Saturday, September 19, 2009

On My Shit List (edited): Places that don't provide assistance to AE or AP addresses

Right now, top on my shit list is Ebay. They just did a new "improvement" that requires any address entered into their system to choose their state from a pull-down tab. Great, fine, it spares all those idiots who can't be bothered to type two letters into a state field. Great, right? Not so much. Because nowhere under United States is there "AE or AP, Armed Forces European/Armed Forces Pacific" or any variant thereof.
And unlike many places that have the pulldown tab and a manual entry tab, Ebay has been idiotic enough to eliminate the manual entry completely

After spending a lot of time on the phone arguing with the helpdesk person from India that Armed Forces Europe existed as a state, that the US Postal Service would confirm that they cheerfully deliver to it every day as a state with no extra shipping charges, and that they deliver to inside the United States, she finally pointed out that if I wanted to count "APO/FPO" as a separate country, I could make it happen.

What does this mean, aside from the fact that ebay is full of retards? That military people currently serving overseas buying from Ebay are going to start running into problems with idiots who insist that they're buying from outside the country and should be paying international rates, despite the fact that it doesn't cost international rates to ship to APO/FPO.

It's short sighted and stupid. I can tolerate it when small companies just learning the internet ropes make this mistake, but when a major, multi-billion dollar company makes this mistake? It is flat-out offensive.

Anyway, so I decided to start a list. I'm looking for contributions as well, so anyone who finds another company who does not offer support to military members stationed overseas by:
not allowing them something so simple as a manual tab
refusing to ship to APO addresses
does not acknowledge that APO addresses count as part of the United States for shipping purposes

shall be listed here, and hopefully be a little bit shamed.


Army Hippie Chick said...

that was one of the most frustrating things I encountered when I was stationed in Germany from '01-'05. I hoped it would have improved over the years. I ended up using a mailing service that gave me a US address and then forwarded mail to my APO address. It cost twice as much because I paid for shipping to the service and then paid for shipping to Germany, and then of course, it took twice as long to receive my packages. It was costly and cumbersome, but it was all I had at the time. I'm really surprised that eBay is one of them now. I'm on my way back to the sandbox next month, so I'm sure I'll be making some contributions to your list. I'm really enjoying your blog. Keep up the good work!

Jen said...

Blogs who claim they aren't blogs. That is my shit list of the day.

Anonymous said...

You know that if you just put APO AE as the city and NY as the state with the 09096 zip, all these problems go away. NY is where all your mail comes from anyway. That is why it is hard for Germans to mail you anything. It has to go the states and back.

Now given that because of certain weight restrictions, I can't get a dollhouse sent for my daughter from amazon.

Anonymous said...

glad to hear that e-bay is not supporting the US occupation of Europe. I don't get this blog at all, of course "armed forces europe" is not a county...

IronMike said...

Hey, but they have Marshall Islands and American Samoa!

Seriously, though, they also don't list DPO addresses, and surely that will piss off State Dept folks.

IronMike said...

and to anonymous #2: Europe asked for our assistance and continue to ask for us to stay, so bite me. (Do some reading: Europe asked US to join NATO, not the other way around.)

dlearyously said...

The Container Store won't ship to APO/FPO because "too many packages are lost going there". Nine years overseas and only one package never made it to me from other stores. Now that I'm back in the states I refuse to shop with them.