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J-Phone/Vodophone are blood sucking scumbags!


24 Jun 2003
I'm a little bit annoyed at the J-Phone company because I've just found out that they've been taking money out of my bank account for several months even though I don't have one of their phones!

I used to have one of their phones but my wife lost it in May when we moved. At the time I called the company up and asked them to cancel it. They said no problem, it'll be disconnected by the end of the day. Case closed. I didn't want another cell phone so I thought that was the end of it. I didn't bother sending them a change of address because I didn't think there would be any point.

But then today I dropped by my old apartment to see if there was any mail for me and found a huge stack of J-Phone receipts which showed that they were still taking money out of my account months after I had cancelled the phone! As it was less than 4,000 yen per month I hadn't noticed the amount missing from my account.

I talked to my wife and we figured it was some sort of honest mistake so she called them up. The J-Phone lady on the other end told her that actually there wasn't any mistake. It turns out that you can disconnect your service over the phone, but they will still keep charging you for the now non-existant service unless you come to a J-Phone shop and cancel it in person! The guy I had talked to had not mentioned any of this of course and left me with the impression that everything had been taken care of!

The woman had refused to give a refund to my wife, so I called them back. The guy I talked to spoke English, which is good because I don't know how to express how pissed off I was in Japanese. I explained the situation and he said in a very helpful sounding voice "I have good news! We'll send you a cancellation form and if you get it to us by October 10th you won't have to pay your bill for NEXT month!" I asked about the previous 4 months during which the company had been taking money out of my account without my knowledge knowing full well that they were not providing me with any service and he just said "There is nothing I can do, its in the contract."

I've never really let loose on the phone with any expletive filled tirades before, but I couldn't help myself. The swear words just kept coming out and I couldn't do anything to stop them. It actually felt really good. I kept it up for a few minutes. The conversation went something like:

Me: "What kind of a F%^#$ dishonest #$%&ed up $#%#@#$$^#&@^$| company are you $%$#%^, dirty, @#$$@ sons of #%^#$#$% running anyway?

J-Phone representative: "There is nothing I can do, its in the contract."

Me: "CONTRACT? F$%#@#@$%#$@$%62....etc. etc.

Unfortunately this led me nowhere so eventually I hung up in frustration without a refund. You would think that an honest company would have refunded the money or better yet would have told me what I needed to do to have them stop taking my money in the first place.
Gulf Oil Co.

I got charged $85 dollars for a fill up on my Ford Escort car with a 12 Gal. tank. The credit card guy said since I didn't catch it at the station, tough luck ! The receipt print was so small I needed a microscope to catch the mistake. I figure if I bad mouth them for the rest of my life I may feel better !

It's actually Vodafone isn't it? and if your so woried about your finances then why did you get married? I would have waited until my cellphone bill was off-contract to get hitched and then i wouldnt have had anything to worry about (if i were you,).



"I would have waited until my cellphone bill was off-contract to get hitched and then I wouldn't have had anything to worry about (if I were you,)."
"I used to have one of their phones but my wife lost it in May when we moved."
anyway, my sympathies dude... that sounds like something cricket would do... i'm really shocked/surprised to hear about it...
Yeah I think they are called vodophone now, but all my bills say J-Phone on them.

I don't care about loosing the money I'm just pissed off that this company took it in such a backhanded manner. It seems common sense that if I don't have a phone they shouldn't charge me for one. But they deliberately exploited a loophole in their convoluted contract to keep taking my money simply because they could. And then when I called them on it, they just basically said "HA HA, we've got your money and we ain't givin it back, so piss off." Its such a scam.
Yeah, Frank, bad-mouthing is definitely helping me to get the frustration out of my system. I hope you swore at the credit card guy!
but if someone was calling on it/still using it
maybe they get people who lose the phone, then find it later...
still seems wrong to me though
asked friends over there what to do about it? i'm sure someone else over there has had that situation... good luck
i've heard sobbing is better than yelling/cursing over there, incidentally
Thanks Budd. Yeah, I could see how someone might want to still use the same number or they would find the phone again and want to use it. When I called I told them I didn't want a new phone and just wanted to cancel the service though, and they said OK. The phone line was disconnected, so even if I had found it it would have been useless. The guy understood that I wanted to end all of my business with J Phone, but he never told me that I had to go in person to cancel the payment. It may have been a miscommunication, we were speaking in English so maybe he didn't understand what I was saying so well, though he sounded like a fluent speaker.

Yeah, I might try sobbing next time. I don't know if that'll work either, I think these big companies just universally stonewall people trying to get a refund in the hopes they will give up and go away. Most people will probably just give up if its a small amount and won't bother paying a hundred thousand yen to take it to court if the amount is only 20,000 yen, as in my case. That is probably what I am going to end up doing, but it makes me mad as hell.
Mail In Rebates ???

I love big companies who offer mail in rebates that take 6 monthes to get back to you also. I get the feeling we could have a great gripe session on things we all hate !

Frank, was it an automatic charge at the pump or was it done by hand by a person? I'm surprised you couldn't stop payment on it. I thought that was one of the safety features of credit cards -- you could dispute charges and refuse payment.
Gulf Co. Credit Card !

It was done by hand on a cash register with small blurry print and dumb me just signed off on it. Being nice, they thretened to screw with my credit record if I didn't pay and I gave in and paid. Cutting their card into a million pieces made me feel somewhat better. I bought $30 to $50 dollars a month of gas from them so now Texico/Shell has my business.

Good for you, Frank. I've decided I don't need a cell phone so none of those companies are going to be getting any of my business either. I think you really have to watch your back with these big companies, they have no moral problem with pouncing on any slip up to take more of your money than they are entitled to. And once they've got it, there isn't much you can do to get it back.
I agree that they weren't helpful on the phone when you first cancelled. But at the end of the day, you sign a contract for a reason - otherwise why bother with it? If you never read it, then really you only have yourself to blame.

That is true in the sense that everyone should be careful to read the fine print whenever they sign anything. But I've been reading a lot about how these companies operate, and a lot of them deliberately make the contracts difficult to get out of as a way of making an easy buck. A lot of them don't see contracts solely as a means of protecting themselves, its just another way to bilk money out of customers. The English school I used to work at, for example was such a company. If a student signed a contract to take lessons, but the next day decided they didn't want the lessons and tried to cancel it, they couldn't. According to the contract even though they hadn't taken any lessons, they were only entitled to a partial refund.

Now, you can say its the fault of the students for not having checked the contract first, but it was deliberate company policy to put heavy pressure on customers to sign contracts, regardless of whether or not they wanted to take lessons. The managers would just isolate the potential students in an interview room and effectively browbeat the more reluctant ones for as long as it took to get them to sign a contract. As you can imagine, the managers would be careful to avoid directing the students attention to the part about how to cancel the contract. So a lot of people who had come in with no intention to commit to anything would often end up signing a contract just to get the manager to leave them alone. Then when they'd come back the next day to cancel it, the manager would say "OK, but we can only give you back a little of your money. Its hardly worth your while to try to get out of it, so why not take the classes?" Thats how they got most of their students, it was totally corrupt and abusive, especially on people who are easily manipulated. Thankfully the government passed a consumer protection law about 3 years back that gave customers a 'cooling off' period in which they could demand a refund, so my old school (GEOS) can't do that anymore. They have lost a lot of business since they were banned from blatantly ripping people off. It would be nice to see similar protection extended to cell phone company victims.....uh I mean customers.
People who expect good service from the language schools get everything they deserve. Everyone knows they are scum.

That said, Vodafone (formerly J-Phone) sent me a message today to say that my phone had a software fault and I have to go back to the shop to get it upgraded - so I agree, they are the spawn of satan! (only kidding!)

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