Most foreigners get warm fuzzy feelings when they read anecdotes about Japanese service workers going above and beyond their calling, which is why when something really bad happens it’s much more of a shock. Take for example this piece of news from Osaka: an employee of JR Tokai stationed at major tourist hub Shin Osaka Station was caught embezzling money from tourists in a ticket fraud scheme.
The dishonest worker pocketed close to JPY 100,000 (about SGD 1,225) between April and May 2018 — Japan’s peak tourist season. The worker would target foreign tourists who booked multiple shinkansen tickets, and looked like they didn’t understand a lick of Japanese. He would add one or two more people to the group booking and overcharge the foreign customers. He would then refund the unused tickets at other JR stations and kept the difference.
The employee was caught when one of his victims realized that they were cheated, and made a report to the station management, who have fired him since. So remember, even if you are in ultra-honest Japan — where they will apologize if the train leaves the station 25 seconds too early, there are still bad eggs around, and it’s always better to count your change before you leave the counter.