Nimas Lee: An open letter to HOT

By Melchett Mike
December 1, 2010

[More relevant to Israel-based readers perhaps, though it still might strike a chord with UK ones who have had experience of Israeli customer service! HOT is our cable TV provider . . . ]

To: HOT customer service, fax number 07770 78231

December 1, 2010

To Whom It May Concern, HOT:

I have been extremely frustrated for some years now by the supreme incompetence of HOT’s customer service . . .

Whenever I call HOT, its automated telephone system fails (unfailingly) to recognise my mobile number: 054 554 11** [asterisks for melchett mike]. So, too, do HOT’s customer service representatives (when they eventually pick up, that is – rarely before 10-15 minutes of recorded bollocks, and if the call does not 'spontaneously' disconnect beforehand).

The aforementioned is my number. It has always been my number. It was never the number of Robert Lee [nimas li, for non-Hebrew speaking readers, means “I am fed up/have had enough,” hence the wordplay in the title], a visitor from the US who rented my apartment in 2001/2: one of HOT’s many mini-brained customer service representatives must have added it to Mr. Lee’s account when I left it as a contact number after informing HOT that he no longer lived here.

I live at (and own) apartment 3 at (building number) ** Melchett, Tel Aviv. I don’t live (nor have I ever) at 3 Melchett. Even if I succeed in persuading a customer service representative that I am not Robert Lee, I then have to spend a further 10-15 minutes getting them to believe that I live at ** (and not 3) Melchett. This whole process, as you can perhaps understand, can be extremely tedious and irksome.

Following numerous calls to HOT last year, in an attempt to resolve this situation, I was asked – in order to prove that I live at ** (and not 3) Melchett – to fax my ID card, together with its address supplement, to HOT’s Finance Department. This I did, even confirming receipt over the phone. And, yet, still showing as my address in HOT’s customer service records is . . . yes, you guessed it . . . 3 Melchett.

For some insane reason – essentially, because 012 Smile’s telephone service does not work very well (in fact, it is shit) – I called HOT, last week, to order its telephone line (without time commitment) instead. Once again, your customer service representative, Simona, was unable to locate my details. Moreover, she went on to insist that I must be Robert Lee, because . . . wait for it . . . I have the same telephone number as him and live in his apartment! On the verge of tearing my hair out, I attempted to reason with Simona that it was highly unlikely that two individuals would have the same telephone number and that the problem, therefore, was probably with HOT’s customer service database. But to no avail.

Neither did the facts that I have had HOT Internet and TV services in my name for one and two years, respectively, satisfy Simona: I provided her with both my ID number and the last four digits of the credit card with which I have been paying HOT, but . . . nada. Most infuriating of all – listen to the call (HOT claims it records them) – Simona seemed to expect me to resolve the problem. She eventually agreed to call back when she had located my details . . . but, surprise, surprise, zilcherino! Further telephone conversations – with Mor and Talia, from the “Chanit” and “Maya” teams, respectively – failed to yield results, or even the return courtesy calls promised.

HOT’s customer service – a misnomer if ever there was one – is, even by the abysmal standards of Israeli customer service, an absolute shambles and disgrace. Indeed, never have I come across such incompetence and ineptitude in an organisation (not to mention a commercial one). Even former clients from my days in criminal defence law were more reliable than anything I have encountered with HOT.

You will not be surprised to learn that I did not renew my contract for HOT’s TV service when it expired a fortnight ago. And neither will I for its Internet service when it runs out in June 2011. In fact, as I slowly disentangle myself from all things HOT, I am starting to feel a remarkable weight lifting from my stressed, tired shoulders.

Happy Chanukah.

Yours respectfully,

Mike Isaacson

PS I have also posted this letter to my blog, melchett mike, at



Thu, 12/02/2010 - 10:43

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Have you tried threatening them with going to Yes, the satellite provider? My cousin, Meital Gur-u, did it and they behaved nicely after that. (Not that Yes is any better when it comes to customer "service", mind)


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