Thursday, January 06, 2011

Two calls to customer support

The phone and internet services in Israel will give you special plans that last a year, and they won't call you to tell you that the plan is about to run out. Instead they will bump you to the new unfavorable plan automatically, hoping that they can screw their customers.

So I make these calls every year to review my service and find a better service, if they have one, or move to a new company if they don't.

Call with HOT

ME: What plan do I have?

HOT: You have 1000 minutes free to landlines for 39 NIS, and 20 AG/min to cellphones.

ME: So I pay 3.9 AG per minute for 1000 minutes of landline service, paid up front.

HOT: No, you get those minutes free.

ME: I pay 39 NIS for those minutes.

HOT: You pay 39 NIS for the plan, which includes those minutes free.

ME: Right, whatever. What are my other options?

HOT: We have a plan for 500 minutes to both landlines and cellphones for 69 NIS.

ME: So given that that is 30 NIS more than what I pay now, and cell phone calls are 20 AG/min, I would have to talk at least 150 minutes to cell phones for the plan to be worth it, right? Is that worth it for me, given my calling history?

HOT: That's us to you.

ME: What do you mean it's up to me?

HOT: It depends on what you want.

ME: ... Do you know my calling history?

HOT: Yes.

ME: How much do I call?

HOT: XXX minutes.

ME: So it's not worth it to me.

HOT: It depends on how many minutes you call.

ME: Yes, but you know how many minutes I call. You just told me how many minutes I call. Given how many minutes I call, you can tell me which plan is right for me, can't you?

HOT: No, it's your preference.

ME: It's not a matter of preference. It's a matter of mathematics. You have no way of telling if I would be better off in another plan?

HOT: It depends on how many minutes you call.

ME: ... (carry the 1, ...) no, it's not worth it for me. How much have I been paying each month until now on my current plan?

HOT: Between 45 and 62 NIS.

ME: So, obviously, it won't be worth it for me to switch to a plan that charges, minimally, 69 NIS, right? You could have just said that, right?

HOT: It depends on how many minutes you call.

ME: Sigh. Is that it? Do you have any other plans?

HOT: We have a plan for 24 NIS, but you pay 12 AG for every landline call and 20 AG for every cell phone call.

ME: Why didn't you tell me about this plan? Do I have to ask to know about each of your plans one by one? Are there any magic words I need to speak to hear about a fourth super-secret plan?

HOT: I don't understand. Do you want this plan?

ME: Given my calling history, which you have right in front of you, would it be worth it for me to switch to this 24 NIS plan, assuming that I call the same number of minutes each month as I already do right now, as you can see right in front of you.

HOT: It depends on how many minutes you call.

Call with Netvision

Press 1 for customer service, press 2 for technical support.

-1-

45 seconds of music

Press your customer number and then star, or just press star.

-*-

50 seconds of music

NV: Keyn?

ME: Can I speak to English customer support?

NV: Rak regah. [Transfer number 1]

90 seconds of music

NV: Keyn?

ME: Is this English customer support?

NV: Rak regah. [Transfer number 2]

45 seconds of music

NV: Keyn?

ME: Is this English customer support?

NV: Rak regah. [Transfer number 3]

180 seconds of music

Press 1 for English, press 2 for ...

-1-

30 seconds of music

NV: Keyn.

ME: I'd like to speak to someone who speaks English in customer support.

NV: Rak regah. [Transfer number 4]

90 seconds of music

Press your customer number and then star, or just press star.

...

Yes, boys and girls, this went on all the way to Transfer number 13, going through the same menus and the same people several times on the way. I finally said:

ME: I would like someone in customer service who speaks English to call me back.

At which point they took my name and said that someone who speaks English from customer support would call me back. And asked me if I would like to be transferred, instead of having to wait for a callback.
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