Customer complaints abound at newest cellular providers
Customers are reporting trouble in signing up for service and particularly in transferring their cell phone numbers from other companies.
The two new players in the local cellular service sector, Golan Telecom and HOT Mobile, have attracted a great deal of business - so much so that they seem to laboring under the strain. Larger numbers of customers than expected have been beating their paths to the companies, but their company infrastructure hasn't always been able to keep pace. Customers are reporting trouble in signing up for service and particularly in transferring their cell phone numbers from other companies.
Examples of customer service problems abound. One Golan Telecom customer who has two phones from the firm told TheMarker his mobile phone could not receive calls from Bezeq phone numbers, and despite Golan Telecom's assurances that the glitch would be fixed, it hadn't been. Neither of his two phones could send multimedia text messages and he was unable to make calls to Palestinian phone numbers, said the customer, who didn't want his named published.
"But the worst thing," he said, "is there's just no one to talk to. I've spent hours in an attempt to solve these problems with the Golan Telecom telephone service center, but it was futile."
Other Golan customers complained of being billed for a full month's service in advance rather than a pro-rated portion of the first month. Others reported being billed twice for the one-time cost of a cell phone SIM card.
On an Internet blog called TheCom, Avi Weiss reported "chaos" at HOT Mobile, complaining that the company has stopped sending the SIM cards necessary to activate the company's service by messenger, and is instead requiring that customers come to a HOT Mobile sales center to pick them up. Weiss said he said he wasted "hours" in long lines at the service center, also reporting a delay of weeks in transferring his cell phone number from his prior provider.
The problems at HOT Mobile and Golan Telecom seem to have arisen because both firms signed up tens of thousands of customers before their information technology infrastructure was ready to serve them. Apparently, they were also surprised by the magnitude of the rush.
The long-standing cellular firms Cellcom, Pelephone and Partner have also been straining under the increased demand on their customer service departments in the industry's new, more competitive environment. Customers have complained of long waits to talk to a customer service representative - and that at times the representative cannot be reached at all.