Amazon came out in favour of a united Ireland, social media users joked, after a customer service representative mistakenly claimed that Northern Ireland was not a part of the United Kingdom.
On Saturday, Chris Jones sent an inquiry to the Amazon Help account on Twitter about watching the Rugby Autumn Nations Cup in Northern Ireland. The account informed him that he wouldn’t be able to stream the match, as it was only available for those who live in the United Kingdom.
“Thank you for that information. We apologize but upon reviewing your location you’re in Northern Ireland. Rugby Autumn Nations Cup coverage is exclusively available to Prime members based in the UK. We don’t have the rights to other territories,” Amazon Help wrote.
Jones replied that Northern Ireland is in fact part of the UK, yet the customer service account doubled down, saying: “Many apologies but, we don’t have the broadcast rights for Ireland or other territories.”
“Northern Ireland *IS* the UK, ‘UK’ is short for The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland,” another Twitter user explained, to no avail.
“Thank you for reaching out to us. We’ll be sure to pass your feedback along to the appropriate team,” Amazon replied, somewhat bizarrely.
Northern Ireland is part of the UK.
— Chris Jones (@_chrisjones_) November 14, 2020
The geographical gaffe was instantly picked up and mocked by social media users, with many joking that Amazon — or “RAmazon”, after “the RA”, or IRA — had come out in favour of Irish nationalism.
Comedian Dara O’Briain quipped: “Amazon Prime have delivered a United Ireland, and before 6 p.m. on the same day.”
“If I understand the situation correctly if just two other big tech companies declare Northern Ireland to be outside the United Kingdom then it happens. I need more stats from John King on CNN but it looks like it’s happening folks,” joked Irish Times writer Patrick Freyne.
In reference to the Good Friday Agreement, which ended decades of conflict in Northern Ireland between Irish nationalists and British unionists known as The Troubles, RTE radio host Rick O’Shea dubbed the incident “The Black Friday Agreement”.
Amazon now claims Northern Ireland is no longer a part of the UK. https://t.co/GCRLkkQMb3
— Chris Tomlinson (@TomlinsonCJ) November 14, 2020
Northern Ireland was established in the 192os following the partition of Ireland by the Government of Ireland Act 1920, as much of the island separated from the United Kingdom.
The British province is home to a large Protestant population, compared to majority Catholic in the Republic of Ireland, resulting in most of its residents choosing to remain in the United Kingdom rather than joining the Republic of Ireland.
Eventually realising their mistake, Amazon Help apologised by saying: “We apologise for the error in our colleague’s response. Our Prime Video subscribers in Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK can access and watch the Rugby Autumn Nations Cup on Prime Video as part of their subscription.”
Chris Jones told the local news outlet Belfast Live that the mistake and the ensuing jokes “brightened up his Saturday night”.
“I didn’t think my mum wanting to watch the rugby would cause a diplomatic incident, but anything is possible in 2020!” Jones joked.
Amazon Customer Service Team pic.twitter.com/USI3h54JdO
— Roman Shortall (@RomanShortall) November 14, 2020
Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka