Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A side effect of cottage cheese?

For the past 2 weeks I've gotten a few phone calls from Cellcom telling me they are placing me on a better plan, more minutes, more SMSs, less money.

I wasn't sure why they were doing that, and told them that straight out.

They said as a long time customer they wanted to keep me happy. So I agreed.

But when I got my Cellcom phone bill this month I was shocked because it was a few hundred shekels higher than expected (and higher than the previous months). One particular item that stood out was the charge for my free phone upgrade (which is why I upgraded in the first place), which turned out to be not free at all, and in fact it was quite expensive.

I called up Cellcom support quite angry. After a long wait I got through to their representative. A young-sounding Arab fellow, who heard me out.

I explained that I'm returning the phone, and who needs Cellcom with the blatant bait and switch. Cellcom knew the talk plan I was on when I upgraded the phone, and they explicitly told me that it would be free because of it.

At first he said there was nothing he could do about the phone upgrade charge, but perhaps he could help me elsewhere.

I wasn't sure, but I listened.

By the end of the discussion, he was cutting my fixed phone fees to half of what they were in previous month, and the cost of the phone upgrade (which he couldn't make go away) would be built into that total price.

Between my American accented Hebrew, and his Arabic accented Hebrew, I think we both understood each other.

He said it was important to him that I remain a satisfied Cellcom customer, and he is doing this on his personal initiative.

I'm wondering if the whole Cottage Cheese boycott has gotten some of the other Israeli companies to seriously think about their price gouging and customer satisfaction.

I'm waiting to see the next bill (and I didn't quite understand him well enough to know if it would retroactively affect this bill too), but if he did what he said, then I would say that Cellcom quickly picked up on the lessons of Tnuva.

I'll keep you updated.

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Orange and Black said...

that is better than taking lactose pills

Anonymous said...

Your experience with Cellcom sounds like a typical experience with a North American phone carrier.

They're always looking to gouge customers, however the second you catch on and complain they'll reverse or do something to rectify the situation to keep you.

They all have amazing customer service, you just have to be on top of watching everything so you don't get taken advantage of.

I actually created an excel chart to plot your phone expenses in order to compare phone plans a while back. I'm not sure if it'll help you however look it over and maybe it can.

I wouldn't mind making an Israeli version, with some help.

Meir Ariel said...

I've heard lots of complaints about cellcom recently.
For as long as I've been with orange (8 years) they've had great customer service and have been the best example I've seen of Israeli customer service. You might want to think of changing.

mother in israel said...

Netvision did something similar to me, promised to return the money, and never did until I wrote to the relevant Knesset committee. So I am not as optimistic as you.

JoeSettler said...

"A Soldier's Mother" had serious problems you had with Orange.

Anonymous said...

Hey Joe, I hope I didn't break one of the rules with my comment about post that just disappeared ?

JoeSettler said...

Blogger's commenting system is screwy lately. Not all the comments go up.
Try again.

Yaniv said...

I can't stand Hebrew spoken by English speakers. I'm not a big fan of the Sabra accent either, but it's amazing how Americans are still able to ruin an already ruined language

Commenter Abbi said...

cellcom is constantly calling me offering me these sms packages of 200 a month for 125 shekel or something like that. I ALWAYS refuse, pointing out that I send 20 sms's a month.

Basically, I always refuse anything they offer me over the phone, or I demand they send me a prospectus. They never do.

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