Bad news for regular Amazon.com shoppers who live in United States territories: the online retail behemoth now limits their free Super Saver shipping to only residents of the fifty states. Reader Barbara in Puerto Rico wonders why this is. “They ship all their stuff through USPS anyway,” she points out, “so the postage difference is zero!” [More]
Over the weekend, we wrote about how Apple had decided to cancel all shipments of free iPhone 4 cases to Puerto Rico because they were “unable to ship to an international address.” Well it looks like someone at Apple checked out Wikipedia and found out that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens and shipping to the island doesn’t cross any national borders. [More]
Sorry Puerto Ricans, even though you bought your iPhone 4s with U.S. dollars, endure AT&T’s shoddy “national” coverage, and are United States citizens, Apple doesn’t think you’re entitled to a free case like real Americans. Apple originally told Puerto Ricans that they would qualify for free apology cases, but decided to cancel all orders being shipped to Puerto Rico after claiming that they were “unable to ship to an international address.” [More]
So, Puerto Rico is a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States. Its head of state is Barack Obama. Its currency is the US Dollar. So why is one of Chris Elliott’s readers being charged an international transaction fee on her Visa? [More]
Puerto Rico and other U.S. Territories are in sort of an awkward place. Are they part of America, or not? Sure, they can’t vote in presidential elections, but they are on the back of a quarter. This confusion has led to problems for Netflix users in Puerto Rico. Netflix will provide them with DVDs-by-mail service at the same price as service in the 48 contiguous United States, but considerably slower. However, they won’t let Puerto Rico customers stream movies over the Internet, which would be handy while they wait three or four days for their DVDs to show up.
A review of FDA reports shows that Puerto Rico’s pharma industry has exported pills with metal in them, pills with incorrect dosages, and pills with paint from the factory doors embedded in the finishing, among other defects. One company, responding to the findings, said “some metallic material was to be expected because the manufacturing equipment is made of metal.” The FDA says the problems in Puerto Rico, which makes 13 of the top 20 best-selling drugs, are proportional to those found on the mainland. Consumer advocates contend that that just shows how ineffective the FDA is, both on the island, and on the mainland. If those are the defects inspectors found, imagine which ones they didn’t, and are inside our bodies right now.