Sunday, December 26, 2010

Cellular Agony - Orange/Partner Closes a Soldier's Phone

A year ago, we decided to leave our long-time cellular provider, Cellcom to move to Partner /  Orange in Israel. We were seduced by the promise of better service, better phones, and lower prices. We took 16 lines from Cellcom against a promise that Orange would pay in full for our moving the lines to them; that we would be a Premier Business Service, and that we would have someone come and walk us through the labyrinth of cellular usage in Israel.

They lied.

Orange took our 16 lines and opened 66. How? Why? We do not have a clue. As many companies do here in Israel, we were signed on an automatic deduction from our bank account. The first month, they took almost 3 times what it had cost us at Cellcom. Why? How?

We spoke to Gal. We spoke to Liron. They promised to check. They didn't answer. Nothing. Another month, another 8,000 NIS taken from our account. Another month, another deduction.

STOP, we told them. WHY are you billing us for 66 lines? They searched, another month. They examined. They refused meetings; they came to some. They called back; they didn't call back. We sent emails. We asked. We called. Nothing.

We finally said if you don't explain these bills and credit us for the money you took, we would close the auto-deduction. Nothing. We finally closed the auto-deduction and continued trying to get Orange to answer us. We wrote emails - nothing; we called and asked them to contact us, to explain - nothing.

Answer us, we begged - nothing.

They won't tell us how much we owe - until we pay. We can't pay until we know if we even owe anything.

Today they closed our phones without warning. They can't tell us how much we owe, says Meir. You owe 62,000 NIS says Shiran...but I have a bill that says we owe 37,000 NIS that I got today. Well, says Shiran, you owe 37,000 NIS plus December.

"Are you telling me you are charging me 25,000 NIS for the last 14 days?" I ask.

"No," says Shiran - I have no idea what she is talking about. I explain again, that we have been asking for meetings all along. I ask her to look at the records. I called on December 14 and was promised a manager would call me back within 4-5 business days - look at my blog, I explain (http://www.cellularagony.wordpress.com). Nothing

And then, in all my frustration, Elie took over. He's better at yelling on the phone. He lists the 25 people he has tried to talk to today alone. Nothing. For this terrible customer service - for the phone calls they refuse to answer, for the meetings they cancel or refuse to schedule. For the money they take without explanation - they deserve our anger.

My daughter cannot call me. She's only 10-years-old and calls me every day when she gets home from school. For that, Orange deserves our contempt.

And then Elie said the one thing I had not thought of...Shmulik can't call me...and I can't call him.
For that alone...they should be ashamed!

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