Tuesday 20 July 2021
Check In CBR woes for Canberra’s older population
Five days after the ACT brought in the mandatory requirement for everyone to check in via the Check In CBR app at all public venues, COTA ACT has been inundated with calls from older people encountering issues with accessing and using the app.
“The issue is much more than some older people not being technology savvy,” COTA ACT CEO Jenny Mobbs said. “While there are some people who do not have the digital skills to navigate using the app, we are also talking with a large number of people who do not have compatible mobile devices, those who do not have data, or a very limited amount of data, or those who for financial reasons, can’t access a device or mobile plan that supports using the app.”
“We have seniors who have been hit with a $100+ bill for turning on mobile data just to use the app, and people who are getting drive through coffee and drinking it in their car because they are not able to use the check in code at cafes.”
“This is further isolating our older population who were hit especially hard through lock downs last year. The current advice to ACT businesses doesn’t even mention options to help people to check in.”
“We want to ensure that older people have the confidence to be out and about in the community when it is safe for them to do so. Older people want to comply, but are facing barriers and confusing messaging making it hard for them to do the right thing.”
COTA ACT has supported hundreds of older Canberrans to use the Check In CBR app over the past year, including setting up email addresses, app accounts, teaching people to access wifi, buying new phones or plans and helping them to check in their friends and family members. Recent messaging around registering MyWay cards for public transport instead of using the app has just added to the confusion for this cohort.
Key Check In CBR app issues for older people:
- Many older phones are just not compatible with the Check In CBR app
- You need a Google Play or Apple account to download the app
- It is not clear that you do not need to have a payment process for google play
- The app will not work if you are not connected to the internet
- Some android phones do not have a QR code reader installed
- Many seniors do not have data plans
- It is neither simple nor safe/recommended to connect to free/unsecured wifi in every location you access
Jenny Mobbs, CEO, COTA ACT 02 6282 3777 or email@example.com.
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