During the 19th Knesset`s summer session, the Public Petitions Committee dealt with a wide range of issues, while assisting citizens in their disputes with various institutions and companies – including the Israel Postal Company, the Israel Airports Authority, the Hot cable communication company, Samsung, the National Insurance Institute and others.
The following were among the most important issues tackled by the committee during the summer session:
• Debate on the opening of cases by Israel`s collection agency, Hotza`a Lapoal, against Holocaust survivors. The discussion revealed that over 450 cases had been opened against elderly survivors after they were instructed to pay ”mediators” who had offered to help them receive the allowances they are entitled to. These ”mediators” turned to Hotza`a Lapoal in order to collect their fees from the survivors, despite the fact that in many cases they did not provide any service. The Public Petitions Committee worked to stop the collection process.
• Following a debate in the Public Petitions Committee, the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council decided to restrict the attempts of the HOT cable television provider to convince customers not to cancel the service. Customers who wish to cancel their subscription tend to receive repeated phone calls aimed at convincing them not to do so. Numerous citizens turned to the Public Petitions Committee, headed by MK Adi Koll (Yesh Atid), and asked that the committee intervene, claiming that the repeated phone calls have become a nuisance.
• After fielding numerous complaints from citizens about the unreasonably high pricing policy practiced by food and beverage retailers at Ben-Gurion International Airport, MK Koll tasked Israel Airports Authority Director Yaakov Ganot with providing a list of basic products whose prices would be regulated.
The committee also ruled that the changes made to the pricing policy practiced by the food chains operating at the airport would mandate future tenders to stipulate that they would apply their chain`s uniform pricing policy to their airport outlet.
• The committee convened after receiving numerous complaints about a malfunction in HOT`s converter boxes which ruined its customers` television sets. Committee Chairwoman MK Koll called on the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Council to make certain that customers are compensated.
• After it was revealed that some Galaxy S4 mobile phones had burst into flames when the phone`s batteries overheated, Samsung Israel`s head Jong Bam Li informed the Public Petitions Committee that the company will allow all customers who own an S4 phone to exchange their batteries.