Yuval Morgenstern, of the Leshem community in western Shomron, has filed a lawsuit against the Hot Mobile telecommunications company, a subsidiary of Hot, Israel’s largest cable company, for refusing to deliver a SIM card to his home. According to a report in Yisrael Hayom, Morgenstern is suing under a recent anti-discrimination law that bars businesses from denying service to customers based on their place of residence.
The law, an amendment to Israel’s Consumer Protection Law, came into effect in May and aims to cover a legal loophole that allowed businesses to deny service to clients living in Yehudah and Shomron.
In his lawsuit, Morgenstern said he had signed up for Hot Mobile services as part of a special offer to new customers, and said that “throughout the entire process of signing up for this offer I was never told of any limitation over a customer’s place of residence, nor was there any indication that the company cannot send SIM cards to certain areas.”
Morgenstern said that four days after signing up for the offer, he found out that the delivery service contracted by Hot Mobile does not deliver to Leshem.
He said the delivery service’s call center suggested that he pick up the SIM card from the nearby city of Ariel, and when he responded that this constituted discrimination based on a place of residence, he was told that “discrimination can only be based on race, religion or gender.”
Morgenstern thereby canceled the deal and filed a damages claim against Hot Mobile for NIS 20,000 ($5,500).
His action was supported by Jewish Home MK Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli, who sponsored the amendment to the law.
“Israelis living in Yehudah and Shomron who were denied service by any business – after the law came into effect – over their place of residence can, and should, sue these businesses,” Mualem-Rafaeli said.
Hot Mobile issued a statement saying, “Hot Mobile follows the letter of the law and provides service to customers nationwide. We have yet to receive the lawsuit in question.”