The Jerusalem Post
Comms firms told to give customer service via text apps
Israel’s communications companies will soon be required to take customer inquiries via digital chat services like WhatsApp, SMS, website chat, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel announced the ruling Wednesday, following a ministry hearing last month.
The purpose of the move is to improve the quality of customer service provided by the companies under the Communications Ministry’s control, which includes Bezeq and Internet and cellular operators. Customers find these channels easier to use, and during the past three years, such requests have increased threefold while phone calls for support have declined 21%, the ministry said.
At the same time, the ministry will allow telecommunications companies to reduce the operating obligation of call centers to 45 hours per week, to streamline the call centers and encourage competition for quality customer service to the consumer.
Call centers for inquiries regarding malfunction, overseas roaming services and theft or loss of equipment will continue to operate without change, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The companies’ obligation to comply with the provisions regarding the response times set forth in their license will continue to apply, the ministry clarified.
The ministry has not yet decided how to ensure optimal service for subscribers 65 and over who are uncomfortable with chat, and will make a final decision about that soon, it said.
“With the WhatsApp reform, we continue to promote an innovative consumer world, with more text messages and public inquiries, and less online waiting times,” Handel said. “The reform will allow companies to invest in new channels of service centers. We will continue to work for quality service for citizens in the communications and cellular market in Israel.”