Saturday, 29 October 2011
Paying the national broadcaster, the NHK man.
Dear mister NHK man,
I explain to you in the politest, genial manner, using my best Japanese, that I will NOT right here and right now give you my flipping personal details and bank account number until I show your "YOU-MUST-SIGN-NOW" forms to my supervisor and colleagues who can advise me on the safety of giving said information. I am new and I wish to take my time to fill out and send this information to an address that you refuse to give me after asking 5 times. Oh what's that? After going around in circles for 25 flipping minutes, you DO have an address and an alternate form that I can send out after all? I don't have to surrender my personal information here and now as you were pushing so very hard for?? Thanks a lot for wasting my breath and confirming to me that, had you not been so stubborn and ignorant, we could have concluded our interchange in exactly a tenth of the time.
Moral of the story: sometimes you'll find yourself in a sucky situation in Japan (Disclaimer: yeah, like anywhere else in the world). You will come across bullying tactics if you live here, but I reckon it best that you trust your instincts. You should not feel obliged to give your bank details out at your door to an unannounced man. After all, how can you expect a newbie to the country to judge the authenticity of IDs and documents?
SIDE NOTES - Was he for real do you think?
- I pressed him for a "send to" address five times and he understood what I wanted but kept saying that I had better register now, and continued to remind me that it was the law to pay. Furthermore, and though he didn't exactly say as much, his manner strongly suggested that something bad was going to happen if we didn't settle this now.
- He asked when I moved in and I told him "in August." He said, if I register my details now, that I would not have to pay for August and September. Hurry up and give me your details now, otherwise you'll be out 2700 yen.
Now, I will admit that I am pretty sure he was a true representative, though, the manner of the representative and the method of registering right there and then is crazy I must tell you Mr. NHK policy writer person. If it is your strategy to make the collectors be stubborn and bully residents of Japan into providing information (most particularly bank account or credit card info) in a snap, then you can shelve and file it alphabetically my good man.