Bezeq is Israel’s largest telecommunication company. Privatised, it still has a large control over land lines and other services. For example, my router is from Bezeq.
I wanted to work from home this morning. My refreshingly strong coffee soon lost its taste, when I realised that the internet was down. The usual switching on and off of dusty buttons led to nothing. I phoned up Bezeq.
I had a very pleasant 23 minute conversation with a young man – let’s call him B1 – who tried to help. He told me where to enter lots of numbers, to connect, do double clicks and to stand on my head. But nothing worked.
So, I could either wait 3 days for free delivery of a new router or get one myself. So, off I drove, straight into several lingering traffic jams. One hour later, I was back home. I plugged it all in, I phoned up the nice chappies on the help line, and then I noticed….nothing. Yup, it was “nothing”.
You see, however I played with the new router, there were no lights on the friendly machine. By the way, it’s a lovely box. They have changed the colour from black to white, evidently to express the purity of the service. In fact B2 was really pleased for me. It seemed that I was one of the very lucky few to obtain a dud router.
Could he register a complaint in my name? No, I had to phone another number. So left with the choices of waiting 3 days, driving off again to the Bezeq store or drinking a bottle of whiskey, I chose option number 2, just.
With no traffic jams and having found a new road, I was there in record time. Luck again, heh, and that was after I had filled up with petrol on the way. Keeping Bezeq’s help line busy is a heavy strain on my darling car.
I received another white router, which I insisted they tested for electricity. I do learn quickly. In fact, I was giving a unit in new packaging. Such an honour to be able to work with Bezeq.
Could I register a complaint, I asked rather delicately? After all, this is a Bezeq shop, located in the building of the national offices. Surely, if I use my mobile to phone a special number.
Whistling to myself and trying to avoid the signs to the local loony bin, off I raced to the car, smiling. I suppose the people around did look somewhat concerned. My teeth were protruding over some extremely raw lips. Actually, there were not much flesh left, but I was trying to smile through it all. I really was
Back home. On the line to B3, a most delightfully helpful person, he really is. We sailed through the procedure together. Press enter, he told me. Is the internet button now flashing? No, says me. I thought not, said B3.
I tell you what was lit up; the red danger sign inside my head. Just let me check something, says B3, who passed me on to Bezeq’s latest piece of boring die-while-you-wait musac. He returned in a jiffy to tell me with great gusto that he had detected a problem on my line. This will take up to 2 hours to fix.
B3 would not be drawn if the original router was faulty. He was most sorry to hear that I had already spent 4 hours on cordially chatting to half of Bezeq’s support group. And as for a complaint, he suggested something, but my yawn hid his answer.
With nothing left to do, I phoned 166, the complaints line. I pressed 1 for Hebrew, 2 to confirm my phone line, and several other numbers until I most inconveniently got through to B4, who could handle the issue.
She took my details. And then: “One minute sir, could you hold a moment. There is a fault with the system.” A few seconds later I heard her ask me to call back in half an hour, as the fault apparently was a very annoying fault, that would not go away – much like Bezeq’s management I thought to myself.
Could B4 call me back, when she was ready? No, that was against procedures, evidently designed so as not to help clients with a complaint! I assume that B4 heard the click, as I put the phone down.
The two hours did eventually pass by. Nothing happened. When I called back and spoke to B5, I was told that the problem was fixed, but Bezeq policy is not to call you back and confirm. But Mrs B5, I plead, my internet is still not working. Oh, and B5 discovered another problem, which required a technician to be sent out.
B5 calmly told me that a technician would turn up tomorrow, and I told her in a very uncalm manner that he was coming today. “Well, I don’t think you need to use that tone of voice,” responded B5.
In fact, I did have to. And I screamed again, several times, in order to get a manager, who spent over an hour with me and a rep from the server company. Together, nearly 9 hours after the initial panic, they sorted out the problem.
For the record, it is probable that the router was fine, but that there was a fault on the line. Once the router had been exchanged, everybody forgot that this would render as useless an existing password. Simple, no?
And also for the record, it is very probable that I will be moving to another internet supplier. Do you want to know why?
Bezeq also failed to hear that I am a licensed business mentor with local and international clients. Bezeq is not one of my customers, but now features on this blog site. I invites others to comment about Bezeq or to add their stories about so-called customer support from large organizations.