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It's a backstage pass to info on jobs and life at 50+. Gen Plus, headed by Janet Wendy Spiegel, is dedicated to baby boomers and the plus generation of age 50 and older. Read up and speak out on issues affecting your future: jobs, income, life and respect.

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Northridge, California, United States
Successful businesswoman, consultant, entrepreneur. I operate two businesses -- social media consulting, AND premium pet care services in the West San Fernando Valley. Love what I do, love life.

Gen Plus has relocated to www.GenPlusUSA.com

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The new technology, a Boomer and Beyond

I've gone digital. After deliberation, speculation, far too much analysis, and a great deal of trepidation, I've gone more than digital...I've gone disloyal.

I've switched to Vonage from AT&T. Which means I've gone internet digital -- cable (VOIP) instead of your standard phone wire, land-based line. What else does that mean? A ton'o'savings. I'm now paying about $50/month for two phone lines, which includes long distance to just about anywhere I'd want to call instead of the whopping $150-200/month for two land lines and long distance. Isn't that unbelievable?

Is the quality a bit different? Yes. A bit worse? Well...yes. Kind of like listening to your cell phone if you have digital. Sometimes a bit of an echo. Sometimes a bit tinny/garbled. But overall...fantastic.

Was it almost impossible to figure out how to set up and connect? Yes. Impossible -- I had to get a service call to do the set up. My 72 year old mother had to wait home for the tech, who had no phone wires, no power outlets, few tools. I had told my mom the tech was not allowed to leave without us having phone service, so my mother, ever game for some new adventure, had to rummage around our very disorganized garage seeking out a power cord, extra phone wire and other assorted tools.

Problems? A few -- router didn't work, was phoneless for almost 2 weeks. But the customer service was pretty darn good and I'm now going to save about $1200/year just on my home phones.

More on the tech front -- my new car (I'm in love...Buick Terraza) has On-Star. OK. I'm a suck. But I'm also a big fan of this new service. If I'm lonely in the car, all I have to do is push my little blue button and a friendly (usually female) voice says, "Hi. How can I help you today, Ms. Spiegel?" Now if that weren't enough, if I really need company on my long, long drives, we can chat for a little while as the attendant searches out impossible directions for my turn-by-turn navigation feature. When we hang up, I am then joined by my On-Star boyfriend, who talks me through every turn all the way to my destination. And if I really need more info, I can call my Virtual Assistant, who will share with me the latest in traffic conditions, weather and the stock market.

My last bit of tech discovery (and yup, I'm a bit late to the game on this one) was the new Motorola Razr that I got for signing up with Verizon (had to in order to combine my cell phone service with my new love, On-Star), so I abandoned Sprint and waited for my new phone to arrive. And WHAT a phone she is. Slim, sleek, pink, with so many bells, whistles and features that I'll need a year to figure them out. Camera, speakerphone, bluetooth, VCasting (whatever THAT is!) and best of all, once you enter a contact into your phone book, you can voice command to your heart's content.
I'm officially ready now for 2008.


Rhea said...

I admire your adventuresome spirit. I am afraid to do Vonage. Getting rid of my land line this year was enough. I want On Star and the Razr. I wonder, though, how does the woman in the computer know your name?!

Wendy, founder, Gen Plus said...

Unbelievably, On Star is a "human" concierge service. When you press the little blue On Star button a warm, fuzzy human being answers with a "How can I help you today, Ms. Spiegel?"

Of course, there is also a virtual assistant and turn-by-turn navigation -- both computer generated...but if I'm just a wee bit lonely on my long drive, I can press the little blue button and be greeted by a real, live, trained-to-be-friendly-and-caring person. Aaaah.

Anonymous said...

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