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Advocates to Grocers: Stop Digital Discrimination of Unplugged Seniors

A coalition of national consumer organizations is urging leading supermarket chains to stop discriminating against senior citizens and low income shoppers who cannot take advantage of a new wave of advertised in-store digital-only discounts because millions of them do not have internet access or smartphones.

Read about the issue in our original story.

In a letter to the presidents of a dozen large supermarket chains, the consumer groups (Consumer Action, Consumer Reports, Consumer World, National Consumers League, and PIRG) are urging them to help bridge the digital divide by adopting a workaround so unplugged shoppers are charged the same lower sale prices as connected customers are.

“It’s digital discrimination, and the most vulnerable people are being shut-out of these online discounts at the worst possible time given record high inflation,” explained Edgar Dworsky, founder of Consumer World. “Big supermarkets need to provide an offline alternative to the digitally-disconnected so they can reap the same savings that connected shoppers enjoy.”

In the past couple of years, more and more weekly specials advertised by some supermarkets for meat, fish, poultry, produce, and store brand items are so-called “digital-only deals” (see sample ads). They require shoppers to first go online to electronically “clip” the offers to add them to their loyalty card account to be charged the sale price in the store.


Sample supermarket FAQ about digital-only offers:

Q. Can I still take advantage of these coupons if I don’t have a smart phone or a computer?

A. These coupons are only available electronically. Manufacturers continue to offer paper coupons through local newspapers.

But, since 25-percent of seniors don’t use the internet and 39-percent don’t have smartphones according to a 2021 study by the Pew Research Center, they are effectively shut-out of these deals. Similarly, 43-percent of low income households lack broadband internet access.

Digital-only discounts can provide significant savings for connected shoppers. But an unplugged shopper, for example, could pay $9 more for this package of steak, or $15 more for a 15-pound Thanksgiving turkey because he or she cannot clip the required digital coupon.

Digital only items

Even on smaller purchases, the amount a digitally-disconnected shopper overpays can be significant. In the following examples, he or she is paying twice the price for this tub of store brand ice cream and 75-percent more for this carton of eggs.

ice cream and eggs

This week, stores across the country are offering digital-only sale items like these.

Not only are people without internet access shut-out of digital discounts, so are the one-in-four shoppers who despite having online access say they may lack the technical ability to use a supermarket’s website or app, according to a recent survey by Consumer World.

The consumer groups have suggested five ways that supermarkets can offer an in-store offline alternative to digital-only deals to accommodate both the digitally-disconnected and the digitally-challenged shopper:

1. Utilize barcoded clip or click store coupons in circulars so the customer can choose their preferred redemption method (e.g., Vons and The Giant Company).

2. Empower cashiers to charge the digital price upon request.

3. Empower customer service personnel to provide refunds for unredeemed digital discounts.

4. Offer physical store coupons next to digital-only deals for those who did not/could not electronically “clip” the offer (e.g., H-E-B).

5. Install coupon kiosks where digital coupons can be added to one’s account in-store (e.g., ShopRite and Food Lion).

The letter to supermarket executives was sent on November 15 to the following chains: Kroger, Albertsons, Stop & Shop, Star Market/Shaw’s, Ralphs, QFC, Jewel Osco, Randalls, Fred Meyer, King Soopers, Smart & Final, and Safeway.

Feel free to offer your opinion of whether supermarkets should make accommodations for seniors and others who don’t have internet access or smartphones to be able to pay the digital price for advertised sale items in stores.

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122 thoughts on “Advocates to Grocers: Stop Digital Discrimination of Unplugged Seniors”

  1. It’s sure good to finally see some high-power protests against digital coupons. I feel that way because not only am I a senior, but they’re simply a huge pain to use at any age. Especially if you see something in the store; then you have to locate it and then clip it via the store app on your phone. I don’t think the article mentioned that unfortunately, the very best coupon deals are pretty much exclusively on digital-only coupons. For example, this week our local Safeway is offering 5-lb bags of potatoes for 57¢ each; 1-lb of butter for $1.49–digital coupons only.

  2. Like Shoprite, many CVS drugstores have kiosks, CVS’s print most of the coupons that could have been sent electronically to your account. They do not print coupons that are only offered by Email.

    • My local CVS was one of the locations that CVS closed (downsized) recently. Now the ‘nearest’ CVS for me is a mile away. I visit (AKA walk) to it when I’m up to it -but the coupon kiosk has been ‘out-of-order’ for weeks now – so no coupons or price-checking for me, I guess!

  3. I am all for change in elimination of these discriminatory coupon practices. My phone is at home on my wall where it belongs, and it won’t scan a coupon anyway. I am also against them tracking personal data and shopping habits of people using this technology, what I buy should be my own business.

  4. The superstores in Canada totally discriminate, both seniors and singles. Too many items have to be bought in groups for a saving. Two cooked whole chickens, 3x650gr yoghurt.

  5. They offer the digital coupons as an inducement to get you into the store but when you get there it seems there’s no desire to help you redeem. I want to be in and out of Shaws in less than 30 minutes and the one (1) time I tried to use the digital coupon, WITH help from the manager, we could not get it to work on my iPhone 13 pro max after some 20 minutes so I had to pay full price for the needed item and left in frustration, not happy!

      • Are you clipping the digital coupons at least an hour before you go to the store? The “clip” might not register the instant you add the item to your list. Give it at least an hour or so to take effect. I’ve seen people in the checkout frantically clipping items and then frustrated that they don’t get the benefit of the coupon because it hasn’t taken effect in the next two or three minutes.

    • That should not have happened!

      Even if the digital coupon would not work, the fact that you had it should have been enough for the manager to give you the sale price. That is astounding to hear.

      • The Digital Coupon System is Itself Technically Flawed

        My wife shops at multiple supermarkets to get the best price. Her primary go to markets are Market Basket, which we are continually losing faith in, and Trader Joe’s. She only shops at Shaw’s for some of their digital coupon products (not what Shaw’s would like her to do). So, well before going to Shaw’s, she selects ALL the digital coupons to avoid being told by the cashier that she unfortunately didn’t select the coupon for the product she was buying. BUT, it doesn’t help. Much of the time the system fails and the it doesn’t recognize that she had selected the coupon. One recent time, after holding up the checkout line for a full five minutes, the system finally ‘found’ that she had in fact chosen the associated item coupon.

        My wife doesn’t like holding up the line to save a dollar and the store counts on that fact. At a minimum, Shaw’s should improve the performance of their digital coupon system.

  6. As a 74-year-old senior, I live on only my Social Security, so any time I can save money, I am happy. I use digital coupons and paper coupons, so I would hope that any solution would not involve discontinuing them.

    I have internet, so I go to the store’s website, select the coupons I want, add them to my loyalty card, and then print them off. Of course, that raises the issue of having a printer in addition to internet. I don’t use my cell phone for coupons – never have.

    • Hi Charlotte… my hope is that stores ADD options for shoppers who don’t have internet access or smartphones… not take away any current methods of accessing those savings (although many find them complicated and time-consuming).

      • I do not use store apps. I go through the ad, and I make my own grocery list. I print them off so I know what I want as I move through the store. The card tells you nothing until you get to the checkout.

        I have had the digital not ring up at the checkout and then need to show the cashier my print out copy. The cashier will then give me the sale price. It is a second step, but I have had issues on several occasions with Kroger.

        I also separate my purchases in my cart so I know which ones are on special. I send them through first and then my regular priced items. Kroger receipts are confusing, so I take whatever steps needed to ensure I get the discounts.

        I use a calculator on my phone to add as I go along. I am usually only a few cents off at the checkout.

  7. The fundamental question should be: “Why construct such a convoluted method in order for the customer to ‘save’ a few cents or dollars? When something is ‘free.’ or in THIS case, discounted, YOU are the product. Anybody want a free Notebook 8? I cancelled the cell service (BIG MONTHLY SAVINGS) and stuck the phone in my dresser drawer 3 years ago. THAT IS HOW I SAVE, money, my privacy, my sanity. I thank God I grew up in the ’50’s-’60’s, long before this became ingrained in my DNA. And yes, I am computer literate, but I put limitations on it.

    • You mean Note 8, right?

      I love the Samsung Note product. It allows me to write since I type 90 words a minute normally- it actually makes me a poor 1 or 2 finger typist on the phone. I found I could write really well and keep up with my notes. Of course, some of that was for school and church services, meetings at work. I’m done with school (for now) and I’m retired – so not too much note-taking.:-)

    • Sorry, I meant to say I would pay for shipping if you are serious. I repair phones as a hobby and can always use spares.

      Also, I grew up in the 60s and 70s – so I do understand you. Phone manners are atrocious. I tell people all the time: I’m not married to my phone.

  8. I think it’s the smart thing to do for any business that wants customers. The first “digital” type discrimination was when Walgreens, Best Buy and other stores would no longer have print ads. If someone didn’t have internet access, they could potentially miss out on a lot of savings because of it. Then there is “digital discrimination” on people who have smart phones but don’t want to load them down with apps just to maybe save some money. Same goes for rebate apps who want their apps loaded on a smartphone, giving a miniscule rebate in exchange for lots of information the app can sell and make many times more money from the ones they sell this gold mine of information.

    • I totally agree! Re: “Best Buy” I went to Best Buy last week to buy a Jitterbug Smart3 phone that was on sale. I was told that they would have to ‘check with the manager’ to see if I could pay cash for it AND was told that I would have to open a Best Buy credit account to pay for the monthly service. No way!!

    • While we’re pointing fingers, remember that three fingers point back at us: paper coupons and grocery store circulars are fading away along with getting the news on paper once or twice a day. When I retired from my state’s largest newspaper in 2008, advertising revenue already had declined sharply because circulation had declined, so staffs were cut. People wanted news, but didn’t want to pay for it, and newspapers foolishly failed to put up online paywalls early enough to bolster their revenues. That downward spiral continues today.

      The switch to digital coupons makes sense for retailers — it’s much cheaper. It also is better for the environment. I agree that providing alternatives would be considerate, but almost everything in life is a trade off.

      I’m 78 and can’t imagine being without a smart phone. It’s my secretary, my alarm clock, my camera, my photo album, my library books, my coupon file, and my lifeline if “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” ever happens to me. (And it’s also a phone.) I killed the land line 25 years ago, when my kids were grown and gone.

      Back in the day, some people saved enough with coupons in the newspaper to more than cover their subscriptions. Today, the person who had to pay $15 more for the turkey, and who missed all the other digital deals, probably could get a cheap “burner” phone and enough minutes with what it could save them on groceries, etc.

  9. Spot on. Kroger is where I have to shop. Small town etc. Big savings digitally BUT hidden nonetheless. Its rude. I have a Kroger card. That should be enough.

    • When supermarket loyalty cards were first introduced in the ’90s, just having the card WAS enough. Many stores explicitly promised that the card would always entitle the customer to the best available discount and thus would replace coupons entirely. That promise of convenience and economy was the main selling point for persuading customers to share their personal information and allow the store to keep a record of their purchases (a scary idea to a lot of people back then).

      I don’t know exactly why, when or how that promise went out the window, but it did. Recently the game has gotten even more complicated with paid store memberships, which is where I’ve drawn the line. Even if giving Kroger/Safeway $100 a year up front really would “pay for itself,” count me out.

  10. I just read a newspaper article about your effort to help people obtain coupon discounts, when they are unable to navigate the digital world. My wife is one of those people who does not know how to use a computer, nor does she own or use a cell phone. We live in Toledo, Ohio, and she does most of her grocery shopping at either Kroger Grocery or at the Meijer store.

    Both of these grocery stores use the internet to market their digital coupons and I try to help my wife, when I can do so. However, I am often not available when she needs me so often she has not “clipped” the coupons online and she cannot obtain the special markdown price of each and every item when she shops.

    We have asked both Kroger and Meijer to extend the offers to my wife because she does not have any digital skills, but the telephone person only says “I’m sorry” and the problem is never resolved in her favor.

      • Respectfully, who are you tell tell someone to purchase a “cheap” wireless phone and learn how to use it? The problem can be solved by Kroger’s automatically loading digital coupons to every Kroger Card.

    • As a former Kroger employee, I suggest asking the cashier to scan their Kroger card. More often then not they will do it without question.

  11. I did an e-blast (e-mailed everyone in my contacts & asked everyone to do the same) & told family & friends about this with Walmart in 2018 & Amazon in 2020.
    1. online only items
    2. online prices
    3. online sales paper
    4. deviceS – website difference
    5. online order only with an e-mail
    From a poor senior

    • I just read the other replies & forgot about these problems
      6. some coupons you need a printer
      7. did everyone know you pay taxes on coupons? So FREE isn’t FREE, even with the S. N. A. P. program??

      I agree about hacking, but Love when I get coupons for my cereal & milk.

      • Ms. Gray… Tax depends on your state law. In Mass., for example, you pay tax on the net price, if any, after the coupon is deducted.

  12. Agree with the analysis of the inequity of these practices. However, the other elephant in the room is being ignored. That is the massive intrusion on privacy that digital rewards programs represent. These are not mere customer loyalty benefits, they are massive tracking programs that capture and store every detail of the consumer’s purchasing life. While the purpose may be “harmless” marketing, that kind of data could easily be hacked or misused.

    • You hit the point on the button, Kay! Every time I check out at Albertson’s, they ask for my phone number for my “account” because I once bought one of their “digital only” products. I guess now they know my name, address, shopping habits, everything we eat, and probably how I pay (cash only). Seems to me they could easily sell that info to some sleazy firm I’d never do business with! We’ve gone too far with this “personal shopping” deal.

    • I think there is too much focus on this intrusion on privacy data collection. It does help shape your future shopping. But what most people don’t realize is that their data is already on the Internet.

      For example, how many times have you been told never give your SSN out? For someone like me, I’ve always played smart on the internet but I can’t control others. In Milwaukee, WI a (ignorant) VA employee took his laptop home. Not only had he downloaded data from the VA servers on his laptop (big no no) but he left his car unlocked. Next thing ya know I’m getting a letter telling my my SSN has been compromised.

      Have any of you ever used online credit rating services? Where you check your credit score? No? Yes? For those of you who said, no, too bad. For those of you who said yes, did you get the notification from Experian saying they were hacked and all your credit info was compromised? So were the people who said no.

      My point is don’t deny yourself convenience or savings because you are afraid of giving away your shopping/spending habits. Its all out there, your banks, credit cards, SSN, IRS – they are all already online. Humans make mistakes not computers- and all of these organizations have humans at the heart of their organizations and have probably been hacked or given info away because of social engineering.
      You can protect yourself but you have to do it. But just turning off your phone is not going to protect you.

  13. I don’t use a cell phone,so miss out on a lot of app deals.It’s my problem,not someone elses.If I want to get those deals,I’ll have to start using a smartphone,whether I like it or not.Same thing,for those complaining about digital coupons.The world is moving that way,so get on board,or lose out.

    • I agree that technology is always changing and the shopper needs to keep up with the changes in the marketplace. But many of our laws that were adopted to protect the consumer from deceptive advertising practices do not apply to the digital marketing – not just on major online marketplaces but now in the local retail and grocery stores. Rather than complaining about the seniors missing out, the bigger issue is that items promoted on digital coupons and sales should be available to all, not simply be exhausted in the store leaving no recourse for a ‘digital rain check’ on that specific sale item. The same protections ought to apply to prevent deceptive advertising online that apply to print advertising. Fair is fair.

    • Respectfully, I am glad you decided to miss out on savings. There are people out in the world – my 83 year old widowed mother on SS -who can not afford a wireless device or get frustrated with cumbersome apps. Kroger mandating you use their app as opposed to just putting the “digital” savings automatically to everyone’s let you know they are NOT interested saving customers money, but rather have an ulterior motive.

  14. I don’t think the stores intend to sell anything at the “digital only” price, otherwise, it would be easy to do so. I think it’s a gimmick to get your attention.
    It would be interesting to know how much is actually sold at the “digital only” price, but good luck getting an honest (or any) answer from the stores.
    I’m willing to bet if these protests against the “digital only” get any traction, the stores will just eliminate them.

  15. I totally agree with the desire to make all coupons available in other ways rather than digitally. The stores in my area, Giant Eagle, Shop&Save, and Fresh Thyme also offer digital coupons so please look into encouraging them of doing more to offer coupons in other ways rather than digitally.

  16. I am one of those seniors who does not have a smart phone and cannot scan QR Codes. I have usually shopped at Kroger because it is the nearest super market to me. However, since these discriminatory digital coupons have come out, I now by-pass Kroger and do most of my shopping at another supermarket a little further away. It is an Independently owned supermarket. It is cleaner and better stocked.

    I do have a computer. However, now the Kroger site will not even let me log in to download the digital coupons. I called Kroger about the issue (which appears to be something to do with the VPN part of computer Security suites). They said they are aware of the problem and are working on fixing it. That was OVER SIX MONTHS AGO! It still is not fixed. So, to quote and old Nancy Sinatra song, “These boots just keep on walking”.

    The only way I can object to these discriminatory practices is with my feet! I just keep walking right past Kroger.

  17. AWESOME!!!!

    While I am fortunate to be able to access the Internet & have a SmartPhone, I don’t like to leave a digital footprint and would prefer an alternative to digital savings. There has been many times this exact thought has crossed my mind, “How do people without Internet access save?”

    I hope this gains traction/support.

  18. Without a doubt the ‘digital coupon’ process also forces shoppers to maybe impulse-shop while seeking out the advertised digital specials.

  19. This is 2023; not 1953. If people choose to remain in the last century, that’s their problem. Oh – I am 84.

    • Be kind, please. Cell phones and service cost money many can’t afford. Others don’t want to give up privacy required to access these services. It’s not about age alone. And anyway, that’s elder-shaming, friend. Shame on you for shaming your peers.

    • Respectfully, Kroger’s and other stores are not truly in saving you or anyone else money by forcing digital coupons to get “extra” savings. If Kroger’s wanted everyone to save money, then they would put “digital” coupons
      automatically on all Kroger’s cards. You have been around for
      84 years. I will let you decide what is their ulterior motive.

  20. If you grab cash out of somebodies wallet and they don’t know it is it theft? Absolutely it is…seems this is the same on a corporate level!

  21. Not to mention loss of “hands on” local newspapers so you can’t clip coupons if you don’t have a paper! When a digital coupon doesn’t work for me or I haven’t clipped it I just ask an employee to give me the digital price. I’ve never had them refuse but shouldn’t have to do that. Either have a sale on something or don’t!

  22. I would like to see them automatically apply the digital coupons to all active accounts. Clipping paper coupons was a pain. Clipping digital coupons is exhausting.

    Better yet, just lower the prices for the products with “digital coupons.”

  23. I have a smart phone and the Kroger app on my phone but I can never get it to work with the digital coupons. I clip them and when I get to check out I can never get them to work. So I just end up using my loyalty card. It’s very frustrating.

  24. This is an interesting story. I thought it was going to play out differently. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen digital discounts that were cheaper. What I do see are many sites that offere an “Internet” price only to find out that its the same sale price at the brick and mortar. But I think this article was purely groceries? Not sure. I hate those membership ones, I think Wal-Greens is a classic. Use our reward card and save oodles of money. Its a marketing gadget designed to instill customer loyalty. In my mind, my loyalty goes to the store that doesn’t gouge me. The reward card savings are usually only on brand names and generic names will still be below the sale price. Now that I’ve learned (witnessed my own eyes) that many generic brands are made by the same company as the name brand. Its not Walgreens or Charmin making toilet paper. Its some company you never heard of making the toilet paper, and wrapping according to the brand. Ive seen where the factory gets back packages that didn’t sell, they repackage it under a different brand and good luck to all!

  25. I shop at Acme in PA. In addition to making digital coupons hard to access, they often don’t work anyway! I have, on multiple occasions, purchased items BECAUSE of the discount (buy two for $1 off, e.g.) and have not received the discount. When this happens you can stand in line and argue with the customer service person that “yes, I did clip the coupon” while your ice cream and other frozen foods melt. Or suck it up and hope to be able to use it next time!

  26. The author of this website is a senior who has been maintaining it for sixteen years.

    Seniors who care already know how to use digital-only deals–or can learn.

    I suspect those who cannot are the same demographic that writes personal checks to pay for groceries while the rest of us mutter choice words under our breath.

    • Wow. Someone writes a check or worse pays in exact cash: how dare they. Taking from a line in Stripes, “Lighten up Francis”.

  27. My hubby is one of those who is so computer and phone illiterate it isn’t even funny. I can’t send him to the store and tell him he can get something digitially. He just doesn’t get it. I don’t like it either. I don’t like fighting it. Just give me the damn coupon.

  28. Could you also cover the inequity of in-store only or pickup discounts? I can’t use Target’s Circle discounts because you have to go to the store. I’m disabled, can’t drive, & do 100% of my shopping online or via InstaCart. I have no option to pick up stuff either & lots of places (especially restaurants)are offering discounts for orders you have to pick up. Thank you!

  29. I already have a Stop & Stop loyalty card, they track every item I purchase in their store. Digital coupons should be automatically applied any time a loyalty card is used.

  30. Hi,
    Great article. My 85 yo mom cannot hear and cannot read small screens, therefore she can operate digital devices. It’s not always by choice. What I believe is happening is oligopoly retailers are able to force everyone to expose what they are buying and at what price. We all have essentially given up our rights of privacy to retailers. And now the high price differential is outright discriminatory to those not living in the digital world. Retailers prefer to not sell to them because they don’t have the buying power and therefore the profitability. it’s a loss of democratic principles, These monopoly retailers discriminate, only selling to wealthier consumers.

  31. Im not yet a senior citizen but I’ve had my challenges using digital coupons. Kind and understanding store managers have had to help me out when I can’t sign in to an infrequently used account. An email must be provided and the accounts are password protected. I find it frustrating because I know my data is likely not protected and it seems like a lot to go through even for a younger person. I think it must be really tough on older people. But I do appreciate the savings.

  32. Check out Sensodyne products. I have one tube sand it is 4.0 ounces. I bought two 2 packs after that. They are all 3.4 ounces. I looked on Amazon, all their products are now 3.4 ounces. Shrinkflation. The tubes are the same size. The new one has a stronger metal tube. The tops are different.

  33. great story, for the amount of money that one can save a person could buy a laptop and use free wifi. The Store can definitely make accommodations to address age and technology discrimination if they choose to do so…

  34. It is not the only issue. Here in my state, Connecticut, I believe that grocery stores must give a rain check for advertised items that are absent from the shelves. That does not apply to items which are digital coupon offers. The law should be revised to apply the same rules for printed coupons or specials to digital discounts and offers. It is deceptive to bring shoppers into the store based on an advertised special and refuse to issue a rain check for an item that is not there.

  35. Sorry – Additional observations based on the comments. The kiosks offered in some stores often are not online and one has to contact a manager or worker at the service desk who types in a password to unlock the kiosk before you can go online. The ‘price checker’ on the wall is out of order – or missing. Sometimes for many weeks. Third ‘real world’ problem is the app itself has undergone revision or ‘refreshed’ and the consumer login needs to be reentered. This is discovered as one is shopping in the store, requiring you to reset your password as you shop. I would like to see the CEO of a grocery chain try doing that as they juggle a grocery cart and a toddler or two. Lastly, one commenter asked “is your wife intelligent?” And suggested getting her a Chromebook as it might “open up her world.” One need look no further to prove the point that having technology at our fingertips is no guarantee of measurable improvement in the species.

  36. This letter should also be sent out to executives at the fast food chains. They have “Special Deals” ONLY available with a phone app. I like many others do not own a smart phone. We are being discriminated at so we are missing out on these discounted meals.

  37. I was just at a Safeway and none of the digital coupons worked and I asked the person at the self check out help for guidance and he said none of them work and what price was it and he would just discount whatever I said and I wasn’t even sure of the price that I was thinking it was supposed to be on sale for, but he was just ready to discount everything because nothing worked. He was frustrated and said it had been happening all day and he didn’t care he was just discount the price.

  38. Yes! I just opened a new box of Kellogg’s Raisin Bran, and voila! There were hardly any raisins in it. (I even shook it upside down first.)

  39. THANK YOU for your efforts. I have complained to my usual grocery store (Pick-and-Save, owned by Kroger) about the practice. they seem to have backed off for a little while, but are back – and I will give them poor customer service reviews whenever I see “digital only” pricing. I belong to their loyalty program – that should be enough to track and analyze my purchases.

  40. The “government” should just buy smart phones for all these people – problem solved! I’m 80, have a smart phone, get these digital coupons and never used a single one.

  41. I ran into this situation at the Stop&Shop in Port Chester, NY. I have an old iPhone, which I activated with a SIM card. The phone is used for “emergencies only.” Spent 15 minutes with “customer service “ which stated I needed to link it to an email to “clip” digital coupons. Additionally, I needed to provide them with my driver’s license (no problem) to confirm my identity! We’re talking store coupons not applying to be an organ donor! This is total insanity…

  42. BIG two-part scam: ShopRite is making generic brands (Bowl & Basket and Paper Bird) to compete with its name-brand vendors (which should get together not sell anything to this still-only oligopoly). But with this trick, lots of sleight-of-hand — and I’m betting ShopRite’s robots play pricing games with selective products. I drink a lot of seltzer. To wipe out Schweppes, ShopRite’s generic sometimes sold for 60 cents a bottle (5 for $3.00), while Shweppes sold for $1.09/bottle (no quantity discounts). Then, they raised the generic to 90 cents, and I bought Schweppes. Then they raised Schweppes to $1.39; I bought Bowl & Basket. Then they lowered Schweppes to $1.09 again — and I bought Schweppes. Then they lowered Bowl& Basket to 60 cents again. These games go on every two weeks! So inflation ebbs and flows at 15 to 30 % every two weeks! So its not only size. Its the latitude oligopolies have. (And one wonders if the name brand clients get a kick-back or some reward for cooperating.) PLEASE SEND ME A PHYSICAL ADDRESS. I’d like to send you a check (try not to pay for anything online).

  43. Digital coupons discriminate against not only the non-tech–savvy, but also those of us who just don’t want to give a supermarket that much personal information that they can abuse. Keep fighting!

  44. My solution is to shop at a store that doesn’t have loyalty cards, coupons, holiday discounts or any of that marketing BS. Trader Joe’s.
    I have hated “incentives” since the days of S & H Green Stamps; markets should just save themselves the trouble and expense of that kind of marketing and lower their prices across the board.

  45. What about fraudflation.
    When a grocery store chain fails to remove products off the shelf that are beyond their use by or sell by dates. I’m sure their is some explanation but I don’t buy it! Also the wedon’tcareflatiron. Recently I bought a store brand snack mix. It was well before the products sell by date of 1/12/2023. The product was so rancid you could smell it. I purchased same type of product over a month ago. Different days but same rancid smell. Inedible both times with same product, which I returned to the store.
    I think these types of store name products were just to expensive for the store to throw out. Besides, how many shoppers would return them, right? It’s about the lack of ethics and it sickens me. Anyone else have this type of experience?

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