Israel’s Netvision still down after 5 days despite promises


Infuriated customers of Cellcom/Netvision who had been told by the Internet Service Provider (ISP) that their emails would be restored on Monday, four days after it crashed, were promised on Tuesday morning that all mail would arrive “within a few hours.” But for many customers, nothing happened. 

Cellcom spokeswoman Danielle Gold Alon said before 1 p.m. that “the process of restoring the Netvision emails is in progress.

“The emails are gradually increasing at the moment and some customers have already returned to full activity. The restoration process in all its stages, including the restoration of the email box’s history going back years, is currently underway and will be carried out in two stages. It is expected that in the next few hours, all mailboxes will return to sending and receiving as usual, including the history of the last five days (including emails sent during the shutdown). In the second step, the history of the boxes will be fully restored. The process should be completed within a few days… We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.” 

Gold Alon has been saying all along that the fault lay with the Hitachi server and that its engineers and Netvision’s team has been “working around the clock to fix it.” 

Despite promises, Netvision customers still left without anything

Over five hours after all emails were supposed to return, customers were still complaining that there was no sign of them. 

The logo of Israel’s biggest mobile phone operator Cellcom is seen on the Cellcom building in Netanya, north of Tel Aviv January 28, 2014 (credit: REUTERS/BAZ RATNER)

Ynet published a story on Tuesday saying that the company – the country’s first-ever ISP, established in 1998 that supposedly had only 2,000 customers – had not gotten their emails back. By 5 p.m. on Tuesday, the story triggered 133 furious reactions from customers around the country.

Prof. Michael Schechter, a senior cardiologist at Sheba Medical Center, said he has a Netvision account for which he pays NIS 90 a month. By 12:30 p.m., he had still not received any emails.

“On Friday, I thought the problem was only mine. I have called many times to reach technical support, but I was finally told it was something on a national scale and it wasn’t known when the server would be fixed. It pains me that many of my patients couldn’t reach me and send me their medical files so I could help them,” Schechter said.

“People told me to switch to gmail but everyone reaches me via my Netvision account. This is a company that supposedly serves the public but this is seemingly a violation of consumer laws because they are paid but not giving service.”

Another Netvision customer said that he established his company when he was 25 so he joined Netvision, which was then the leading ISP. “Many people know my email address so I didn’t change it. I am ashamed. Bookkeepers and customers send me messages and they think I disappeared. Since we are veteran customers, Netvision doesn’t care about us. How can it be that a hi-tech company that holds its ‘cloud’ isn’t functioning for five days?” 

Another customer said Netvision’s running of the business is “scandalous and when I get my emails back, I will decide what to do.” 

“How do we know that they have only 2,000 customers?” said another, who said he didn’t believe the company. One man said that the Netvision crash had cost him “hundreds of thousands of shekels in business,” but when asked about compensation, Gold Alon said that “We have been so busy with dealing with the problem that we haven’t yet discussed compensating customers.”

Angry Netvision users recommended that a class-action suit be filed against the company.