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Thursday, December 08, 2016

Did Target block Israelis from its website?

I know I haven't been on in a few days, but greetings from Boston.

On my last trip here (two weeks ago!), I went to Target, found significant discounts that required me to download their app onto my smartphone, downloaded the app (two of them in fact), got the discounts, and started receiving a flood of emails and push notices from Target.

That's kind of expected - but when I clicked on them I couldn't access anything from the emails or from the apps on my phone.

I assumed this was because I was in Israel, because when I tried to access the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' E-Z pass web site (I have now acquired a transponder which I schlep with me from rental car to rental car rather than paying the outrageous fees that the rental car companies charge to rent one), I couldn't do that from Israel either.

Silly me. I assumed that just like the Commonwealth blocked the E-Z pass site to anyone outside the US (they did, didn't they?), so did Target. I was wrong. Dead wrong. It seems that Target was targeting Israelis, although having been discovered, they have quickly opened up the site (Hat Tip: MFS001).
When Jennifer Bayer tried to access  Target’s site she got an “Access Denied” message. After her friends confirmed that they were having the same problem, she contacted Target directly for an answer.
Tho company responded: 
“The reason you’re unable to place orders on Target.com from Israel is to ensure the data security of all our guests. Target.com has made the conscious decision to block IP addresses originating from Israel, as it is one of the top 5 countries from which malicious attacks against our website originate.
Although you can’t access the site from Israel, our team is more than happy to help you place a domestic order over the phone. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at your convenience, our Target.com is available 24 hours a day, every day of the week.  To place an order on Target.com you can call 1(800) 591-3869.”
Well, maybe except I'll tell you a secret: Many US toll free numbers don't work from Israel either. Not even with your VoiP line (of course I have one!).

It only took a few hours of sunlight for Target to see the error of their ways.
We at Janglo want to publicly acknowledge Target.com‘s decision today to unblock Israeli access to their site this evening after countless Israeli users complained.
Just about a year ago, we were very happy to see Target begin offering shipping to Israel, and we’ve hoped to see them expand their presence here. In fact, their web site currently offers a discount of NIS 80 when purchasing NIS 400 or more with coupon code ISRAELSHIP. Check it out at http://intl.target.com
Target has never indicated any signs of being antisemitic or anti-Israel, and we hope the store felt no ill intentions by today’s campaign. Now that you see how strong your customer base in Israel is, we hope you’ll consider opening a store here soon!
But given that Mrs. Carl and I are both currently in the US (and will actually be staying in the same place for a few days - no, not a vacation - starting tonight), I guess we don't need a discount on shipping to Israel right now anyway....

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At 2:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually from what I saw on twitter they had problems with many countries and were not picking on Israel.


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