Amazon Accidentally Reunites Ireland
It's a question as old as, well, July 5, 1994 -- What, can't Amazon, do? Since its founding 26 years ago, the e-commerce giant has expanded well beyond its original mission of selling books, adapting to offer same-day delivery on pretty much any item you could ever want, a wide array of streaming options, and as of last week, the reunification of Ireland -- well, at least on Twitter.
So how did this ridiculous feat, one that has evaded world leaders and paramilitary forces for decades, come about? Over the weekend, a customer that had recently relocated to Ballyclare, Northern Ireland, which is a part of the United Kingdom, from the Republic of Ireland, which is most definitely not, tweeted a complaint to the company as he was unable to watch a live rugby match on Amazon Prime, the BBC reported. Yet Amazon's response expanded beyond customer service, reuniting two countries that have been independent for nearly a century.
"Thank you for that information," wrote the @AmazonHelp Twitter account. "We apologize but upon reviewing your location, you're in Northern Ireland. Rugby Autumn Nations Cup coverage is exclusively available to Prime members based in the UK. We don't have the rights to other territories."
Many other amused internet users tried to correct the international company's glaring geography error, but their attempts were futile -- Amazon was seemingly deadset on reuniting Ireland.
"Many apologies but, we don't have the broadcast rights for Ireland or other territories," they wrote in response to a tweet clarifying that Northern Ireland was, in fact, a part of the UK.
Yet after four hours, and a number of jokes, swapping the lyrics of the Irish rebel song, "Come Out Ye Blacks and Tans" with "Come Out Ye Package Fans" ...
... replacing Northern Ireland's "You Are Now Entering Free Derry" sign with "Free Delivery ... "
And dubbing the whole digital reunification the "Black Friday Agreement", a play on the Good Friday Agreement ...
... Amazon finally issued an apology -- not only for the miscommunication but also, apparently, for the violent ethno-nationalist struggle that largely took place in Northern Ireland from the late 1960s to the late 1990s.
"Hi there! We apologize for the troubles," they wrote, appearing to unintentionally reference the Irish conflict of the same name. "The Ireland vs Wales and Ireland vs Georgia matches will only be available on Prime Video as a replay, 2 hours after the live broadcast. Visit https://amzn.to/3pxvONU to see the full schedule. We hope this helps."
The clarification did not in fact help, instead, sending Twitter further into a frenzy.
"'We apologize for the troubles' Amazon bravely takes responsibility for three decades of sectarian war in Ireland," wrote New York Times reporter, @liamstack.
"Amazon's social media team is having quite the time of it when it comes to Northern Ireland." quipped BBC's @BBCJamesCook.
Come on, Amazon. You're worth more than $1 trillion. I'm sure you can afford to buy an Irish history book and maybe a map while you're at it. You don't even need to pay for free delivery. Alexa, play "Zombie" by The Cranberries.