It always amazes me how simple business
decisions get picked up and become rallying
cries for political fringe groups.
First off, Debito and his organization are
playing fast and loose with words. This is not
a tariff but a deposit -- you get your money
back at the end although one could argue that
the opportunity cost of the paying the deposit
is an additional fee, but that probably amounts to
1,000 yen or so.
Second, this deposit (not tariff) is not imposed on
all foreigners as he would have you believe but
only on non-permanent resident foreigners which
is completely different.
Third, it seems that since the dot-com bubble and
subsequent implosion, most people have been
conditioned to think of the marketing function
as simply existing to create and stoke
demand. However, a less sexy but equally
important function of marketing is to regulate demand.
A good marketer (in this case, perhaps Docomo)
understands that not all customers
are equal in terms of lifetime value and lifetime costs
-- costs such customer service/tech support charges,
uncollectible debt, and so on.
Of course pricing discrimination like this goes on daily all
around us, from the different prices men and women are charged
for dry cleaning, to discounts students receive on movies, to
certain discounts that checking account holders who maintain
a "minimum balance" enjoy, while others who can't maintain
that balance incur premiums in terms of monthly maintenance
fees, lower interest rates paid and so on.
And it always tickles me, that the Gaijin who complain the
loudest in Japan about any discrimination that impacts them
negatively, simply wink and nod when blatant discrimination works
in their favor such as the number of "English" teachers who
are sought after to work in Japan bearing no credentials (other
than speaking English as a native) and in many cases acting
At 12:57 AM 6/17/02 +0900, you wrote:
>Thought this would be of interest to this group, not so much to join the
>protest, but just to be aware of the issues and some of the reactions:
>PRESS RELEASE JUNE 14, 2002
>NTT DOCOMO'S "FOREIGNER TARIFF":
>30,000 YEN DEPOSIT FOR NEW FOREIGN SUBSCRIBERS ONLY
>PROTEST LETTER TO BE PRESENTED JUNE 20, 2002 2PM
>TO DOCOMO PRESIDENT TACHIYAMA AT DOCOMO HQ
>NAGATA-CHO, CHIYODA-KU, TOKYO
>Members of United for a Multicultural Japan (http://www.tabunka.org) and
>Community (http://www.debito.org/TheCommunity) will be visiting the
>headquarters of NTT DoCoMo next Thursday afternoon, presenting a letter
>protest to President Tachiyama regarding the "30,000 yen deposit for
>As of April 1, 2002, NTT DoCoMo charges all non-permanent-resident
>foreigners a 30,000 yen deposit when signing a contract for a new phone.
>J-Phone and AU do not have similar policies, and we consider this an
>singling out of people as untrustworthy simply by dint of nationality or
>For background information on this issue, please see:
Received on Tue Jun 18 05:29:25 2002