Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Softbank Mobile incorrectly reported good-standing accounts as delinquent to credit reporting agencies

63,133 people who received subsidies for a new phone and are paying in installments had their credit history temporarily fubared by a Softbank internal reporting error. If you are a softbank customer and have a current 2-year contract with:
  1. a phone that is less than two years old and
  2. you are paying in installments for the phone
Then you could have been reported as delinquent. Fortunately, the problem has been noticed and it should be corrected. Reporting agencies have sent notices to individuals of the mistake.

The credit check for softbank is a totally opaque and ridiculous process, and if you've ever failed the 審査 you can easily be left wondering if there isn't some sort of error somewhere. They don't give any indication as to what the problem is. They just ask you to try again, this time with a drivers license, or with a utility bill, or with a credit card. Is my name in katakana somewhere and romaji somewhere else? Does one place lack my middle name? Did someone misspell something?

So, I'm totally not surprised to hear this news.

Those who have been reading this blog for a while know that I'm also thankful to softbank. Their opaque 審査 is the reason for the existence of Japan Mobile Tech, who has been faithfully serving your English-language need for carrier news and views since 2009.

How to tell if you are paying for a phone in installments

This is easy.

If you DID NOT pay at least ¥60,000 up front for the phone at the time of purchase, you are paying in installments. If you got a phone for ZERO YEN, you are paying in installments. If you got a shiny new iPhone (or Android) for around ¥20,000, you are paying in installments.


  1. Will/did Softbank inform users that were affected? Will it really be rectified? I have no faith in companies fixing credit mistakes in a timely manner in America, so I really wonder if Softbank will actually get it fixed.

  2. Apparently this was noted in March and was kept quiet until it was fixed. Everyone effected has been notified and the credit histories have been corrected.

    Are there people that were incorrectly reported that haven't been found yet? Who knows. Maybe. Probably not. They've been working to fix it for half the year.