How Big are Your Buttons? Cells for Seniors

Motorola W370 Good Choice for Seniors
I’m constantly surprised by the lack of marketing savvy at Corporate America. Despite the millions poured into market research there are still huge segments ignored by the corporate marketing machine. The list is huge, but I’m particularly surprised by the lack of cell phones suitable for older folks.
Motorola W370
I was reminded of this most recently when Dad decided he wanted a cell phone. Some of you may be astounded to learn that some humans do not already own a cell phone. He is 85 and never felt the urgent need to have a cell phone until recently.

After trying to use one he was doubting whether he really needed one after all. It wasn’t just a matter of understanding the technology, the physical dimensions make it challenging for the less dexterous. Pushing the standard number buttons was challenging for him, but possible. Navigating with the little gimbal-ring thingy was almost impossible.

I researched online and found a couple of phones, but couldn’t find anyone carrying them locally and their calling plans were limited. We looked at several phones, but did not find many that would qualify as senior citizen-approved.

We finally found the Motorola W370, it’s sort of a Razr without a camera. It’s a flip-phone, which Dad liked because it protects the buttons from accidentally calling Moscow if you carry it in your pocket. The W370 is a little longer when opened so it feels more like a “real” phone when in use. I had noticed when Dad was testing my smaller
Motorola C261
he had a tendency to hold it near his ear, then move it to his mouth when he spoke.

The W370 is offered by Net 10 and TracFone. This worked out fine because a pre-paid plan seemed to fit his needs best. He needs a phone, but doesn’t talk on it constantly. We opted for the Tracfone and upon activation discovered the W370 includes double-minutes. I signed him up for their 50 Minute Value Plan which automatically adds 30 days of service and 50 minutes each month for $9.99. But it’s really 100 minutes because of the double-minute bonus they threw in!

How does he like the phone? So far so good. After he’s lived with for a while I’ll post an update and let you know how it’s going.

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