PPI analysis of expenditures on utilities by consumers …

Spotlight: New York’s Rising Utility Rates

While Washington, D.C., has been home for the last 25 years, I grew up in New York and am still a New Yorker at heart. I miss many things about the Empire State, but definitely not the winters – especially this year, when the strong storms and bitter cold have been brutal. During the harsh winter months, it is critical that we all are able to keep our homes warm and the lights on. For New Yorkers, this is becoming …

AARP Announces 2014 Advocacy Agenda: Across the States

AARP is fighting for older Americans and their families in states across the country, focused on the key issues they are facing, front-and-center, in their daily lives.  Our state advocacy work is driven by AARP’s state offices – located in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. Virgin Islands – where we work with governors, state legislators, other policymakers and in collaboration with numerous community partners.  In 2014 AARP is focusing on: Supporting Family Caregivers AARP is …

High Utility Expenditures a Concern for Older Consumers

Overall utility expenditures declined from 2011 to 2012, but older consumers remain at risk. A recently released AARP Public Policy Institute analysis of 2012 Consumer Expenditure Survey data finds that utility expenditures as a percentage of average annual expenditures are highest for consumers age 50 or older. The report also notes that as household income decreases, utility expenditures become a greater percentage of average annual expenditures for all age groups. Utility spending by older consumers varies by not only age and …

What’s Hot? Cold Weather Scams

Recent falling temperatures in parts of the U.S. have prompted a new wave of a time-tested power play – fraudsters posing as utility company workers who threaten to shut off your service because of supposedly unpaid bills. The Shutoff Swindle has prompted warnings in recent weeks from utility companies from Maine to Washington state, including in (usually) warmer-weather states such as Texas. Typically, this scam occurs by telephone. Callers claim to be billing representatives from your utility company. They say you’ve …

4 More Wins – For You

Over the last two years, AARP has saved consumers an estimated $3 billion on their utility bills, protected reliable phone service and fought for stronger consumer protections for all Americans – all as part of our multistate utilities campaign.  And, we’re not stopping there. 4 More Wins for Consumers: As recently highlighted in the New York Times, AARP South Carolina volunteers raised their voices in opposition to Duke Energy’s request for a rate increase that would have increased yearly bills …