Problem Canceling Golan Telecom, But Great Response from Our Credit Card Company

After our trip to Israel this past September, I shared a number of the cost-saving measures we had implemented. One of the things we did to save on phone (and Internet) while in Israel was to sign up with Golan Telecom.

I have an iPhone 4, which I was eligible to have “opened” by my regular carrier AT&T. Once opened, I can use it with any phone service that provides a SIM card.

We signed up with Golan for our trip, since they were offering a “Try it Free for Three Months” promotion — which meant we could enjoy free phone calls, text and Internet the entire time we were there.

As I noted in my original post, after the three month trial, they start charging you 99 NIS per month.

No problem, I thought. I’ll either transfer the line to a friend in Israel (which din’t end up working out; they wanted to keep their own phone number, so had to create a new account) or I’d just cancel it when I get home.

Which is what I ended up doing. Or trying to do. Six weeks before our account was set to convert from free to paid, I emailed Golan at the address provided on their website for service cancellation. I got a canned response that they would get back to me shortly. I heard nothing.

Then several weeks later, on December 31st, my Visa card was charged for the equivalent of 99 NIS.

I emailed them again immediately, including copies of my previous communication, and told them they had until this past Friday to cancel my service and confirm that cancellation in writing.

Again, I heard nothing.

After giving them the weekend – just in case – I contacted our credit card company.

I was very pleased that Southwest Chase Visa was able to take care of us immediately. They blocked future charges and reversed the one from the end of December. Way to go!

While Golan Telecom has a lot going for it and I was thrilled with the service we got in Israel (and would gladly have paid 99 NIS for that!), I was very disappointed in their poor follow-up with me once we were back State-side. I’ve heard that local contact (ie. from Israel) tends to produce better results.

My intention with this post is not to undermine the positives about the company — I think what they are doing to bring affordable phone service to Israel is essential! But I did want to provide this “update” to my earlier post, since I know a few of you at least told me you were going to sign up with Golan as a result of it.

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. You should use http://www.netek.co.il – you fill out some information and they cancel the service for you in a legally-binding manner.

  2. We have found that the customer service of Golan Telecom to be the same as other providers in Israel. If you can handle it online, it’s easier. My son has the 99 NIS plan (signing up for it expires last month). The new promotion is 59 NIS! He was able to change it online without extending his contract.

    We’ve decided to keep the plan even after he comes home since we try to go visit every year. The annual cost would be cheaper than the rental and we will retain the same #.

  3. I ordered a Golan SIM that I never activated, since it did not arrive in time (in Israel) a few months later I noticed that they had started charging me and I was charged for 3 months (I only saw this once my CC statement was mailed to me.) Bottom line- it wasn’t difficult to cancel (in Israel), but you must cancel a SIM card EVEN IF YOU DON’T ACTIVATE IT. Or else they will charge you, and you won’t get your money back!

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