Shomer Shekalim

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that’s not good enough

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legal warning: The information here should not be understood legally as financial advice. If you believe anything on this site is in error, please contact me. I am always open to corrections, new ideas, and new opinions...

Last month my annual contracts for my internet finally expired.  But just in case I would forget, HOT and 012 called me about 100 times to try remind me that there are some limited time deals – act now! – that I had to sign up for in order to get a good deal for my next year’s contract.

But getting a deal is never about “acting now” or closing any kind of deal before doing a proper comparison.  So I had to tell the people at HOT and 012 to lay off for a while until I could get all the facts and numbers straight.

After calling a couple of internet providers, I decided that I wanted to pay ₪ 50 NIS for HOT and ₪ 25 a month for 012 (I used to pay ₪ 70 and ₪ 50 respectively).  So I waited for HOT to call back and asked the salesman about the offer.  I was offered the regular sale they had going (₪ 59 a month, one year obligation) and advised strongly to act now because (1) it was less than I was paying now and (2) the salesman was not sure for how long the offer would last.  I tried bargaining him down, but when we reached a stalemate, I suddenly remembered Dave Ramsey’s strategy and decided to give it a try.

“That’s not good enough.”  I said.  “If that is your final offer then I will have to hang up the phone and call Bezeq.”

“Let me speak to my manager” the salesman said.  After waiting for about 30 seconds, the salesman reappeared with another offer of one month free and a year of obligation. 

As a side note, the salesman wanted to begin the free month immediately, even though I already paid full price for this month.  I had to get him to agree to reimburse me for the outstanding amount of the month I already paid for (alternatively we could have started the free month next month – either way, the salesman’s original intent was very deceptive).

Next stop was 012, a much simpler company to deal with.  I called 012 and was offered ₪ 40 a month (one year obligation).  I remembered Dave Ramsey’s line and gave it a shot:

“That’s not good enough.”

She spoke to a manager and I was immediately offered one mofree month

“That’s still not good enough.”

 She spoke to a manager again and got me a second free month.

“That’s not good enough.”

“Sir,” she finally answered, “how much do you want to pay?”

“I want to pay ₪ 30 a month and get 2 free months (average of ₪ 25).

So after speaking to a manager, she came back with a final offer of ₪ 25 a month, with one free month (average ₪ 23 a month).  It’s cute how some companies do not use math when they negotiate.

A look at my saving using the “that’s not good enough” approach:

Previous internet price: ₪ 120 a month for HOT and 012 combined

Offered price: ₪ 99 (₪ 59 from HOT, ₪ 40 from 012): A savings of ₪ 21 x 12 months = ₪ 252

Bargained price: ₪ 77 (average of 54 from HOT and 23 from 012):  An additional savings of ₪ 22 per month x 12 months = ₪ 264

Total savings:  ₪ 516


  1. Abbi says:

    I would be shocked if you ever saw reimbursement from HOT for the month you paid. It took us a year to get money they overcharged us after we canceled with them.

    Golden rule number 2: never expect reimbursement from Israeli communications companies.

  2. Genius says:

    Nice job!

    But I agree with Abbi. Did you actually get these companies to sign a physical contract with you? If not, they have no incentive to honor their sales departments’ agreements, and they won’t.

    • jonnydegani says:

      I have no signed contract (although I do have a reference number). It is done on the phone, and they never send signed contracts for deals like this. I will update you next month to see if they actually honor the agreement. If not, I will just break the agreement as well and deny I ever extended it under the false terms.
      This would make them have to locate the phone call for clarification. For this purpose, I asked the salesman to repeat what he was saying clearly, and to confirm my understanding of the terms, so there is less argument if the original call is referenced.

  3. Abbi says:

    This is assuming that Israelis honor ephemeral things like reference numbers. No matter, it’s still a good bargaining job.

    For pple who don’t want to be confrontational, you can just shop around and tell them, I got a lower price from x, please give me that or I will go with them. That works for most things in Israel.

  4. Genius says:

    Sales departments in Israel are authorized to say anything necessary, including promises that are totally fake and unsupported by the rest of the company, in order to make a sale. I would not trust a “reference number” – I’d assume the guy just put me on hold, scribbled some numbers on a notepad, and read them back to me to sound official. In contrast, when I pay my electric or water bill on the telephone by credit card, the transaction numbers they tell me are real.

    Even worse, if you follow through and try to compel them to honor their promises by refusing to pay them until they do, they’ll just cut off your service, charge you a fine, and refuse to do any business with you again until you pay them everything they demand from you. Since we’re pretty much limited to HOT and BEZEK, this strategy only works once – then we’re stuck with the other company for life.

  5. avi noam says:

    012 are actually hilarious that way.
    they called me about switching my phone from bezeq to them. bezeqs phone is 54 nis a month and ours is 25 nis. sounds good. then she said no commitment, but three months you take this certain 10 nis a month plan. i said i don’t use my house phone (it’s just so I have Internet avoid HOT) so she said okay you can have the “dibarta shilamta” plan, but now a six-month commitment. i said no…if this messes up my phone or internet i’m going back to bezeq. so she says one minute…okay no commitment, dibarta shilamta from the start, but a 49 NIS activation fee. by this point i was literally laughing on the phone…she says one minute…okay sir, 25 a month no commitmemtn no 10 nis a month plan for three monthhs and no activation.
    i think 012 is just the easiest company to bargain with. i should remember that when my internet expires soon with them 🙂

    • Avi Noam says:

      So i wish to update this. I got a confirmation call back from 012 to confirm everything we discussed on the phone…now all of a sudden there is a 9.99 per month minimum monthly service charge they didn’t tell me about. I feel like the girl who initially spoke to me got fired for not telling me this as I did not go with the plan now that I had this new information.
      I feel like in Israel you really just have to give yourself over to whatever company you feel most comfortable abusing you. No matter what you will be ripped off and scammed, so I guess it comes down to picking your poison (Hot vs. Bezeq, Pelephone v Orange v Cellcom) — the fact is they’re all awful, like all corporate giants.

  6. Nir says:

    Hi Jonathan,
    Interesting post.
    I used similar tactics to negotiate with HOT a few years ago, and also got a pretty good deal.
    However, paying less doesn’t help you much when the internet doesn’t actually work – it crashed on an average of once every couple of weeks, and the service is so horribly slow (takes them about 30 minutes to pick up the phone, and 3 days to send a repair man).
    I know I’m not a unique case – HOT is well known for being once of the worse service providers in the country.
    I can also add that disconnecting from HOT to join bezeq (I pay just a little more, but the internet works perfectly), was quite an unpleasant experience, which only revealed that HOT is not only a poor service provider, but also a dishonest company.
    Therefore my advice is to stay clear of HOT (even at the cost of saving a few shekalim).

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