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100 years of solitude: Elderly woman denied credit card

August 15, 2012

In most cases, credit card companies are eager to sign up as many people as they can.

In most cases, credit card companies are eager to sign up as many people as they can. However, in one recent instance, a nearly 100-year-old Florida resident was told that she was too old to sign up for a card at a store.

ABC News reports that Madeleine Otto tried to sign up for a program at a retail store in order to save $10 but was told that she was too old. As one can imagine, the situation was quite sad for the woman and the cashier felt bad for her as a result.

“She came around and hugged me and said she was sorry,” Otto told the news station “I was embarrassed, I felt bad about it,” she said. “I’m 100 years old – I drive, I do everything myself, I shop. I’m not like an ordinarily 100 year old.”

However, according to Credit.com’s  director of consumer education Gerri Detweiller, the Equal Credit Opportunity Act outlaws such discriminatory tactics. The issue came up because the computer program falsely thought Otto was born a century later in 2012, making her the age of a baby.

In many cases, retailers will offer credit card programs to customers as a way to incentivize purchases.  The companies must ensure that the merchant services are in place before implementing the system fully.

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