Waikato University has begun a three-year study into how older people are treated by businesses and other organisations.
Dr Mary Simpson says that with an aging population, it is in New Zealand's interest to know how to deal with older people.The project will cost $1 million.
She says businesses need to start talking the language of older people if they want to tap into what is a relatively lucrative market.
Age Concern in Hamilton says older people often do not get the same service as others and just put up with lousy service.
The organisation says modern technology also often provides a major stumbling block for older people in their dealings with business.
The project will include recruiting older people to take part, talking with organisations and then working on a way forward.