Saturday, May 23, 2009

The two things I hate more than anything else in the world

(First of all, from looking at my visitor tracking tool there seem to be some people eagerly awaiting my next installment in the "getting married" series, but do not despair, it will be forthcoming soon enough!)

But this is about something different! You see, there are two things I hate more than anything else in the world; (1) dealing with Japanese paperwork outside work and (2) setting up the wireless network properly at home with all the stuff I have that I sometimes connect to the network (including PC, printer, PS3, laptop etc. etc.).

Recently I got a phone call at a point where I was pretty tired and didn't think so much about it, I mistook the call from being from my Internet provider and that they would be coming over to do some upgrade to the network to make it faster, so I booked a time for them to come over and didn't think much more about it. But a few days after the call I started to get all kinds of mail with tons of explanations and paperwork inside sent to me, from NTT, Big Globe, Flet's and who knows who else it was who wanted a piece of the Salaryman Internet cake, all of them with pretty complicated information on how to set up the network and forms for me to fill in. Mrs. Sunshine-Salaryman was of course drafted in to try and sort things out, but it didn't take long to figure out that it wasn't really my current provider, it was another company that was trying to sell in their broadband to me that had approached me at a weak moment.

After looking through the stuff we came to the conclusion that a change would mean a minor monthly saving in cost on the flip-side, but having a new provider would mean that I would have to reconfigure all my connections to the new system, something that I of experience know can be quite the nightmare for someone like me who have limited technical knowledge.

Faced with this analysis of the situation, I did what any sane person would do; I called up the company to cancel the whole deal. The phone call went something like this (I should note though that it took quite a while to get hold of the person as well as a number of calls to my mobile phone I ignored since I specifically told them to call my land line):

Mr. Salaryman: Hello, it's about the change to broadband supplier.
Nasty Phone Guy: (Cheery) Yes, what can we help you with?
Mr. Salaryman: Actually, there was a little minunderstanding earlier and we want to cancel the installation of the new network, sorry about the trouble.
NPG: (Suddenly very cold) Why is that?
Mr. Salaryman: Well, to be honest it's actually too much of a hassle to set up a new network at the moment.
NPG: No it isn't, it's easy.
Mr. Salaryman: It actually is quite troublesome so I'd like to cancel. Do you want me to return all the information I have been sent earlier?
NPG: If you read the instructions it will be really easy so I think we should go ahead.
Mr. Salaryman: No, I would like to cancel.
NPG: (irritated) Why? You save money through this!
Mr. Salaryman: (getting pretty irritated in return) Well, that is up to me I think, I would please like to cancel now.
NPG: But you save money and it's really easy to set up!
Mr. Salaryman: If you come over here and make sure everything works like before, sure, otherwise I would like to cancel now!
NPG: We don't do that.
Mr. Salaryman: Ok, so can I please cancel now?
NPG: (pissed off) It's not up to me to decide, my boss will call you back! (hangs up)

10 minutes later we get a phone call back, this time Mrs. Sunshine-Salaryman takes it and from what I have been told it went something like this:

NPG 2: (Arrogantly) We heard you want to cancel because it's "too much of a hassle" (emphasized by NPG2)
Mrs. Sunshine Salaryman: (already getting annoyed) Well, we just don't see the need at the moment so cancel it now.
NPG 2: (openly hostile) Fine, whatever, throw away the stuff we sent (hangs up)

In conclusion, I'm still surfing fine with my old network and I will try to not think of all the great things I could've done with the 500 yen/month I would have saved with changing provider. Usually in Japan sales people are pretty polite, but this telemarketing center must have had another policy...


sixmats said...

I'm surprised they were so pushy. They're not like the sales people I've dealt with.

Maybe you should throw some English at them next time.

aimlesswanderer said...

I guess that call centre isn't going to win the Japanese "Call Centre of the Year" award! I hope they record all their calls for "training and evaluation purposes".

At least they haven't started outsourcing them to other countries (or have they? Korea or China maybe?). Many of ours have been outsourced to India, which is sometimes a problem.

ThePenguin said...

Fortunately the number of competent or even incompetent Japanese speakers in low-wage countries is miniscule, so the call centres are unlikely to be going anywhere soon, methinks.

You do get the odd rude bastard, but compared to other countries I've lived in, normal business transactions are usually a pleasure. (On the other hand abnormal transactions which require thinking outside of the box by the other party can be a recipe for insanity).

Mr. Salaryman said...

Yeah, first time I've encountered such aggressive salesmen in Japan. But I'll never use that provider, that's for sure.

Japan is usually a breeze unless you want to have something out of the ordinary, as the great penguin says.

john turningpin said...

I love my ISP. I've blogged about them twice now, I think, without actually mentioning their name (J:Com). Have gotten some flyers from other providers offering plans 1,000 yen or so a month cheaper, but the service I get with these guys is fantastic enough that I have no plans to change.

jlpt-2kyu said...

K-opticom is great and super cheap, if available in your area (seems to be Kansai based).

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