Ontario E-Commerce Nightmare

    January 17, 2006

maOn a popular gift shop site — it boasts that it’s one of only 50 of 62,000 rated businesses that earned the BizRate circle of excellence — I came across this doozy:

“We regret that our site is not specifically designed to accommodate shipping to Canada, but we are happy to ship your [site name] purchases to Canada. Please follow these steps:

  • Select “Canadian” shipping for your shipping option.
  • Please fill in the complete information of the destination address in the available fields provided. Include city, region, postal codes, country and any other relevant information.
  • In the field for “state”, select “AK” and enter “10000” for the zip code. Make sure all relevant information is in the other fields.

Please be aware that you are responsible for any customs or duties.”

I think what they mean is: “we ship to Canada, but our web design company screwed us and we’re too scared/cheap/lazy to fix the website.”

Update: I just called to place my order. No luck here, either! I was told that these folks can’t take any credit card issued outside of the US. The way to order is to send a certified check or money order… Man, if you’re big enough to have staff taking calls from 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., then surely… you can take somebody’s Amex even from an incredibly high risk zone like, um, Toronto.

Couldn’t I just Paypal it to somebody?

Andrew Goodman is Principal of Page Zero Media, a marketing consultancy which focuses on maximizing clients’ paid search marketing campaigns.

In 1999 Andrew co-founded Traffick.com, an acclaimed “guide to portals” which foresaw the rise of trends such as paid search and semantic analysis.