Monday, May 23rd | 22 Iyyar 5782

December 24, 2014 2:17 pm

Israelis Angered Over IBM Refusal to Service Computers in Territories, Jerusalem

avatar by Dave Bender

The Jewish community of Shiloh in the northern West Bank. Photo: Twitter

An IBM service center for Lenovo computers marketed in Israel is backtracking after an angry customer in the West Bank town of Shiloh complained that a dispatcher refused to send a service vehicle to his area, Army Radio said Wednesday.

“Ron,” who requested that a notebook computers service representative provide door-to-door delivery, as per the service contract was angered when he was told by the agent that, “I read on Wikipedia that this is a settlement; therefore we will not go there.”

In recent weeks, an umbrella group representing Jewish residents in Samaria has also noted complaints about other companies who refuse service in the disputed territories, a development which has angered its Executive-Director, Guy Keysler.

“While the government is worried over a European boycott, here in Israel, there are companies – some of which are supported by the state – which are boycotting its residents. It is unthinkable that a company that provides services to residents of Israel will ignore more than 400 thousand inhabitants because of where they live.”

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Readout of the service call:

Ron: “What do you mean you’re not coming? I was promised to service to the customer’s door.”
Service agent: “Yes, but not beyond the Green Line.”

Longtime Shiloh resident, Jonathan Becker, feels “this is part of a larger problem of companies promising delivery of this or that thing or service, contracts being signed, money paid and suddenly it’s ‘oh no, we don’t deliver over the green line.'”

Becker, like most Israelis in similar circumstances, told The Algemeiner that “this is a common problem for people who live here, has been for a long time, and certainly needs to be addressed.”

While the company representative declined to provide the service required only because Ron lives beyond the Green Line, what was no less surprising was the response when asked “How do you know where not to go?”

Ron: “Where does the Green Line pass?”
Service agent: “I don’t know; if you want, I’ll open a map and check. I read on Wikipedia that this is a settlement.”

The next day, Ron tried again, and got the same answer – but this time with an equally odd explanation.

Service representative: “We do not have anything in writing, I’ll just tell you.”
Ron: “So you sit with Wikipedia, as you said to me yesterday, and decide where and where not to go?”
Service agent: “I do not sit with Wikipedia, I sit down with a map of Israel.”
Ron: “Where does the line go, so I’ll know where to go?” [to transfer the computer]
Service agent: “Rosh Haayin, Jerusalem…”
Ron: “Jerusalem where? There are also places there that are across the Green Line, I think.”
Service agent: “West Jerusalem.”

Ben Waxman, a resident of the northern Samarian city of Ariel noted “There is an outrageous irony here,” in a comment to The Algemeiner.

“Many of IBM’s top researchers and programmers undoubtedly live across the Green Line. They depend on these people for their company’s success. Yet IBM won’t service their products there?!”

For its part, IBM said in response that, “The company provides technical service for Lenovo computers and is committed to providing its services to all its customers and in accordance with the service agreement signed with them. Unfortunately, there was an error, and we are working to prevent its recurrence.”

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