Over a drink in Tel Aviv yesterday evening, a friend divulged details to me of the HOT Action that he and his girlfriend have been enjoying in the bedroom.
Alas, he was not referring to “action” of the rumpy-pumpy, bit of the other, “ooh err missus” sort . . . but that of the Channel 14 variety (14 is the action movie channel on Israel’s HOT cable TV network).
A mere matter of weeks into a new relationship – and with a particularly attractive woman – said friend, who doesn’t have a television in his own apartment, has started to appreciate the benefits of his girlfriend’s.
So, every evening, they rip off each other’s clothes, jump into bed . . . and watch telly.
This, it has to be said, does not bode particularly well for their relationship. HOT’s standard fare of tasteless wannabe/quasi-celebrity “Isratrash” and shit films (repeated ad infinitum) has transformed the international news networks – BBC, CNN, Fox, and Sky – into the staple television diet of most English-speaking households in Israel.
I pay a monthly 210 shekels (about 35 British pounds) to, in effect, have Sky News “rolling” on in the background – it has taken on an elevator music-like quality in my apartment – but, essentially, for the luxury (for a further 50 shekels) of being able to watch the English Premier League from Dexxy’s and Stuey’s (previously my) Rechov Melchett couch.
HOT’s abysmal programming (with the notable exception of Channel 8 documentaries) is matched only by its miserably inefficient, unreliable and thoroughly discourteous customer service . . . easily the worst I have experienced in a country in which it faces formidable competition in that regard (see my earlier post, The Buyer’s a Freier).
There is even a Hebrew website, Ani soneh et HOT! – translated as “I hate HOT!” (logo above) – dedicated to the seemingly widespread contempt for the network. (If any readers of melchett mike wish to suggest a more worthy contender for the title of Worst Customer Service in Israel, please do so below.)
I spent yesterday morning – like so many others during my decade in Israel – pulling my hair out in the futile wait for a HOT technician. “Seven-thirty to nine,” I had been confidently assured by HOT’s telephone customer service representative.
The technician didn’t turn up. Neither did he call. And, to add insult to injury, after I demanded compensation for the wasted two hours off work, HOT’s customer service manager offered me a temporary extra channel (to add to the over one hundred others that I never watch).
“The Food Channel? What . . . for a WHOLE MONTH?! Wow! Yeh! That’ll be fine then.”
When the technician finally did turn up, yesterday evening, Dexxy treated herself to a taste of his calf. That showed him! Bastard.
So, I will be voting with my feet and switching to HOT’s satellite competitor, YES. Either that, or I will splash out a one-off 400 shekels for a receiver that will allow me to view Israel’s handful of terrestrial channels.
And, should I desire some HOT Action, I could always pop round to my friend’s girlfriend . . . sounds like he could definitely do with some ‘assistance’ in that regard.