Cloudy ? denial of access to supplier sites

Hello. Over the past few weeks, I’ve found that I generally can’t see certain vendor sites, especially Home Depot. I can usually view the provider’s main web page, but when I try to search the site, I get a response like this:

Access denied

You are not authorized to access “http://www.homedepot.ca/” on this server.

Reference #18.a4392b17.1651524778.11ab99b1

I’ve never come across anything like this before, and I don’t know why routine inquiries about the availability of common household items would suddenly be viewed as suspicious or a potential threat.

My research to date suggests that the provider may be using Cloudflare software to prevent DoS attacks, so any attempt to access the provider’s site more than once by a specified IP address range is rejected. I saw a case that seemed similar to mine where the affected user, after changing their VPN site, no longer received an access denial. However, in my case, I kept getting the Access Denied message after changing VPN sites. and even after completely disabling the VPN.

Is this a common phenomenon? If so, I can only assume that vendors who decide to respond to their customers’ routine online inquiries in this way are likely to lose more sales than they gain.

Is there a way to prevent these messages? Any suggestions would be welcome.

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