Until recently I worked as a social worker and benefited from the Blue Light Card discount scheme for public service employees. I used it to save money on my weekly shop in Asda, as well as in high street stores such as Next.
I retired last summer and when I attempted to renew my card I was turned down. While retired members of the armed forces, police, fire service and NHS are still eligible, social care staff are not because they cannot provide a “consistent form of ID”.
I feel strongly that we are being discriminated against for no good reason.
The Blue Light Card scheme gives members of the emergency services, NHS, social care sector and armed forces access to thousands of discounts, and I agree that it doesn’t seem fair to treat one group differently once they retire.
Blue Light Card says: “We take member verification very seriously as this enables us to negotiate market-leading discounts. In order to do this, we require each of our members to provide a valid form of ID, which is reviewed by our team before we can approve a membership request.
“Unfortunately, as far as we are aware, there is currently no existing, standardised and consistent form of ID for retired social care workers that would allow us to make this verification to complete the process. Should this change in the future, we would be more than happy to review this.”
For the others, evidence of their dedicated pension scheme suffices as ID – but not the local authority one that you have.
I can understand your frustration and wonder if there is a professional body that could help resolve this anomaly? Have other readers been affected by this and found a solution?
Some credit where it’s due
I’d like to congratulate Alpkit. Last summer we bought a tent. It performed very well on a month-long tour of France but one of the poles developed a small split.
We emailed to see if we could buy a new one and it sent us a replacement section for free.
JD, by email
We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Consumer Champions, Money, the Guardian, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions