Hey! Newsflash! It’s the *World Wide* Web!

Last Updated on: 25th February 2023, 02:41 pm

Here’s a rant for people who build an online shop, and then forget what that www at the beginning is all about. Let me just describe five incidents I have had where I have wanted to buy something for someone in another country, and I couldn’t do it, because I didn’t live in that country. These five incidents come readily to mind. I’m sure there are more.

I wanted to buy some C’s Candies for someone who was in guide dog class in the states. Everything was just going tickity boo…until it wasn’t. It asked for my zip code, and the form would not take letters. It would not! I had to phone a toll free number and negotiate with someone to get them to enter my stuff manually!

I am well aware that C’s Candies doesn’t ship outside the U.S. But that doesn’t mean people in other countries don’t have American friends and don’t want to give C’s Candies their money. This is a global market, and no, The US is not the centre of it.

The next three incidents stemmed from the same situation. I was in a secret Santa gift exchange. Whenever I have been in a secret Santa exchange that had members in Canada and the states, I always said I was willing to pair up with people from either country. But after this shit show, I might change my mind, even though that would narrow the pool drastically.

The person said that she liked gift cards from the Old Spaghetti Factory, iTunes, or somewhere called Batch & Brine. So I thought I would get her something from the Old Spaghetti Factory. I thought it would be fun! I also thought it would be easier because we have Old Spaghetti Factories up here.
Nope! Postal codes were not possible, and even if you want to send it to someone in the US, you need to enter your billing address to order anything. When I reached out to them by email, they flatly said no.

So I tried the Batch & Brine place. They valiantly tried to help me, but their system just wasn’t built for it.

Then I tried iTunes, ya know, the giant seller of apple products? Nope. You can only buy iTunes cards for people in your own country. This is harder than you would think to find out, and even when I called Apple directly, I got the biggest runaround imaginable, and the people answering my call didn’t even know!

I got her an Amazon gift card, but I had to remember to not use Amazon.ca, because if I had, she couldn’t have used it on amazon.com! Like seriously, Apple and Amazon, I’m sure you could manage currency conversion.

In another secret Santa exchange, the person said she liked pizza, so I was looking for a gift card for a local pizza place in her town. But I ran into another example of only zip codes allowed. I had to keep calling for days until someone could help me out. They are lucky I’m determined. I never heard from the secret Santa person if that pizza was any good. I sure hope it was at least decent.

You would think after COVID, when people were shipping all sorts of parcels, that stores would realize the whole international space. But nope, this is not the case. In fact, it almost feels like it’s gotten worse. But maybe I just never had to try and buy from so many American retailers.

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