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Letter: Retail app discounts disadvantage seniors

Recently I’ve become more and more aware of how merchants wish to put all customers into a neat box. Tim Hortons used to have loyalty cards that were scanned to show a purchase and you gained a free coffee or other item after so many visits. Now, you have to have a smartphone with an app, to get this “perk,” as I was told during a visit. Many other stores such as Dollar General have digital coupons that need to be downloaded to take advantage of savings.

How can merchants simply assume that all seniors have smartphones as well as knowledge of technology? Not all of their other customers regardless of age have smart phones nor the technical capability to do this either. Many areas in Western New York even today do not have internet/Wi-Fi, especially those in rural areas.

Many would benefit from these savings and perks but are unable to do so. I believe this is discrimination and I’ll no longer frequent the merchants who seem to play favorites. Maybe if more people would let their voices be heard the policies of these businesses, as well as others in the future, would change to benefit all, not just a select few.

Beverly Ruhland


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