Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Political confession

I'm generally a left-wing voter - the two last elections I voted Meretz. I can't say I'm happy with their behavior, nor that I agree with all their opinions, but it's as close as it gets.

Anyway, I must admit that in the 18+ years I've been living in Israel, there has been no minister as good at his job as Ariel Atias, our minister for communications - from Shas - quite the oposite of my political beliefs. This guy is AMAZING - he is 100% focussed on improving service to the citizen, and doesn't mind fighting all the big communications, in most cases ending with the upper hand.
Just to name a few:

  • Force companies to make it very clear to the customer, while signing a contract, what happens at the end of the contract (not just in small letters).
  • Limit the ability of companies to force customers to buy their phones through them.
  • Forced Bezeq to provide a free phone book over the internet (144).
  • Asked the companies to give reductions to people living in the north, during the war.
  • Still working on making our phone numbers company-free (i.e. changing company doesn't force you to change your number). This has been postponed several times, but I hope it will succeed in the end.
  • Opened the stationary phone market to concurrence.
  • Force companies to provide 3 non-paid seconds before being routed to a voice message box.
  • His new baby - force companies to announce customers BEFORE they increase their prices.

And that's just part of it. A good article about him was recently published in YNet. Give us a handful ministers and politicians like him - and this could really be a nice place to live.

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