Bureaucracy, stupidity, Israel, internet, stroke

Since I’m unemployed I deal a lot with bureaucracy. Insurance, tax, new employer, old employer, car leasing, test for Hila’s car, ministry of interior, ministry of religious affairs, ministry of foreign affairs, ISP… just to name some of them. In most cases it takes hours, and days, lot of money to be payed in the post office or the ministry or through the internet or just for parking your car next to the ministry. (And then I didn’t count the 100NIS fine I got during a job interview because there was no parking place next to the office) Unfortunatelly my free ISP through answers.com ends in a few days, so I had to sign with an ISP. Long ago decided not to continue with Netvision, and try BezeqInt.

Last week I found a good bundle in a kamaze.co.il through my current infrastructure provider, HOT, via BezeqInt as ISP. I filled in a form, so they got back to me the next day. I told them what I want, but as they found out that I’m not a new customer of HOT, the guy that spoke to me suddenly didn’t hear me well, and asked for hanging up the phone, and promised to call me back immediatelly. Well that was on Friday, 4 days ago, still waiting…. An hour later as I understood he won’t call me back I opened another ticket. They got back to me on Sunday, but as she understood what I want well, she didn’t hear me clear, and asked if she can call me back. Since I was driving to Jerusalem on my way to some of the above mentioned ministries, on the highway I told her that she can call me back at 13:00 – knowing that the ministries are open until 12:30. Needles to say, that she’s still calling me back… (2 days) Today I didn’t open a new ticket, but dialed the special phone number of kamaze.co.il, but when I dialed the extension I needed the machine said it can’t be connected. So I called HOT, and tell them what I wanted, Bundle HOT+BezeqInt, 5Mbit 89.90NIS. She asked for a moment to check that, and after 15 minutes of listening to HOT’s deals she got back to me and told me I need to call BezeqInt. I told her I’d rather wait for a conference call with them, because I’ve already spoken to BezeqInt yesterday, and they told me to call HOT. So I waited another 20 minutes and explained again to the customer support of BI what I wanted. She said, no problem, but they can only provide 2.5 Mbit for 89.90 or 5Mbit for 139.90. I fell of the chair, but the HOT lady on the line informed the BI lady that it’s an “opposite direction bundle” through HOT, and the price is OK, we called BezeqInt only to do the technical stuff. So she wrote down all my details, credit card number, etc, and gave me the new password for the internet and a phone number in case of any problem. I told them that currently I am connected to Netvision w/o a caller (in other words via DHCP) because I had different technical issues in the past, and that was the only thing that worked. So the BezeqInt lady told me it’s through HOT, and I asked the HOT lady to transfer me to their technical department. After another 10 minutes of listening to hot HOT deals I explained again to the tech guy, what I wanted. He said, I need to call BezeqInt, and they’ll contact HOT. I told him I just spoke to HOT+BezeqInt in a conference call and they told me I need to talk to him. I asked him to call BezeqInt in a conference call, because I was already on the line for 56 minutes, but he wasn’t ready to do that, gave me the phone number of BezeqInt. I called BezeqInt, explained to the guy what I wanted, and he said no problem, let’s call HOT in a conference call. We waited the regulat 10 minutes until HOT customer support answered the phone, and explained what we wanted. The guy in HOT said that because I am currently connected to Netvision w/o a caller, I need to give him a number that I’ll get from Netvision, that approves that I am disconnected from them and I have no debts. I told him that I am not connected to Netvision any more, because it was through my previous employer, but this didn’t help. I insisted that he connects me to Netvision what he did. In the meantime the BezeqInt representative got off the line, and it turned out that the HOT rep as well. So I found myself in Netvision’s machine menu, I had to search for the employer number to type in and soon I was answered by someone, who immediately knew that I am another one from answers.com who was let go, but when I explained him why I got there he didn’t understand why I need and what I need. And actually I don’t need anything. I shouted that I agree, I know, he knows, but f*ing HOT do require something from me that I need to get from him. So he called HOT in a conference call, and tried to explain to the new HOT rep that I have no obligations whatsoever, and HOT can disconnect me. It wasn’t easy to convince the HOT rep, but after I shouted a bit, and the Netvision rep explained it to him 3 times, he claimed he understood what he needs to do. Then we said goodbye to Moti from Netvision (the only rep in 3 of the biggest internet companies in Israel that knows what he does) and the HOT guy told me that they’ll take care of it with BezeqInt. I said, no thanks, I’d rather wait on the phone, it took me 1:40 +on the line so far, and so far not many reps who promised me to call me back actually called, so 10-20 more minutes is better than having to start everything again tomorrow. He said, that I’ll take a few hours. I said: WHAAAATTTTT? It toke 5 minutes last year, when I had to do this last time. He said, actually there’s nothing to do. It will be automatically set up, and I’ll see in a few hours that I got the new IP from BezeqInt, and basically I didn’t have to call at all…

Now before you ask, why HOT, I’ll tell you: because in Gan Yavne I can get only 4-4.5 Mbit through Bezeq’s ADSL, and the only way I can get more than that is through the cable. But during the last phonecall I was really thinking whether I really want this, or should I just say, you know what f*ck yourself, disconnect me from HOT, I’ll rather pay more to Bezeq, for 4Mbit + phone calls, just let me live, ’cause if it goes on like this I’ll end up in a hospital soon… (for those not in Israel: hospitals are half-closed (like in weekends) in the past months, because of the doctor’s strike…)

UPDATE: they called me from HOT after an hour. After 10 minutes of wasting my time again it turned out that the guy who called me doesn’t know why he called me, he didn’t understand what’s the problem, and when I told him I would like to disconnect from Netvision w/o caller blabla, and connect BezeqInt w/o caller, he asked me, ah, you want a router? We have it for 10NIS/month. At that point, I have to admit, I lost my last hope. I started packing my stuff and googled El-Al, and hoped that I can still order a plain ticket with the answers.com netvision to leave Israel…

UPDATE2: Now it’s 15:30. I 1st called HOT today at 10:30. Finally I got my new IP through BezeqInt. It took 5 hours brutto, out of which cca 3 hours on the phone with stupid people representing stupid monopol companies. The phone bill I’ll only see later, I guess it’s going to be aroud 20 shekel at least. I told HOT I’d prefer to disconnect from them, ’cause it’s not worth to get heart attack every time I need them to fix something, I’d rather pay more to Bezeq. They said I can leave, but I have to pay 10NIS for every month left from the deal I had with them (until May 2012) + 250NIS just to make sure I don’t want to leave. I said, I’ll leave anyway, then she agreed to give me a compensation worth 1 day of internet (today), what sums to 3NIS (yes, you heared well, three shekels!)

Currently I’ll stay at HOT until the next crisis or May 2012 (whichever comes 1st).

UPDATE3: it seems that I was right: since last week we are surfing via BezeqInt, we are able to see youtube videos even in the peek (evening) hours without having to stop 5 times in the middle of every video.

So here is the moral: in most cases not the nominal speed of the internet connection is what’s important but the bandwidth/speed that the ISP has to abroad, because I’m pretty sure every ISP has the nominal speed to the israely websites, but when it gets to other sites (and let’s be honest, although Israel is high-tech empire, we’re still only a small part of the internet) the bandwidth to abroad is what counts, that is the bottleneck.

4 thoughts on “Bureaucracy, stupidity, Israel, internet, stroke”

    1. Not at all. BTW most of the customer support crew has heavier accent than me: Russian or Arabic. But as you see above, Shimi, who has no accent said that it’s the same in every ISP… This is Israel.

  1. Gavriel, my sympathy for your agony. I have yet to undergo similar (hopefully simpler) procedures as I will probably stay with Bezeq, and maybe Netvision as well. Anyway, your style reminded me of another Israeli-Hungarian, Ephraim Kishon (sth like Ferenz Kishonet at birth) – one of the greatest humorists of Israel! So while you might not have an internet connection soon, you do have a potential alternative career as a humor writer.

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