Sometimes I wonder if AARP loves or hates the people over 50 it claims to serve. The geezer has been a member for about 20 years. Over that time, I've been gradually becoming less enamored with AARP.
Yes, AARP does provide fully mature adults with discounts and special deals on a variety of things. And the organization’s magazine frequently has good advice. However, sometimes it seems AARP should take a closer look at products it endorses.
After years of satisfaction with auto and home insurance provided by The Hartford through AARP, my fondness for the organization took a heavy hit when we were making arrangements to move from Utah to Michigan. We decided the time was right to become a one-car family. I knew
Michigan would have .
|Is AARP giving you a good number?|
A State Farm agent in our destination area gave us better coverage for several hundred dollars a year less than the
Hartford quote. It was no “come on” price. Since
we made the change, State Farm actually has reduced the premium even further as
our driving records stayed good and our lifestyle changed a bit.
I recently renewed our cell phone minutes. Yesterday, AARP sent an e-mail notice of a “Hot Deal!” to buy time plans from Consumer Cellular. The ad shows a delighted geezer couple dialing up someone after enrolling in a plan “starting at $10 a month” and featuring no contract plus free activation. An AARP member discount lowered the cheapest plan fee to $9.50 per month. However, each minute used cost 23.75 cents. The ad claimed activation was a $35 value.
We get limited service, primarily using the phone as a safety device. This is the type of service Consumer Cellular offers through its most inexpensive plan. My renewal deal provided enough minutes for our Tracfone to last us a year. It cost $8.33 a month, with no per-minute charge. We bought our minutes off the shelf at Walmart. Several different minute amounts at progressively higher rates per month were available. No contract was involved.
Activation was free, and I didn’t have to do it. A clerk in the Walmart electronics section performed that chore while I waited, casting a bit of doubt on the AARP ad claim that activation is a $35 value.
If you’re not fond of Walmart, you can get the same kind of Tracphone deal at Radio Shack and Best Buy, and perhaps similar deals through other plans in other places. And you don’t have to pay AARP dues to get a good deal. You might even be delighted.