January 10, 2012 (PRLEAP.COM) Lifestyle News
Seniors are turning to rental companies to tackle the digital TV switchover, trading trends reveal.

Sales data from household goods rental company Radio Rentals shows early adopter seniors are well ahead of the game in the switch from analogue to digital. Flat panel TVs are the firm's most popular rental item with Radio Rentals customers aged 65 plus, making up 28 per cent of all installations in this financial year to date.

Ken Burgoyne, aged 76, lives in Mecca Village on Wyee Bay in Central Coast, NSW with his wife and recently opted to upgrade his analogue TV to a flat panel digital model, preferring to rent with Radio Rentals rather than buy because of the free service element of the agreement. The digital switch is set to hit Central Coast in December 2013.

Ken says, "I'd been thinking about the digital switch for a while and wanted to get something with a bigger screen, but I don't think I'd have got a new one if I'd had to buy it and install it myself. I'm not an electrician, and there's no use in trying to do things when someone can do them for you. Radio Rentals installed it for me and showed me how to set it up and use it they were really helpful, and these added extras provide some of the big benefits of renting."

When asked why he chooses to rent rather than buy, Ken says, "It's like buying a car you never know if it's a good one or a bad one until you get it home. With Radio Rentals you get free service for the life of your contract, so if at any time my TV goes wrong I've just got to ring them up and they will come out to fix it the very next day. It's the one thing in life I can't complain about."

James Marshall, General Manager for Radio Rentals, says: "We've found that a lot of our older customers are making sure their old technology is upgraded for the digital roll-out. While the government is providing support for older residents, local businesses like Radio Rentals can also be of help for those who have reservations about the impact of the inevitable switch.

"Our offer of free service throughout the duration of the lease is helping older residents embrace the new technology without dread of the unknown and being locked in to traditional credit arrangements. Our contracts don't tie people to an ongoing financial commitment."

The over 65s make up 4.5 per cent of Radio Rentals' customer base nationwide. After flat panel TVs, the age group's second most favourite product to rent rather than buy is furniture, making up 18 per cent of the firm's overall rental contracts.

About Radio Rentals
Established in 1937, Radio Rentals is Australia's largest household goods rental company operating from 80 stores and employing more than 500 members of staff. Radio Rentals trades in all states and territories except South Australia, where it trades as Rentlo, a new and growing arm of the business which currently comprises of six stores. Radio Rentals' extensive range of electrical and household products includes flat panel TVs, PCs, whitegoods such as fridges and washing machines, computers, furniture and gym equipment.

Radio Rentals/Rentlo is owned by The Thorn Group, one of Australia's leading providers of retail and financial services to consumer and commercial markets.