Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rami Levy vs. Cellcom - Round 1

Rami Levy
I just came back from moving my daughter's cellphone account from Cellcom to Rami Levy.  The entire process took 20 minutes and within 3.5 hours the number moved from Cellcom to Rami Levy as promised.  The primary motivation for the move was to reduce my cellphone bill but it also gave me a chance to experience the move and see if there are discernible differences between the service of Cellcom and Rami Levy.  After many years of living with the decreasing levels of service at the telecom incumbents, I no longer have any expectations that anyone is really interested in providing acceptable levels of service, so the move was primarily done to save some shekels.

I had been putting off the move for a number of months hoping that Cellcom would offer a competing product to Rami Levy and keep me from making the move (change is difficult at my age).  However when I saw my daughter's last cell phone bill I decided that the time had come to take some action.  Unfortunately it seems that Cellcom has too many things on its mind right now and competing with Rami Levy is not a priority for them.  I couldn't believe that a response to the upstart Rami Levy from the incumbents would be almost non-existent.

Before making the move, I made one last effort to see if Cellcom was interested in keeping me as a customer.  After waiting on hold for a Cellcom Representative for 15 minutes, I went through the typical song and dance of "let's see how you use your account", "pay this get that" and finally "do you have a soldier at home".  At the end of the first dance, I asked the rep whether he had heard of Rami Levy and their offer.  He said "yes".  Do you have a competing product to offer me? I asked.  The answer was "just a minute...".  After a further 10 minutes listening to Cellcom's elevator music a new rep got on the line.  He read the previous rep's report (which was written during my time on hold) and then began to offer me the same deals as the previous rep.  Needless to say, I had enough.  I told him that I wanted a simple answer (Yes or No) to a simple question - do you have a competing product to Rami Levi.  The answer was "No".

And so ended my relationship with Cellcom.  Rami Levy offers you the following:

One time Sim Fee: 39 shekels
Monthly fee: 14.95 NIS
Price per Minute: 20 Agorot
Price per SMS: 15 Agorot.

There are other services available such as Internet surfing however you have the option to turn this and other services off at time of registration.

You will need a phone that works on the 850 frequency (Nokia C2-01 - 490 NIS at Ivory).  Even if you don't live near a Rami Levy store, you can still sign up for a Rami Levi account at Ivory Computers.

We are living during interesting times and it will be interesting to see how the incumbents, with their heavy overheads, will deal with the upstarts.  Maybe change isn't as bad as I thought.