Ed Almos asks: "I don't know about other Slashdot readers, who happen to live outside the US, but I'm in Hungary, and am finding it more and more difficult to purchase goods and services over the web. The sites are there, the money is in my account, but the sites won't sell me anything! Can someone come up with a logical reason for these policies? Last time I checked I was using the WORLD Wide Web, and there seems little point wasting bandwidth to post your website to the world when only those living in the USA can buy and/or use the product. Then again, is this yet another example of the Internet and the rest of the world becoming more and more centered on the continental USA? The final irony? I'm originally from Maine. These folk won't even sell to one of their own!"
"Here are a few examples:
IBM, Apple and Dell operate web stores that sell almost their entire range of kit, they only ship to the USA. Power Notebooks have the same policy but cite different reasons (see below). Some manufacturers have local country websites but these offer a restricted range compared to the main site.
Apple has their new iTunes system. As I am outside the USA they will not let me logon to the system.
Amazon.com are willing to sell me books but nothing else.
The reasons for this policy range from the (almost) reasonable to the downright silly. Amazon cite difficulties with warranty returns as their reason and while most of the rest won't tell me why they don't want my business Power Notebooks told me that recent anti-terrorist legislation stops them from exporting equipment. Quite why they cannot export a notebook originally manufactured in the Far East is beyond me.
Getting the kit to me in Hungary is no problem either. FedEx and UPS have local offices and if that fails there is always the Hungarian Postal Service. Shipping time from the USA can be as short as two working days, I know this because my company obtains spares from the USA for our products."