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John Sergeant, Sheila Ferguson, Harry Redknapp, June Brown, Michael Whitehall, Ruth Madoc and Amanda Barrie in Hard to Please OAPs. (Image: ITV)

We were very excited to learn that K Ring was to be featured on Episode 2 of ITV’s Hard to Please OAPs last night – a series pitting celebrities of a certain age against the latest tech – if only to see just how many different ways they could fail to use our contactless payment ring...

If Episode 1 was anything to go by (Dot Cotton arguing with Alexa about Mexican chicken scones), we knew that the show’s focus on conflict and comedy would elicit some amusing moments with our contactless payment ring – and we weren’t wrong.

Why would you want to go round with a ring in your pocket...?

Michael Whitehall (comedian Jack Whitehall’s dad)

Fast-forward to the twelve-minute mark, and Michael Whitehall and Harry Redknapp are tasked with using K Ring on a Windsor shopping spree. They’re each handed a K Ring by Sheila Ferguson, who’s kind enough not to burden them with any information beyond: “The idea is that they connect to the till, and Bob’s your uncle.”

What else could they possibly need to know? In the real world, our customers have the benefit of an integral instruction diagram that comes in the ring box, presumably withheld in this case as the producers felt that showing an older person using tech to easily and successfully make a payment would make for boring telly. And they’re probably right.

Our customers usually get to see the handy instruction diagram that comes in the K Ring box

So, misunderstanding the concept of “contactless” (as pointed out by Jennifer Saunders’s welcome voice-over), Whitehall attempts to buy some fudge with his K Ring by slapping his palm down on the card reader and applying additional pressure with his other hand. Which, to be fair, is a lot more amusing than watching him use his K Ring properly, but does send out the wrong message to the millions of elderly people who could genuinely benefit from using K Ring. Whitehall eventually gives up, removing his K Ring and handing it to a bemused shopkeeper, who then presents it to the terminal in the correct orientation to make a successful payment. It was a pleasure to finally hear the beep.

I’ve got to be truthful: this thing is rubbish.

Harry Redknapp (reigning King of the Jungle)

Next, Harry Redknapp attempts to buy over £100-worth of menswear with his K Ring – because that’s considerably more amusing than sticking to the current £30 UK contactless limit. It’s clear that he’s not aware of the correct hand gesture either, so eventually takes off his K Ring and holds it near the terminal to complete his first purchase. But at least he does it himself, so there’s that. Unhappy to be constrained by the rubbish £30 limit, Redknapp pays for his remaining items with a big wad of notes, ostentatiously failing to embrace the whole cashless thing.

Amusing as Hard to Please OAPs is, its sole purpose as a piece of light entertainment appears to be to reinforce the myth that the elderly and technology just don’t mix (which is obviously nonsense or the global stair-lift industry wouldn’t be worth over a billion dollars). Given the relevant information and – where necessary – guidance, we know that K Ring can be (and is) used by the elderly to make their lives simpler and easier. For many, there just isn’t an easier and more convenient way to make a payment: no fumbling around in a bag or pocket for cash or cards; no counting change; if it’s on your finger, there’s no forgetting where you’ve left it; there’s less chance of dropping it or leaving it somewhere; there’s no need to have to remember a PIN... There are numerous reasons why the elderly can significantly benefit from using K Ring – and many other tech products – but that won’t happen in a world where they’re allowed to continue to assume that technology is beyond them, or where they don’t receive the required help to get them up and running.

The bottom line is that OAPs aren’t particularly hard to please, as long as they’re empowered rather than simply left to their own devices.


Episode 2 of Hard to Please OAPs is available to watch on the ITV Hub until 14th May (skip to 12:07 for the contactless action): https://www.itv.com/hub/hard-to-please-oaps/2a5710a0002

Watch our video showing how easy it is to make a payment with K Ring (if it’s used properly!).

K Ring and gift cards can be purchased in our online K Store.


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17 Apr 2019