- a phone that is less than two years old and
- you are paying in installments for the phone
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.