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?
- 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?
- The number can be clarified quite easily. Firstly the dialing codes are up online and secondly they can call Telkom to verify.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.