Location: Israel

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


I lost it today at the Bezeq office. I can offer the excuse that Bezeq called me at almost two in the morning and again a few hours later, so, being more sleep-deprived than usual I was pretty irritable when I arrived.
I'd gone to the phone company's Jerusalem office again today because, when I've tried to solve my billing problem on the phone by dialling 199, they've routinely told me to go to the office; when I've gone to the office they've told me to phone 199. Oh, and one 199 operator told me to send a fax, which I did, but when I'd heard nothing after more than two weeks, I figured it was time for another trip to the office.
This morning, having explained to the clerk that 199 sent me to the office and that I'd like to speak to someone who could fix my problem, she suggested I send a fax....
I lost it. They called the police.
I am not allowed back in that office. I'll be arrested if I go there, the police officer said.
So, apart from this new legal - perhaps criminal - problem, I have two items I want fixed: I want the automated phone calls to stop and I want to be refunded for a phone I never bought but for which I've been billed and have paid approximately 640 shekels so far.
The automated phone calls originate from 036809900. The first cooperative 199 operator I spoke to today explained that I'd been sent an SMS message and that the phone rang periodically to notify me that I had a message waiting. I questioned the timing of the calls. She said that such SMS reminder calls were not made between midnight and seven in the morning, so there must be some mistake, that the machine must have believed my phone was busy, otherwise the calls wouldn't have gone through.
I figured that any SMS calls were advertisements anyway, so when she offered to block the calls I agreed. I was relieved for several hours - until the phone rang again. Again I called 199 and a different operator blocked my calls - yeah, right!

These calls are a recent problem. The original problem stemmed from my accepting the offer of a free phone (DAEWOO 400) a couple of years ago. It was a free gift for signing up for high speed internet. A free gift for which - according to my May 2008 bill - I've made 16 payments
of 39.83 NIS, so far...

The police officer was interesting. Firm, but respectful. He did not try to bully me; in fact, as part of what I guess is his routine of making the offender recognize the error of his ways, he suggested that I obtain contact information for the upper management of Bezeq to solve my billing problem...

Later, when I went to the post office to send a fax, the post office clerk explained that I couldn't send a fax to Bezeq's complaint department because the Israeli post office does not send faxes to numbers beginning with 1-800. I chose not to send the fax to a different number because only the 1-800 number is guaranteed to elicit a response. So I've asked a friend to send my fax from his workplace tomorrow.

I'm very tired now. At the suggestion of a couple of friends, I've unplugged my phones in order to get some sleep. So now, not only am I being made to pay for a phone I never purchased, I am also paying for phone service that I am not using (because the phones are unplugged).

I've sent a couple of complaints to Bezeq on their website. Let's see what happens next.



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