Thursday, May 9, 2013

When is a messenger...not a messenger?

So, my company has jumped from 10 MB for Internet to 100 MB. To do this, we need new routers. The deal was made - they'd bring two today and take back one. I got a call from the delivery person - he's bringing it now! How exciting.

Wait, he wants us to come downstairs. He doesn't want to take the old one. He won't come up to the office.

"So, you don't want delivery?" he asks. We want delivery. We need delivery, we told him very clearly.

"I have no parking" he says from the driveway in which he is parked next to the building. We see him from our window speaking to us. Elie is here - he came specially to help me climb up the ladder to take out the old router (not that I could manage that even if my arm wasn't hurting me, but I like to believe).  Cars park in the driveway all the time. The police won't give a ticket - the printer downstairs will get annoyed and honk if he needs the driveway cleared. They've taken my parking space enough that I'm not concerned if one time I am responsible for blocking the street.

Elie tells the delivery person to come deliver the routers. The man refuses and pulls out of the driveway, nearly causing a traffic accident. We see him drive less than 50 meters - and pull into a parking spot that opened minutes before. He pulls in legally and we assume we are about to take delivery.

And then the unbelievable happens. After a few minutes (as we assume he's organizing something in the car), he pulls out and drives away. Elie calls him and the man says that the Moked (the main line of the delivery company (called Mishloach Bar part of the קבוצת בר (The Bar Group) which was founded in 1990, says their website: has told him he doesn't have to make the delivery.

Elie is arguing with the man and I ask Elie for the phone. I take it and ask his name. Amazingly enough - he answers.


"Mohammed?" I ask him again. Really? "What is your family name?"

"Shelbawi," he answers. I ask him for his telephone number (which I won't put here) and for the company number, which I will - +972-3-942-6010.

We called the number - their answer is that Mohammed is refusing to deliver, is already in the next neighborhood. If we want, they will deliver the routers tomorrow (Friday - a non-working day in Israel) or Sunday. I believe our Internet will die before that. We are being kicked up to a more powerful speed - there is a reason why we are getting a new router - the old one can't handle the speed, the protocols, or whatever. Bottom line - thanks to Mohammed and Mishloach Bar - my company may not have Internet.

The damage right now is relatively annoying - Elie came in specially and is now missing school waiting for Mohammed to decide whether he will deliver the items in his car, whether Mishloach Bar will, at least, fire the heck out of this ridiculous worker, and whether Bezek and/or Mishloach Bar will pay my company the compensation legally required to avoid this very situation. If a technician schedules to come to you and does not come - Israeli law says you are entitled to compensation. This is intended so that companies will value the time of its customers.

It is incredibly unprofessional and annoying for Mishloach Bar to hire independents who use their own cars and save them money - while costing their end-customers so much aggravation. The company tells us that Mohammed is refusing to return. Amazing that we are all hostage to this one man in a beat up old car, amazing that קבוצת בר allows themselves to be held hostage this way.

We try to speak to a manager at the delivery company - the woman refuses. Then she tells me that we need to wait 3 hours. We say fine - but we are not closing the phone. In general, a service person in Israel is not allowed to close the phone. She tells me again it will take up to three hours and again I say I will wait. In the middle of my next sentence, she puts me on hold and within three minutes, a very polite man picks up the phone to talk to Elie.

In between the delivery company - we try to reach Bezek - the phone company who is sending the delivery, which chose קבוצת בר, which Mohammed. Bezek offers us compensation - 100 minutes on every line - not the 500 shekels required by law. They say, "but he tried to deliver it, he was there." To which Elie offered the best line of the day, "and if you order pizza and the delivery guy drives past your home, will you pay for the pizza?"

What will happen? I don't know - we've spent the last almost two hours arguing over something that could have been resolved if Mohammed had simply exited his legally parked car and done the job he is being paid to do. Instead this is being raised to the level of a national telephone company running after one messenger in an old Toyota Corolla who has our routers and is refusing to deliver them.

Will Mohammed come to the mountain? Will the mountain have to wait...stay tuned...the manager says he will try to resolve this in two hours - the time I have before I have to leave for a meeting. All I can say is that I'm glad Elie is here with me. I would not want to be here alone when Mohammed gets here.

For the update - see the next post...

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