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13 January 2021

Senior Advantage charging for freely available deals

Dubious discount scheme targeting elderly.

Online discount scheme Senior Advantage promises to save elderly consumers money if they sign up. However, we found the deals it offers are already available to everyone.

The seniorsadvantage.org website promises you can “save up to 70% at almost every store in New Zealand” as well as offering budgeting tools, meal plans and horoscopes. To bag a “bargain”, all you have to do is sign up and pay $39 for a 12-month plan, a special price marked down from $99.

Logos of major retailers – including Pak’nSave, New World and Countdown – are featured on the site. However, the supermarkets told us they have no affiliation with Senior Advantage.

While the website claims to offer “thousands of discounts and coupons for online and in-store shopping”, a Senior Advantage spokesperson acknowledged the deals on the site were publicly available.

The spokesperson claimed Senior Advantage offered “convenience” by aggregating deals from various stores, saving consumers from having to look for the discounts themselves.

“We have clear disclosures on each page stating that we have no affiliation or any kind of relationship with any stores listed.”

However, these disclosures are buried in the fine print at the bottom of the page and we think consumers risk being misled about what they’re getting for their money.

Senior Advantage has recently come in for flak across the Tasman, where it’s operating a similar site.

In December, consumer watchdog Choice reported Senior Advantage had been offering discounts from retailers that were already available to everyone. A Choice staffer paid A$19 to join Senior Advantage. When they clicked on one of the Senior Advantage Woolworths deals, they were just taken to the supermarket’s half-price specials page.

According to the site’s terms and conditions, Senior Advantage is run by JSC “Inulti”, a company registered in Lithuania. But that doesn’t mean it’s immune from New Zealand consumer laws. Any company operating in our market must comply with the Fair Trading Act.

If you feel you’ve been misled into signing up for Senior Advantage “discounts”, make a complaint to the Commerce Commission. Let us know too.

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Martyn R.
06 Feb 2021
Senior Advantage

Senior Advantage is uncomfortably close to scam status. It makes extravagant claims of up to 80% savings on some products and services. I couldn't find anything that was an 80% saving. They do have budgeting and healthy living/eating guides but so do lots of other websites (for free).
It was possible to get discounts but it took a lot of time and work to locate what you wanted. Not the easy peasy experience they were implying and frankly I would rather go to the stores in person. Also the advertisements implied that the special discounts were available to anyone under 65 (I am 61) but it turned out that you had to have a gold card to get most of them.
(Unwisely) I had signed up (under a 30-day money back if not satisfied deal) and when I decided to cancel they sent me e-mails imploring me to reconsider and hedged as long as they could before finally refunding me over a month later. Perhaps I was lucky because it seems some people have never got their money back.
Don't waste your money or time!