The laptop sleeve that could destroy Western civilization

Is it just my weird computer, or are there actually zero posts on this thread?

Apparently the “sleeve” got him.

Look out for the “sleeve”… it’s…

How come nothing ever threatens Eastern civilization? Is China that stable? Or boring?

Plenty of things can threaten Eastern Civilization - just not this. You see, Clinton’s mismanagement of the military during his administration has enabled China to catch up to, and even surpass in some instances, American defense capabilities. Gentlemen, we have a lap top sleeve gap!

As gratifying as it is to see the thread soldiering on without me, it’s more than a little annoying to discover that my OP has gone walkabout. Obviously my OP was threatening to destroy Western Civilization as well.

I’ll try this again:

I am extremely frustrated at the moment. Here’s why:

Background: I am a US citizen currently living in the UK. I have a US credit card, the bills for which are sent to my UK address. The credit card company does not have a problem with that (as long as I pay them, of course).

We recently bought a very nice Sony VAIO laptop computer, and as we occasionally take it out of the house we wanted to get a little carrying sleeve to keep it from getting scratched up in our bags. So we look around the local computer stores, but there’s nothing in stock for our computer. Ditto for the UK websites. Okay then, we look on the US websites. Bingo! A lovely neoprene sleeve from Sony that will fit our laptop. So we order one. A simple procedure, yes? A simple procedure, no.

Sony won’t ship things outside the US from their US stores. No problem – we give them my inlaws’ address in Nebraska. They can forward it to us; it’s not like it’s a big heavy item. Problem solved.

Not quite. A message arrives from Sony that there has been a problem processing our order and they are cancelling it. The spouse phones up the number provided. The drone at the other end says that our order was flagged up because the billing address didn’t match the shipping address. Did we order this item? The spouse confirms yes, we ordered it and asked to have it shipped to the address given.

Problem. Apparently they can’t do that. Why? Because the billing address for the credit card is outside the US. This confuses us. What’s the problem? The credit card company is in the US, we have plenty of credit, the item only has to be shipped three states over.

The drone clarifies. “After September 11”, she says, Sony put in place a “policy”, the upshot of which is that because our credit card has a non-US billing address they can’t process our order. “Why?” “It’s a post 9/11 thing.”

Okay then, we say, can we order things from your European website? Yes, that would be fine, she says. Can we get this particular item? “Let me check.”

The answer turns out to be no. Apparently at some point this particular neoprene laptop sleeve tested badly in the German market, so Sony decided not to offer it for sale anywhere in Europe.

To recap:

  • We can’t buy it in Europe.
  • We can’t buy it from the US and have it shipped to us.
  • We can’t buy it from the US and have it shipped to a US address.

In other words, we can’t buy one.

“You could have your parents order it on their credit card and then reimburse them,” the drone helpfully suggests.

This is the last straw, and it’s all we can do to keep from leaping down the phone line and beating the poor drone at the other end into a wee greasy spot on the carpet. If the product is being shipped to the same address, and the money is coming to Sony from the same goddamn credit card company as we use, how is this different from us buying the item ourselves?

What the fuck is going on here? We’re talking about a $25 piece of flimsy plastic, not a frigging nuclear missile! At what point did laptop sleeves become a hazardous material? Did someone use one to hijack a plane? Are they made of a special material that can be converted into the anthrax virus? Did Osama bin Laden plan the NYC attacks on a VAIO and was successful only because his neoprene sleeve kept it from getting gouged up in the caves of Tora Bora? Sony, WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?!?

Dammit, Sony – sell me a fucking laptop sleeve!

That’s it – the terrorists have won…


FWIW, many companies I have dealt with won’t ship to any address different from the billing address, even if they’re both in the US.

So these companies don’t let people buy presents for other people?

My parents buy stuff and have it shipped to me all the time. If it’s worth it to you, I can buy the sleeve for you if you send me a check for it.

Thanks, that’s very kind, but the inlaws have already agreed to purchase it. It’s the policy I don’t understand.

If it were credit card fraud related, I could understand that. Heck, when we bought the computer our credit card company refused to authorize it until they had spoken to one of us personally and verified (via the “secret words”, etc.) that we were the actual cardholders. I’m quite happy about that; it means my card company is paying attention.

But even after Sony had verified that it was, in fact, our card and that we had indeed placed the order, they wouldn’t process it for “security reasons”. That’s just taking things a little too far.

And yes, what if it was a gift? Maybe we should have lied and told Sony that?


Well, the ones I had problems with were online computer parts vendors. They told me that they were concerned about credit card fraud.

Not saying that it doesn’t suck, but that I’m always surprised when an online company does allow a different shipping address.

What the fuck is going on in this fucking thread? I feel like I just joined in on a movie that is halfway over and one of the main characters has already died.

I have no fucking clue what this thread is about.

I can’t accept responsibility for any nonspecific cluelessness you may experience, but what happened here was that due to some technical fluke the thread was opened minus the original message, which caused some confusion. My first message further up recreates what the original one was, so if you start from there and read down it’ll make more sense.


I recall a friend of mine in college using another friend’s credit card (with permission) to order some computer equipment online. Apparently, the company had a policy not to allow something to be shipped to an address other than the credit card’s billing address. Although the billing address in this case was in West Virginia, and the shipping address was in New York, the company still processed the order and sent the stuff. To New Orleans. And refused to explain why, or offer a refund. I believe American Express was notified of the situation, and refused to pay for material that was sent to a completely random address many hundreds of miles away.

We can’t let a Commie in here! He’ll see everything! Why, he’ll see the laptop sleeve!

And they’re still in business?

In order to obtain the money that I will use to pay the company, I need to be at work during the day, and if the idiot UPS man (i’ve had many problems with my UPS guy) goes to my home, I won’t be there. So things must be shipped to work otherwise it’s way too inconvenient to actually get the item - and someone else will sell it to me and send it somewhere where it can be received. I cannot be the only person for whom this is true. I can’t imagine a company not accomodating us.