Thursday, March 05, 2015

Cancelling Softbank from Overseas

Softbank is notorious.

The Japanese cell phone company is surprisingly casual about the way they handle account cancellation for overseas users, like flippantly remarking to the elephant that it has to jump through 73 hoops of fire while somersaulting and land on a sponge before it eats tonight or gets to see its loved ones.

IF you don't have any family members left in Japan, no contacts who could verify your identity to the company, and you are currently residing hundreds of miles away from the charming little island chain Softbank claims to rule over, you will need to follow a few steps in order to cancel your contract. I had to find this out the hard way, here's hoping you aren't nearly as dumb and twice as patient as I am. I nearly learned Japanese in order to cancel a $75 recurring bill. For that price, I think I should have been given Japanese classes for free in the first place.

First things first, seeing as how I clearly speak English and nihongo hanasemasen,

You're going to want to dial the english extension for Softbank's user support:

That is +81 (Japan) 22-380-4380 extension 899. This will get you talking directly to a representative in Eigo. (Eigo is English, for those of you who didn't have to study Japanese in order to handle your cell phone company.)
For me, this resulted in discovering that I had no option left except faxing Softbank a cancellation request. They were not very clear the first few times I called asking about it as to the format, and it turns out in the end that there wasn't one to begin with. There's that. 
It turns out that all they want is a fax requesting cancellation of your account, and all they need is the following information:

Fax them this: 

The phone number you're trying to cancel, say, 08039364171
Your full name in english: I'm not giving you my full name in english, but it's the same name you signed the account contract with.
Your reason for cancellation, id est, cancellation from overseas. This is fine.
Also put in a contact number so that they can contact you in the case of any last minute fees or additional ninja assassins.

Send this fax to 81223804336.

Then call back the above number to ensure that your fax was received. That number is once again 81223804336899, and YOU WILL WANT TO ENSURE THAT YOUR FAX WAS RECEIVED.

If you, like myself, found yourself without any method of calling softbank to cancel your account, or faxing machines to cancel your account, there are resources online that will allow you to do this at a once-only or even recurring free state. 
If you have a google account, which with any android phone is given freely, you can log in to Hangouts and call overseas from any computer at minimal cost, first calls have credit already. If you do not have a fax machine, Hellofax online will fax, sign and ensure the delivery of faxes and other important documents for free with any free google account. 

It's all free. Cheapskate. (Hey, I understand, those softbank bills have already got you down and you want to save as much money as you can while gorging on taco rice. Well, you left Japan, so no more taco rice for you, but saving money is still a thing, just look at the American governme-...)

Arigato, yo ichi ni chio.


  1. Hi Stephen,

    You, sir, are my hero! I had to return home for a family emergency, and thought I'd be turning to Japan after a month. However, due to the way things turned out, I've already been home for months. I've been struggling to cancel my Softbank account for a while now, but the answer I always got was that I'd have to do it in person.

    I'll give this a shot tomorrow. Thank you for writing this!

  2. Hi thank you for sharing this!
    Anw, do you still have to pay the $75?
    I left Japan few months ago and forgot to cancel the contract. Now my softbank contract has been renewed automatically and I got bills around ¥50,000 :(

  3. Well, I'm going through this, but I have to cancel my contract next month. I'm having difficulty with Softbank not changing my contract as I asked, even though they stated they had changed it. Still being charged the same. Need to call them again!

    1. I wish you the best. Like I said, they're notorious. It seems as though their customer support in Eigo hasn't improved much.

  4. Will this really work??? Seems too easy! Will try during their office hours tomorrow.

  5. did it work for anybody? any feedback?

  6. Just wanted to give an update that this does in fact still work as of 3 March, 2018- I literally performed the steps to the T precisely and am currently in the process of finally closing my account with Softbank. The checklist of things you need to fax them is pretty much still up to date and reliable as the live-support member who picks up pretty much tells me those exact same criteria. The spokesperson on the phone spoke well enough English but do be clear and patient with them. I called at the hour of 1900 (specifically 1914) and got through the process relatively quickly.

  7. Okay, just for re-emphasis- I have successfully gone through the entire process of cancelling using the method above in roughly 30 minutes. Exactly as stated above: Dial +81 22-380-4380, navigate the auto response robot by selecting English and taking live support, select the option to change your subscription, and then from there you're taken to the English-speaking live support where you'll ask to cancel your account. They'll ask for your full name, birthdate, and the phone number of the phone you want to cancel, at which point they will tell you to fax them the information above. I used the HelloFax website Brasel posted in the instructions to send the document. The document itself was literally something I wrote up on Notepad- you can use Microsoft Word or anything. The information I put down was the same as in the instructions:
    1. The number of the cell phone you want canceled
    2. Full name (First, Middle, Last)
    3. Reason of Cancellation (Literally copied and pasted "Overseas Cancellation" from the instructions)
    4. Your current contact number (so they can call you back in case you need to change something or if anything went wrong)

    Took at max 10 minutes for them to get the fax and it was as easy as that.

  8. Does anyone have the Y-Mobile fax number? I can't seem to find it...

  9. Thanks , I appriciated.

    I will go back to my country in March 2019, but the 2 years contract still work untill April 2019. I will do follow your intructions, thanks again.

  10. Had a very pleasant call with Softbank today (vs what I was expecting....) Those numbers posted (fax and phone) seem to no longer be active now, but saying that I was successful in cancelling my account from overseas with one simple phone call, no fax's or troubles at all. The usual ID check (DOB/FULL NAME etc) The number I called was the "Softbank Global Call Center" and the number +81-92-687-0025. They answered in Japanese but asked for someone who could speak english (in Japanese) and 5 minutes later everything was done. Something I should have done along time ago....the final tax on my exit from Japan now complete!....until next time!


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