Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Softbank stores uses "iPhone for dummies" as a customer service tool

If you've been keeping up, we are supposed to be searching the Japanese-language J-blogosphere for instances of softbank sucking, but this got derailed (or delayed at least) during the subcommittee-decide-on-search-terms-and-search-order portion of the planning sessions. Before reconvening to re-discuss search terms, one of us stumbled on to this humorous anecdote about asking for iPhone tech help in a softbank store.

I went to a SB store yesterday to ask why the automated hotline number (157) didn't react when I push buttons to navigate it. The girl excused herself for 15min, and I spotted her and a couple colleagues in the room in the back of the store, flipping through one
of those "My Very First Iphone" magazines/guides sold in 7/11s... So the poor bastards don't even get guides or manuals from Apple!!!! WTF?
She then proceeded to calling the magazine's publishing company for advise instead of their own tech support!!!
I was sliding off my chair like in a Seinfeld episode.
Enjoy.

Softbank Sucks has finished scouring all the interwebs for instances of softbank sucking

Well, not exactly.

We finished slogging through the tubes in English and came to the conclusion that:
  1. The English-language J-blogosphere (or whatever it is called) has by and large figured out that softbank sucks and stopped talking about it, except for the random forum post.
  2. This blog has the most complete information about what is and is not required when registering for service with softbank of any site (in English) on the web, including the site of the world's worst phone company.
In an attempt to stay fair and balanced, we will also present our loyal readers with links to a few stories of registration with softbank not sucking. Well, one link actually.

But to provide a more comprehensive overview of the situation in Japan re the iPhone, the softbanksucks team has decided to begin scouring the Japanese-language J-blogosphere as well. We will bring you our translations of what the Japanese are saying about the iPhone in general and Softbank specifically - good or bad - but without, of course, any warranty or guarantee whatsoever that what we write in English even remotely resembles what was originally written in Japanese.

Having said that, we formed a committee.

The first job of this committee was to decide a meeting time. After we completed that daunting task, we actually met. During this meeting we discussed how to actually go about searching the Japanese-language J-blogosphere and decided we needed a few subcommittees. One subcommittee was in charge of choosing which search engine(s) to use/not use. One was in charge of determining which keywords to search in roman characters, i.e., English. One was responsible for determining the same for the two-byte font, Japanese-language J-blogosphere. Yet another discussed whether to change our default browser encoding from UTF-8 (unicode) to that POS of an encoding Shift_JIS. This committee also had the ancillary task of determining which browser would be best for rendering said two-byte font language in whichever encoding it happened to be presented in, as well as which browser would do best for displaying pages where there is either no charset tag at all (at last glance roughly half the Japanese-language J-blogosphere), or the entire information is presented entirely in flash with a mal-configured backend that serves up nothing but mojibake (e.g., the stupid NHK site for the highschool baseball tournament). The final committee took all this information under advisement, came up with a recommendation, bounced it up the chain of command to the Softbanksucks CEO, and finally instructed all subcommittees to do the whole thing over again, from the beginning because the result was a kludged-up POS.

In the end we decided to do the following:

perform a google search with the following three keywords in the following order. (unacceptable issues in determining the order of the search terms was the reason for the dissolution of the original subcommittees)

  1. iPhone
  2. softbank
  3. 審査
Stay tuned for the results

:-)

EDIT: we forgot to include that one linky.

Put the smack down on Wired.com

Wired.com just ran an article (entitled Free, Video-Enabled iPhone 3GS Charms Japanese Consumers) about the popularity in the iPhone 3G S in Japan. As has been widely reported, the 3G S was the best selling phone in July. However, the article claims that the 3G S is free, which, as all the readers (right now there are exactly zero of you) of this blog know, is not the case.

As wired.com's commenting system in a POS, when the softbanksucks team made the comment, there were 6 comments showing. After reloading and confirming that only 6 comments were made, and none pointed out the blatant error in the article, we made the following comment:

Please do some simple research before making false claims that the 3G S is free in Japan. IT IS NOT FREE IN JAPAN. The 3G *WAS* and *STILL IS* free in Japan. The 3G S cost the following during the “iPhone for everybody” campaign.
16 GB 3G S: 11,520 yen (effective) price after spreading the phone of 24 months @ 480 yen/month.
32 GB 3G S: 23,040 yen; 24 months @ 480/month
http://mb.softbank.jp/mb/iphone_en/everybody/
But, this is only if you qualify for the for the payment plan. Many don’t, especially foreigners (though not likely Korean “Zainichi”). No one knows why. Softbank really sucks in this aspect. If you do not qualify you got to for[k] over about $700 up front for the phone, but then you get the discount over the 24 month contract in the form of a reduced monthly bill.
As of now, 12:20 pm JST, the comment is in moderation, but doesn't really matter if it gets accepted because, after posting, 3 additional comments magically appeared, all saying the same thing, the first of which was made 4 hours previously. We guess that each of the subsequent commenters also didn't realize that the error had been noted.

On an unrelated note, ever notice how C|Net's commenting system doesn't suck (though it is overrun by trolls whereas Wired's is just overrun by spam). No nested comments? WTF? The softbanksucks team just registered for a username without even having to verify we have a valid email account. Rather than using our real address, we should have used masayoshi@softbank.ne.jp er... would that be masayoshi@softbank.jp or maybe masayoshi@i.softbank.jp

:-)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Softbank Sucks is in the Google index, yay!

After a month, this blog has finally found its way into Google's index. Though we're not findable by Microsoft'ss Bing search engine... Does anyone actually use Bing?