Monday, May 30, 2005



I filed a COMPLAINT today against the HYPERNETO in the Rasco shopping center in Tzfat. I told them the last time that they cheated me that the next time it happened I would complain and make the matter as widely and publicly known as possible, and so today I am doing so.

This is the gist of my complaint:

"COMPLAINT Against HYPERNETO, Rasco Shopping Center, Tzfat

I shop in the HYPERNETO in the Rasco shopping center in the Southern part of Tzfat. Shady business practices there are de rigueur:

These practices include, but are not limited to:

a) Advertising sales on items in the stores that are not to be found in the stores during the time period that the ad indicates.

b) Often an item is tagged as being on sale. Another, similar item is placed above the tag that shows the sale, but it is not the item on sale. It may be a very subtle difference, like large peas being on sale, and cans of medium size peas of the same brand are put above the tag. Or medium peas are marked at a reduced price if you buy 2 or 3 cans, and they intersperse those medium size peas with cans of large and small, such that the chances of picking up the right size cans is greatly reduced.

c) The actual item that is on sale may be half way down the isle. Sometimes, as I indicated in item "a" above, it is not present at all.

d) Often the price on the item is not the price I am charged. Of course I am always charged more than the price that appears on the item. When I bring this to the managers' attention they tell me that they do not have time to change the price on every item in the store.

e) Often when something is marked on sale and it is the item that is marked on sale the cash register registers the whole price.

f) Often if something is marked two items for the price of one, the cash register doesn't register the deal."

I sent the above complaint to The CONSUMER PROTECTION OFFICE in the Ministry of Industry and Trade, the address of which is: 30 Agron Road, Yerushalayim 94190.

I tried to send the Complaint via e-mail as listed on their site, but it came back to me indicated undeliverable three times. So, I suggest that if you wish to lodge a Complaint against any business that you send it in physical form to the address above.

and to:

FAULTY PRODUCTS - The Israeli Consumer Council Complaints Division, which deals with matters regarding not displaying correct prices, misleading advertising, and faulty products. Contact the Consumer Council by Fax: 03-560-0180 and/or by mail: 76 MaZA"H Street, Tel Aviv 65789.

I urge anyone who is being cheated by supermarkets to complain to The Israeli Consumer Council at the address or fax provided just above this paragraph and to the Consumer Protection Office, whose e-mail is found on the site provided above.

Although big businesses don't like complaints, they are far more sensitive to the threat of losing business in mass. So, voting with your feet is really the way to go.

My experience has been that most of the outrageous advantage is being taken by the large supermarket chains. The "Mom and Pop" operations seem to be more honest. So, patronize Mom and Pop.

Doreen Ellen Bell-Dotan, Tzfat

Sunday, May 29, 2005

QAZRIN – A Wonderful Place to Visit (And I Bet To Live Too)

We recently returned from an overnight stay in Qazrin. We fell in love with the town.

There are sites on the net that will give you an idea of what Qazrin has to offer. I'll list the sites here in order to save you the time of doing a redundant search:

Having arrived in Qazrin around noon we hurried over to the Museum on the first day. The rest of our day was spent meeting people and getting to know modern, thriving Qazrin. Qazrin is not just about an ancient settlement, interesting though that may be. Modern Qazrin is about Zionism and chalutziut at its very best. A lot of love, effort and funds were invested to make modern Qazrin a model Israeli town and it is well worth taking the time to drink all that it.

The second day we were there was dedicated to the other side of town, where the antiquities are.

I am always amazed to see modern malls next to archeological reconstructions. Qazrin has wisely placed its mall next to its hottest tourist attractions.

A Visitors' Center is presently being built right next to the mall as well.

There are a number of fast food places in the Chutzot HaGolan Mall, the mall that is near the antiquities. One of the places is Henry's, a French crepes bar that is a bit more up-scale than the other eating places in the mall. Henry's honors Gold Dinner cards. There is also a Burger Ranch in Chutzot HaGolan, A quick Chinese food place, Pizza and Shwarma.

I could not find any bed and breakfasts listed in Qazrin on the net when I was planning the trip. So, I called the Head Secretary of the Mo'etzah Mekomit, a lovely lady by the name of Ya'el, and asked with whom we might stay. She recommended a neighbor of hers by the name of Ge'ulah Arad (spelled with an aleph).

I called Ge'ulah and asked if we might stay in a room at her place. She said: "A room? You can stay in my villa." I asked how much that would cost. I was stunned that the price she asked was less than we might expect to stay in a room. Ge'ulah adjusts the prices according to how many people stay overnight. Ask her directly to quote her rates.

Ge'ulah, it transpired, is a craftswoman and her lovely villa, situated in a beautiful and verdant neighborhood, is decorated with much of her own handiwork.

There is a lovingly cared for garden in front of the house and a backyard with a table and chairs. The spacious salon leads into the kitchen, which is not kosher. That is no problem as there is a makolet very near Ge'ulah's house. The rates that Ge'ulah charges to stay at her villa make having to buy breakfast well worth while.

The bedrooms are up winding stairs.

There is a Beit K'nesset less than a five-minute walk from Ge'ulah's home. My husband, Dani'el, told me the Beit K'nesset is large and well-appointed and some 40 – 50 people showed up for the minyan on a weekday.

Ge'ulah's home is minutes away from the Shuq (every Tuesday) and a short walk from the field school.

All in all I would recommend staying at Gu'elah Arad's lovely villa highly.

Her phone number is (04) 696-1517.
Her cell phone number is 050 – 7324565

Tell her that Doreen and Dani'el Dotan from Tzfat recommended her place to you.