When is that US is not the same as United States?


Active Member
When is that US is not the same that United States? When defined by Skype (and a few others).

I'm tired of being excluded from significant discount offers from several vendors that exclude US Territories, but sometimes include Canada (is Canada more United States than the US Territories?). :angry:

I tried to use the new Skype offer of free calls to United States. First I learned that it didn't include calls TO Puerto Rico (which I dont care much). But then I noticed that I would not let me make calls to anywhere in the United States if I was calling FROM Puerto Rico. Then I found this in their Help section:

The free SkypeOut calling promotion is applicable in all 50 U.S. States and Canada. U.S. Territories (such as American Samoa, Guam, Saipan, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands) are not included in this offer.

Territories are explicitly excluded, but it does not say anything about the Disctrict of Columbia (which is not a state). Yes, I know. ;)

According to the US Law the definition of 'United States' includes Puerto Rico; also the definition of 'State' includes Puerto Rico (and the District of Columbia):

Other vendors that discriminate against us are Dell (force me to buy obsolete and expensive equipment from Dell Latin American), Amazon (can only buy books/media because they argue that manufacturers do not allow exporting* electronics, but Tiger.com and Newegg.com export* the same items without problem), and Buy.com (no apparent reason other than ignorance). Among others.

I assume that they simply dont know that US Federal law applies here - may be they believe that doing business here is like selling to Venezuela or Cuba.

Also, they ignore that the top 5 selling Sams Clubs in the world are in Puerto Rico. The top sellings JCPenney and Sears stores are in Puerto Rico. And when Kmart closed more than 300 stores in US, only one of them was in Puerto Rico (all the other 27 were too profitable - I'm not allowed to disclose numbers, but they were sky high here in comparison to the US stores). I wonder about CompUSA, but the stores are always crowded. Consumerism here is extremely high - a fertile market for any retailer.

I know that 99.9% or more of the members here are not affected, but I just needed to spit it out. :angry:

Thanks to AutomationOutlet and SmartHome that not only let me take advantage of the best offers, but also let me choose USPS Priority Mail as a shipment option. ;)UPS and FedEx ask ridiculous prices for AK, HI and PR (like international shipping).

Edited inmediately after posting to add note below:
*Note: Should have said 'shipping' instead of exporting. Shipping withing the US limits is not considered exporting.
Your premise is incorrect, United States is the 50 states and the federal district of Columbia. The possesions or dependent states belong but are not part of the US, it is that simple. Even non self governing territories like american samoa are not part of the US, they are possesions. Puerto Rico is a self governing commonwealth (it is not even an incorporated territory!), that is why PR has a recognized self determination process (it can choose to become a fully sovereign republic, remain associated as commonwealth or ask for us statehood)(states and the federal district do not have self determination because they are not possesions or dependent states, they are part of the union) .
Did you watch the Olympics when Puerto Rico defeated USA dream team in athens? Check sport link below.

US companies can discriminate all they want, many have Puerto Rico as international, others have extra goodwill and accept Puerto Rico and Canada orders as mainland US orders, even now some are including some high income zones of Mexico like Monterey thanks to Nafta.

1. http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2006/gacol3138.doc.htm
2. http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbo...ields/2128.html
3. http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/olympics_2...all/3567344.stm
I agree in that business can discriminate - I never said they cant. They do it in health insurances, etc. Very accurate there. There are some people here talking about making temporary boicotts against some of them (Dell, Amazon). Good luck getting organized. ;)

I know all the references that you include. Nice for the pride of some of my fellow residents (specially sports and local politics fans), but they are not the US Law. :angry: Several laws/codes/regulations define 'United States' with almost exactly the same text. Nothing the local sports/politics fans can do about it.

Like in sports, politics and Home Automation do not mix, so I'll leave it here. Good venting anyway. Feel better now. Don't you? :(

In other topic:
even now some are including some high income zones of Mexico like Monterey thanks to Nafta.
Yep, I worked 2 years in a company exporting to the Mexico Border, in addition to several other high income markets of Latin America and the Caribbean (22 markets in total - a nightmare to manage). Nice that this kind of openness is expanding, anyway. Do you imagine a world without Pampers? :angry: