Tuesday, August 24, 2010

PART THREE. Business in Israel. Number Three. The 'Technician'

Well, Shloimy, my wife and I have started our new life here.

We have gone to the mall and we have made major purchases--refrigerator, washer, dryer, oven.

 It's part of what one does upon coming here.

True, some new immigrants decide to purchase 220 - 240 Volt appliances in US, then pay to have them shipped. They claim it's cheaper than buying here.

I don't know about that; maybe it's true if you want only the highest of the high-end stuff.

But there is a risk buying in US and shipping. The risk is, the size.

You see, Shloimy,  in the US, the outer dimensions  of refrigerators, ovens, washers and dryers, are different. US appliances are not only a different Voltage (110, vs 235 here) they also  tend to be bigger--much bigger.  Israeli appliances  tend to be more like  European appliances; in fact, most of the appliances sold here in stores come from either Europe, or Israel,  not the US. 

And big appliances have to fit thru Israel-style doorways; and Israel is different from the US, right?

Do you see where this is going?

So--it is very common to hear that appliances bought into Israel by new immigrants need to be sold as used, or given away. Why?

They don't fit thru the doors. Their too big!

So. When you come to Israel to visit, and you see refrigerators, dryers, and washing machines sitting in corridors or on porches, you'll know why.

You'll be just like an Israeli!

Yes, Shloimy, it's a common occurrence, if you import your appliances.

So, we decided to buy new, in Israel.

Problem solved. Right?

Well, not exactly.

You see, when you buy a large appliance here, you also have to have "technicians" come to your home, after the delivery, to set it up. Now, we have some "technicians" coming in three days, but one has already been here.

Shloimy, can you remember something? This is Israel, not America.

Got that?

If you can remember that, Shloimy, you're going to be more than half way there. Trust me on that.

You keep that in mind, your blood pressure is going to be a lot happier.

Here's the deal. Among the appliances we bought were a washer and dryer, not from the same manufacturer The washer and dryer are supposed to be stack-able, dryer on top. It's a space-saver.

So far so good., right?  (Okay, so the 'different manufacturer' part could come back to haunt us, but....)

And then, technician comes to "set it up," right?

uh, not so fast.

They do "set it up," but today, when I mentioned to the technician who had come to install the washer that we need to stack the dryer onto the washer, he said, "No, we don't do that".

 "Oh?" I asked.  "Who does?"

 "The homeowner."


"The homeowner."

"The homeowner does what?", I asked.

"The homeowner puts the dryer on top of the washer."

"How's he supposed to do that?"

"I don't know. He does what everyone else does."

"Oh? And what does everyone else do?"

"I don't know. They lift up the dryer, and put in onto the washer."


"Of course."


"What's your problem?"


"I said, what's your problem? It's your dryer. You do what you want with it."

So, Shloimy, did I tell you that in Israel, the concept of "customer service" is also different from what we see in the US?

I forgot to tell you that?

What's your problem?

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