IBM employee caught on a tape refusing to service West Bank settlements

Company spokeswoman responds to incident: “It was an error.”

December 24, 2014 21:33
1 minute read.

Computer keyboard [illustrative].. (photo credit: ING IMAGE/ASAP)


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Nati Ron was surprised when IBM in Israel refused to come to his home in the Shiloh settlement to fix his Lenovo computer, even though such service is part of his warranty agreement with the company and turned to the Samaria Citizens Committee, which tracks such complaints.

Its director Sagi Kaizler said the committee already received a few complaints about the computer giant.

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The committee encouraged Ron to tape the conversations with IBM in which he pushed for service to his home, and the committee then turned the tapes over to the media.

“We don’t go over the Green Line,” a service representative from IBM named Shalom told him on one of the recordings.

“What is the Green Line?” asked Ron. “When I bought my computer no one made this distinction.”

Shalom responded: “I do not know whom you purchased it from. But we at IBM do not go over the Green Line.”

“I don’t understand this. You have a customer, who is a citizen of this country. He has the right to service,” Ron said, asking Shalom how he knew which Israeli communities could be serviced and which could not.

Shalom answered that he looked up Shiloh and saw on Wikipedia that it was a settlement.

Ron answered: “Are you telling me that you determine who to service based on Wikipedia?” Shalom responded: “No, based on the borders of Israel.”

When Ron insisted that he lived within Israel’s borders, Shalom said he would double check the matter. He called back and said he had checked and determined that IBM did not service Shiloh.

An IBM spokeswoman called the incident a mistake, saying the company was committed to providing home technical support to its customers.

“Unfortunately there was an error, we are working to prevent its recurrence,” the spokeswoman said.

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