Online retailer to verify age of customers

16 September, 2008

Online retailer The Drinks Shop has introduced software to automatically check the age of potential customers on the electoral register.

The company said the system broke new ground for age verification in web-based drinks retailing.

As well as checking names and ages against the electoral roll, the system will check utility company records to weed out under-age purchasers.

The software was developed in-house by technical director Matthew Blackstone to integrate with the company's bespoke WinGo software. That application controls the retailer's order processing, customer relations management, accounting, dispatch, marketing, stock control and site content.

Managing director Tim Francis said: "The development is one of the most important steps in the company's 10-year history. "Our controls include interfacing automatically with sources such as BT and credit reference agency databases.

"The development and maintenance is a substantial investment for us and we believe that all online drinks retailers and other industries with similar customer age requirements should implement such controls by law," he added.

The Drink Shop claims to be one of the world's biggest online drinks retailers with more than 3,000 stock items.




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Richard Hemming MW: beware inverse snobbery

Few things can bring communal pleasure so intimately as wine. Apart from a hot tub, perhaps. Sport can trigger mass jubilation, film gives us shared empathy, but wine has a nigh-unique ability to bestow conviviality among us through a shared bottle ľ which makes it especially galling that we spend so much time divided over it.

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