Home > Focus on Japan 2004 > The Guy From Kojima Denki

The Guy From Kojima Denki

August 21st, 2004

So, as I mentioned in my previous writings on getting satellite TV, I had the people at the electronics store come over to check if I could get SkyPerfecTV. It’s in question because there’s a large building next to mine that might or might not be in the way–looking at SPTV’s web page with a map locater, it might be blocking the satellite by just a few feet in one direction. So I went to the electronics store and asked them if they could do a check. It’ll cost ¥2000 ($18), they said. I told them that was OK, better than going through the hassle of buying and only finding out then that I couldn’t do it.

Now, $18 is not a king’s ransom, but since they tell me they guy could figure out if I’m able to get reception, I figure the guy will come over with a little electronic doohickey that could measure the satellite signal strength or something. So I wait the few days for the guy to come. (“Between 2 and 5pm,” they said–and he came just at 5pm. Typical.) The doorbell rings, I open up, and this scrawny little guy walks in. No gizmos. He pulls out a compass. Goes to the window I show him. Climbs outside, holds up the compass, says I won’t be able to get the satellite signal–the next building is in the way. But in saying so, he points in a direction that seems fishy to me. I tell him there’s another window, and he takes that in surprise, like he wouldn’t expect a place to have two windows. He checks from the other window and says, “Oh yeah, sure, you can get it from here! No problem! It’s perfect.” This sounds great to me–except he’s now pointing in an even more westerly direction than before to indicate where the satellite is. He’s pointing in a much different direction that SPTV’s web site indicates–they say it’s more to the south.

So I take him inside and show him the SkyPerfecTV web site, I show him the map page with the arrows showing the direction of the satellite. He looks at it, and something seems to dawn on him. He goes back to the first window, looks at his compass again, and proclaims I can get the signal in that direction, the direction from the web page; reception will be OK, he promises. But the direction he shows me now is way off from the direction he showed me originally. So I question him about how he got that–and he starts talking faster, using words I don’t know.

Here is where I explain to him that he has taken no readings that could possibly be even as accurate as the measurement I made on SPTV’s web page, and so how could he really know if I could get it or not? Unsure how to answer, he leaves, makes a phone call, and comes back. “You can’t get reception,” he explains. “The next building is too tall.” Now it’s time for me to explain to him that I never expected to see over the building, but rather just to the east of it. Again, he’s unsure about it. He goes outside and makes another phone call. He comes back in and proclaims, “it’s too close to call.” Well, hell, I could’ve told him that! I paid ¥2000 to have this joker who knows less than I do to tell me what I already know? I would at least expect him to know the general area of the sky which the satellite is in.

Fortunately, when I called up Kojima and told them about the fiasco, they promised to refund my money. Problem is, I won’t have time to collect on that before I leave on vacation. Hopefully in early September, they’ll still remember me and agree to give the money back. But for now, I’m still just as much in the dark. I just can’t figure out why they think they can do that, charge ¥2000 to have a guy who doesn’t know a satellite from a skyscraper to tell you fairy tales. Hopefully their guy who installs the units will know just a bit more then this guy. What scares me is that he might be the same guy.

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  1. Tito
    August 21st, 2004 at 19:32 | #1

    “Oh, so you wanted someone who knew what he was talking about! You should have said so. We can do that, but that’s 5,000 yen. We’ll have him out tomorrow sometime between 9:00 a.m. and 9:00 p.m.”

  2. Enumclaw
    August 23rd, 2004 at 04:15 | #2

    ” (“Between 2 and 5pm,” they said–and he came just at 5pm. Typical.) ”

    Apparently some things in Japan are EXACTLY like they are everywhere else in the world, and not so much “another dimension.” LOL

  3. TokyoBrit
    September 1st, 2006 at 23:37 | #3

    Just do it yourself and save yourself 2000 Yen AND 30 minutes of wasted time. It’s not particularly difficult.

    Can you see the sun at 2pm from where the dish is likely to be mounted? If not, then you won’t get reception.

    But if you think that was crual and unusual treatment, just you wait until you try and get hikari fiber Internet through Tepco.

    A veritable army of “engineers” to tut, shake their heads, and consult with nameless “superiors” via their keitai denwas.

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