HOT Gets 200% More Complaints Than YES

Complaints against all TV service providers went up 15% last year.

The HOT cable television had three times as many consumer complaints lodged against it with regulatory authorities last year as its satellite television competitor YES.

A report issued yesterday by the Communication Ministry's Council for Cable Television and Satellite Broadcasting recorded three complaints for every 1,000 HOT customers last year compared to one complaint per 1,000 YES subscribers.

Overall, the council received 4,736 public complaints last year against all television services, an 15% increase over 2010. The most common beef concerned billing - complaints over being billed above the agreed amount, penalized for canceling service and hit with duplicate charges.

Another common complaint involved broadcast content, including discontinuation of channels, violent or otherwise offensive programming, repeat broadcasts and subliminal advertising. After a wave of complaints in 2010 over the Hallmark Channel's decision to pull out of the Israeli market, the cable TV council required providers to customers to cancel their service without penalty. This move led to a 33% drop in complaints about broadcasts, the council said.

A 67% decline was registered in complaints about sports broadcasts, falling to 134 in total.

Council chairman Nitzan Chen said the drop in complaints over broadcast content showed the effectiveness of the council's efforts to ensure that service providers meet their obligations to their customers.