Afternoon Tea in Jerusalem Blog

In addition to my work as a business coach, one of my interests is blogging about life in Israel. This is a country full of contrasts – over eight million citizens living in an area the size of Wales. You can see snow and the lowest place on the globe in the same day. Although surrounded by geopolitical extremes, Israel has achieved a decade of high economic growth. My work brings me in contact with an array of new companies, exciting technologies and dynamic characters. Sitting back with a relaxing cup of strong tea (with milk), you realise just how much there is to appreciate in the Holyland. Large or small operations, private sector or non profit, my clients provide experiences from which others can learn and benefit.

We all know that you have to check your credit card bill every month, just in case.

I had a VISA card. It was issued via a supermarket chain, which until recently operated a branch near where I lived. They promised me all sorts of things, most of which I forgot. The branch closed. I had no use of the card, but I was charged 15.90nis (US$4.5) for …..something. (I suppose the cost of sending me an electronic message that I had not used the card!)

I decided to cancel the card.

VISA has a comprehensive website. Nowhere could I find a link to ‘cancelling’. To cut a long story short, I tried about three phone numbers, several times, and eventually got through.

And then the fun started.

The first offer was that if I did not cancel, the monthly admin fee would be wavered, providing I made at least one purchase a month on the card of a least 1 shekel. As I am a boring a person and keep all my expenses on one card, an alternative card, I turned down the opportunity.

Suddenly the kind lady made a second proposal. If I stayed on, she would return all the previous charges of 15.90 nis. About 4 months. Sounds good. But I was annoyed.

I asked: “Why didn’t you offer that the first time round”. To paraphrase the response. “Becasue most people accept the first offer”. The implication is that they are stupid suckers!

In other words friends: Apply the rule of the 4 Bs.

Be persistent, be firm, be polite, bite your lip and your credit card company will stop ripping you off.

No, I did not accept the second offer. Why? Because in a year’s time, the deal will end and they will start to charge me again. I decided that what I had paid out has already gone, but I would not lose any more.

Now go check your own monthly bills……, which are usually sent online and most people cannot remember their password! More easy money for the credit card companies.



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