(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Many of Pelephone’s 2.7 million mobile customers found themselves unable to use phone or texting services after a fire broke out at the company’s Petah Tikva facility Monday morning.
A statement posted to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange by Pelephone’s parent company, Bezeq, said the fire was in an electrical closet.
Pelephone said, in a note on its website, that some customers “may have disruptions in making and receiving calls,” but by the afternoon said it was starting to reconnect users, though service remained spotty for several hours.
The company was working to reroute calls through its other infrastructure, Israeli media reported..
The lack of connectivity left some customers in a lurch, including Ofir Shai, 24, who said he nearly missed a crucial email determining his summer plans in the United States.
“When the reception came back, I saw an email saying, ‘Get back to me ASAP, I need your forms to buy you a ticket!’” he said.
Despite the inconvenience, Shai is not planning on changing providers.
“All in all, I like the service and the price at Pelephone. It could probably happen with any company, so I’m not rushing to change service. Plus,” he added, “they’ll probably compensate us.”
Monday’s events weren’t the first time the company experienced widespread technical difficulties In February of 2013, it experienced a four-hour service cut on text messages and calls, though its data plans continued functioning. In that instance, the company promised customers free minutes or data as compensation.