Yodobashi camera is a stinky one

by Rufus Sufur

Anyone with any inkling of buying electronic devices in any major city in Japan should be familiar with Yodobashi Camera. Although Yamada Denki holds about 25% of the domestic marketshare for consumer electronics retailers, Yodobashi is well known in the major cities.

Anyway, just an aside about customer service in Japan–It basically stinks. See my previous post on the topic of a broken iPhone case. But that wasn’t the only issue I’ve had with Yodobashi Camera. The first was a few years back.

Back then, after having spent thousands of dollars the previous week to furnish a new apartment I had just moved in to, I went back to Yodobashi to buy a hose to hook up a generously donated gas range (Thanks N-san). However, I bought a hose that was too short.

When I tried to exchange the hose for a larger one the next day, the shop staff told me I couldn’t since I had opened the package (i.e. I had unstapled the plastic bag containing the hose). Keep in mind this hose was less than $3. I eventually got a manager to come over, and I explained that despite spending thousands of dollars the previous week, they wanted to haggle over a $3 hose? Give me a break.

Eventually, the manager relented to my arguments (and slightly raised voice) and exchanged the hose for me.

Lesson: Japanese customer service is practically non-existent. I’ve had good experiences here, but only with foreign owned stores (the Gap), or large multinational chains (like Uniqlo). If you buy anything here, make sure you really got the item you want/need and hope it doesn’t break.