<Editor’s Note: If you do shop online, then why not help us by raising donations via Easyfundraising.org? The donations come from the retailers you’re already buying from, so will only cost you a couple of clicks more than it would without the donation. You can sign up and download the donation reminder bar here.>
The Internet and its power to enable users to purchase goods online, and then have them delivered to the house, means that many disabled people having been encouraged to shop online, no longer need to struggle out to the supermarket, or department store and do their shopping
However, not all disabled people like using the Internet, and resist the juggernaut that keeps pushing everybody online. I think many people regard a visit to the supermarket more as a social experience, where they meet friends for coffee, or have a friendly chat, is for some aged or disabled folk, the only human contact they might get all week, and so a shopping trip to have a chance to speak to someone is most welcome.
Many stores have staff, to help with the shopping and picking, or getting the goods into the car boot. So if one is not bothered about online shopping, then use of a vehicle to shop is a good option. Unless of course the DWP of this UK Government have their assessors take away DLA/ Motability, which will affect the lease of Motability vehicle, scooter or mobility allowance. In essence, those who lose Motability or DLA might be cheered that at least they can get shopping delivered via the Internet and there are transport options aren’t there?
Despite the last 20 -30 years of development in shopping online, the disabled, frail and elderly are again at the mercy of the supermarkets, who are increasing the value of shopping bought online, before they will deliver it for free. Delivery plans, as monthly delivery charges are called, appear to be about paying the supermarket a monthly amount of money in order to get a “free” delivery. Or if you do not fancy regular payments to a Supermarket it is highly unlikely that you will get any delivery made free where the order is below £40. Most elderly, disabled, or aged people do not need a £40 shop, and buying unnecessary food or goods to get the delivery free would be a complete waste.
The supermarkets are only doing what is good for their business, by making delivery from online shopping at least break even. Otherwise nobody would get a delivery at all.
At the moment the four main supermarkets in Aberdeen, Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrison’s all have these charges. At this comparison site you can read what the charges are.
ASDA, Morrisons, Sainsburys and Tesco all have stores in Aberdeen, and to reproduce their delivery charges or payment plans for getting delivery, would take up a lot of space. Suffice to say if you are not prepared to buy at least £40 at a time, or purchase a year –round delivery plan at roughly £8 per month on average, then best to study each supermarket terms and conditions separately at the comparison site link above.
To add another problem, British Telecom will inform its customers shortly that on 3 July 2016, the cost of line rental, broadband, TV & telephone call packages, will rise yet again.
This will be the third increase in eighteen months. For those people who need a BT Line to the house, to make sure they have tele –health services, or emergency contact with a Hospital Dept., , and who are probably already trying to cope with the reduction in benefits, or job loss, this is yet another body –blow. To read how Telehealth and Telecare Services work in Aberdeen go here.
However, the other broadband suppliers are also raising their prices . You can check prices here.
So even if one can afford the online charges, then getting goods or groceries delivered might also be expensive. The Government seems intent on pushing online interaction with the DWP and other Government Departments, but if one needs to use the internet to shop, look for work or just communicate, then it all becomes rather expensive. Publicly –shared computers are indeed at Libraries or Internet cafes, but I return to the problem I have highlighted. If one cannot access these places easily, or public transport is required, and because of location, isolation, or having had DLA/Motability, or ESA benefits stripped, then how do you get online cheaply and easily?
Ofcom want to make it all simpler and easier to understand . That’s fine, if you can afford it in the first place and see through the misleading adverts to get the best deal.
You can also read about Transport alternatives here. http://www.aad-online.com/advice/national-entitlement-card/
BBC’s Rip –OFF Britain Programme discusses these supermarket delivery issues along with the confusing money saving offers by supermarkets.
The introduction of these supermarket and telecom charges will inconvenience, and disproportionately affect disabled people who maybe rely on store or supermarket delivery to do their shopping. Another unseen effect will be the fall in giving to Charities such as the EasyFundraising.org service on our Facebook Page.
These services as far as the disabled are concerned, are not convenience, or a luxury, they are a necessity in most cases, because of location, transport, health, or Government promoted sanctions to get online and search for work. Difficult to do, if the benefit is reduced, transport is not cheap, and broadband is going up in price. Simply put, the maths do not add up to an economic way of fulfilling what the Government is demanding of the disabled. These supermarket charges for delivery just add to that feeling of unfairness and being “ under siege” .
Have you found any reliable mobile or broadband supplier that means you no longer use a landline? Can you offer any advice on that – with regard to the tele-health and needs of our readers?