Kroger eases digital coupon rules, helping seniors who struggle with apps

CINCINNATI — For Kroger grocery customers frustrated by digital coupons, or who simply struggle to use store apps, there is some good news.

The grocer is now making accommodations for the smartphone-challenged who have been unable to get many digital deals.

Area shopper Pat O’Brien is among them. She is getting frustrated trying to save money on groceries.

“They are making it too hard,” she said. “I mean, seriously.”

Like millions of seniors, she struggles with her smartphone and can’t access digital coupons that could give her a dollar off on some items.

Tina Hern, an elder caregiver, says the move away from paper coupons is hurting many older, lower-income people that she works with.

“I shop for my older clients because it is so hard and complicated for them to understand,” Hern said.

Investigation claimed seniors often miss out

An investigation last summer by claimed many of the biggest sales are now digital-only.

ConsumerWorld’s Edgar Dworsky says digital-only coupons put some shoppers at a disadvantage.

“Anyone who’s not connected today is missing out on supermarket savings,” he told us at the time.

After that investigation, a coalition of groups including Consumer Action, Consumer Reports, the National Consumers League, and US PIRG, wrote a letter asking stores to end the practice.

But there is finally hope for those who have ever become so frustrated trying to grab weekly deals off a website or smartphone that they wanted to smash their phone. The nation’s largest grocery chain says it is listening and now wants to help.

Kroger, which also owns the chains Fred Meyer, Fry’s, Ralph’s, Harris Teeter, King Scoopers and others, has just issued a statement saying:

“We understand that not all customers choose to engage digitally when shopping with retailers. Customers who would like to take advantage of digital coupons can receive the discounted pricing at any customer service desk.”

In addition, Kroger said “customers do not need smartphones to access savings, simply log on to and start clipping,” after entering your Kroger Plus Card number.

That means shoppers may clip digital coupons on your laptop at home, that go directly to their loyalty cards.

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