TEPCO compensation hotline overwhelmed by 3,000 complaints per day

TOKYO —

Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) on Sept 12 began procedures to pay compensation to victims of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant accident by sending out application forms, but its call center has been overwhelmed with complaints, pouring in at a rate of over 3,000 per day, company officials said.

The main complaint is that the forms are too difficult to understand, NHK quoted a TEPCO official as saying. The forms come with a massive 156-page manual. Although TEPCO has not released all the details, other frequent inquiries include: “How do I complete the payment request form?” and “I am having a hard time understanding the manual,” NHK reported.

In response, TEPCO issued a statement to the media in which it said that it will endeavor to treat all persons claiming compensation in a fair and just manner, and that it will respond to all inquires very carefully. TEPCO also said it will consider how to improve its documentation.

TEPCO says the initial round of compensation claims are to cover damages from March 11 up to Aug 31. The company also announced that subsequent claims are to be taken quarterly and that the first round of compensation will not cover property damage.

According to the government, about 80,000 people were evacuated from a 20-km radius around Fukushima Daiichi plant, which has been leaking radiation since March 11.

Compensation will cover transportation (5,000 yen per person) and lodging expenses (8,000 yen per night for accommodation) for anyone forced to relocate, as well as mental suffering. Additional amounts will be paid for loss of income on a case-by-case basis, TEPCO said, adding that those amounts will be in line with government guidelines issued earlier in August.

Japan Today

  • 6

    ExportExpert

    Typical isnt it , why wouldnt you need a 156 page manual to fill in a form in Japan hahahaha.

    The forms come with a massive 156-page manual

    To fill in a form you need a 156 page manual, who ever designed this needs to be thrown into the reactor.

    Japanese really have to over complicate everything by about 2,000 times too much dont they.

    And then couple that with tepco making it as diffciult as possible to discourage people from claiming.

    The govt needs to kick tepco in the arse just for making the form so complicated.

    Unbelievable how this can even happen.

  • 4

    Juan Rodriguez

    I hope they milk tepco dry, make the daily numbers of complaints to 30k.

  • 1

    himehentai

    Exportexpert - cant REALLY blame tepco for trying though? I mean ... they must realize how hard they are going to be hit, and are obviously trying to make the process as difficult as possible, in an attempt to discourage people from applying. Its really, really wrong.

  • 1

    grammefriday

    what did they expect?? ... a smattering of callers complaining about the lack of power in their region??

  • 3

    alladin

    This is just another way to tell everyone that TEPCO does not want to pay out any money. To put out a 156 page manuel on how to fill in an application is totally ridiculous!! There are so many people that are suffering and this is what they have to go through to get a compensation!! I hope that TEPCO will soaked for everything that they have. TEPCO does not deserve to survive!!

  • 4

    zichi

    Purely a delaying tactic and to put people off making a claim which would save them millions and maybe billions....

  • 2

    globalwatcher

    156-page manual

    Again, I would like to emphasize that 156 pages means there are lots of holes, disclaimers and exclusions on the application form. If they do not understand, take it to lawyers with solid experience and knowledge. DO NOT SIGN if they do not understand. This is my heart felt advice for them.

  • 0

    Nicky Washida

    . If they do not understand, take it to lawyers with solid experience and knowledge

    Will they then also be able to claim for the cost of the lawyer too? I doubt it, and these are people who can barely afford to feed themselves because of TEPCO.

    This is a very obvious attempt to discourage claims.

  • -1

    shirokuma2011

    I saw the stack of documents on the news, and considering how many of the potential applicants are elderly, I can see why people are feeling overwhelmed.

    That said, if TEPCO is indeed making all-out efforts at compensation, I can also see why they would be concerned about any portion of the vast sums involved going to fraudulent claims rather than deserving victims--and you can bet there are going to be plenty of unscrupulous types out there with no status for a claim, trying to scam the system for a bite of this pie. Look what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina--tens of millions of dollars in fraudulent compensation claims have been prosecuted (and that doesn't include other types of more organized disaster-related fraud, including false billing for clean-up work, etc.), with the government on the hook for much of that amount. Much of that fraud was made possible by claim-filing processes that lacked adequate evidentiary requirements.

    So I imagine part of the reason for the overwhelming complexity of the TEPCO compensation forms has to do with ensuring adequate proof of eligibility (and the fact that compensation is being based partly on a per-day expense format).

    Unfortunately, this may also work to the advantage of fraudsters; we'll probably see cases now where shysters start going around to elderly victims, offering to "help with the paperwork" for a fee and a cut of the compensation when approved.

  • 1

    globalwatcher

    Nicky, these lawyers can team up and take many clients as a group as a class action against TEPCO. The class action is the most.cost effective legal method if all losses are similar. These lawyers do not ask down payment when taking the cases. Instead, they may ask for a percentage upon settling the cases.

  • 7

    Foxie

    I wonder how long it took TEPCO to put that manual together. Bureaucracy at its best.

  • 1

    Elbuda Mexicano

    I agree with Foxie and many others here, just so much bureaucracy!! TEPCO should be ashamed of itself! At least the president of JR Hokkaido knew how to show responsibility for his company, not like those in charge of Tepco!

  • -1

    Disillusioned

    What about the foreigners that were displaced? They will have Buckley's chance of getting anything cos you can bet your goolies there is not a multi-lingual version of the 156 page BS!

  • 2

    Patricia Yarrow

    People are going to have to set up teams to get through the manual and forms! Beat TEPCO at their own lousy game!

    Oh, and since I'm in Tokyo, can I claim mental hardship? Just me and some 27 million others...I'll take the short form, please!

  • 4

    smithinjapan

    TEPCO is just trying to cut corners here -- if someone fills out a form incorrectly that's one less claim they'll have to pay out.

  • 2

    The758

    Only 3,000?

  • 0

    Leopalacesux

    Just like the sex slaves! They hope they just die in the interim!

    I bet the deadline is hard and fast and the conditions hard if not impossible to meet as well.

  • 0

    Farmboy

    Probably there is a flow chart that assigns compensation only to those who were affected by radiation but who were not affected by the tsunami. Radioactive but wet - no money.

  • 0

    GW

    If only tepco was as good at making nuke plants as they are at quickly generating manuals none of this wud have even happened!

  • 0

    GW

    Clearly those who dreamed up this absurd manual need to be taken out & SHOT!

  • 0

    The Munya Times

    The main complaint is that the forms are too difficult to understand, NHK quoted a TEPCO official as saying. The forms come with a massive 156-page manual.

    Abusing power in order to make the application impossible to fill out and to hand in order to evade paying compensation. Even if someone succeeded, they will find mistakes in the completed form and will throw it back. Crime upon crime from TEPCO's A class criminals playing mouse and cat with the unfortunate victims in need with the support of the law until they totally get exhausted and give it up.

    I guess the situation either by TEPCO or in generally by companies and law enforcement will escalate until civil disobedience kick in and sweeps along and people decide to take the law into their hands, and then POW

  • 1

    Utrack

    It's a Sin that those forms and manual are incomprehensible and what about loss of property compensation because those evacuees can never go back.

  • 1

    Foxie

    @Elbuda Mexicano: Why don't you ring them up and ask how much longer it will take for the Spanish version to come out so that you and me won't be too much inconvenienced in our claims. Saludos.

  • 0

    moonbeams2

    TEPCO found it more profitable to print 3,000 150 page books then to just hand out payments.

  • 0

    Aakmal999

    The forms come with a massive 156-page manual.

    they (TEPCO) should read this manual because their fault causing Worst disaster not* victims*!

  • 2

    Sherman

    The bureaucracy has not changed. If anything, it has got worse. I am going to leave this land for good soon, I am lucky I can do so.

  • 1

    ThonTaddeo

    A blind person should visit the TEPCO offices and say he'd be happy to fill out the form, but he needs someone to read that 156-page manual to him, in its entirety, out loud.

  • 0

    herefornow

    Typical isnt it , why wouldnt you need a 156 page manual to fill in a form in Japan hahahaha

    .ExportExpert -- So right. Country is in the midst of its worst crisis since WW II according to Kan, and they can't help but rely on un-necessary process, rather than thinking about results and actually doing what is right. Because process is what they do best. Country will never change, and continue to decline as a result.

  • 2

    Christina O'Neill

    Perhaps the evacuees can form an allience making the first item on their agenda to be an advertisement in the main newspapers to read.......WANTED,LAW FIRM TO ACT ON BEHALF OF THE FUKUSHIMA EVACUEES...We are in dire circumstances with little or no funds and seek the help of a Law Firm willing to represent us collectively in our endeavours to attain a just and fair settlement with TEPCO. The publicity you will receive in return for your services may indeed be global.Help would be needed in understanding the vast amount of legal jargon issued by TEPCO in their manual and compensation claim forms along with any advice you may give towards signing said documents.We would also need help with valuation of land and property lossas, as valued prior to the disaster and any other damages incurred

  • 2

    TokyoGas

    Honestly, a team of lawyers should get together and help these people. This is insane and everyone knows that one slight mishap with filling out the forms and it will be kicked back with "do it again" stamped on it.

  • 2

    shirokuma2011

    There is in fact a group of lawyers (not a single firm, but a group of pro bono volunteers from around the country) who have been working on behalf of the disaster victims in Fukushima and elsewhere, mainly on financial issues--getting banks to agree to moratoriums on mortgage payments, for example, lobbying the government for certain financial waivers and subsidies, and working with other kinds of creditors to put together delayed-payment packages, etc. They haven't focused on initiating any litigation, and I don't know if they are prepared to help with the TEPCO compensation issue, but it's the kind of thing they've been working on.

  • 0

    Cricky

    It's a shame their emergency manuals were not this big. Obviously just as incomprehensible but I doubt as thick or as clear!

  • 3

    ushosh123

    Am I the only one that thinks this shouldn't be handled by TEPCO itself in the first place? Shouldn't that newly formed Nuclear safety agency be handling the pay out process, with tepco being able to challenge on a case by case basis with the safety agency itself? Doesn't make it any less complicated but its not like it was gonna be give me your claim amount and desire form of payment and thats all.

  • 2

    amerijap

    The forms come with a massive 156-page manual.

    Why do they need such a big chunk of manual to fill out the form? This is no less different than the registration scheme to weed out unwanted voters--i.e., black, Latino in lower class-- from the election. TEPCO is indeed a 'blackout' company. Their chief aim is centered to confuse and distract the public through partial information and an archaic documentation to find the loopholes for minimizing excessive financial debts from numerous compensations.

  • 1

    Yogizuna

    A 156 page instruction manual to fill out a compensation form??? Something is terribly wrong about that!

  • 0

    CrazyJoe

    The people (victims) are furious because in addition to the 156 page manual, it comes with a 56 page application form! Holy *****!

    http://www.bloomberg.co.jp/apps/news?pid=90920019&sid=aAaptHdS49YY

  • 1

    mitoguitarman

    "TEPCO compensation hotline overwhelmed by 3,000 complaints per day" Oh surprise surprise. Any simpleton could have predicted that and added about, say, 100 extra staff to cover this.

  • 2

    NetNinja

    The main complaint is that the forms are too difficult to understand, NHK quoted a TEPCO official as saying. The forms come with a massive 156-page manual. Although TEPCO has not released all the details, other frequent inquiries include: “How do I complete the payment request form?” and “I am having a hard time understanding the manual,” NHK reported.

    Bwahahahahhaaaa 156 pages!!!! WOAH!!! TEPCO, man, those Deep Pockets aren't going to pay a lot. Damage control at it's finest.

    156 Pages drafted by the most crooked lawyers ever.

    TEPCO is totally geared up for at least 50years plus in court. By that time most of the plaintiffs will be dead and gone. Time will erase the event from our memories and TEPCO will save BILLIONS in damages.

    Japan!!! What's wrong with you? Why don't you tar and feather these guys? Someone hands you a 156 page manual with a straight face is basically taking you for a ride.

    They hope you give up. They hope you try to play their game.

    Seriously, I'd love to meet the guy who handed those manuals out with a straight face.

    Right now, the only thing TEPCO needs from the victims is their bank account numbers.

    The bureaucracy is sickening.
    TEPCO Lawyers and legal aides: "We need a complete inventory of everything you had and receipts on when you purchased such items" "Also we like permission to review your medical history" "We are concerned about your health so we brought OUR doctor here to examine you, is that okay?" (Ghostbusters Wand) "Okay you're fine"

    Disgusting. No, wonder they lost control of Fukushima. TEPCO: Where's your moral compass? I got a few choice words for them.

  • 0

    JapanGal

    Pretty damn short for a Japanese manual. The one I got with my bicycle was longer.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    NetNinja, VERY well said. Japanese are again screwed a big time by TEPCO.

  • 0

    Bored Part 2

    What a Croc of Cr@p. Noda needs to come and demand 1000 tepco employees travel to where the refugees are and fill it in for them.

  • -1

    SquidBert

    @JapanGal

    Pretty damn short for a Japanese manual. The one I got with my bicycle was longer.

    Well, yes that seems to be the operating mode in Japanese Companies (and governmental agencies) . Write something long and complicated enough, that no one will ever want to read all of it. That way no one will ever complain.

    If only people could eat red herring, Japan could feed the world.

  • 0

    Nicky Washida

    Nicky, these lawyers can team up and take many clients as a group as a class action against TEPCO. The class action is the most.cost effective legal method if all losses are similar. These lawyers do not ask down payment when taking the cases. Instead, they may ask for a percentage upon settling the cases.

    Agrees - but you werent initially talking about a class action against TEPCO, just help understanding and filling out the form. That would not be a no-win no-fee deal because there would be nothing to "win". That what I was referring to.

  • 0

    globalwatcher

    nicky, understood.

Login to leave a comment

OR

More in National

View all

View all