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Here are settled cross-border cases which ECOM/ADR Office* received from consumers outside Japan.
Case1    My son could not get Japanese replica guns one year after ordering

Result: Settled
Type of trouble: Non-delivery
Product purchased: Replica gun
Sex: Male
Age: 40’s
Country of residence: England

The complainant was introduced to ECOM/ADR Office by the commercial department of the Japanese Embassy in London. He contacted ECOM/ADR Office for advice regarding a problem he was having with a Japanese online merchant.

“I ordered six replica guns and other items from the site for my son’s 14th birthday present last February. I paid 689.81 US dollars. The shop sent me only a few items that I ordered on March, and I received emails twice that it would send me the rest of them because they were out of stock. However, the shop did not respectably reply to me even though I had sent several emails and letters. Until now, the shop has not kept its promise. It is now November and my son’s birthday has already past. My son and I are very disappointed. Christmas is coming soon and my son still wants the items. I would like the shop to send me them to us by this Christmas.”

We discovered that the shop mainly sells air soft and replica guns through its brick-and-mortar shop located in Tokyo. All contents on the website were written in English. The person in charge is Japanese, but responded to us in English.

We sent an email to the shop using an email address given to us by the complainant, but it was sent us back as an error. We then visited the website and discovered another email address and sent the shop another email. . Next day, we received a reply from the shop informing us that the shop would send the rest of the items to the complainant as soon as possible.

We reported back to the complainant however, he told us that he had heard the same response from the shop many times before. After a month later, we found out that he had not received the items yet. He then again asked us to contact the shop even though one year had almost past since he had first ordered. We once again told the shop that the complainant had not yet received the items and requested the shop to send the items and to let complainant know when the delivery will be made.

The shop replied to us after about a week later letting us know that it sent the rest of items to the complainant. Soon after we received an email from the complainant which wrote the following, “I truly appreciated that I could finally obtain the items. After ordering a year ago and I gave my son the item as his birthday present.”

Case2   The truck I received was rusty and damaged!

Result: Settled
Type of trouble: Product quality
Product purchased: Used truck
Sex: Male
Age: 30’s
Country of residence: Barbados

A Bajan consumer purchased a truck through the Internet from a Japanese online merchant at a price of $9,920. Before placing the order, the consumer confirmed the condition of the truck on Web site. The description on the website explained that the truck is in good condition without any damage, has air conditioning, power window, power steering, two extra tires, two batteries, pneumatic brakes were also included and that the body had no rust.

Delivery was delayed for 3 months for some reason, and when the consumer received the truck at the port of entry, he discovered it to be in rusty condition, with no power windows, and the two batteries did not work due to overuse. What was worse was there was a crack on the left part of the windshield. The crack was plastered by glue on the inside and outside. If the consumer had found this crack on the photo featured on the website he would never purchase this truck since vehicles that have cracks on the windshield are not permitted to be driven in Barbados.

The consumer sent an e-mail to the merchant but he received no answer, so he made a phone call claiming that he had found a crack on the windshield when delivered. After that he has sent many letters to all of the sales representatives at the company and also contacted them via a contact form and a complaint form, but there was still has been no answer at all. The consumer even attached a photo of the damaged truck in a letter he sent but still no reply came.

We examined the photos of the truck and confirmed that the truck was rusty in places and had a big crack on the windshield.

After contacting the merchant it informed us that both parties had already agreed on US$560 compensation and that the money would be paid soon.

However the consumer argued that the amount is supposed to be only for the compensation of the windshield crack and not the other damages.

We then examined all correspondence between the two parties, and found that the merchant had proposed a mere US$560 compensation assuming the amount would compensate for all of the damages but was not defined. With out knowing this the consumer agreed to the compensation amount. Due to insufficient communication exchanged between the two parties a misunderstanding arose causing this dispute.

After some intervention between the two parties they agreed to settle the case for US$700 compensation since the consumer did not want to prolong the negotiations any further.

* ECOM/ADR Office was the predecessor of EC Network.