After securing a passport to Russia and walking the Great Wall of China, Shirley Greening-Jackson thought it would be a breeze to signup for new internet service. Boy, was she wrong.
According to the young man behind the counter of the Carphone Warehouse (in England), Mrs. Jackson had to be denied because “she was too old”. The 75 year-old would only be allowed to signup for the TalkTalk phone and broadband package if she brought a younger member of her family so they could explain all of the small print to her.
The Daily Mail reported:
Mrs Greening-Jackson, who sits on the board of several charities, said: “I was absolutely furious. The young man said, ‘Sorry, you’re over 70. It’s company policy. We don’t sign anyone up who is over 70.’
“Later a young lady said company policy is that anyone over 70 might not understand the contract. She said, ‘If you would be prepared to go to the shop in town and take a younger member of your family we might give you a contract.’
“I have just completed a visa form to go to Russia. Last year we did one for walking the Wall in China and here is this person saying I would not be able to understand a basic form – and it was basic. It is pure ageism.
“Somebody has decided when you turn 70 you lose a lot of your mind. I find this is ridiculous.”
A Carphone Warehouse spokesperson responded that, yes that is the firm’s policy but it is not a “blanket policy”.
[The policy] was to protect the elderly. A spokeswoman said: “It is not our policy to refuse business from adult customers of any age group. However, we do ask our agents to use their discretion when dealing with older customers.”
She added that the discretionary rule had been introduced in response to complaints that staff had mis-sold products last year.
Wow, I can just imagine what my 80 year old mother-in-law would have done to that little guy behind the counter 🙂