At the age of 94, the last thing Ruby Goswell expected was to be asked to confirm she was old enough to enjoy a sip of Bailey’s, but when an Amazon courier delivered a couple of bottles of her favourite tipple he demanded she prove she was over 18 before handing them over.
Ruby Goswell’s son and daughter in law David and Janet had been sending her two £20 bottles of Bailey’s every fortnight for many months throughout the lockdown.
But in April, one delivery driver left her flustered by refusing to give her the bottles until she showed him ID and things got worse because the grandmother had no driving licence in her Aldershot home and her passport had expired.
The courier only relented after Ruby Goswell’s neighbour stepped in to help on her behalf.
Janet Goswell, 68, from Bletchingley, Surrey, said that she was appalled when she learned what had occurred and she knew she was flustered, and that it was absurd to think that someone would ask a 94-year-old for ID and that it was essentially a form of harassment to ask elderly people for something like that.
In another case, a charity worker 63-year-old John Bull was also asked to prove his age after ordering eight cans of cider as part of a grocery shop last month, and when he refused to show his identification, the delivery driver tried to take back the groceries.
Finally, the courier left John Bull with his shopping, but when he complained to the retailer he was pointed towards its terms and conditions.
John Bull, who lives near Manchester, said that it was ridiculous to ask someone of his age to prove they’re over 18, but on its website, Amazon tells customers buying drink that they have to present photographic ID, such as a driving licence, passport or bus pass, and it adds that if there’s anybody at the address aged 18 years or over who can show valid photo identification, the item will be returned to Amazon for re-delivery the following day.
Tory MP Sir John Haye said that Amazon was showing a total lack of common sense and a disregard for customers and that by asking pensioners for ID, they’re only making their customers suffer – a spokesperson for Amazon refused to comment.
The laws in this country are that no drink is to be sold to under 18’s and that if in doubt the seller must challenge whatever the company policy is, whether that be under 21, 25 or even 30. So, to guarantee that they don’t get it wrong some businesses simply operate an ID must be recorded and documented, even if the person is 94 years old, but this is what our country has come to, and we should blame our government for this.
And, ironically, this is one item that Amazon delivery drivers won’t leave unattended on the doorstep, but everything else they’re happy for anyone to steal.