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SuperValu discriminating against elderly or those without a modern mobile

  • 19-08-2022 9:17am
    Registered Users Posts: 593 ✭✭✭tvjunki

    Supervalu had a great reward scheme where people would use a tag or card at the checkout and once every few months they would get a discount or money off vouchers. My Mum and aunts and uncles loved this as it was a great incentive to buy from the store. Also they were supporting local family businesses.

    Well they have now moved to an app. My mother rang me to say as she does not have a mobile or modern phone she cannot access the app. Not everyone has a modern phone. Some have the old touch buttons phones as they cannot use the new ones due to arthritis. Also disabled people may not be able to access or phone or cannot afford to run a phone in the current financial client.

    Very short sighted of Supervalu discrimiate against the ones that buy from the store every week. They are the ones that cannot travel far and support the local stores.


  • Registered Users Posts: 593 ✭✭✭tvjunki

    My mother was in the store and they said due to the update at the weekend the card/tag cannot be read. I contacted the head office and they said they would accept my complaint and that I was not the only person complaining about it. Just did webchat and supposedly they do scan but you may or may not get money off voucher. So the vouchers are no longer connected to how much you spend as before. Will update on how she gets on next week when she does her shopping. I think she will be traveling to Dunnes!!

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    They've gone the way of tesco and more recently Lidl. If you don't have your phone or card, you will pay 20%+++ on many items.

    Thankfully Aldi are near me and its a viable option, but this lark of insisting on downloading an app will push customers away.

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,261 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Old <> stupid of unable to use a smartphone.

  • Moderators, Business & Finance Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 64,954 Mod ✭✭✭✭L1011

    Tesco still accept physical clubcards for those discounts. I was using one until about a week ago when I finished transferring all my loyalty cards to the phone for a smaller wallet and smaller keyring.

    The afford argument in the OP is exceptionally weak - we have some of the cheapest mobile phone packages in Europe.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,297 ✭✭✭walterking

    But if you don't want a club card you find Tesco is extremely expensive as now all offers can only be had if you have a club card.

    I prefer not to sign up to cards, so most of my shopping is in Aldi

  • Posts: 5,121 Tony Uptight SWordplay

    I understood the money back vouchers are ending and being replaced by scan to win draws. Coupons would also be available by the app.

    Anyway it's not discrimination.

  • Registered Users Posts: 593 ✭✭✭tvjunki

    It is discrimination of you cannot access a modern phone or do not know how to use it. Not everyone carries a phone with them. Some people actually leave theirs at home.

    Put is this way the people my mother was speaking to outside the shop they do not have online banking or have the internet. Not everyone is tech savy or want to be tech savy.

  • Registered Users Posts: 593 ✭✭✭tvjunki

    It will push people away. My mother has an Aldi nearby and always went to Supervalu. She said she will travel to Dunnes instead and buy somethings in Aldi.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 29,399 ✭✭✭✭freshpopcorn

    I think the SuperValu reward scheme is gone hill lately and I do understand your issue. If she gets her Turkey at SuperValu at Christmas she won't get the turkey tokens either.

    Can you try and teacher her how to get into a smart phone?

    I find some people can get into it and others simply can't.

    I'd also find the supervalu staff general good with people who need help with their phone.

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,374 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal

    Something to remember here, lots and lots of older people have smart phones. I know a number of 70 and 80 year olds that have smart phones and they do online banking etc.

    Your claim of discrimination is inaccurate and its like claiming its discrination if Tesco offer 5c off fuel if you don't own a car as its not fair you can't benefit from it, there are T&C's to offers and clubs and if the store chooses to go with Apps only then thats a requirement.

    If your biggest issue is collecting points with the card, why don't you install the app on your phone and generate a card. Then screenshot the barcode and print it out and your mother can then scan that barcode each time she shops.

    You can do the exact same with voucher codes too.

    You'll basically be working around one of the requirements for the rewards club but it should work and you can help your mother out if she insists on not having a smart phone.

  • Posts: 5,121 Tony Uptight SWordplay

    The points have already ended:

  • Registered Users Posts: 408 ✭✭RoisinD

    Great to see a thread on SuperValu and their 'improvements'. I think much of the discussion has centred on the elderly rather than IMO the changes to benefit Musgrave's rather than their customers. SuperValu always did the money off vouchers 5 off 25, 7 off 35, regularly throughout the year. The figures on these changed around the same time as the alcohol changes. 5 off 25 disappeared and became 5 off 35 etc. Consumers hit with a double whammy. No longer use them for alcohol and values increased. In addition we got a point for every euro spent and got additional money off vouchers with no additional spend. They came out 3/4 times a year and were great at Christmas, Easter etc. They have now disappeared and replaced with scan to win. Total con as rather than reward for spend and loyalty it is now the luck of the draw. Many SuperValu stores are situated in smaller rural communities and believe it or not it is something that many are upset about. Some shop daily and never avail of the money off vouchers only at Christmas etc so the points accumulation ensured they were also getting something back in addition. Musgrave's/SuperValu have scored a massive own goal with this and once customers have found alternatives it won't be easy to get them back. If customers don't want to use their phones for whatever reason why should they?

  • Posts: 5,121 Tony Uptight SWordplay

    It's a competitive market.

    I'm sure Musgraves have weighed up the risks.

    My 80 year old aunt wandering around with a pencil and paper to make up the €35 or whatever might be annoyed, but she isn't suddenly going to drive to Tesco or Lidl instead.

  • Registered Users Posts: 909 ✭✭✭swampy353

    What people are forgetting, there is absolutely no obligation on SV or any supermarket to provide a loyalty scheme.

    They can set out whatever requirements that they want and if you don't want to comply with these requirements than you don't receive the additional benefits.

    In terms of moving to app, it's purely to save money, do you think an post deliver the 1000's of cards and voucher runs for free?

    Also the implied discrimination is from the OP. I know plenty of elderly people who have smartphones and are more than capable of using them. Find that for most people (regardless of age) can use them once there is a willingness to learn

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,889 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    There is no obligation to provide it but if they do provide it they have to comply with legislation.

    They can't set out whatever requirements they want if they are discriminatory based on a protected characteristic.

    Disparate impact can also be viewed as discriminatory.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 909 ✭✭✭swampy353

    Within reason they can once the are not discriminatiing against the big 7, race, gender, age, sexuality etc.

    Where in the scheme does it say that you can't partipate in the scheme based on any of these.

    What I think you were trying to refer to is implicit discrimination which is not the case here, very little to stop older people from using smartphones apart from want. Cost maybe a factor too but the cost of running a phone is about 12 a month, far less than a land-line.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 243 ✭✭jdon72

    Supervalu is also generally more expensive than any of the other main stores so if they want to save money, shop elsewhere.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,889 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    Supervalu's main selling point is location, location, location... they can't compete on price with LALDI, range with Tesco or loyalty schemes with Dunnes.

    In Dublin they have the prime locations versus other supermarkets (eg Killester Village, Raheny Village, Malahide Village, Sutton Cross) and in the country they seem to rely on being the only supermarket.

    Go to a Supervalu location where there is proper competition e.g. Northside SC and the Supervalu is a ghost town compared to the Dunnes.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,889 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    Look at the stats at smartphone use by age demographic. It is implicit discrimination.

    People without smartphones are participating in the scheme, they completed the applications and are accepted as real rewards members.

    You shouldn't even need the app to get the basic spend and save discounts.

    Dunnes give you the option of a printed coupon for next shop or voucher in the app.

    If Dunnes can do it, so can Supervalu, or some variation of it.

    Just scan your rewards card and if you don't have the phone app, the checkout assistant should just apply a standard discount from a barcode.

    This is basic stuff.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Registered Users Posts: 12,857 ✭✭✭✭elperello

    The supermarket chains have an eye to the profit not social inclusion.

    I was in one today buying some beer and nothing else and just as he had with the three customers in front of me the till operator asked if I had a discount card.

    Of course beer is not eligible for discount points any more but nobody bothered to explain that to the lad.

  • Registered Users Posts: 909 ✭✭✭swampy353

    Yes approx 40% of over 65s use a smart phone.

    Using your example of the cashier scanning a barcode, nice in theory but every voucher that is issued is also tracked (where the value in the scheme is for SV) and therefore using a generic discount voucher has no benefit.

    All these schemes are there to collect data which can then be used to sell advertising or tailor the store to increase spend per head. The only reason there are any discounts to make people feel more comfortable with giving away a vast amount of trackable data.

  • Registered Users Posts: 24,889 ✭✭✭✭odyssey06

    They already have the data if they want it, the unique real rewards card is scanned.

    "To follow knowledge like a sinking star..." (Tennyson's Ulysses)

  • Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators, Regional South East Moderators Posts: 28,374 Mod ✭✭✭✭Cabaal

    So far I've seen zero evidence that it isn't compliant with any legislation.

    It's only a feeling that they think it might be by some people on this thread, but many of the same people seem to think anyone old can't use a smart phone. Bottom line, using a older phone over a smart phone is a choice.

    If I want to get the newest version of Windows but I own an old Pentium 90 PC from 1996 its not discrimination that i can't run the newest spec. Regardless of my age or disability.. I simply do not meet the requirments to run the newest version of windows. This scheme is little different, it has min requirments and if somebody chooses not to have a smart phone then thats hard luck for them, its their choice though.

    We're also forgetting that these changes can actually benefit people with disabilities, for example those that are blind can now use scream readers on their smart phone. This is very positive.

    Post edited by Cabaal on

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,639 ✭✭✭Buddy Bubs

    My parents are pensioners and never off their smartphones

    I want to use boards on my commodore64 but it's not going to happen.

    I want to text from my old 1990s landline phone in the house.

    Exagerrated examples but same idea as the rewards card on smartphones only

    Supervalu have offered something here, its up to the consumer if they want to take advantage of the offer ot not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,717 ✭✭✭C3PO

    I’d be willing to bet that Dunnes will be “app only” before too long! My 83 year old Mum happily uses a smartphone!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 712 ✭✭✭mondeoman72

    My 83 year old mother in law is quite happily battering away with the smart phone I gave her. Resistance at first, but now, she is whatsapping away.