My Latest Island “Struggle”

phone table

All I wanted was a screen protector.

For those of you who follow us over on Facebook, you may have read last week that I was up in Connecticut for my mom’s birthday. It was a BIG one, so I knew I couldn’t miss it. While I was in Connecticut, my iPhone decided it no longer wanted to charge so I decided to get an upgrade. The new fancy iPhone 6s Plus was released while I was up there, so I immediately scooped one up. (The new iPhone, by the way, is pretty darn cool.)

Now for any of you who live on St. John or visit St. John, you know how important it is to have a screen protector and a good case to protect your precious phone from the elements. I’ve lost two so far due to the water – one was even in a LifeProof case – and I think my last one stopped charging due to corrosion. So on Monday morning, I hopped on the computer and attempted to buy a top-notch screen protector from Apple.

No such luck.

I know that many of you reading this have dreamt about living on the island. After all, it is paradise. But there are some things that probably never have crossed your mind … like shipping. Or the fact that retailers consider the Virgin Islands to be a third world country. It’s seriously a struggle at times.

So there I was yesterday with my fancy new screen protector in the shopping cart on apple.com. It asked for my shipping address and once I input my zip code, it immediately populated “St. John VI”. Score!

I clicked Continue and then noticed this popup…

apple shipping

Not a valid entry? But Apple itself populated it? Surely something had to be wrong. I clicked the Chat Now button and pleaded my case. Here’s what transpired:

international shipping

International? For the UNITED STATES Virgin Islands?

Admittedly frustrated, I agreed to call Apple’s International Gifting Team.

For Mexico, press one.

For Europe, press two.

For Southeast Asia, press three.

Hmmm, none of those are the US Virgin Islands so I pressed zero for help. I was immediately hung up on. Argh.

I called back and pressed one for Mexico because it’s somewhat close to here.

The woman on the phone was befuddled to say the least. Despite Apple’s claims that it ships to the US Virgin Islands, it actually does not. Why? Simply because it does not recognize VI as a state code … however it has the ability to ship to Southeast Asia. How on earth does that make sense?


Oh well, I’m not complaining because I still live on the most picturesque island in the world. But I did want to let you all in on some of our island struggles here. 🙂

And for those of you whose struggle is also real, you may want to order one of these cute tanks or men’s shirts from our friends at Wasted Sun here in Cruz Bay. You can do do by clicking here and visiting their online store. 

struggle shirts

Oh and I was able to get my screen protector after all. I had it shipped to Papa News of St. John who will then ship it to me. My struggle is real. 🙂 Have a great day everyone!

10 thoughts on “My Latest Island “Struggle””

  1. Retailers don’t consider the USVI as “third world.” They do, however, consider the US Postal Service in the V.I. as a black hole of unexplained disappearances. I remember years ago Judge Moore writing a formal letter of complaint to the Postmaster General to no avail. Boxes get shook, and if it sounds good . . .

    • Whenever i try to order something I always try to find it on a website that does ship here, I always get my phone cases and such from Best Buy because they ship here.

  2. Don’t they have an AT&T store on St Thomas? Maybe other providers as well? They sell Iphones so they may sell the screen protectors too.

  3. I once went round and round with Delta about whether STT airport was considered International (for baggage purposes). Ultimately, after I spoke with everyone at Delta it seemed, they told me that they were “confused and didn’t know.” Thanks…that was helpful.

  4. Just an FYI. We’ve been dealing with the same shipping problems since we moved here in 1999 and found the ultimate solution. We’ve been using a stateside company called mailboxforwarding.com. For a nominal monthly fee they give you a US address to have your stuff sent to. When it arrives they send an e mail notification of new mail received. You log onto your account and they actually have a photo of the mailing label to view so you know exactly who sent you the package. You then have a choice of how you want it mailed down here i.e. Priority or Express USPS mail. The best thing is they only charge actual USPS postal rates plus a $0.75-$1.50 surcharge depending on how big the package is. When any company says they don’t ship to the VI we just tell them to ship it to our US address and it’s no problem. Love this company and never had a problem. Just ordered a new Dell laptop from QVC that would not ship down here. Had it sent to our Mail Box Forwarding address and it hit there the next day and is now on it’s way down to our PO box in Cruz Bay Post Office. Check it out.

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