I can't say I'm surprised. Most from this country can't name all 50 of them either...especially those rectangles and squares in the middle. The map they were given was a bit confusing too as both Alaska and Hawaii were moved from their actual location to where Mexico would be. A few of the Londoners still located the 49th and 50th state, some mixed them up, and others left them alone altogether.
While Hawaii and Alaska are not attached to the rest of the country, they ARE still part of the US. While I'm not sure what the rest of the world is taught about our geography, how specific they go beyond locating the country, I am almost certain that the high powered executives that run companies like Staples, Amazon, Costco, and Home Depot DO know that Hawaii and Alaska are part of the United States. So why is it that they either refuse to ship there or charge more to do so?
With the holidays right around the corner, I've been making my shopping list and checking it twice. Since I'll be spending Christmas in Hawaii this year, it is much easier to order gifts (what I can) and just have them sent right to Hawaii than buy them here and try to lug them over in my luggage. Plus, the tax in Hawaii is only like 4% compared to our 10%. That's the beauty of online shopping, right? Well, wrong, a lot of the time when shipping to Hawaii (and Alaska).
After shopping around for the electronics on my list, I found that Staples had the best deal on the price and free shipping. However, after entering all of my shipping information the order stopped with a "We don't ship to Hawaii" message. Most everything else I needed I was able to order on Amazon. I had just recently signed up for a free month of Amazon Prime, which offers free 2-day shipping and is amazing when I'm having things delivered here - sometimes it only takes a day and it's even been delivered on SUNDAY! Anyhow, after having all my items in the cart, ready to pay, I got to the shipping screen....a few of the items were not available 2 day, but were guaranteed 5 day, a few more were not guaranteed any time, and they wanted to charge me $5 to send a gift card for Kindle books to Hawaii - the exact same gift card that came in an envelope through the regular mail was going to be free sent to my house but $5 to send to Hawaii. When I send mail to Hawaii it still costs me $0.49 to mail an envelope so where in the world did they come up with $5?!?!?
That's the thing about all of these weird shipping practices. When using the US Postal Service, the costs don't change because it's Hawaii. Their priority shipping is based on weight and zip code. Shipping to Boston will cost the same as shipping to Kona - it's the same distance. And envelopes are sent with the cost of a stamp - regardless of where it's going. And Hawaii IS part of the United States. Of course UPS and FedEx are going to be different, but still.
After all was said and done, Apple shipped the electronics I needed on Thursday, and the package arrived yesterday...for free! I ended up shipping the gift card to my house for free as that is easy to pack and had the remaining items sent to my mom's place, still taking advantage of the free (albeit slower) shipping. Fingers crossed everything arrives by the 25th!