Gil Ron, Keinan & Co Law Office
Gil Ron, Keinan & Co Law Office

Consumer protection

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Zinger v. Hot Mobile

termination of benefit without due notice

Application to certify a class action against Hot Mobile, a telecommunications company, filed in October 2021. The Applicant claims that Hot Mobile provides each client with a package of international call minutes, at no cost "until further notice". After some time, at a date unknown to clients at the time of contracting, the company terminates the benefit and charges for the minutes package. It does so without informing the clients in accordance with the conditions set out by law and in the license granted to the company by the Minister of Communications.


The company is required to return the amounts it charged after stopping the benefit without notifying it as required, and to cease its illegal conduct.


Status: Application to certify the class action is pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action.

Aviv v. Facebook

violation of users` right to privacy

Application to certify a class action, against the social network Facebook, on behalf of its users. The application was filed in April 2021. According to the application, Facebook uses the users` names, nicknames and photos, in order to promote commercial ads. This is done without receiving the users` informed consent, and therefore constitutes a violation of their right to privacy. The applicant demands that Facebook ceases this behavior and compensates the users for the damage they incurred.


Status: Application to certify the class action is pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action.

Swaid v. Bezeq

breach of obligation to provide nationwide internet coverage

Application to certify a class action, filed in February 2021, on behalf of residents of the village Hussniyya. The Applicant claims that Bezeq, the largest communications company in Israel, breaches its obligation to provide nationwide internet coverage. According to the application, the lack of internet coverage in Hussniyya creates and exacerbates social inequalities. The claimant demands Bezeq to provide internet infrastructure to the village, and to compensate its residents.


Status: Application to certify the class action is pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action.

The Israeli Consumer Council v. Hot Telecommunication Systems

charging clients for a service which was given without their consent

Application to certify a class action, filed in July 2020 against Hot Telecommunication Systems. Hot offers a  TV content streaming service named Hot Next. According to the application, the service is given to some of the clients without obtaining their consent. The Council demands a repayment of monthly fee that was charged.


Status: Application to certify the class action is pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action.

The Israeli Consumer Council v. Lotonet Members Club

illegal marketing of gambling and misleading statements

Applications to certify a class action, against eight companies which operate gambling clubs that offer group participation in lotteries held by Mifal Hapais (the Israel State Lottery). The clients pay a monthly subscription fee, the lottery tickets are purchased collectively, and the clients share the prizes. The applications were filed in May and December 2020.


According to the applications, the clubs, which are not authorized dealers of Mifal Hapais, are violating the criminal law. The council requests the court to forbid the clubs from marketing the lotteries, and to hold that the agreements with the clients are void.


The council claims that the gambling clubs mislead the clients in numerous issues. For example, the clubs do not reveal that on average, 70% of the subscription fee are not used for purchasing lottery tickets. Furthermore, the clubs state that using their services increase the chances for winning. In practice, the chances for loss increase. The clubs also do not reveal the fact that they lower the profit expectation. The council demands that the clubs compensate the clients for this misleading behavior.


Status: Applications to certify the class action are pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action, Application to Certify a Class Action Against Lotocard.

Lapiner v. Bezeq

unlawful collection costs charge

Application to certify a class action, filed in March 2020. The Applicant claims that Bezeq, the largest communications company in Israel, charges clients who did not pay their due debts, with excessive collection costs. According to the application, Bezeq charges the clients with sums which exceed the sum which was set in the applicable regulations. The applicant request repayment of the fees which were charged in excess, and that Bezeq will cease the unlawful charge.


Status: Application to certify the class action is pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action.

Varum v. Alpha Bio-Tech Inc.

defective bone grafts

Application to certify a class action against two companies - Industrie Biomediche Insubri, a Swiss company that develops and manufactures bone grafts for dental surgeries, and Alpha Bio-Tech, an Israeli company which imports and sells the products in Israel. The Application was filed in March 2019. The applicant claims that one of the products sold to dentists in Israel, and implanted in Israeli patients, was defected and failed to solidify into bone tissue. The applicant requests compensation for the physical harm that was sustained by the Israeli patients, and compensation for all patients for failing to warn them about the potential risk of the product.


Status: Application to certify the class action is pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action.

Lev v. Mifal Hapais

breach of Israel State Lottery`s operating permit and regulations

Application to certify a class action, filed in December 2017, against the Israel State Lottery with regard to its operation of a lottery named KENO. According to the application, Israel State Lottery charges the gamblers with participation fees which exceed the amount allowed by the regulations and the Lottery`s operating permit. The applicant demands that the Lottery compensates the gamblers for the losses incurred, acts according to the permit and the regulations, and ceases the unlawful practice.


In July 2021 the court approved a settlement. According to the settlement, the Lottery will pay a compensation of NIS 3.3 million. This sum will be used for rehabilitation of gamblers and similar causes.


Status: Settltment is under execution.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class ActionSettlement Agreement and Decision Ordering to Publish the Settlement, Final Judgement.

Regev v. Japanauto-Israel Auto Corporation

defective Subaru cars

Application to certify a class action against Japanauto-Israel Auto Corporation and Subaru Corporation, on behalf of purchasers of cars manufactured in 2007-2011 by Subaru Corporation. In the application, which was filed in July 2017, the applicants claim that a defect in the cars causes an excessive oil consumption and requires various repairs. The applicants request compensation for sums they where forced to pay due to the defect and an extension of the warranty period.


Our office represents the applicants, together with Shahar Cohen.


Status: Application to certify the class action is pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action.

Danino v. Carmelton Group

private vehicle toll

Application to certify a class action, filed in July 2017, against the operators of the Carmel Tunnels. According to the application, large private vehicles are charged with a higher toll, that should apply only to public vehicles, as set in the concession agreement. The applicants request repayment of the toll was unlawfully charged, and that the Tunnels operators will cease the unlawful charge.


In June 2018 the parties reached a settlement, according to which the unlawful charged will be fully refunded to the drivers. In May 2019 the district court approved the settlement.


Status: The settlement is under execution.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action, Decision Approving the Settlement.

Goren v. Bitan Wines

charging above the price labeled on products

Application to certify a class action, on behalf of customers of the supermarket chain Bitan Wines, which was filed in November 2016. According to the application, prices at the cash register are higher than the prices which are labeled on the products. The applicant demands the company to repay sums which were unlawfully charged, and to cease this conduct.


In March 2021 the court approved a settlement. According to the settlement, the company will correct its conduct, and a court appointed supervisor will determine the sum which was unlawfully charged. The parties will agree on the sum which will be repaid, and the method of repayment.


Status: The settlement is under execution.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class ActionMotion to Approve the Settlement, Decision Approving the Settlement.

Lapiner v. Bezeq

overcharging customers who did not not pay their due debts

Application to certify a class action, filed in August 2016. The Applicant claims that Bezeq, the largest communications company in Israel, overcharges its customers for not paying their debts when due. According to the applicable regulations, Bezeq is allowed to charge a certain amount for failure to pay on time, and if the non-payment results from rejection of a cheque or bank's instructions – a higher amount. Bezeq charges both the base amount and the additional higher one. Under the application, Bezeq is required to return the overcharged amounts and cease this practice.


In April 2018 the class action was certified.


Status: Class action is pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class ActionDecision Certifying the Class Action.

Telraz v. Bezeq

charging clients for false information taken from the database used by the company`s call center

A class action against Bezeq, Israel's largest telecommunications company. The application to certify the class action was filed in September 2015. According to the application, Bezeq is in breach of its duty to conduct a daily update of the database used by its call center. As a result, customers who apply to the call center are given phone numbers which are assigned to disconnected phone lines. Bezeq charges a fee for each such call. The applicants demand Bezeq to update the call center database as required by law, and to repay its customers sums paid for irrelevant phone numbers. In September 2017 the class action was certified.


In August 2018 the parties reached a settlement. According to the settlement, compensation will be given to customers who were given irrelevant phone numbers. The compensation will be given by assigning a quota of free of charge calls to Bezeq`s call center. The court approved the settlement.


Status: The settlement is being executed.

 

Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action, Decision Certifying the Class ActionMotion to Approve a SettlementDecision Approving the Settlement.

Nassar v. Champion Motors

defective Volkswagen cars

Application to certify a class action against Champion Motors and Volkswagen, filed in July 2015. The application was filed on behalf of purchasers of cars imported by Champion Motors and manufactured since 2008 by Volkswagen. In the application, the applicants claim that a defect in the cars causes an excessive oil consumption and requires various repairs. The applicants request compensation for sums they where forced to pay due to the defect and an extension of the warranty period.


Our office represents the applicants, together with Saber Nassar.


Status: Application to certify the class action is pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action.

Danino v. 013 Netvision

unlawful charge of collection fees

Application to certify a class action against Netvision, a leading telecommunications company, on behalf of its clients. The application was filed in June 2015. The Company operates under licenses, issued by the Minister of Communications. The licenses allow the Company to charge collection costs, for unpaid debts. According to the licenses, the costs charged must be reasonable and proportionate to the debt. The applicants claim that the Company is charging excessive collection costs, with no proportion to the debt, even when no collection actions were not taken at all. The applicants request repayment of the excessive collection costs that were unlawfully charged, and that the Company will cease overcharging the clients and change its standard contracts.


In July 2018 the class action was certified, with regard to collection costs which were imposed when no collection actions were taken, and with regard to collection costs which were imposed where the debt was under NIS 40. The parties appealed the decision.

 

Status: Appeals on the decision certifying the class action are pending.

 

Documents: Application to Certify the Class ActionDecision Certifying the Class ActionNotice of Appeal.

Levi v. Ministry of Health

excessive interest for ER visit fee debt

Application to certify a class action against government hospitals, on behalf of patients who were charged with an emergency room visit fee. According to the application, which was filed in July 2015, when the fee is not duly paid, an excessive interest applies on the debt. The hospitals are demanded to cease the collection of the excessive interst, and to repay the patients the sum illegally charged.


In December 2020 the parties reached a settlement, which offers a NIS 91.25 compensation for each class member. The sum will be deducted from the outstanding debt at the Execution Office, if such debt still exists.


Our office represents the applicant, together with Guy Avni & Co.


Status: Motion to approve the settlement is pending.


Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action, Motion to Approve a Settlement, Final Judgement.

De Lange v. Partner, Bloch v. Pelephone

price discrimination between clients

Applications to certify class actions against the mobile carriers Pelephone and Partner. The applications were filed in May 2015. The applicants claim that the carriers conducted price discrimination between clients. In addition, it is claimed that the carriers prevent clients from changing to certain payment plans. The carriers` licenses require equitable treatment of all customers.


In may 2016, the proceedings against Pelephone were stayed, due to the Ministry of Communication`s intention to hold a hearing regarding the issue of price discrimination.


Status: Application against Partner is pending; Proceedings against Pelephone are stayed.


Documents: De Lange ApplicationBloch Application.

The Israeli Consumers Council v. Icon Group

breach of the statutory obligation to supply spare parts for iPad and iPod devices

Class action against Icon Group and iDigital, which import and market Apple devices in Israel, on behalf of purchasers of iPad and iPod devices. The application was filed in January 2014. The Council claims that Icon and iDigital do not comply with the statutory obligation to supply spare parts, and are willing to offer only the purchase of complete devices. The Council claims compensation for the consumers who were deprived of their right to purchase spare parts, and stipulate that the Companies comply with the statutory obligations moving forward. 

 

In August 2020 the class action was certified.


We represent the Council, together with Professor Alon Klement. 

 

Status: Class action is pending. 

 

Documents: Application to Certify the Class Action, Decision Certifying the Class Action.

Reznik v. Pelephone, Keinan v. Partner, Sigora Bar-Nir v. Cellcom

unlawful charge of Value Added Tax for cellular services given abroad

Applications to certify class actions against the mobile carriers Pelephone, Cellcom and Partner. The applications were filed in July-August 2010. The applicants claim that the carriers charged the consumers with Value Added Tax, for services rendered to them while they were outside of Israel. Such charge is unwarranted. Following the application, the Tax Authority amended the rules and ceased to demand such charges. The applications were dismissed, except the application against Cellcom with regard to a certain service.


In July 2017 an extended panel of justices of the Supreme Court upheld an appeal, vacating the District Court decision. It was held that the defenses provided by the Class Action Law to state authorities do not apply to the mobile carriers, although the carriers transferred the collected tax to the tax authorities. It was further held that Value Added Tax does not apply to pre purchased communication services rendered abroad.


In August 2021 a settlement agreement was approved. According to the settlement, the court had set the compensation to the class members on 60% of the VAT charge.


Status: Settlement is being executed.


Documents: Reznik Application, Keinan Application, Sigora Bar-Nir Application, Decision Rejecting  the Applications, Notice of Appeal, Supreme Court`s Desicion in the AppealMotion to Approve a Settlement, Decision Approving the Settlement.

Fattal v. Cellcom, Greenberg v. Cellcom

unlawful charge for call log printout

Class actions claiming that Cellcom, a leading mobile carrier, began charging its clients for transcripts detailing their activity, after providing such transcripts at no charge. The clients never agreed to pay for this service. The District Court certified the class action in the matter of Fattal, which was filed in March 2008, and a motion to appeal was dismissed. In the dismissal order, the Supreme Court issued a precedential ruling, establishing new rules with regard to the standard of review of decisions certifying class actions. Following the dismissal of the appeal in the matter of Fattal, the lawsuit was accepted, and Cellcom was ordered to return to its clients the amounts charged. Following an appeal on this award, the parties reached a settlement, under which Cellcom would return half of the amounts charged. Accordingly, Cellcom returned to the class members an amount exceeding NIS 18 million. Such return to clients on an individual basis was unprecedented, in the consumer law field.

 

In April 2015, Mr. Ben-Zion Greenberg filed an an application to certify a class action against Cellcom, following the Fattal case. The class in the Fattal case included clients of Cellcom who were illegally charged until August 2009, the month in which application was certified. Although the District Court stated in the certification decision that the charge was unlawful, Cellcom decided to raise the charge instead of cancelling it. Relying on the Fattal case, Mr. Greenberg contended that Cellcom should return the unlawful charge. Mr. Greenberg also claimed that Cellcom charged unreasonable amounts for the service, which charge is forbidden. In August 2016, the District Court certified the claim, with regard to the main cause of action - charging the clients for service they had never agreed to pay for. In January 2017, On appeal, the Supreme Court vacated the certification decision and ordered that the case will return to the District Court for further inquiry. In December 2017 the District Court certified the claim again, with regard to a part of the class period. In January 2019 the Supreme Court dismissed Cellcom`s appeal and upheld the lead plaintiff`s appeal, certrifyin the class action with regard to the whole class period.


In June 2021 a settlement was approved in the Greenberg case. According to the settlement, the clients will be repaid 68% of the amounts charged by the company.


Status: The award was fulfilled in the matter of Fattal; Settlement in the Greenberg case is under execution. 


Documents: Fattal`s application to Certify the Class ActionDecision Certifying the Class Action in the Fattal CaseDecision Dismissing the Appeal in the Fattal caseAward in the Fattal CaseSupreme Court's Decision in the Fattal caseGreenberg`s application to Certify the Class ActionDecision Certifying the Class Action in the Greenberg CaseSupreme Court`s Decision Vacating the Greenberg Case Certification DecisionSecond Decision Certifying the Class Action in the Greenberg CaseSupreme Court`s Decision in the Appeals on the Second Decision in the Greenberg Case, Motion to Approve Settlement in the Greenberg Case, Final Judgement in the Greenberg Case.

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