One of the new companies that recently entered the cellular market in Israel, Golan Telecom is doing a brisk business despite problems. The company reports having signed up 50,000 clients and growing, and despite connection and other difficulties impacting long distance and other services, people continue signing on. The level of dissatisfaction with the veteran cell companies is so high people are willing to endure a measure of hardship as Golan works out its growing pain, especially with the companies 100 NIS unlimited talking/SMS/internet plan, a fraction of the price paid by most cellular subscribers with the veteran companies. Nevertheless, a class action lawsuit has already been filed against Golan by unsatisfied subscribers.
Michael Golan, the general manager of Golan Telecom spoke with Kikar Shabbat and he is quoted as saying his company has already entered into talks with the Vaad HaRabbonim for Communications towards developing a plan that will accommodate the chareidi tzibur, the main client of kosher phones.
One of the problems is that to date, Golan does not have service center as the other cellular companies do, but registration is via its website exclusively.
Golan signals that the negotiations appear to be moving forward and he is confident that he will be able to enter the kosher cell phone community in the near future.
At present, there are many problems with the new service, with more than a small part due to the lack of cooperation by the other cell companies, at times not clearing phone numbers for release to the new provider for those wishing to keep their current telephone number. A court earlier this week levied a heavy fine on Pelephone for its lack of cooperation, and according to some Pelephone sabotage efforts, preventing subscribers from moving their phone number to the new company. Other problems seem to be due to the fact Golan simply failed to accurately predict just how many subscribers would make the move to the new company and the firm remains sorely understaffed.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)