The Big Felafel



Don’t Get Angry – Get Empowered about Consumer Rights in Israel!

As new immigrants, part of our induction into Israeli society is new rights, discounts, a bit of money and lots of customer service fights – whether it be at the bank, over the phone or just waiting in line. Most of us know about the money and rights part, but the fighting for basic consumer rights is something that even after you do it, even after several times of doing it, even after learning your lesson and never doing it again- you still feel surprised, annoyed and stressed out from each experience.

Most immigrants will tell you that after a while you just get used to the new way of customer service and accept it. You try not to let things get under your skin because you’ll go nuts. And besides, the bureaucratic system is the way it is and no one is going to change that.

Friends and fellow immigrants, change is not only for Obama, the time for consumer rights to exist in Israel has come. Or at least for me it has, and I’m on your team, so whether you like it or not, we are about to fight the battle of consumer rights culture in Israel.

Two weeks ago, I went to Pelephone headquarters in Jerusalem to fight a NIS 17 monthly internet charge that they added to my phone bill. After waiting almost a half hour for a customer service representative, I was told that I had to pay the fee according to their new rule which they state is: Any phone that can access internet will pay an access charge for internet. So what does this mean? Well, even though I feel that having internet at work and at home is enough for me and I would rather spend the NIS 17 a month on chocolate bars, that’s just too bad because I am forced to pay the fee.

This ridiculous charge is added on to another outrageous charge that I only found out about while fighting the internet issue; which is, that I am still paying for a phone that broke months ago. Yes, it turns out that if your phone breaks and you get a new phone, you still have to pay for the old, broken phone as well as your new phone. And, even if I went to another cell phone company, since clearly I hate Pelefone at this point, it wouldn’t matter because I would have to continue to pay for the two phones, so they still get my money.

After arguing and even using tears as a weapon (didn’t work), I left angrier then I have ever been, and that is hard to do. I wanted to leave Israel and never come back. Yes, I am used to fighting with customer service. And yes, I am aware that there is no customer service in Israel. But that does not explain or justify charges for a product I don’t want.

Once the anger subsided and I thought about the situation it occurred to me that this was actually happening for a great reason. I am not going to get pooped on any longer. I am going to fight for consumer rights because they can and do exist…somewhere. If I allow the internet fee to continue today, then tomorrow it’s a TV fee on my phone for NIS 100 (and that obviously includes the TV tax, another point of anger). And that trend does exist, how else could you explain the internet tax in the first place?

I have already informed Pelephone that I plan to sue them or start a class action suit. While they believe that I am angry, I’m not sure how much they believe in my fight. I am writing this post to ensure that I plan to fight this until the end. And I don’t know exactly what the end is. It could be reversing the forced internet fee for all Pelephone customers or all cell phone holders in general (since this fee exists with several companies). The end may be a fight for consumer rights against big companies, monopolies and the general bureaucratic system. But no matter what I am fighting it.

And I already have support. Through my research, Janglo posts and joining consumer rights groups that I never knew existed; I have found helpful people that unfortunately have also gone through this awful process. They have given me their contact info and advice and for that I thank them.

I have created a list below (please feel free to add), of ways to fight your own battles. And keep in mind, don’t get angry, get empowered. We can only create change if we believe change will come.

Consumer Rights Organizations, Councils, Groups and more:

The Israel Consumer Council:76 Mzah St., Tel Aviv 65789; Tel: 03-560-4671/72

Ministry of Industry, Trade and Labor – Department of Consumer Affairs: Yitzchak Kimchi, Esq. is in charge. His number is: 02- 6662590 His assistant: 02- 6662593 and 02-6662596

The Israeli Council for Consumerism: Fax number: 03- 6241035

Jerusalem Consumers Rights:  02-666-2034

Websites and online resources:

Groups:

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Here oh Israel, stand up for your customer rights « Daviddanielson’s Blog pingbacked on 8 years, 7 months ago
  2. Yom Hazikaron: Remember those that have fallen and those that lift us up | the big felafel pingbacked on 8 years, 6 months ago

Comments

  1. * Safranit says:

    Interesting about the phone charge. I saw that a while ago on my Orange phone, and had them disconnect the internet option…unfortunately this means I can’t even download ringtones, but it did make my montly fee cheaper.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 8 months ago
  2. That’s why I still use an old cellphone and refuse to upgrade. I saw with my husband that the minute he got a fancy new phone they started to charge him for the privilege of having the technical ability of accessing cellular internet, something which has no interest in.

    However, recently I think that the Knesset passed a law that this charge is illegal! If you can find a source for that and throw it at Pelephone, maybe it will get you somewhere.

    And finally about paying for phones: what they basically do when they sell you a phone is give you tashlumim. So instead of paying for it all up front, you’re paying it off over three years. That’s why you’re still paying.

    How to get around this?

    1. Make sure that you get a new deal where the monthly payment for the new phone is covered by the cell phone company if you speak a minimum amount. For example, Orange has deals where you get a new phone, and if you speak 100,150, 200 NIS per month, the cost of the phone itself is cancelled out. HOWEVER (there’s always a catch), when I looked into this at Orange, it turns out that you still have to pay a monthly fee of 59 NIS per month or something like that for the privilege of using their network. No thanks.

    2. Don’t buy your cellphones from the cellular providers. If you don’t care about having a fancy phone, you can get sturdy, reliable older nokias etc. from shops both on and offline for 200-500 NIS. Then you just pay for the thing, and that’s it.

    What’s disgusting here is that you have to always be on the ball to make sure you’re not being ripped off. I feel like I spend my life watching the big companies to make sure they’re not charging me more than they should. Bluch.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 8 months ago
  3. * Ronit says:

    Wow! You have my support. I’m sick of the continuous theft by big businesses in this country, too. I really hope this works out and you can help push the concept of customer service to cell phone companies.

    I suggest you also go to the Minor Claims Court and start filling in the application to sue them. Also, demand that they cover your legal fees if you win. (which I am fully convinced you will as no judge will agree that they can charge you for a service without your formal consent through a signed contract. Once in court, pressure Pelefon to show with actual evidence that you consented to have internet for 17 nis a month.)

    In addition, let pelefon know that you are posting information on your blog read by X amount of Israelis a month, that you are posting online in janglo, raanana list, birthright lists etc etc. meaning that over 70,000 Anglos will be personally reading about this, and also that you are getting in touch with different journalists to make sure their thievery will not go unnoticed.

    GOOD LUCK!!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 8 months ago
  4. Great Post Molly

    Keep up the good fight.

    Any suggestions on not paying the TV tax – our TV is not connected to Cable or Sat, has no TV reception and is only used for watching DVDs and Videos

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 8 months ago
  5. * Shira says:

    This is great! We need more people to get angry and get active. Kol Hakavod! Anytime you want to storm a government building, chain yourself to a fence outside of the CEO of pelephone’s house, or storm a live TV News broadcast, I’m with you! יאללה בלגן!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 8 months ago
  6. * Molly says:

    1. I have heard the rumor that the Knesset discussed the legal issue of forcing people to pay for the internet even if they don’t want it or use it. However, I can’t find anything concrete about it.

    2. Maybe Orange is lettign their customers cancel the fee (after they start charging you without permission), however the Pelephone manager told me that Pelephone’s legal department has looked over my case and has decided they will NOT let me cancel the fee. The fight will continue!

    3. As for Charlie and the TV tax issue: I am 100% with you. I do not use the TV for anything but DVD. I can’t get any cable or any channels on my TV. So I refuse to pay it. They send me a notice every month, but I am waiting until they tell me to meet them in court. I would also like to fight this issue since it affects everyone. So consider it on my plate with cell phones!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 8 months ago
  7. * Molly says:

    Just an update:
    Pelephone has been in touch with me to confirm that after they touched base with their legal department THEY WILL NOT REVERSE THE CHARGES. They say there is nothing illegal about it. Meanwhile they can’t produce my contract since they said they don’t need to hold on to them and throw them out! How is this even legal or possible!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 7 months ago
  8. * Talya says:

    A well written, and well said post! I couldn’t agree with you more. My friends all laugh at me because i’m on my own crusade to get salepeople to be POLITE! The more we let it slide, th emore ok it becomes. People treat us the way that we ALLOW them to treat us. It’s time we took a stand. It may not make a huge difference now, but slowly slowly things will change. Well done. I’m with you all the way

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 7 months ago
  9. * J says:

    I’ve had problems with Pelephone as well. A Pelephone rep came to my house trying to get me to switch over from Orange. He lied to me about the terms of getting a new phone with Pelephone and a car phone. I ended up paying A LOT of money, I hate my new phone (it’s an LG and every time I speak on it, even if it’s for a few seconds, my hand aches and my head aches). I went to complain and they oh-so-generously deducted 50 shekels from one of my bills. My phone was supposed to be free, but I discovered I’d be paying 50 shekels a month for 3 years… after I complained, it became 60 shekels a month.
    At least when I was with Orange and discovered they overcharged me, they were willing to meet me halfway.
    In the meantime, I’m paying a lot of money for a phone that I hope to God isn’t giving me cancer.

    Don’t ever trust Pelephone, and especially not Pelephone representatives who come to your home.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 7 months ago
  10. * moshe rabeynu says:

    I had a nightmare last night and I am still shaking. I know there must be some deep and hidden meaning behind it and I am hoping that someone out there might be able to help me interpret this dream as Joseph helped the Pharaoh. I dreamt that I was the meat in the sandwich between Tzippi Livni and Sarah Palin, you know what I mean, that I was “Lucky Pierre”. But, in this dream, upon my awakening in the morning, I had a terrible taste in my mouth and found myself between Golda Meir and Madeline Albright. Oy, gottenyu!!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 7 months ago
  11. * David D says:

    I’ve only been in Israel sense September, but I am already totally disgusted by the level of institutionalized corporate corruption- and so are all my American friends. I’m going to send them all links to this post, and make sure none of them ever sign with Pelephone.
    What happened to “A light unto the nations”?? This country needs a reputation for integrity, not swindling. I’m kind of disappointed about this aspect of life here, and I’m not the only one. If there is any way my friends and I here in Tel-Aviv can help, we will.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 7 months ago
  12. * Molly says:

    Hi David,
    Yes, something they leave out of the aliyah manual is how to deal with corrupt bureaucracies. But don’t waste your time getting angry; just say that you will not be a part of the system. In fact– I JUST GOT PELEFONE TO CANCEL MY INTERNET FEE! This means that while they are screwing thousands of customers (not to mention the other companies doing the same thing) there is a way out! I am still fighting with them for knowingly giving me a phone I didn’t want and signing the contract when they saw that I did not fully understand what they were telling me. What’s worse is they keep saying I have to be “a responsible adult” and “take responsibility for my actions” yet they do not have a copy of my contract that I signed claiming that they are allowed to throw it out. Are they for real? Talk about lack of responsibility. Don’t worry I have them by the balls and will be writing a post shortly about my success and tips for all!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 7 months ago
  13. * Molly says:

    Another helpful hint for the readers:
    http://www.moc.gov.il/sip_storage/FILES/3/1223.pdf

    Start learning about your rights as a consumer

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 7 months ago
  14. * Molly says:

    Just wanted to let everyone know that today in Int’l Consumer rights day…hmmm, know anyone in Israel celebrating? Also, here is another attempt to be heard- fill out the form at this link to the ministry of communications: http://www.moc.gov.il/Templates/HOMEPAGE_EN/26-en/MOC.aspx and they will send you an email with a direct contact and contact info to be in touch with. Make sure you tell your story and get heard!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 7 months ago
  15. * Chava says:

    I completely identify. I have had terrible experiences with Orange. My cell phone kept breaking and when I went back for the fourth time, they told me I could upgrade but that I had to continue to pay for the old phone. I took the upgrade, but I sat there for an hour and told them that I was not going to continue to pay for a phone that didn’t work. It was that simple. Finally, they gave in. I got a charge and then a credit every month for a year for the phone that didn’t work.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 7 months ago
  16. * Molly says:

    Chava- I am happy to hear that you got what you wanted. I think that the best tactic is a non-stop attack.

    Unfortunately this does not work as well with Pelefone. After they put it in writing that I wouldn’t have to pay for the stupid internet charge, they continued to charge and when I asked them why, they said, “oh we still haven’t decided if we are going to stop the charges.” So even putting something in writing with Pelefone means nothing. But the fight is far from over!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 7 months ago
  17. * Matt says:

    The TV tax really did make me angry. Especially when I learned that most israeli’s don’t pay it. I mean whats next? I will get a letter in the mail saying that I owe 100 shekels for a shoe tax, or a table tax.

    It really is an outrage.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 6 months ago
  18. Molly, did you write a follow-up post about this with an update? I am spending an assload with Orange but perhaps they’re no better….

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago
  19. * Molly says:

    Yes- I won! And wrote about it here http://www.thebigfelafel.com/yom-hazikaron-remember-those-that-have-fallen-and-those-that-lift-us-up/

    I want to help you. So let me know the problem. I want to help everyone! We don’t have to be taken advantage of- and you can be right and win!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago
  20. * Janice says:

    I too had a very believable Pelephone representative come to my house, after a telephone rep. had outlined the deal to me. He made me all sorts of great deals, slightly better than that offered by the phone rep.

    He wrote the info on a Pelephone piece of notepaper and gave me his business card which also said he was from Pelephone. He promised that if I had any issues to call him. One month later, the bill arrived. It was nothing like what I was promised. I called the rep. I had called him a few times before, to arrange the transfer from Orange to Pelephone, so the number was correct. Someone else answered. He said it was a new phone number he had been given and lots of people were calling asking for my rep. I had many angry calls to Pepephone who evaded all responsibility. I asked for the original deal I had been offered by the phone rep. They refused. I threatened to sue (I didn’t). I threatened to blacken their name where ever I can (which I have done). In the end, I came to the conclusion that I did not have the emotional energy to fight them. What I decided to do was to pay (almost double what I was promised) and the day that I am freed from the contract I will change mobile phone companies. In the meantime, I warn everyone I see not to trust Pelephone – even strangers in the Canyon when I walk past who are talking to their reps. I have managed to convince quite a few to walk away.

    I would say that you should never let a rep into your house. Go to their sales center. Get it in writing – signed by a manager.

    Janice

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago
  21. * Molly says:

    Hi Janice,
    Your story is awful and I am so sorry you went through this ordeal. But I did win my case and you can to. You must demand the legal department get involved and demand your contract. They have to have a contract by law- and if they don’t then they have to go by your word- which is what happened to me. I know it takes a lot of trouble to go through this but it is worth it- because you are helping the next person not to get screwed and letting the companies know that you won’t give up and you will win! Let me know how I can help you!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 5 months ago
  22. * Ilan says:

    One question… Why cant a consumer have the right to exchange the product they bought for their money back within a 28 day period? seriously

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 4 months ago
  23. I am very intersted in a class action suit and/or legal/consumer action against Pelephone. They lied me into leaving Orange and then reneaged on everything they promised me orally. I have told them that I will blog/talk to the Misrad Hatikshoret, etc. but they dont give a shit. I was sold a program that is about 4 times what I need -after being told by the sales person that I could downgrade the program at any time (NOT)…they told me the phone and carphone were free and now they are charging me for theis AND the internet which they forgot to mention.. Pls let me know how we can combat this…

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  24. * Molly says:

    Hi Nancy,
    I am so sorry to hear your story- check out comment #19, which is a link to how I won my battle. You can win too. My suggestion is to speak directly with the legal department, to a woman named Elana and demand your contract, which you signed. They will tell you they don’t have it and you will have to demand they give you it or they must go by what you say happened and what you say you agreed upon. In the meantime continue to add your complaints to consumer rights orgs. even if you think it doesn’t matter- because it does. Most importantly don’t give up. That is exactly what they want you to do. Eventually, once they realize people like you and me are willing to fight- we will help future customers not get screwed!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  25. I contacted you last week but didnt get a response. Did u file a class action with Doron Weinreich against Pelephone? Pls let me know what else I can do. They are totally screwing me…

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  26. Sorry just saw your response. What is Elana’s phone number?

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  27. * Molly says:

    Hi Nancy,
    I don’t have her number but her name is Elana Rosenberg and she is in the Legal Department. I am sure you will find her. Make sure she know’s that you spoke with me already, so she is aware of who she is dealing with, and make sure to fight the fight. Get everything in writing and demand your contract, the one you signed! Good luck!

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  28. * Taylor says:

    We have a nightmare situation with Pelephone and it all started when my husband went into Pelephone to complain that his bill was really way to high. The sales girl who saw he hae a kippur on talked him into a hereidi phone as we dont use it on Shabbat she said it would work out a lot cheaper for us. Now we are being billed for our previous phone as well as the new phone, which is a piece of junk, they omiitted to give us all the facts that we would have to pay for the prevous phones. it wont work out cheaper and you cant here on the phone and see anything on it. We complained the woman shouted at us in an aggrssive manner and I dont want to ever set foot in the place again. I went to Orange got a p[hone I can hear and see so talk about expense. I would like to sue Pelephone. How can I do it.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  29. * Stephanie says:

    After what Pelephone has done their unethical conduct in business I want to make sure that Olim do not go to that company, it seems that although the other companies have similar practices Pelephone are the worst liers and cheats and call them up you get several different answers nobody knows what they are doing. They do not give you all the facts and you end up paying a hell of a lot more.
    I will make public our story and if I save one person going through what we are going through with this company I will be doing a mitzva.
    How can you go into a place want a cheaper deal and end up paying more????

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 3 months ago
  30. * Molly says:

    Hi Taylor,
    Read my other post about how I won my battle and see if that helps you http://www.thebigfelafel.com/yom-hazikaron-remember-those-that-have-fallen-and-those-that-lift-us-up/

    Also, call Pelefone, demand to speak with the legal department and demand your contract.

    Let me know what happens and keep me up to date.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
  31. * Molly says:

    Stephanie- great- put the word out! Make a difference. Your fight is our fight.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
  32. * Jameel says:

    This is exactly the reason I didn’t upgrade to a newer internet enabled phone.

    My kids are upset, but I refuse to pay extra for the internet service so that they can have nicer phones.

    BTW – I hear that the Knesset is considering changing the law…I don’t believe you can bring a class action suit against Motorola for this…

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 2 months ago
  33. * sol says:

    [10:26:06 p.m.] Jared Newman: Ive had many problems with Pelephone and Orange. One of the situations that makes me very angry is that to get internet and cable service from a company like Hot is you have to sign a 2 year contract, but they had told me it was for one year. Now the only way of getting out of the contract is to pay the remainder in full. So I am paying for 10 months of service that I do not use. The worst part is that the internet service I had was high speed, and when I left my job I had to lower it to afford the monthly payments. Upon doing this, they made me renew my contract. I feel like a prisoner with their service. Also when I changed the speed of the internet, I found out that 012 changed it, but Hot did not. Hot still had all the old details even after I called both companies to inform them of the change. When I called to complain that my internet was not working, Hot would blame 012, and 012 would blame hot. It was and is an endless fight because neither company will take responsibility for their mistake.

    | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago
    • * Rebecca says:

      That is so frustrating! I also have HOT internet and Netvision, and whenever they blame each other, you have to do a conference call and get them both on the line and say you’re not paying for anything unless someone fesses up. Good luck with everything.

      | Reply Posted 8 years, 1 month ago
  34. * sam says:

    hi we have a similar story with pelephone of a representative promising us a deal which turned out to be much more expensive than he stated,is anyone doing a class action against pelephone, we would love to join in

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 10 months ago
  35. * Molly says:

    Hi Sam- I would suggest not doing a class action. I had also thought about doing that at the beginning- but everyone has a different story so it would be hard to bring together one attack. You can take them to small claims court and fight them. I also suggest contacting the consumer rights orgs. that I posted about as well as contacting the Pelefone legal dept. The best fight is the one you don’t give up! Stay strong and you will win this battle and the many to come!

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 10 months ago
  36. * Eli says:

    I have had similar issues with a lying Orange salesperson – It seems to be the way business is done here.
    My advice to all people with the ability to get a US credit card, get yourself a Capital One credit card there are no conversion fees and you can cancel any services you want by instructing the CC company not to pay. Just like in the old country.

    | Reply Posted 7 years, 10 months ago
  37. * stoptheripoff says:

    Living in Israel is unbearable, especially for a new oleh. The culprit creating the high prices is the high taxation. The excuse, which is a mantra, is the defense costs. The government perpetuates this myth, and every business uses it to justify what they charge. There is nothing other than GREED.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 7 months ago
    • * Molly says:

      Yes things are very frustrating, but at least there are new laws for returning items and cell phone policies. Things are slowly getting better, but I believe it is only through consumer power we can make a difference!

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 7 months ago
  38. * mose says:

    The Israel Consumers Council does nothing for you but listen and then do nothing. In my dispute with Pelephone, we were told they were working for us and in the end got in more trouble than ever before. They do not return phone calls and when they do, they seem to forget what the whole issue was about and you start from the beginning…again. Now, I have a lawyer who at least told my rights and were we stand. But it seems, I will have to pay off Pelephone and get them off my back. They like a mafia and nothing more. If I get another cell phone service…it is just calling cards and that is it.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 7 months ago
  39. * shira says:

    I am also in the middle of a fight with pelephone.. i signed up for a plan for 120 shekel a month which included : 100 minutes to e/o , 100 sms, and unlimitted calling to the second phone (my husband). Now , I looked on my past bills and they have charged me 50 agurot per sms even when i have used under 100. when i called to complain, they said they changed the package?!? How can they change my contract? Additionally, when I signed up they told me it was for 18 months. Now, when 18 months are up, they are telling me that 18 months was only for the phone and (1) i have to pay 200 nis exit fee even though the plan is up and (2) i have to keep paying 100 shekel a month for the next 18 months for the phone if i cancel the service plan (which was only 100 shekel total). I tried fighting and showed them my original contract and they say that there new policy is that all bills are for 3 years for the phone?! Any idea of how I can get anywhere with them? I had been paying with a u.s. credit card and i am tempted to just cancel the credit card since i am disgusted with there service and dont want to continue.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 6 months ago
    • * Molly says:

      Shira that sucks! These companies really do take advantage! The best thing for you to do is demand to speak with their legal department. If you have a contract that states and proves you should only pay NIS 120 then you must keep fighting and they have to give you your money back. If you can find an Israeli to help you with the Hebrew and make sure the person stays calm then this always helps. I have found that yelling never works, because they just yell back. But staying calm keeps you in command. Please let me know how it goes and this way we can continue helping each other. Best of luck!!

      | Reply Posted 6 years, 6 months ago
  40. * Molly says:

    Shira, can you send a scan of your contract? I have somebody who is willing to help you, and would like to look it over. Please email us with it if possible, and if anyone else out there is having problems, please also send your contracts.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 6 months ago
  41. * Chanoch says:

    To Shira and anyone else who has a problem with a cell phone company,
    The law says the company can’t change the package in the middle of a contract – you have to insist with them and demand they pay back if they overcharged you. Check the contract and make sure there are no clauses stating they can do such a thing.
    There are no exit fee’s if your contract expired – don’t let them tell you otherwise – it’s the law.
    As for payments for the phone itself – you are obligated to pay for it the amount agreed on when you signed the contract – it should say on the contract what is the price of the phone and how much it should cost you per month. This is the amount you will have to pay every month till the phone is fully paid for (according to your contract). On the other hand the company must allow you to roam – i.e. they have to unlock the phone and allow you to insert sim cards of other companies. Thus you won’t need a new phone if you decide to move.
    Whatever you do – do not stop paying since they won’t hesitate to take you to court – and you will be in the wrong. If they overcharge you – you can take them to a small claim court where no lawyers are allowed and therefore you have the advantage, especially if you have the original contract in your hand.
    From my experience most companies would settle before you even file the lawsuit, due to the risk of losing and the publicity which follows it.
    In any case all the information presented by me can be found (in Hebrew) in the following website. There is also information about consumer rights in other fields. You can also file a complaint with them, and they are extremely helpful http://www.emun.org

    Good luck,
    Chanoch

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 6 months ago
  42. * shira says:

    Thanks Molly. I contacted Voleh (an organization that helps new Olim with legal issues) and I am taking Pelephone to small claims court in October. I will keep you posted with what happens.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 1 month ago
  43. * Molly says:

    Shira- that is amazing! Good for you!! I checked out their website and it looks great! http://voleh.org/ Please keep us up to date. You can win!! And your win will help so many others!

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 1 month ago
  44. * Benji Lovitt says:

    Shira, if you see this, can you contact me? I’d love to talk to you about this.

    | Reply Posted 6 years, 1 month ago
  45. * shira says:

    Hi Benji,
    You can email me at shirigoldsmith@gmail.com.. We just had our court date today and we settled out of court. We compromised- they are letting us out the 3 year hitchayvut for each of our pf our plans/phones without any more charges but we are not getting any of the money back that we paid them. TO me its worth it- I won’t have to keep dealing them and fighing it every month. I am switching to Celcom and buying my own phone so that won’t get stuck again paying thousands of shekel for a phone worth a few hundred shekel.

    | Reply Posted 6 years ago
  46. * Boris says:

    Pelephone service is very bad: it is constantly trying to steal your money, and you can get your money back only if you are ready to spend a lot of time and effort. I believe this is a company policy: there are not so much people who can struggle for sum of 10-50 shek.
    I can present several clear examples how the Pelephone is deceiving customers and you cannot reach a responsible person who can indeed solve the problem.
    Let us struggle together!

    | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
    • * Molly says:

      I am sorry to hear about your struggles, but you must continue to fight or at least inform people so they are aware of these situations. And just try to learn for the next time round.

      | Reply Posted 5 years, 8 months ago
  47. * Tanya says:

    I would like to share my own experience with the lack of protection of customers’ rights in Israel since I recently became a victim of fraud at A.L.M. Duty Free Shop at Ben Gurion Airport . On May 29th, 2013 I bought from this shop a Canon Powershot SX500IS camera. After I looked at the sample camera I asked if I can be given a new one, and the shop assistant confirmed that they do have new cameras from this model and he will give me one of them. Our conversation was held until this moment in English as I do not speak Hebrew. At this point the shop assistant was approached by another employee and quietly given some instructions in Hebrew. He then turned to me and said that I actually have to take the sample camera because they do not have any others in the shop. I asked if it has all the equipment inside (I specifically asked for a charger) and I also asked to try the memory card because there was none in the camera when I tested it. I was assured that there is a charger in the box (it was even taken out of the box and shown to me), and I was told there is no need to test the card as it is brand new and has never been used, so there simply couldn’t be anything wrong with it.

    I am not a professional photographer, I don’t know much about cameras and their equipment, and I trusted everything I was told by the shop assistant, mistakenly believing that if I am buying stock from a shop at Ben Gurion Airport I simply cannot become a victim of a fraud.

    To my greatest surprise after I arrived in my home country and gave the camera as a birthday present to my child, it turned out that what I had been told was a charger, was only A CABLE for the charger, and THERE IS NO GHARGER inside the package! Further to this, THE MEMORY CARD WAS NOT WORKING. We checked it with another camera and it doesn’t work with it either. I do not even know if the camera itself is working properly, because the battery ran out of power and we cannot charge it! There is no need to mention that not only have I lost 349$ for a non- equipped and possibly damaged camera, but my child’s birthday ended up in tears and was completely ruined!

    Further to this, I was told that I have a 3 years’ international warranty inside the package, but there is none. I only have a receipt, according to which I have bought a Canon Digital Camera for 349$ – the model is not even mentioned, so how could I possibly use my warranty!

    It is quite obvious that what happened to me at A.L.M. Duty Free is a FRAUD! Of course they never replied my email which makes me think it is an unofficial policy of the shop to sell to international passengers damaged stock with missing parts, believing that they will not come back to claim damages. I emailed the management of Ben Gurion Airport about the incident, but they also didn’t bother to reply! So at least I can try to warn other customers: DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FROM A.L.M. DUTY FREE SHOP AT BEN GURION AIRPORT OR YOU MIGHT BECOME VICTIMS OF FRAUD JUST LIKE ME!

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 4 months ago
  48. * Keren SouzaKohn says:

    Hi thanks gr8 blog unfortunately very needed
    I am having a little saga with Orange and Bezek I had Celcom cel phone contracts for myself & my son for a couple of years, but even though it was supposed to be an unlimited contract of 130nis per month each my bills were always 5-700nis plus my sons own phone iPhone 4 didn’t get Internet even though I was paying for it. So after wasting a few days with Celcom trying to correct the situation I got fed up & signed up for an Orange deal Thought I was really clever but now we have new problems ! Orange agreed 3 cel phones – we have 2 iPhones 1 black berry they sent the sims but there is no Internet on the blackberry – Orange said when questioned 2 contradictory statements 1 blackberry doesn’t have Internet ability 2 if u want Blackberry u must pay an extra 39nis per month ! And now both our land lines are mucked up I think maybe they mistakenly switched the numbers If & when we get these issues resolved I will begin to tackle our original request for no voicemail, no music, no call waiting….I dread the phone waiting….thanks for listening ! Keep up the good work Any advice gratefully received Shalom Shalom Keren

    | Reply Posted 4 years, 4 months ago


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