Post 106: Charging your phone at the Central Bus Station, Jeusalem, Visiting the Rav card Office at the Central Bus Station

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You probably don’t recognize the object in the photo. But you can be sure that every soldier is familiar with it. This gadget contains several outlets enabling travelers to charge their cell phones. It is positioned on a public wall on the entry-level to the Central Bus Station in Jerusalem. I understand that the bus to Beit Shemesh has phone charger hook-ups under the seats.

Visiting the Rav card Office at the Central Bus Station:

I want to share with you some tips about negotiating the bureaucratic enmeshments at the Rav Card offices:

The case of the missing Rav Card.

My grandson had a missing Rav Card with a balance on it. When he reported it missing at Central Bus Station, the clerk requested that he sign a document, and he awaited his refund, The refund did not come to his house, but a letter from Rav Card stating that to receive  his 3.5 Sheckels refund, by the way,much lower than he had deposited into his card, he’d be required to return a second time to the Rav Card Office at the Central Bus Station. Of course my grand-son didn’t bother.

I saw a similar scam in the making. I too went to the office to report a lost card and meekly accepted the clerks words that I would receive a paper worth the full 16 trips on my lost card. I had the slip from the bus driver with the number of trips and the card number. I also had a receipt of my original trip purchase on the card. The clerk took the card and threw it in the garbage. I tried to speak with a supervisor, but no-one would help me. I know now that this first meeting is the preliminary stage that one must go thru to obtain a refund.

Is it worth your while to go to the Central Bus Station twice for 60 sheckels? There were calls to the Rav Card Office to consider. Although I could not negotiate the refund on the phone, I did get the name of the supervisor in the Central Bus Station office and I had the name of the person on the phone who helped me. I also received a paper offering me the meager sum of 3.5 sheckels refund like one that my grandson received.

On my second trip to the Rav Card Office, I took a number and walked up to a blue shirted staff member who seemed to be trying to move people in and out of the office. I explained my problem, and showed him that I had evidence. He took my Teudat Zahut and at a phone/printer, I overheard him say that I had the Petak, (receipt).

He apologized and I received a paper giving credit for the full amount, half on the Rav Card and half in cash, which was provided at the Kupah.

Why did I spend time on such a trivial amount of money? I would like to warn you that it’s possible that you could, with enough gusto, and evidence possibly squeeze the refund out of the clerk on the first trip.  Israel is a country, like most, with more than several people who need jobs. The clerk at the Rav Card office only makes about 24 sheckels per hour.

It was satisfying in the end when I was given special consideration. And that money can’t buy.

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