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May 30, 2010 10:16 AM

Williams-Sonoma Web site blacked out in Egypt

Well, I've gotten used to having to buy everything I want to see on itunes because Hulu won't work here, but this is a new one on me - a web site that won't show up here because of "restrictions." Sur La Table and Cooks show up just fine. It's strange! What's so special about Williams-Sonoma??!!

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  1. Wow, I can't wait to find out the answer. Do you want me to email them and ask if they know anything about it?

    7 Replies
    1. re: LulusMom

      That would be cool. I mean, I know that there is a lot of media piracy, but what on earth would they be stealing from a kitchen store web site that's proprietary? It's just weird.

      1. re: roxlet

        OK, I've just sent them an email. They promise to respond in one business day. Only possible issue with me getting back to you right away is that tomorrow is Memorial Day, and they may not consider that a business day. We are leaving town (and hence my computer - a blessing in disguise) for a week. So if you don't hear back from me right away, know that it is only because of that. I should be back on the 8th and hopefully can catch up on a bit of email soon after. Hoping they answer Tuesday morning so that I can let you know.

        1. re: LulusMom

          Oh, don't worry about it! It's not like I'm buying anything from them for here, but I was going to try to get my husband something for Father's Day. It will have to be from Sur La Table or Amazon. Serves 'em right!

          1. re: roxlet

            My guess is that they'll be just as surprised as you are, but we'll see. I'm not leaving on Tuesday until late afternoon, so I have my fingers crossed that I can get you an answer. I'm just fascinated.

            1. re: roxlet

              "Serves 'em right"? You mean it's W&S' fault that their web site is allegedly blocked in Egypt?

              1. re: PeterL

                I believe so. I've cut and pasted what it says when you try to go to their site:

                Sorry, due to website restrictions we are unable to display the requested page.

                That indicates to me that WS is doing the restricting. I can't think of a single other reason why the site would be blocked. Egypt is not that restricted a country, and I've opened just about every web page I've wanted to. As I noted above, things like Hulu and various network feeds are also blacked out, but I would think that's due to piracy and other copyright issues.

                1. re: roxlet

                  Hulu doesn't work in Canada either—I think it's U.S.-only due to copyrights.

      2. Maybe because they sell wine? Or perhaps there's an apron model with a too-revealing outfit?

        1 Reply
        1. re: BobB

          Lol! You can actually buy wine in Egypt, the caveat being that it's Egyptian wine. Drinkable, but that's about it. So it's not the wine, and I think it's WS doing the blacking out, not censorship.

        2. OK, so finally back from vacation and wading through my email (and Chowhound!) and this is what W-S sent back: We apologize for the inconvenience and have notified our technical department so that we may take immediate steps to correct your issue. We hope this information is helpful. We apologize for the inconvenience and have notified our technical department so that we may take immediate steps to correct your issue. We hope this information is helpful. "We apologize for the inconvenience and have notified our technical dept. so that we may take immediate steps to correct you issue. we hope this is helpful." Basically, not helpful. they also gave me a number to call, if you'd like ... but it may take a few days to get to it (laundry, jet lag and all!).

          8 Replies
          1. re: LulusMom

            lol! LulusMom, thanks for trying. I somehow don't think it's a technical issue, but who knows! I will be in Italy for a few days next week, and I'm going to see what happens there just for the hell of it!

            1. re: LulusMom

              I am in Italy, and I just tried the Williams Sonoma site, and it loads just fine -- no problems. Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser....

              1. re: roxlet

                I live in The access here also. I tried it a few months ago and thought it was a fluke. Now again tonight, no luck. I've sent an email so we'll see what they say!

                1. re: carolinholland

                  That's really funny since it works in Italy! I was in the Netherlands in July and didn't think to try it again because I assumed that it would work all over the EU. Weird.

                  1. re: roxlet

                    Well I just got a response from them as well. They say:
                    "We apologize you are having a problem viewing our web site outside of the United States. Due to international fraud issues the web site is blocked in several countries."
                    Not sure what kind of fraud issues would cause them to make that decision.

                    1. re: ozlemuc

                      because it sounds like a good excuse.

                      W-S loads in France, too...and the same people who would use a bad credit card are the same ones who would use a proxy to alter their ISP address.

                      Bad decision, W-S.

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        I agree. A bad solution in so many ways. Not really preventing fraud while losing business. Too bad.

                      2. re: ozlemuc

                        We have blocked several Countries from our Business Website as well, because of Fraud and stolen C.C."s
                        The Countries we have blocked will not investigate or prosecute the people involved.
                        C.C. Companies will approve the Cards, but when the Fraud in discovered, they no longer compensate the Business.
                        Therefore despite approval, they refuse to take responsibility.