Get Gephardt: Do digital discounts discriminate against elderly shoppers?

Nov 10, 2022, 10:18 PM | Updated: Nov 11, 2022, 10:31 am

SALT LAKE CITY — You have likely seen ads promising savings with digital-only coupons, but a consumer watchdog says that the digital-only part unfairly leaves many people out of the opportunity.

Coupon clipping has evolved. Fewer paper coupons, and more for your smartphone. Digital coupons have a clear upside for stores. They prompt consumers to download the store’s app, allowing retailers to learn shopping habits and to target consumers directly with ads tailored for them.

It has led to some retailers offering special, digital-only deals. Consumer advocate, Edgar Dworsky of the website Consumer World, said the strategy is not all upsides.

“The problem with that is many seniors, for example, don’t have a smartphone and don’t have internet access,” Dworsky pointed out. “How do they take advantage of those deals?”

Data from the AARP said that while more older adults are getting smartphones, about 1 in 4 still do not have one. No smartphone. No apps. No access to those savings for a group that Dworsky feels could benefit most.

“Senior citizens tend to be the people that are on fixed incomes or have less money, they need every advantage possible,” he said. “And for them, in large part not to be able to take advantage of these digital discounts is a shame.”

Dworsky said he is calling on supermarkets in particular to create some alternative method for customers who are digitally disconnected. And to be clear, some already are.

A spokesperson for Associated Foods said people who do not have smartphones “may visit our customer service team at the front of our stores or call customer service before arriving” and they will help.

A spokesperson for Harmon’s said their digital coupons are linked to the store’s “Foodie Club Cards and are automatically clipped with no computer necessary.”

Digital coupons do tend to get used way more than paper coupons. Of all the coupons printed in newspapers, only about 5% ever make their way to a store. With digital coupons, the usage rate is closer to one in three.

Get Gephardt

FILE - This combination of 2017-2022 photos shows the logos of Facebook, YouTube, TikTok and Snapch...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage

Scammers offer to help regain control of hacked social media accounts for a fee

People are advertising they can help you get back into your hacked social media accounts. It is a lie.

4 days ago

A Utah man purchased Aerosmith tickets back when the show was scheduled in 2023, but the show got p...

Matt Gephardt

Utahns fighting for refunds on postponed Aerosmith concert

A Utah man purchased Aerosmith tickets back when the show was scheduled in 2023, but the show got pushed to a day that no longer works for him. He decided to Get Gephardt when his quest for a refund hit a dead end.

6 days ago

The USDA estimates we toss out 30-40% of our food purchases, even though much of it is perfectly sa...

Matt Gephardt and Sloan Schrage, KSL TV

Food for thought: How understanding date labels can prevent food waste

The USDA estimates we toss out 30-40% of our food purchases, even though much of it is perfectly safe to eat. Decoding date labels could help you bust inflation.

11 days ago

KSL’s Matt Gephardt price shopped several items at traditional grocery stores and specialty food ...

Matt Gephardt

Gephardt Busts Inflation: Will shopping specialty food markets save you money?

To save money on your groceries, a specialty food market might not come to mind. But KSL Consumer Investigator Matt Gephardt found branching out to specialty food markets might help you bust some grocery inflation.

12 days ago

Gal Gadot, Chris Stapleton, Taylor Swift, Keanu Reeves among many other celebrities have had their ...

Matt Gephardt

Utahns are losing money and their personal info to celebrity imposter scams

A Utah man contacted the KSL Investigators to ask us to verify if he was messaging the real Gal Gadot of “Wonder Woman” fame through social media.

18 days ago

Cris Meyers showing Matt Gephardt the arrest warrant he was sent by the fake cop....

Matt Gephardt

Law enforcement scams threatening jailtime if you don’t pay on the rise in Utah

Law enforcement scams, that threaten jail for citizens if they don’t pay immediately are on the rise in Utah

19 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Get Gephardt: Do digital discounts discriminate against elderly shoppers?