Services vs Internet vs Earth

Geoarbitration is a word I learned from the 4 hour workweek (Tim Ferriss, go and read it!). Basically the premise is that it doesn't matter where you are on this planet, you will still have everything you need to work with because internet. At least that’s the premise.

This is the world view I have when I visit your website. Sadly though, your website makes assumptions as well: you know where you are, others don’t.

Take Simple for example. It’s a bank that lives on top of other banks. It’s brilliant, I want to use it! I read the sales pitch, then I go to sign up, I enter my info and: oops, it’s only available in the United States. If only that information was disclosed earlier... I then went back to try to find that information. It’s been 10 minutes, I know I’ve found it previously, but I still don’t have the "You need to be a resident of the United States" statement. I gave them my email address, I was promised an invite soon (that I know I won’t be able to use). It’s not even in their Terms of Use (I searched for "United States", all the 8 occurrences are about either governing law or foreign activity on your account).

Found it though: FAQ, 5th answer.

Here’s my question though: why not make this bleedingly obvious? Are you making such restrictions obvious?

Something similar happened very recently with T-mobile USA offering free texts. This is their exact wording as of publication date:

Automatic coverage in 120+ countries and destinations. Only at T-Mobile.

Unlimited international data coverage and texting are included with a qualifying Simple Choice Plan at no extra charge. It’s just 20 cents per minute for calls to mobile devices and landlines.

What they forgot to add to this is: “... to US numbers.” I mean it is sort of in the small text: “Calls over Wi-Fi are $.20/min (no charge for Wi-Fi calls to U.S.).”, but why is this in the footnotes? This is pretty damn important!


Please do not put important bits into the footnotes, make them obvious. Yes, everyone should read all the EULA and whatnot, but you know it doesn’t happen. Put the important bits in our faces!