Cellular Agony

Dealing with Phone Companies

Mother Russia

Posted by Paula on January 23, 2011

A song has been going through my head for the last few days. It is a song I remember from long ago, when I was involved in protests against the injustice of the Soviet Union. I joined thousands demanding that they let the Jews emigrate.

As Anatoly Sharansky was finally freed to come home to Israel and become the Natan Sharansky we all respect, the song, “We are leaving, Mother Russia” was released. It is so silly that such an important subject and song should be the tune that goes through my head as I think of Orange and our cellular agony, but there it is.

We are leaving Mother Russia,
We have waited far too long.
We are leaving Mother Russia,
When they come for us we’ll be gone.

After 11 months of cellular agony and more lies that we can count, today we successfully pulled part of our lines out of Orange.

We didn’t pull out all the lines and we still have a long fight ahead of us, but no one can say we didn’t try to resolve this; no one can say we lied, forged, cheated.

The numbers are coming in of how badly Orange tried to cheat us. They promised to reimburse us for the exit fees from Cellcom. These amounted to about 33,000 NIS. Of this amount, Orange has paid us only a bit over 1,500 NIS.

They promised us a rate of 27 agurot per minute (we have just signed a deal for 25 agurot per minute with another company), but even the 27 agurot was a decent rate. Only, Orange didn’t honor that fee from the  start. No, they charged us over 70 agurot per minute – an absurdly high rate for anyone, let alone someone who supposedly had 66 lines.

All this is to be sorted out in the future and likely in court. For now, I have been liberated. I am free. I can call anyone; anyone can call me. It is my company that has succeeded after weeks of damage to liberate ourselves. The damage continues on some of the lines, but at least mine is free; my parents’ numbers are out.

My mother and father will no longer be alone and unable to call someone when they leave their home. We are awaiting confirmation whether we succeeded in pulling out younger daughter’s phone out. One son is clear – we don’t know about the other lines.

And one last frustration – our Orange phones are still useless to us. In violation of the law, Orange is still refusing the codes to unlock them. On Thursday, we were told we would be called on Sunday. That they did not have the codes and had to get them from the manufacturers.

On Friday, we took 15 phones to Cellcom and got them unlocked within an hour.

Today is Sunday, and as expected, Orange did not call us with the codes. When we called them; they argued and transferred us from department to department.

Agony and lies to the end.

And the tune goes through my head – I am leaving, Orange. I have waited far too long. I am leaving. When you come for me, when you realize what damage you have caused, I’ll be gone!



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