New Regulation Regarding Call Center Waiting in Israel
January 14, 2013
A new law passed in Israel will decrease the long waiting times for customers calling a call center.
Proposed by Member of Knesset, Eitan Cabel, and approved a year ago by the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee, the new law states that in the event of a waiting time longer than three minutes, the customer must have the option to leave a message, and to be called back by the company in maximum three hours.
In case the person calling decides s/he wants to wait and speak to a representative, s/he must be informed of his/her place in the waiting queue, remaining waiting time, and again, be allowed to leave a message.
This change will apply to gas, water and electricity utilities, medical emergency services, as well as to all telecommunications providers. The bad news is that the new policy doesn't affect the call centers of other companies and institutions.
A recent article in Globes mentions that regulators have received many complaints against large telecommunications companies, like Golan Telecom Ltd. and HOT Mobile Ltd., in regard to their long waiting times. Specialists at Globes took it upon themselves to test call center waiting times for cell and landline phone carriers, televisions and Internet service providers.
Their three-day evaluation involved calling each of them four times over the course of a day, at different times.
After dozens of phone calls to telecommunications providers, their average waiting time came up to only two minutes, with the exception of one provider, who kept them waiting for more than eight minutes.
Also, there didn't seem to be any variation in waiting times between calls made at different hours in the day.
Unfortunately, this wasn't what Haaretz's TheMarker experienced when calling Golan Telecom and the Israel Electric Corp. The call to cellular service provider, Golan Telecom, disconnected after a sixteen-minute wait. The call to the Israel Electric Corp. took six minutes to be answered, in which time the caller was offered the possibility to leave a voice message, but after a second call, where a message was left, the caller was never phoned back.
Even if it hasn't been long since the new law was implemented, it seems to have a strong enough impact in the short term on how calls are handled by businesses and institutions that were affected by it.
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Edited by Braden Becker
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