Don’t get me wrong. I’ve lived in Israel for almost 15 years now and I’m somewhat used to it. I’ve gotten the “they’re not rude…you’re too polite” down pat. I know how to deal with obnoxious cab drivers. I know how to deal with people smoking at the table next to me in the restaurant (although this doesn’t happen much anymore thankfully). I know how to deal with the day-to-day things you run into when living in a country of people wo can be, shall we say, less tolerant or more brusque in their attitudes. I know many Israelis and have many friends who were born and raised here. My wife was born and raised here so I get it. With all that said and done, I’m going to have myself a little rant on the issue of customer service in Israel.
First – the company where I work has a deal with 10bis. For those of you who don’t know they are a restaurant site which gives a card that you can swipe at many restaurants or you can order from the web site for delivery. Personally, I don’t like going out too much, especially given that there are almost no restaurants near where I work and the selection is very limited. This being said, we very often order food in. Most of the places that we order from have a minimum order – legitimate, they don’t need to lose money on the deliveries. Many of them say you can order by 10:30 or 11 AM for a lunchtime delivery – annoying but also legitimate and they tend to be flexible. We ordered today from a restaurant at 11:00 AM specifically asking that the food be brought at 13:00 knowing that that usually means between 12:30 and 13:30. Having placed the order, I went into a conference call at 11:30. At 11:40 the food arrived. While I wish I could say hat this was a one time issue, yesterday we ordered bagel sandwiches with the same 13:00 request. The food got here at noon. All I’m saying here is when there is no human taking the order you have to look at and, within the realm of possibility, honor customer requests and comments.
My wife and I ordered the top half of a bunk bed for our kids (we only bought the bottom bunk originally because our daughter was still in the womb at the time.) We placed the order in late October. We were told we were going to get it within 90 days (or by this past Sunday). About 6 weeks ago I get a call from the company asking us if we want the ladder on the short side of the bed, to which I responded “No.” About a week or two after that we got a letter saying that delivery of the bed would be delayed and we should expect it in mid-February. Today I get a call saying they’re coming tomorrow. The problem is I can’t tomorrow (well now I can but that’s another story) and so they tell me – the end of next week. It took me 15 minutes of arguing with them on the phone before they agreed to come on Sunday to put the bed together. I find it hard to believe the service of a company that’s already late not being able to go out of their way a little bit and help the customer out after they’ve made him/her wait for this long.
As I said, I love Israel. I love Israelis. I just hate the lack of customer service awareness we’re shown each and every day by the companies that we have to do business with.