Opening her daughter’s monthly cell phone bill, the woman’s jaw goes slack with astonishment. Three … million yen (approx. $26,000 usd). This is surely a mistake, she thinks. Why, my daughter wasn’t even in Japan for most of that time. “The figure is correct,” confirms a staff member of the carrier company, in a no-nonsense tone. “You are obliged to pay.” This state of affairs, explains Yomiuri Weekly, came about when her daughter’s cell phone was stolen during an overseas trip. Ironically, this particular phone could only be used to make calls in Japan. (Theft like this underscore the increasing amounts of personal data & cash carried on phones in Japan. The point here is that even if the phone itself won’t work overseas, the UIM card will, once transferred to a compatible GSM/WCDMA phone outside Japan — and many Japanese, unfamiliar with GSM-era SIM cards and PIN codes — don’t password-protect their UIM cards. — Eds.)
As such, the daughter waited 10 days after returning to Japan before reporting the theft to the phone company. “I didn’t think it was urgent, since the phone couldn’t be used for making calls anyway,” she explains.
Full story here.