Pensioner fights back against ageist finance policy

Sudbury, Suffolk. Charles 'Lee' Gardner has won a battle against ageism by changing the financing policy at Glasswells allowing him to buy his reclining chair. ANL-141014-170837009
Sudbury, Suffolk. Charles 'Lee' Gardner has won a battle against ageism by changing the financing policy at Glasswells allowing him to buy his reclining chair. ANL-141014-170837009

An 82-year-old man has raised awareness of ageism after he was refused a reclining chair on credit because of his age.

Thanks to the efforts of Charles Gardner, pensioners of any age will be able to buy on credit after Glasswells in Bury St Edmunds updated its policy.

The grandfather from Great Cornard first went into the store in August to look at buying a reclining chair, but he was told that the firm’s “buy now, pay later” option had a cut-off age of 80.

Mr Gardner refused to accept this policy and brought the issue to the attention of the company.

He sought advice from a solicitor and from Age Concern UK, but discovered financial cut-off ages were a “grey area” in the law.

“I thought I should do something about it,” said Mr Gardner. “I wanted to make it better for somebody else behind me.”

The company agreed to look into the issue for Mr Gardner and discovered that the third party which supplies its finance agreements had scrapped the age cap entirely.

Glasswells sales director Kevin Robertson was able to implement the change in store, allowing pensioners like Mr Gardner to buy on credit regardless of their age.

“It was a positive outcome and I’m glad we were able to help him,” said Mr Robertson.

Mr Gardner’s daughter, Lorraine, said she was proud of her father for raising the issue to help other elderly people who may otherwise have been restricted by an age cap.

“I think he has done a wonderful job,” she said. “He’s done it for the people who come after him – the people who need one of these chairs but can’t afford to buy it outright.”