Cellular Agony

Dealing with Phone Companies

Posts Tagged ‘Pelephone’

Ever been cheated by a phone company?

Posted by A Soldier's Mother on June 11, 2014

Ever been cheated by a phone company?

I bet tons of people have. In Israel, problems seem particularly bad. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that at least 50% of all Israelis have been cheated…and because of the additional challenge of interacting in another language, I bet at least 80% of immigrants (new and old) can answer that question in the positive. To date, we have been cheated by all three of the major phone companies. That has to be some kind of a record.

We were really insulted when Cellcom overcharged us for 8,000 NIS for a service we had canceled. When we tried to get the money refunded – they told us we had to sign up for another three years. We eventually got the money back, but by then, we’d moved on to Orange, thinking nothing could be worse than Cellcom.

Things went bad with Orange right from the start…when they took our 16 regular Cellcom lines and registered 75 lines – most of which we obviously never received, and I won’t mention the forged signature. By then, we thought nothing could be worse than Orange – they even made Cellcom look good! We never really resolved it with Orange and finally, we pulled out and went to Pelephone with all sorts of promises…most of which they have now broken.

But as bad as Orange was – and honestly, I thought NOTHING could be worse – what happened yesterday in Pelephone’s Talpiot office in Jerusalem is so very bad. It goes beyond the horrible service and the fact that they canceled many discounts without telling us so that our monthly bill increased almost 300%.

It goes beyond the ignored requests to speak to a manager and their ongoing refusal to cancel services we weren’t using. Yesterday, my husband walked into the Talpiot office – we have the whole thing in an audio recording – and spoke to Moshiko, the manager.

Moshiko immediately tried to sell my husband 12 tablets…and then insisted, “yes or no…yes or no…yes or no” – to my husband’s attempts to communicate further. My husband is an amazing man, wise, capable and determined to make himself understood even though his Hebrew isn’t at a great level.

Moshiko didn’t want to understand – he wanted to perform in front of his employees; he wanted to embarrass my husband. And he did. When my husband informed him that he was recording his ongoing attempt to cancel Pelephone services, Moshiko switched tactics, “This is Cellcom,” he responded. “This is Cellcom. This is Cellcom,” to the laughter of his crowd.

No, actually, what that was, was an immature man given a ridiculous amount of responsibility and little sense of decency. We immigrants from the West came to live in this country out of love and dedication. When we moved here, we made a choice to settle in predominantly Hebrew-speaking communities to help our children acclimate more quickly. And we found work quickly so that we could support ourselves at a time when there were no major financial institutions helping immigrants beyond a small rent subsidy and a small one-time payment for shipping our possessions. No grand welcoming ceremonies and grants given, no politicians meeting our plane.

We found work by taking advantage of whatever skills we had – and some of those skills included our ability to communicate in English. This was good for our financial viability but bad for our own ability to acclimate into a society whose native tongue remained difficult to learn. Despite these ongoing challenges, we created a company that has helped hundreds of other olim find work and remain here in Israel.

I challenge Pelephone to either fire this Moshiko for his insensitive and rude treatment of a customer, or demand that Moshiko call my husband and beg his forgiveness. Moshiko can chalk it up to a moment of insanity, a moment when he let his mouth overpower his brain.

In the last 8 hours, I have heard from over a dozen people who have left Pelephone citing the treatment they received. I wonder if the CEO of Pelephone is named Moshiko too.

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Leaving Pelephone

Posted by A Soldier's Mother on June 10, 2014

We decided to leave Pelephone and are now investigating possibilities. We won’t go back to Orange – not if they gave us 10 years of free service and 15 letters of apology. We considered Cellcom. We have called Golan and Rami Levy – both possibilities.

We decided to give Pelephone one last try. New members can join for 50 shekels a month…they’ll offer us 65 shekels to continue. Yeah, that’s great.

My husband went today to the Talpiot office of Pelephone to speak to them. And met an incredibly insulting manager. When he saw my husband was recording the conversation – the manager took the loudspeaker and started calling out “We’re Cellcom” – “We’re Cellcom” – “We’re Cellcom” –  most of the other Pelephone workers laughed though at least the security guard had the decency to look embarrassed.

Pelephone – what do you do, hire 5-year-olds to manage your offices?

How insulting!

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Sad and Expected Update

Posted by A Soldier's Mother on June 23, 2011

It’s been a while since I updated this blog. The fact is, we moved 8 lines to Pelephone and have been immensely satisfied with their service. What a refreshing break from the horrors of dealing with Orange and Partner!

Pelephone made an accounting error – they took about 4,000 NIS from our account without permission. It literally made my husband sick. Not again. Oh God, I thought, not again! We called them up – we sent emails – no one got back to us. This can’t be happening again, we thought. Do I need to add a page for Pelephone here?

And then – they answered. They came to a meeting – and even before they did, they admitted they made a mistake and credited us for the amount. No, this is not Orange and no, this is not happening again.

See, there is life – and justice – after dealing with Orange. We still technically have 8 lines with Orange, but since they cut them off, we have yet to understand why we should have to pay for them – and, in fact, Orange can take those numbers and do whatever they want. All the people have replaced their service with another and gone to the tremendous inconvenience of telling everyone their new numbers.

Orange – you are such a failure!

As to the update – we got a letter from a lawyer from Orange. When we called, we were told we could not speak to the lawyer, but could talk to Stella. She handles the letters.

“Are you a lawyer?” we asked her.

“No,” she answered.

“Fine, we want to speak to the lawyer who sent us the letter.”

A week later, the lawyer finally called and I told her to read this blog, to read the emails, to be prepared to explain why on the same day we got a letter from the lawyer saying we owed 85,000 NIS, we got a bill from Orange saying we owed 48,000 NIS.

Be prepared, I said to her, to explain how Orange took 16 lines and turned them into 75 – and billed for all of them long after they were told about the dishonest of their representatives.

Be prepared, I told her with anger, to deal with the fury for the agony your client has caused, the damage.

Be prepared to explain the forgeries – the illegal use of electronic signatures and the straight outright forgery of my name on one document.

Be prepared.

She called back to schedule a meeting next week with a representative of Partner.

They will come to our offices – hopefully prepared – I know we will be. Prepared with all the facts, evidence, and anger.

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THREE Weeks to Open a Phone

Posted by A Soldier's Mother on February 9, 2011

That’s right. According to Israeli law, cellular phone companies have no right to hold your phone hostage. They must now open them for free.

So, as law-abiding citizens, we approached Orange and asked them to open our phones. After weeks of procrastinating and giving us the codes a few at a time and dragging it out, they admitted the truth – they are doing this on purpose. They refused to open my iPhone until I paid my bill.

“You are breaking the law,” I told the support person. “Honestly and truly. And we don’t even OWE Orange money.”

Days later. More calls. Almost daily, my son has been calling and spending endless amounts of time trying to get my phone opened while I walk around with an old phone. I have been carrying my iPhone around for the Contacts. Carrying the new phone to call people.

Finally today, after three full weeks, we finally got my phone opened. It is a small victory but I’ll take it as the first of many to come.

When I first started this battle. All I wanted was for Orange to fix the billing and Gal’s lies. After a while and more damage, I just wanted out.

Tell them to take their stinking phones and their stinking service, I told our wonder workers. I don’t owe them; they don’t have to pay me – just end this agony.

As the manager on the phone nastily told my son the other day in yet another lie (he claimed they had offered to cancel the dozens of lines they incorrectly were charging us for) – that offer is off the table.

I have never, in 50 years of living, been so determined. What Orange has done to us is illegal. But more, it is obscene. It is an abomination, a betrayal of our trust.

It is theft of time, of money. And for once, for once, we will sue them, we will beg the courts to understand the damages they have caused to our lives, to our family, to our business.

Just today, my daughter’s teacher said – I was trying to reach you for a few weeks and couldn’t get through. Orange, I explained – but now things are fine. We are will Pelephone.

“WHAT is with your phone?” a colleague asked me. I am in the midst of planning a national conference. “How can you close your phone?” she asked.

I didn’t close it, I explained – Orange did. I told her about the blog; I told her what Orange had done. Two simple words were her response, “Sue them.”

From here to the next world and back again, I responded.

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