So you think you want my money?

Really, folks, I agree with you sometimes. I’m more than happy to give you my hard-earned money to purchase your products sometimes. Hey, I’m even willing to do the ordering online and pay to have the stuff delivered to my military address.

So, I ask you in all seriousness, would it be too much trouble to keep up with the calendar? After all, it is now 2006. That’s almost 30 years since the Post Office came up with a dandy way to let me give you money and you to give me stuff in return.

I’m obviously referring to the APO/FPO addresses the Post Office created back in the very early 1980s (or was it very late 1970s?). For the uninitiated, APO or FPO is considered the city and AP, AE, or one of a number of other two letter designations is considered the state.

So, do you really want my money? FIX YOUR LOUSY WEBSITE!

You think that’s bad? I logged onto the website of a particular bike manufacturer today to try to find a local dealer (I know they are sold here). Their website includes a “dealer finder”. It covers the whole world. Except Australia, which simply doesn’t exist. Apparently.

What fascinates me is that some of the outfits about whom I’m complaining actually tout their wares to the military. Kind of odd that they can’t figure out how to get stuff to them, isn’t it?

You’ve lost me.
Fill us Non-Millitary people in, huh?

What boggles me is when website pretend to accomodate you, but do so in a half-assed way that doesn’t actually let you complete the transaction. There’s a air purifier company that lets you order replacement filters onlineand in their order form, has a space for “Country”. The “Zip Code” field, however, only takes 5 characters, and only numbers. I trust we all see the problem here.

APO means Army Post Office; FPO means Fleet Post Office; AP means Armed Forces Pacific; AE means Armed Forces Europe; and there are a few other 2 charachter abbreviations for the Armed Forces. Those abbreviations go into the State field of the address.

It’s a big thing for me because when I pay with my credit card, the billing address I type into the order form must match the billing address on file with my bank. Since that’s an APO AP address, it would be nice to have the American merchants actually catch up with the times, as mentioned in the OP, of approximately 30 years ago.

That habit annoys me pretty much the most out of anything else on the Web. It’s so stupid, it beggars belief, when on sites that claim to market to the world. UK websites do it too. Srutip itoids.

In other words, the required fields for shipping/billing address on most websites will not accomodate an APO/FPO address. They are set up to accomodate “normal” addresses like : Lee from Texas
123 Any Street
Leander, TX 78641

My last APO address was : Lee from Texas
A Co 3/141 INF
APO AE 09354

It just doesn’t fit in a standard address template. Something just as bad are companies that just will not ship to APO/FPO addresses, period. What the hell is that all about?

Can UPS deliver to an APO or FPO address?

Thank you for pointing this out. I wonder how many websites are losing prospective business because of this oversight?

Of course not! It was dissolved by Act of Parliament in 1973. Didn’t you get the memo? (Sheesh, you’d think the least he could do would be to keep up with the news. Some people.)

Perhaps the manufacturer has no authorized distributor in Australia and what you’re finding are gray market goods. If that’s not the case, you should find the comments email address on the manufacturer’s website and ask them about this.

But noone knew where to send the memo to. When they addressed it to
That Big Island, nr. New Zealand the post office blew a fit.

Seriously, these US military addresses are hardly common knowledge to anyone outside the military, and with rules that state you can’t sell to certain countries, it becomes common to filter out unknown and known but unallowed country designations from address forms. Though it seems inexcusable for a web site that caters especially to military personnel.

Generally, no. However, the USPS can successfully convey the mail to the appropriate Military Post Office, which can then carry the parcels to the addressees. The company I work for, when executing an RMA to a military installation overseas, will make a rare arrangement to send the package via USPS.

Here’s your problem

Perhaps they could manage to check the Post Office site’s faq for those rules (type in APO)?

Or maybe they could just use the ZIP Code finder page. I punched in my ZIP (96206) and here’s what I got in return:

Ain’t that odd?