The cellular arena has become a hot consumer arena. How to choose a provider? How to avoid closing on unaffordable plans? What should I do when flying abroad? A Guide for the Perplexed Mobile Consumer:
1. Choosing your carrier
Finger on the pulse: In the spring of 2012, the cellular market was opened to new operators, and since then we have witnessed a large supply of new plans and options, all of which have in common more lucrative terms for the customer. It’s a good idea to see if your plan and the company you subscribe to today are still worthwhile. It is worthwhile to do such an examination routinely, at least once a year. You’ll be surprised at how dynamic the market is.
Decide calmly: Don’t be hasty in choosing the plan and don’t be tempted by “offers that won’t come back.” Take all the time you need to see if the proposed route is right for you. For this, it is important that you know your usage patterns. As of the end of 2014, several companies offer the following prices for an all-inclusive package for one year: 40 NIS for two subscribers or 37 NIS for a first subscription and 2 NIS for each additional subscription.
Written Torah: Ask for a detailed and written contract. Do not join the program based on a phone conversation or oral statements given to you by a sales representative so that you do not discover unpleasant surprises on the first account.
Adjustments: If you’re considering switching, check to see if your device matches the network you’re requesting to switch to. Switching operators may require the purchase of a new device.
2. Account tracking
Monthly check: You must check your account monthly. Quite a few times you will find that you were charged more than you expected or did not receive the benefits you were promised. On the website of the Israeli Consumer Council there is a guide explaining how to correctly read a cellular bill
Secret services: When you join your carrier, make sure that all content services on the sign-up form are marked with “No” so that you don’t discover that you purchased services you didn’t even know existed.
3. Purchase of a new mobile device
Frequencies: When purchasing a new device, it is recommended to check that it supports 850/900 UMTS and 1800/2600 LTE frequencies, and not just one of them, this will allow you flexibility in switching between all cellular networks in Israel.
Open market: When purchasing a new device, compare the prices of devices from third parties and cellular companies. There is no advantage in purchasing a device specifically from a mobile operator. Check carefully that you are buying a new device and not a new one (unless you choose to do so) and check which entity gives you the warranty: the official importer or another importer, and for how long it is valid.
Insurance: New devices have a manufacturer’s warranty for the first year. There is no need for double insurance. When an uninsured device malfunctions, it is recommended to check external laboratories (such as Rami Levy and others). The repair price there is dozens of times cheaper than the service centers of the cellular companies.
4. Route selection
Commitment: Today the tracks are without commitment. If you still have a commitment route, it’s important to know that exit fines today aren’t as high as they used to be. By law, the penalty is limited to 8% of your average account amount multiplied by the remaining months until the commitment ends. Sometimes it will be cheaper to pay the fine than to continue and stay on a bad plan.
SMS: If you subscribe to a metered plan (and not “all-inclusive”), you should know that one text message (SMS) in Hebrew consists of 70 characters. If you exceed the number of characters, you will be charged a fee for 2 text messages, over 140 characters for 3 text messages, and so on.
Singing discount: You can reduce your cost by forgoing a pending song service.
Browsing capacity: Pay attention to the data cap on your plan. Even so-called all-inclusive packages sometimes include such restrictions. The accepted volume on the market today is 3 gigabytes per month, although you can already find attractive packages in volumes of 5-6 gigabytes.
5. Communication abroad
Options: If you are traveling abroad with your cellular device, make sure immediately upon arrival that the “cellular data communication” option on your device is turned off (according to the instructions of the Ministry of Communications, it should be turned off in the first place, unless you request otherwise).
Network: In the market there are Internet programs (such as Skype, Viber, Whatsapp) that allow communication between two points in the world via the Internet. With every WiFi connection, you can make free calls and send Whatsapp messages.
Call back: To make discounted voice calls from your device, make sure Callback is turned on. When dialing the country, the call will be disconnected and will return to you immediately as an incoming call. The cost for such a call is up to NIS 1 per minute.
Most importantly, don’t forget to talk face-to-face from time to time. Discover a new experience...