On November 10, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Consumer Affairs Agency said that retailers of mobile phone terminals such as smartphones would display the sales commissions added to the terminal price as a “down payment”, which would be “misleading to consumers. ”Was alerted.

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    Image of appeal of “down payment 0 yen” (Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Consumer Affairs Agency)

A general “down payment” refers to a set amount of money to be paid as part of the selling price when purchasing a house or automobile by installment payment. For this reason, the amount obtained by subtracting the installment payment amount from the purchase price is displayed as “down payment”, but in many cases, consumers can determine the installment payment amount and down payment within the credit limit. It’s common.

However, in the mobile phone industry, the word “down payment” is used in a different way, and it has been pointed out at a meeting of experts of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications that “it may mislead consumers.” In addition, it is said that consultations on this matter were also received at consumer consultation sites such as consumer service centers in various regions.

For this reason, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Consumer Affairs Agency have stated that they “request corrections from the user’s point of view regarding the usage of the term” down payment “unique to the mobile phone industry,” and will also alert consumers. I decided.

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    Differences in usage of “down payment” in general and “down payment” in the mobile phone industry (Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Consumer Affairs Agency)

“The fact that mobile phones do not have a suggested retail price and the selling price varies from store to store is not widely recognized.”

According to the explanation of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Consumer Affairs Agency, in the mobile phone industry, while individual distributors determine the selling price of mobile phone terminals such as smartphones, installment payments for these terminals (individual credit purchase agreement) When selling at, the maximum amount of installment payment is generally set by the mobile phone operator that provides it.

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    Image of payment method for mobile phone terminals (schematic diagram of individual credit purchase mediation contract) (Source: Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Consumer Affairs Agency)

At the sales site, this upper limit is displayed as “installment payment amount” as it is, and “down payment” is used to indicate how much yen is added to the “installment payment amount” of the selling price of the terminal at each store. Indications are often used. For this reason, “There are many over-the-counter advertisements that emphasize” down payment of 0 yen “from the perspective of appealing not to add to the installment payment amount.”

The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Consumer Affairs Agency pointed out that “the fact that mobile phone terminals do not have a’suggested retail price’and the selling price including the so-called’down payment’ is different for each store is not always widely recognized.” Therefore, the user misunderstands that the amount of installment payment will decrease by paying the “down payment”, or misunderstands that the discount of the “down payment” is a discount from the “suggested retail price”, and also “0 yen”. It is said that there are cases that lead to troubles such as misunderstanding that mobile phone terminals that emphasized are sold at low prices.

In order to avoid such troubles, consumers are asked to “fully recognize that the selling price of mobile phone terminals varies from store to store, and carefully check the total amount of payment before purchasing.” I’m calling.

In addition, since the following labeling may be a misunderstanding of advantage under the prize labeling law, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications and the Consumer Affairs Agency will work together to prevent inappropriate labeling for mobile phone carriers and distributors. It is said that it will encourage correction.

  • Display that misleads you to think that paying a “down payment” will reduce this, even though it does not actually affect the amount of installment payments.
  • In fact, even in the case of lump-sum payment, it is necessary to pay the amount equivalent to the “down payment”, but in the case of lump-sum payment, it is misunderstood that it is not necessary to pay
  • Display that gives an impression contrary to the fact that it will be cheaper than other stores by reducing the “down payment” or emphasizing the “down payment of 0 yen”