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Jan 27, 2011

Customer Service In Israel Improves - Example: Bezeq

People always complain about customer service in Israel, based on the history of bad service. The truth is that customer service in Israel has improved dramatically over the past 10 years. Many companies have representatives that listen to your complaint, are polite and helpful and try to get the problem solved to everyones satisfaction, and even reasonable compensation is no longer unusual.

Here is a good example of how far we have come in that regard.

On Tuesday Bezeq had a few hours of technical difficulty that led to the phone system across the country not working properly. Many customers suffered seriously. While in a home it might not be so bad, though it could be as well, businesses that rely on the telephone suffered serious losses - I read in the paper about a taxi stand that claimed they had almost no business during the outage, when usually they are very busy with about 5000 calls a day, leading to thousands of shekel of damage. A pizza store had no telephone business, which is a major component of their business, causing them tremendous losses. The pizza shop and taxi stand mentioned in the paper that they were each considering suing Bezeq for the loss of business.

Bezeq fixed the problem and said they would compensate their customers, probably to the skepticism of many customers. They came through quickly, announcing today that next week all phone calls will be free, up to 1000 minutes of calls, from Sunday morning until Saturday night. There is no need to register with them to receive this offer, as it will be automatically applied.

I don't know if 1000 minutes of free calls will make up for everybody's losses, as businesses might have lost more than that and perhaps a businesses losses were calls received rather than outgoing (for example, how many minutes of outgoing calls does a pizza shop or taxi stand really need anyway?), but it is good public compensation. Perhaps those businesses that were affected in ways that this will not make up for are being given other forms of compensation on a more individual basis.

4 comments:

  1. I thought I read that the thousand minutes of free calls from Bezek only applies to calls to cellphones.

    In any case, I suspect that Bezek (or Nezek [damage], as the satirists call them) wanted to announce something concrete quickly because of the awful publicity which they received from the original problem. I don't see the thousand minutes of free calls, which must be used within one week, as truly compensating people, especially businesses as Rafi G. pointed out in the initial post.

    Maybe Bezek will provide some additional compensation more seriously aimed at the losses people suffered. Or maybe the nickname "Hevrat Nezek" really still does apply to them!

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  2. Yes, but they still make no provision for English speaking olim who call to either get info, or want to pay their bill by cc, there is no English option and it is impossible to get any satisfaction via the bezeq line. Very frustrating. They are immensely arrogant as a company. They respect the Arabs and russians better than the Jews from English speaking countries. It takes time to learn Ivrit, they are impossible. They run their offices like army camps. This is one angry bezeq customer!

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  3. In my past 3 travels to Israel, I have still found overall customer service in Israel to be a long shot from favorable. Keep trying though.

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  4. Just got back from a 2 week trip and I have to say nothing has improved, sorry. Everywhere we went it was either shrugs of "i don't knows, dont' bother me" or just no help at all. It seems that time and time again, Israel is losing its quality or lack of training when it comes to customer service. As an Israeli myself that is able to converse with other Israelis on their level, it seems that it usually takes several people to get through in order to get anything done. Lots of run-arounds where no one knows an exact solution and answer and passes you on to another person or department. This includes our experience with a car rental company, gas stations, and retail stores etc. My parents live there for 5 years now and consistently complain of the same issues that it is such a pain to get anything done (banks, utilities, etc.) and usually only gets problems get solved by a series of arguments with service people. Aside from that, the rudeness and nonchalant attitude is appalling. In addition, there are too many places you will go to and they speak russian only. Nothing against Russians at all. For example we went to a spa in the dead sea, the staff was 90% Russian and they had the gaul to operate the spa as if they were in Moscow conversing only in Russian saying who knows what. That was true rudeness. I'm Israeli living in the states and I would never begin conversing in Hebrew in a room full of Americans. In a nutshell, Israel needs to focus on training people better as I feel they are just looking for tourists to begin badmouthing the place. Don't get me wrong, I love Israel, but dealing with people in Israel can be a nightmare.

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