Monday, 16 January 2017

Another Frustrating Day with a Cell Phone Company

The past few months, 5 to be exact has been extremely frustrating! The first time I guess we can excuse but after that, what excuse can there be? We moved our mobile phone contract to Hotmobile and were told that we would get free calling to a whole bunch of overseas countries including South Africa where we come from. So far, all is well. We were told that to South Africa we can call any landline for free. Still fine.

I don't have so many contacts left there. From time to time I might call for work and that is definitely to a landline. My  mother, who is a pensioner and made Aliyah a year ago, has some friends there still and should be entitled to call them from time to time. Her friends are also all pensioners. Lifelong friends and the numbers are all landlines. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure it out. Let us take a look at what Wikipedia lists as dialing codes within South Africa.

I am not sure how clearly this capture comes out. It has been taken from Wikipedia. It is quite clear to see that after the 27 code for South Africa there are codes for various areas in the Western Cape. There are codes for the other provinces too, but in our case this is what was important.

Now there are two numbers that have been called every month for 5 months to the code that is for landlines in the Western Cape. Every month we have had a 3 hour fight to convince them that the number is a landline and not a mobile number.

What do the mobile numbers look like in South Africa? Here are the numbers that start off the mobile phone numbers in South Africa: 072... 073... 074... 071... 082... 083... 074... 061... etc but that would be 002772 or 002783. In our case it would be 017 (for hot mobile) instead of 00.

Surely this information is simple to understand so why is it necessary for a 3 hour argument every month for 5 months? Over the past few days we have spoken to the manager of Hot Mobile and she insists that the number that begins 0172721... is a mobile number. She asks for every number that we call. I asked does that mean all customers have to provide their address book? It does not matter that we sent her the link to Wikipedia. We offered to get a letter from Telkom the phone company in South Africa. She is now investigating from today, Monday until Sunday of next week to make sure that she can find a way to bill us extra for a phone call to a little old lady on her landline in South Africa. Does this make any sense what-so-ever?

What irritates me about this?
  1. If they can cover calls to mobile numbers in America and Canada why are they making such a fuss about a landline number to a little old lady once a month in South Africa?
  2. The number can be clarified quite easily. Firstly the dialing codes are up online and secondly they can call Telkom to verify. 
  3. They maintain that if this is what their computer tells them then that is what it is. To me that is rubbish! Computers are programmed by people and data can be changed, corrected and updated. Blaming the computer does not cut it.
  4. What about customer service? If we took the contract in order to have free landline calls to South Africa, why is it so difficult  for them to deliver the goods? 
  5. If they are arguing about this to us, how many other customers are over paying for no reason?

    So now I am really stuck and frustrated and I would like input from the general public to prove to this company that if they promise free landline calls to South Africa and we are calling a landline then they need to honour that contract and promise.

    Lastly, are there any honest mobile companies in Israel? I am pretty much ready to change and yes, I have told the manager that but it has made no difference.

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Concerns of an Olah who is a Dietician

The previous two posts have focused on details related to types of salaries and working conditions for health professionals in Israel. These can be seen on the links here:

Following the second post, I received a message from a dietician who has given me permission to share her experience. 
"Hi! I saw your post on the FaceBook group "Keep Olim" about health professionals. I am a registered dietitian who made aliyah recently. In American hospitals, dietitian salaries are often much lower than other healthcare professionals (~$40,000 or so per year), even though we are managing tube feedings, ordering and evaluating labs, etc. the reasons given for the low salary tends to be that we are a female dominated profession, and that we don't make the hospital money -- joint commission requires all admitted patients be seen but we are not a "billable service" such as PT, etc. Anyway, apparently full time hospital dietitians in Israel only make 6000 NIS per month. I don't understand how people survive like this. I have my MS degree, had to do a year of clinicals, took a national exam to get my license, and have to get continuing education credits to maintain my license. I've heard many dietitians work multiple part time jobs. I read one post from a dietitian who said she is cleaning houses for money on top of her regular job. I still have to take the exam to get licensed here but I'm worried I will have to give up a career that I love and am passionate about in order to survive here.

I have five years experience, including being the cardiac dietitian and cardiac intensive care unit dietitian for a hospital, which is ranked #5 in America for cardiology! I have a concern as to how will I ever be able to pay back my American student loans with this salary? I can not begin working in Israel until I have my license and have to wait for the next date to write my exam."

This is a very understandable concern and one that many Olim face. Have you found a similar situation? How did you overcome it?  

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"

Monday, 9 January 2017

Further Information Regarding Health Professionals in Israel

Yesterday I posted an article in response to a message I had received from a registered nurse regarding low salary and conditions for nurses and other health professionals in Israel. I have had two responses to this. 

The first response in came from another nurse. She says:
   "Hi. I am a nurse with 30 years experience. I work in an NICU, and have a B.N., and an M.A. I have completed an ICU course.The work is challenging, and the pay is about half of what I'd receive if I were working abroad. The staffing sucks, as despite the fact that the Ministry of Health has agreed more nurses are required, the Kupot haven't found the money to increase the staffing. After almost 20 years of working here, and over a decade abroad, I make about 60 shekels an hour. On addition, due to the staffing situation, at times you are almost bullied to suck it up and come to work, even if you are under the weather. Yes, this happens, even if you are endangering the health of those around you. But this is the situation... Maybe before I retire things will improve, but I won't hold my breath."

Some hours later I received a message from a Physio who says:  "I am a Physio. When I first made Aliyah I worked in a hospital for about 24₪ an hour with a little   more for on calls and extra for Shabbatot. It is horrible pay. I left after 5 years and the pay had risen to about 29₪ and that was with 2 pay raises. 
I had 2 years experience when I began working and I started to work there about 10 years ago, left 5 years ago. I still work as a PT in a different facility." - The reader should note that this salary would go back to 2007 - 2011 or 2012. Have the salaries improved at all?

I am not sure and I wish I could say that they have. I do know that 2 years ago when I was asked to cover an occupational therapist on maternity leave therapist the facility wanted to pay me ₪23 an hour.

Salary scales such as these are low and depressing. How are high school students supposed to be motivated to spend time studying for a profession that will reimburse them for hard, responsible work at such a low salary. How do we expect to inspire those in the diaspora to Make Aliyah when their chances of earning within their profession will be met with low salaries?

What about the working conditions? It is not acceptable to expect health professionals to work in a state of health that will become a danger to the health and well being of those around them.  There has to be a solution to this.

If you are a health professional and have worked in Israel, please be in touch and let us know your experience. Also, if you have any suggestions as to how to improve conditions for health professionals in Israel, we'd love to hear them. 

Lastly, if you are an occupational therapist and interested in working privately, please be in touch to join our monthly privately practitioners meeting.

This post is prepared for you by
Occupational Therapist, healing facilitator, certified infant massage instructor, freelance writer and co-author of "Tuvia Finds His Freedom" and author of "Healing Your Life Through Activity - An Occupational Therapist's Story"


Related Posts with Thumbnails