Life as a Second Class Citizen of the Web
I just bought 3 domain names from GoDaddy. No, that is not news, the news is that I had to use a US based VPN before the purchase went through. (the VPN made the godaddy server think I was browsing from the US).
The first 50 times I tried making this purchase, it kept giving me the error “unable to process”. After doing quite a lot of Googling I saw that all purchases form Nigeria are flagged automatically. (No prize for getting why). So I went and setup the VPN and the purchase went immediately.
Of course I should have used Paypal but my account has kept getting locked ever since I returned top Nigeria from the UK. Even after sending them a scanned copy of my passport, my little cheese has remained trapped. So whenever I have had to make payments on sites that take only Paypal, I ask someone in the UK to do it for me.
Essentially, any purchase made from Nigeria is deemed fraudulent until strenuously proven otherwise.
What this means is that, those lovely stories about you creating a little webapp and slamming a Paypal button is fantasy if you are doing it from here. We are not allowed to participate in global ecommerce. If you think making payments with your own money is hard, try receiving. Without payments there is no commerce so we are left out.
I am writing this post just to let everyone know that I will kill a cute little puppy when next I hear the West give that look of pity and say lets bridge the digital divide between Africa and the rest of the world. Don’t fucking worry about bridging the digital divide, just level the playing ground!
I cannot ignore two very fair arguments.
- The amount of fraud from this end has necessitated these measures.
- Hey! That’s a gap in the market, why don’t you guys in Africa do something about it?