Wednesday, July 12, 2017

My guess is that Barack Obama, having been born in Hawaii, is ALSO unable to stream Amazon Prime....

Never mind the video; I didn't bother to watch it and it really has absolutely nothing to do with what I hope you all consider an hysterically forehead-slapping blog post.  I just wanted to include a clip from my friends at Amazon Prime, all of whom deserve this snark more than most of the people I blog about....

Ok, here's the setup: I have Amazon Prime, which means I have access to Amazon Prime Video.  I'm in Vermont, which I THOUGHT had been part of the United States since 1791 (not trying to be pedantic, there's a payoff coming up, I promise) on summer vacation and I thought I'd just play a video to pass the time.

The video started, only to be interrupted seconds later by a message:  "Access to this Video is Prohibited due to Geographical Licensing Restrictions."  I tried another video, and got the same message.  Then another.  And then one more.

Then I wrote to Amazon for an explanation.  And hilarity ensued.  Here's their response, copied and pasted from my email.  I haven't changed a single word.  I am not kidding:

Hello John,

I understand that you're facing issues accessing "Amazon Prime Videos" in Vermont. I'm sorry for any inconvenience you had to experience because of this.

Kindly understand, currently Amazon Instant Video content can only be purchased, streamed, and downloaded by customers in the 50 United States, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories, if you've subscribed for Prime from

I realize that it is disappointing to know about this, but please understand that due to content licensing restrictions and other restrictions placed by the content owners, we are unable to offer the Instant Video content to the customers outside U.S.

I realize how convenient it would be for all our customers if the feature of providing access to Prime Videos outside U.S. is implemented and I've taken your comments as feedback and forwarded it to our Instant Video team for consideration as we make future improvements.

Please be assured that we're collating feedback's from our customers and forwarding them to our Instant Video team, so that we can show them increasing demand for making this feature available for customers.

As an alternative, I would like to bring to your kind notice that, selected Amazon titles are the only Prime content able to be streamed and downloaded outside the U.S. and its territories. To find other titles that are available, please use the following link:

Again, I can completely understand how frustrating and annoying the situation can be when something like this happens but believe us it was never our intention. Please accept my sincere apologies for this.

I hope this helps. Your patience and understanding is greatly appreciated in this matter.

Thank you for your continued support and understanding as a Loyal Amazon customer. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

We'd appreciate your feedback. Please use the buttons below to vote about your experience today.

Best regards,

So there you are, folks.  Vermont is not part of the U.S. and it's territories.  It's some weird foreign entity, and Amazon Prime is simply not available outside of the U.S. and it's territories, so I'm totally out of luck.

You just can't make this crap up.  I think Lilly from the Grammarly commercials must have typed this letter. Just brilliant, Amazon!  Now if you'll excuse me, I have to check the site to see what movies I am allowed to stream during my stay in this exotic, obviously foreign locale. All I can hope is that someday Vermont's application for statehood is approved.  



  1. ...the people they put in charge these days ....

  2. I would have thought that Sira is also not from the States but since she's obviously too stupid to look at a God-damned map, she must be Murrican.

    1. Update: Amazon suggests that perhaps my internet service- Fairpoint, whose headquarters is in North Carolina- may be "based outside the United States."

    2. You don't suppose this may be another reason they should try to figure out how to keep enough "brick-and-mortar" stores open to accommodate those who either don't own SmartPhones or encounter problems attempting online shopping.

  3. I know this sounds awful, but I am kind of grateful to know I am not the only person who's been victimized by being geoblocked in error.

    Here's what happened to me: I pay an annual subscription to an online channel to watch certain sporting events. I was happily watching the most important event of the year LIVE, when, about two minutes before the end (the outcome was still in doubt), the network quit on me.

    When I furiously called the network to demand an explanation, they told me my service had been blocked because my computer was outside the U.S. I explained to them that my state was one of the 50 U.S. states and that was where my computer was. They looked into it and told me that it appeared to their technicians that my computer was located in the Netherlands. I asked them to look into it again, as my computer is most definitely here in America with me.

    They eventually got back to me and told me there was nothing they could do about it. They are not refunding my subscription money.

    Major consumer ripoffs are happening thanks to mistaken geoblocking. These companies need to get their act together.