85-year-old local refused sale of beer at Orangeville Sobeys

September 14, 2017   ·   0 Comments

By Mike Pickford

One elderly Orangeville resident was in for the shock of his life last month when he picked up a six-pack of beer at Sobeys.

The 85-year-old resident, who asked that his name not be disclosed, said he was buying the beer for his son, who enjoys a drink when the pair get together to play chess.

Unfortunately, this time his son had to do without, as the octometerian was turned away at the checkout when he tried to pay for the beer along with his regular batch of groceries.

“We were shopping as we usually were at the local Sobeys and I recognized the store had beer for sale. Thinking of my son, I figured I’d pick some up for the next time he came over,” he said. “When my beer arrived at the checkout register, the young lady there asked me for some identification.”

Taking a moment to smile while telling his story, the gentleman, sitting on his comfy looking couch at home, said it took him some time to figure out exactly what the cashier was asking for.

“I pulled out my credit card, thinking she just wanted to see something with my name on, but she replied ‘no, I need to see a proper card’… It was at that point I deduced that she wanted to see a card to show that I was over the age of 18,” he said. “In my wallet a had a health card, social insurance card, professional engineering licence, library card and several other membership cards, but none that showed that I was over 19.” (He had left his driver’s licence in  his car.)

He added, “I tried to point out that I had grandchildren older than her and that they were eligible to purchase alcohol. I further pointed out that I was 85 years old and, although I wished I was younger and looked younger, nobody would believe I was under the age of 19.

“The outcome – she would not sell me beer, citing company policy,” he finished.

It has been two years since the province started selling six-packs of beer and cider in grocery stores, with more than 130 grocers across Ontario now stocking their shelves with alcohol. Orangeville’s Sobeys was one of 76 stores to start selling this past Canada Day.

According to Sobeys website, the company is required to ID every individual looking to purchase beer or cider from one of its licensed stores. While he wasn’t particularly upset by the fact he wasn’t allowed to purchase the alcohol, our source believes Sobeys should adopt the type of system currently in place at The Beer Store and LCBO, where identification is sought only for those under 25 years of age.

“All it takes is a bit of common sense really. I can understand and appreciate that Sobeys doesn’t want to get caught selling beer to minors, but their policy seems a little silly to me,” he said.

It seems even sillier then when the gentlemen recounted a story told to him by his son-in-law who, when he tried to purchase a six-pack at the same location, was met with a slightly different, albeit still humorous reaction.

“He went in there, pretty much the same as me, and picked up some beer while he was doing his grocery shopping. When he got to the checkout counter, the cashier who was ringing him through jumped back and said she can’t ring the beer through, she can’t even touch the package,” he said. “So she called her manager over, who pulled the beer aside and rang it through on a different counter.

“The funny thing there is, my son-in-law tells me he wasn’t ID’d by the manager… And he looks a good few years younger than me!”

Tickled by the inconsistency, our elderly reader says he’ll give Sobeys a miss next time he’s looking to pick up some alcohol. Instead, he’ll visit one of the two local LCBOs or The Beer Store.

“I actually think it’s all kind of amusing, I’m not taking it too seriously at all,” he finished. “I just won’t bother with the beer aisle at Sobeys next time I’m in. It’s more trouble than it’s worth.”

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