Since August 2018 I have used Amazon to send my uncle bottles of Ricard – his favourite pastis. He is 88, has limited mobility, no driving licence, no passport and no other form of photo ID.
However, Amazon now requires the recipient to present some form of photo ID to prove they’re over 18. He is therefore ineligible to receive certain products.
Amazon assures me that there are no exceptions. I think this is unfair and discriminatory.
BL, Surbiton, Surrey
We sense your irritation over an 88-year-old being asked for documentary evidence that they are over 18. However, online retailers are expected to ask for proof of age to comply with the law. Some may say it is a sledgehammer to crack a nut, others that it is an essential tool to stop potentially harmful and dangerous goods getting into (younger) hands.
In England and Wales (with similar rules for Scotland) Trading Standards has to enforce the law relating to age-restricted products, including alcohol, cigarettes and tobacco, fireworks, offensive weapons such as knives, solvents (all 18) and party poppers, petrol, aerosol spray paints, lottery and “instant win” cards (all 16).
Amazon referred us to its “strict” age restrictions for delivering alcohol. If an adult over 18 is not available at an address, or an adult cannot show valid photo ID, the item is redelivered the following day.
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