Buyer beware:

By | July 28, 2010

Do not do business with unless you enjoy being ignored, misled and lied to, and you think it’s OK for the SIM cards you ordered for your trip to Israel not to arrive until after you’ve already left.

I ordered two SIM cards for about $150 from IsraelSims on July 19. There was plenty of time for the cards to arrive before my departure on July 28. Their Web site says orders are shipped within 48 hours, and first-class mail takes three days or less to anywhere in the continental United States. Not to mention the fact that IsraelSims is located in Worcester, MA, only a couple of hours from my home in Brighton, so delivery shouldn’t have taken more than a day.

I received email from IsraelSims at 4:10am July 20 claiming that my order had been “completed.” Oddly, no tracking information was provided.

On July 26, when the SIM cards had not yet arrived, I called IsraelSims and left an urgent voicemail message. I also sent them email. Both were ignored. It is worth noting that they had also ignored an earlier email, which I sent them to inquire about exact rates before ordering the cards. In retrospect, I should have recognized this as a danger sign.

On July 27, a day before our trip, when the SIM cards again were not in the day’s mail delivery, I called them again. This time I got to speak to a person, who told me that his computer said the cards were shipped on July 20 and he just couldn’t explain why they hadn’t arrived yet. He said he would see if there was still enough time to send us replacements via FedEx and promised to call me and let me know the result. He never called.

On July 28, or day of departure, when the SIM cards again were not in the day’s mail delivery, I called and spoke to the same guy again. After typing on his computer briefly, he informed me that although he had told “the warehouse” to ship the replacement cards via FedEx, they had overridden his instructions, since Brighton is near enough to Worcester that mail delivery should only take a day, and sent them via mail instead.

I was at the post office trying to find out if they could help me locate the missing packages when this conversation occurred, so I asked the IsraelSims guy for the tracking numbers of both packages — the original one supposedly sent on July 20, and the replacement supposedly sent on July 27 — for the clerk at the post office to look up in their computer.

Here’s what has to say about the July 20 tracking number:

  • Processed through Sort Facility, July 27, 2010, 10:31 pm, SHREWSBURY, MA 01546
  • Electronic Shipping Info Received, July 20, 2010

In other words, IsraelSims printed the label for my SIM cards on July 20 but didn’t drop them off at the post office until July 27.

The other tracking number he gave me, for the replacement package supposedly sent July 27, was for a package destined for Greenwich, CT. When I pointed this out to the IsraelSims guy, he said he “must have copied it from the wrong slip of paper.” He then said that “nothing makes sense here” and told me he would have to figure out what happened and call me back. It’s an hour later, and he hasn’t called.

In other words, IsraelSims didn’t actually send the replacement they claimed they were going to send. What they did instead was to rush my original package to the post office last night after my phone call, praying that it would arrive today, and then lied to me about it.

Others have had similar trouble with this company.

In short, IsraelSims:

  • ignores email and phone calls from customers;
  • lies about when orders are shipped;
  • pays for tracking for orders sent via first-class mail but does not provide tracking numbers to customers so that they can verify when orders are actually shipped (if they did, then I would have known all the way back on July 21 that there was a problem);
  • tells customers they will call them back to get rid of them and then doesn’t call;
  • tells customers they will ship replacements via FedEx and then doesn’t;
  • lies to customers about sending replacement packages; and
  • tells bald-faced lies convincingly and without missing a beat to customers who call on the phone with problems.

Here’s the kicker… If you go to the Cellcom booth at the airport in Israel and buy a SIM card there, it’s exactly the same SIM card that IsraelSims sells, and it’s slightly cheaper because you’re getting it directly from Cellcom rather than through a reseller.

The only reason we ordered the SIM cards in advance rather than buying them at the airport was so that we wouldn’t have to deal with the hassle of getting to the Cellcom booth, standing in line, buying the cards, etc. with kids and luggage in tow. It was for the sake of convenience. Does what happened to us seem convenient to you?

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2 thoughts on “Buyer beware:

  1. Pingback: Today’s update « Something better to do

  2. jik Post author

    I emailed the author of Frommer’s Israel about my experience because the book recommends He responded:

    I’m sorry to hear about your bad experience. I’ve had similar comments from others. We don’t plan to mention by name in our forthcoming edition.

    Frommer’s must be a huge source of customers for How stupid of them to throw that away by treating customers so badly that enough of them complained to Frommer’s to convince them to remove the reference.


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