But I have a receipt!

One thing that I just can’t come to terms with in Israel is the return policy. Actually…the lack of a return policy. It is basically impossible to return anything in this country. Ever. Even if you have a receipt and visit the very same guy who sold you the thing in the first place.

Case in point. A friend of mine bought a wireless router when she moved into her new apartment. No big deal. You call tech support and someone helps you set it up. They’re all the same. Right? Well when she got home, we realized that her internet did not use a standard networking cable — rather a regular old phone cord. It was high speed internet over a regular phone line. I still haven’t figured THAT one out but whatever.

She and I took the router and the receipt back to the kiosk at the mall and told them that it was irrelevant. Her internet could not use the router because there was nowhere to plug it in. She had purchased it less than a week before and had all the parts, pieces and papers. And the guy told her he couldn’t take it back. He told us he would do us a favor and offer an exchange.

So we looked around at the other routers which were all totally useless as well. She didn’t need a new keyboard or a mouse. Didn’t need a web cam or a mouse pad. She didn’t need anything there. She wanted her money back.

It took more than 2 hours, many phone calls to the national headquarters, several sketches on scrap paper and a sob story about making aliyah and being all alone in this country before she lost her temper and demanded that he return her money RIGHT NOW. I think it scared him a little to have a 5’2″ blonde chick yelling at him.

He caved in, refunded her money and asked us to please not come back.

That, my friends, is the ONE and only time I’ve ever seen anyone successfully get their money back for anything in this country.

9 Responses to But I have a receipt!

  1. Jon A says:

    This one time (at band camp), I went to the supermarket near my house in Ramat Aviv. I was soooo excited because Cap’n Crunch’s Crunch Berries were on sale for two for 34 shmeks. So I buy two boxes, all excited (even though the version you buy in Israel is “Hecho en USA para ventadas internacionales exclusviamiente” which equals NO TOY). I get home and check my receipt and “mah!?”, they charged me for both boxes (an outrageous 52 shmeks). So I march back to the supermarket and claim foul play. I take the lady to the aisle and show her where it says “Crunch” for 32 smeks for two. And she says “that’s for Crunch, not for Crunch Berries.” I was distraught. She told me it was my fault for not comparing the 96 digit product code on the sale sign with the one on the box. I told her that was unacceptable and that the sign was confusing. She refunded my money. I was shocked.

    I was amused that she also tore my receipt so that I wouldn’t try the scam again.

    Let me not start with the confusion that once ensued when they accidentally charged my American credit card twice, but failed to notice. Pandemonium.

  2. Jacob says:

    Hilarious. Welcome to the middle east! By the way, we also have Skittles in Israel now!

  3. thejook says:

    …and now with HBO. But hey, it took my family until *well* into 1991 to subscribe. For a channel that came out in 1972, Israel’s only about 35 years behind schedule. New (old!) episodes of “Dream On” should be airing in about 10 years, so don’t touch that dial!!

  4. Kibalti Fak says:

    I once bought Wasabi that was 3 years expired. When it came out brown, I thought something was wrong. Now I always check dates at grocery stores, cuz they sure’s hell aint gonna throw the crap out.

  5. Jacob says:

    Absolutely – I have learned to ALWAYS check dates. You’d be amazed how long they keep expired stuff on the shelves here.

  6. Ethan says:

    as the resident Isreali-American, I have a counter story to balance things out:
    A bit over a year ago, I bought a tool-set at Ace on Yigal Alon Street. fast-forward to 2 weeks ago. the torque screwdriver comes apart. Bummed at the fact that a tool that came in a 150 NIS set didn’t last a year (it’s been coming loose for a while), I take it back the the store where I bought it, and explain the situation to the tool department manager. since they no longer had that product in stock, I asked for store credit (I’m not greedy or delusional about getting money back a year later) “Do you have a receipt?”, no, I say. “very well, we’ll look it up in our records. do you have the credit card with which you paid?” sure, here it is. “ah.. I found the purchase. here you go” (prints out store credit). Albeit I went to another branch where they supposedly had the tool that broke to replace, and was faced with a less friendly sales person, but the total experience was very positive. I came back over a year after purchase (a year and a week, to be exact), with no receipt, and got refunded.
    Not all is bad in this land.

  7. sara says:

    That. Is. Fucking. Awesome.

    I have never returned anything. Ever.

  8. Joseph says:

    I used to read this blog and laugh really hard. I used to read all these stories about the Israeli society from the eye of an outsider and learned about all the things that are wrong. But now, I have moved from Tel Aviv to NYC and I can tell my friends, you don’t want me to get started!

  9. Yuval says:

    I know this is an old post, but get use to this, you are now famous 🙂

    Here’s a story about USA- I bought a rechargeable batteries in radio shack in South Heaven,MI it was really expansive but I didn’t know that yet. first time I used them they didn’t work, even after charging for few hours. but for long time I didn’t had a chance to find another Radio Shack store. I went to a store in Albany,NY told them that I don’t have a receipt but I think that the huge “Radio Shack” logo in each battery approves that this is their battery – Didn’t help, they refused to replace them.

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