If you were fortunate enough to receive a phone line free of charge, lucky you. If you purchased a phone line on your own, you remember the crunch the initial cost placed on your wallet. However, you’ll be able to make some of that investment back if you sell the property of your line to your successor.
• Price: When determining a selling price, be fair. You’ve already used the line for 1-3 years, so adjust the price accordingly. Used phone lines can be purchased from private companies for ￥40,000 – ￥50,000 so charging ￥40,000 or less is ideal.
• Name Transfer: Now that you have a buyer and you’ve settled on the price, you‘ll need to visit an NTT office in person to process the meigi henko (名義変更) or, name transfer. This is the actual transfer of property from you to the buyer. YOU MUST GO IN PERSON to an NTT office to process the meigi henko form. Both parties will also need a form of ID (Passport or Alien Registration Card are acceptable). The transfer fee is 800 yen plus 5% consumption tax.
Ideally, you should have your service terminated 15 days in advance.
In some cases, a JET will leave before his or her successor arrives, even though the successor may have planned to purchase the phone line from the returning JET. In this case, the JET might consider transferring the phone line to his or her coordinator or a friend who is staying in Japan. Then the new JET may make arrangements with the third party and once again transfer the line to the new JET.
There are other options as well – check it out at your local NTT office. If you run into any difficulties ask the NTT employee if you may call theNTT English-speaking operator. The operator can serve as interpreter between you and the office. The toll-free number is: 0120-364-463
NO SUCCESSOR OR BUYER?
If you do not have a successor or your successor already resides in Japan and does not need to purchase your phone line, you might consider an oazukarihyo (お預かり表). This means that your phone line is put on “hold” until you find someone to purchase the line. While you look for an individual buyer, it is also advised to find a private company that will purchase your line (such companies later sell used lines to interested parties – note that NTT will not purchase your line from you). Ask you supervisor about private companies.
LAST BILL PAYMENT
When you process your meigi henko, you may also ask the NTT employee to give an estimate of your latest phone charges. Although the estimate can be given, your final charges and bill won’t be processed for a month or two after your line has been transferred. As with the rest of your bills, leave the estimated amount and some additional money with your coordinator or whoever will be making the final payments on your utilities.
If your bills are deducted automatically every month, you might consider leaving extra money in your account and later having someone close out the account for you. Once all bills have been deducted, the appointed person could send you the remaining money in your account (see the section on Sending Money Home). Note that your final bill may include a termination fee.
A FEW POINTS TO CONSIDER
- Those of you who have keitais will likely have to deal with the last bill payment as stated above. However, as services vary, it is best to contact your keitai provider company a few months in advance to sort out the details.
- Once you have processed the meigi henko, your current phone number will no longer be in service. Please notify your friends and others of your future contact number.
- You may be quite fond of your phone and answering machine, but it may not be the best decision to tote it back with you to your home country. Check to see if the phone is compatible with the lines at home. If not, you’re best off selling it to your successor or just giving it to them as a gift.
- Many keitai companies have set up return points at the international airports. You can cancel your phone, pay the final bill and hand it back just before leaving the country. Check with phone company if this is possible.
• 名義変更 meigi henko Name transfer
• お預かり表 oazukarihyo “Hold” form
• 電話料金 denwa ryokin Phone bill
• 電話線 denwa sen Phone line
• 電話解約 denwa kaiyaku Termination of service