NTT Docomo's 30,000 yen "foreigner tariff"

Discussion in 'Japanese News & Hot Topics' started by arudoudebito, Apr 25, 2002.

  1. arudoudebito

    arudoudebito Mentor

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    NTT DOCOMO'S NEW 30,000 YEN DEPOSIT TO NON-JAPANESE SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
    By Arudou Debito, James Gibbs, and others.
    Courtesy of "The Community" Website
    (http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity)

    As of April 1, 2002, DoCoMo, Japan's largest cellphone operator and a subsidiary of Japan's largest telephone operator, Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT), now requires a deposit of 30,000 yen for all non-Japanese customers who are not legally Permanent Residents of Japan.

    Although only affecting new subscribers, the authors of this site believe that NTT's actions are unfair, blaming non-Japanese for payment delinquency due in part to NTT's own byzantine rules, unrealistic in terms of actual rates of default for foreigners, and misguided in light of where NTT's current financial woes really lie--in its own incompetent investing practices.

    An information site in English and Japanese may be found at
    http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/NTTdocomotariff.html
    and is organized as follows:
    ---------------------------------------------
    1) ASAHI ON DOCOMO'S "FOREIGN TARIFF"
    2) JAMES GIBBS ON DOCOMO'S BYZANTINE UNSUBSCRIPTION SYSTEM
    3) ANONYMOUS ON FOREIGNERS' ACTUALLY INFINITESIMAL RATES OF DEFAULT
    4) BEN AND OLAF CRUNCH THE NUMBERS FOR FOREIGNER DEFAULTS
    5) ARUDOU DEBITO ON NTT'S INCOMPETENT BUSINESS PRACTICES
    6) ASAHI ON "NTT LOSS WORST IN JAPANESE HISTORY"
    7) IHT ON "NTT SEES DOUBLING OF LOSSES"
    8) FINAL WORD
    ---------------------------------------------

    We encourage people to vote with their feet--by unsubscribing from DoCoMo's services in favor of fairer rivals, such as J-Phone and KDDI's AU. Also, if and when doing so, please consider making clear to NTT that this unfair policy is the reason.

    If you want, a bilingual letter for you to download, sign and submit to NTT when unsubscribing is available at http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/NTTkougibun.html

    Thank you for your consideration.
    Arudou Debito
    Sapporo
    One Community Coordinator and Proud J-Phone user
    --------------------------------------------
    ENDS
     
  2. arudoudebito

    arudoudebito Mentor

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    Addendum: Press Release on NTT Docomo Issue

    PRESS RELEASE, APRIL 22, 2002
    (please distribute)

    GROUPS "UMJ" AND "THE COMMUNITY" PROTEST NTT'S "TARIFF ON FOREIGNERS"

    TOKYO: Two organizations supporting the rights of foreign residents in Japan called today for a boycott of NTT Docomo, to protest the April 1, 2002 imposition of a 30,000 yen deposit on non-permanent foreign residents of Japan.

    The Community (http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity), an Internet-based action network, and United for a Multicultural Japan (http://www.tabunka.org), a membership-based group, have pledged to maintain the boycott until NTT Docomo abandons what leaders of the groups call a "misguided and
    discriminatory policy."

    According to Jens Wilkinson, President of United for a Multicultural Japan (UMJ), "We are very surprised at the timing of this decision by NTT Docomo, coming just as Japan is preparing to co-host the World Cup. This is an unfortunate step backward from the country's internationalization. We
    really hope that NTT Docomo will realize how damaging this could be to its international image, and will repeal the policy."

    Arudou Debito, one coordinator of The Community, added, "It's a shame that NTT is trying to pass on its recent financial woes to its valued non-Japanese customers. Penalizing entire peoples for the actions of a few alleged deadbeats is just bad customer relations. We should take our business elsewhere."

    Although Docomo claims foreigners default more than Japanese, James Gibbs, a vice-president of UMJ, disputes this: "Docomo contributes to the problem through its own Byzantine rules," he says. "Many 'non-paying' foreigners tried to square their bills before departure but were unable to. Docomo intentionally makes it difficult to cancel phone subscriptions, sometimes dragging the process out over several months. Docomo has decided to blame and penalize all foreigners for many problems of its own making."

    The groups are encouraging people to switch to other companies, such as J-Phone and AU, and make it clear in writing to Docomo of their discontent about this policy.

    More information and newspaper articles on the issue, including a bilingual protest letter which can be downloaded and submitted when returning a Docomo phone, are available at:
    http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/NTTdocomotariff.html
    http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/NTTkougibun.html (protest letter)

    PRESS RELEASE ENDS
     
  3. Microage97

    Microage97 先輩

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    It seems to me that it is the same issue that happens here in the US. In that I mean discrimination. It is awful to have to face it but if poeple keep speaking out then maybe people will see the light and change their practices.

    I certainly won't use DOCOMO. They are starting to offer service here in the US so I am thinking what gives? To treat Americans differently in Japan while smiling as they take our money here on our own shores? That stinks!!!
     
  4. larry_s

    larry_s 先輩

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    Hey, Dave, not only Americans who are concerned, but non-Japanese per se. :emoji_wink:
     
  5. Harvey

    Harvey 先輩

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    I bought AU! Down with Docomo. We should start a chant. Heh.
     
  6. moyashi

    moyashi Sempai

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    I got an iMode just for the family discount. And because AU wanted to charge more to swap my dead phone out for my wife's working one (same model). iMode n503i was too good to pass up at ZERO yen and AU wanted something like 4,000 yen just to transfer a silly number.

    Oh ... yes, I complained, reasoned, mentioned iMode but sadly they had to play by company policy. I really wanted to stay but family discount and 4,000 yen was bit much to stay loyal.

    so, back to the Devil I went.

    ughhh

    At least, I don't feel bad when I let the American side of me loose on NTT.

    hehe
     
  7. arudoudebito

    arudoudebito Mentor

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    UPDATE: Protest visit at NTT Docomo HQ June 20, 2002

    Hello All. A little follow up on the NTT Docomo HQ visit of June 20, 2002, when UMJ (a human rights group, info at http://www.tabunka.org) Secretary Imtiaz Chaudhry and myself, one coordinator of The Community (http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity), handed in a letter of protest concerning Docomo's 30,000 yen tariff on all new non-Permanent Resident subscribers, enacted from April 1 of this year.

    (Full info on the issue at
    http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/NTTdocomotariff.html
    Text of protest letter at
    http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/docomotachikawaletter.html)

    Anyway, the news: An article dated June 21 appeared in the Kyodo News Service on the event. It is in Japanese (included below, if your browser can read it), so I will quickly translate it for the record.

    As for the reaction of NTT Docomo officials (in lieu of a longer report, due when somebody invents a time stretcher) to our arguments: "We will consider your ideas" (kentou shimasu). That's all one can expect from a bureaucrat in Japan's largest company/quasi-governmental agency.

    The article follows. Bests, Arudou Debito in Sapporo

    =======================================
    Protest over the Foreigner Deposit Problem
    NTT Docomo's Cellphone Contracts
    (Translation by Arudou Debito)

    On June 20, 2002, members of United for a Multicultural Japan, a human rights group headed by Jens Wilkinson, visited the headquarters of NTT Docomo (Tokyo) to protest the company's policy of demanding 30,000 yen downpayment for all new cellphone contracts from foreign subscribers without Permanent Residency. They said the policy, which was in response to nonpayments, was discriminatory.

    According to their publicity department, the company put into effect from April first of this year a system where foreigners with limits on their stay in Japan (zairyuu kigen) would choose either to pay a deposit of 30,000 yen or pay automatically through a direct deposit bank account. The deposit would be returned upon cancellation of contract, they said.

    The group's protest letter read, inter alia, "Have you taken into consideration the fact that most foreigners are learning about and contributing to Japan? The complexity of cancelling one's contract or paying from overseas afterward are some reasons why people are delinquent. It is important that you consider streamlining your procedures."

    NTT stressed, "Compared to Japanese and Permanent-Resident foreigners, payment delinquencies [of garden-variety foreigners] are happening at a six-fold rate. This policy is a response to that. It is not discrimination against foreigners." The company did not make clear exactly how many people were delinquent or how much the delinquencies amounted to.

    A member of the human rights group who has Japanese citizenship, Arudou Debito (37), said, "You are promoting the social conviction that foreigners are untrustworthy. We worry that this will have a bad effect on all of us. It is certainly possible for you to access people ['s credit rating] on an individual basis, not en masse."

    =======================================
    Text of original Kyodo article in Japanese
    http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity/NTTkougipressrelease.html#kyodo


    ENDS
     

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