I reached out to Amazon earlier this week to inquire about their Amazon Echo device, which I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about. Their reply? “Not available in Canada.”
As a Canadian there is nothing more infuriating than hearing those four words.
This is not a new issue, either. Americans have always gotten the latest greatest gadgets and services before us. The iPod, iPhone, Netflix and Spotify were all mysterious creatures before they eventually arrived in the north. Even homegrown tech company Blackberry released some of its products in the U.S. before here!
Sometimes products come too late or are crippled when they get here and end up being a bust.
I remember wanting a TiVo for years only to be disappointed when it was finally available because it wouldn’t integrate with any of our cable or satellite providers properly, and the online components didn’t function because the services were unavailable. The recent failure of Target also comes to mind.
Canadians still can’t access Hulu, Amazon Prime Video or Pandora without workarounds. Traffic updates on Toyota’s Entune navigation system don’t work up here, and if we want to enjoy a bowl of Cocoa Pebbles or eat an Almond Joy bar, we have to cross the border and smuggle some back. And why no Chick-fil-A or Waffle House up here?
Of course there are a few things we have that Americans don’t.
Kraft Dinner, Coffee Crisp, Smarties, Canada Dry Ginger Ale and Kraft Peanut Butter are only available in the Great White North. And CraveTV and shomi do a good job filling the void of Hulu and Amazon Prime Video. And while people like to complain about our version of Netflix, we do have content on it Americans don’t get.
Of course there are many reasons for all of this. Different tastes and markets, cost of importing products, deals with service providers, etc. But in this digital day and age it’s hard to avoid hearing about all the cool things we’re missing out on and not get slightly jealous. And I really want to play with the Amazon Echo, dammit!
Are there things not available in Canada that you wish were? Share your thoughts in the comments below or at facebook.com/bamcatBuzz.