If you live in the Chubu region, you’ve probably seen the TV commercials for Commufa Hikari, a product of Chubu Telecommunications. They run a pretty aggressive marketing campaign with door-to-door and telephone sales reps, and since I was not opposed to saving 2,000 yen on my phone bill, I agreed to take them up on their offer.
A no-hassle changeover?
At least I did at first. The problem is, although they promise an easy transition from your current phone and internet setup, it’s really not that easy at all. They give you the impression that they will take care of everything for you, but they can’t. It’s still your responsibility to cancel your internet provider (in my case OCN) and your current internet setup (in my case NTT Flets Hikari). Plus, you have to deal with the sales rep, the engineer and the admin person, all of whom phone you at 30 minute intervals on numerous occasions – at least in my experience.
They weren’t rude at all, but with so many questions about your current set up, including the direction of the room in which your second computer is based, it all gets a bit overwhelming, especially when they fire their list of technical questions at you in Japanese.
Since I also had to contact the phone line rental company in Osaka to confirm whether I could switch to Commufa or not, I found the the hassle was not worth the 1,000 yen monthly savings. Yes, that’s right, once you include the costs to continue using your current phone number and email address, you don’t save as much as you expect.
In the end, after about eight phone conversations with Commufa, I decided not to follow through with the switch. If you find yourself tempted by monthly savings and promises of a hassle-free changeover, just remember that it might not be quite as easy as it first appears.
Update: The very next day, someone from Commufa drove all the way up from Nagoya (90 min. drive) and rang our doorbell. He said he knew nothing about my conversations with Commufa the previous day and he was “just in the area”. Anyway, I invited him in and after he looked at my current setup he talked me through everything I had doubts about – and even showed that I’d be saving closer to 4,000 yen a month. So, I’ve signed on the dotted line and now wait for a visit from the electrician.If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!