For a service that promises a clean break with a bad job, this taishoku daikou has a lot of strings attached.

In Japan, quitting a job isn’t always as easy as simply saying “I’m out.” Especially for office jobs, there are often multiple forms that have to be completed and exchanged between employer and employee, plus potential loose ends to be sorted out such as unpaid overtime and unused vacation days, both sadly common in Japanese work environments.

Add in Japanese society’s distaste for verbal conflicts, and there’s been a rise in demand for taishoku daikou, or job-quitting proxy services, in recent years. Basically, the proxy handles all of the messy paperwork and face-to-face negotiations for you in exchange for a fee, letting you minimize your contact with the unhappy work environment that you’re trying to get out of.

Job-quitting proxy services have been around for a while, but recently the Japanese Internet has been buzzing about a unique option from one Tokyo-based provider: the “all-you-can-quit” plan.

Offered by Tokyo-based toNEXT Union, the Yameho (pretty clearly meant as a combination of the Japanese words yameru/”quit” and houdai/”all-you-can”) plan is billed as the industry’s first monthly subscription-based job-quitting service. “For 3,300 yen [US$29] a month, you can use our job-quitting proxy service two times” promises the toNEXT Union ad seen in the above tweet.

Though toNEXT Union has been offering the Yameho plan since the summer of 2020, it’s only within the last few days that it’s started getting major attention on the Japanese Internet. In a way, the concept makes a lot of sense. If your job is so bad that you’re willing to pay for professional help to get out of it, odds are you want out ASAP. In your desperation and haste, though, you might be too quick to jump at the chance to work anywhere else, and unintentionally land yourself in a second job that’s also not right for you, and Yameho could be a reassuring safety net in case you end up needing to look for job number three in short order. Yameho’s monthly price of 3,300 yen is pretty attractive too. Ordinarily, toNEXT Union charges between 19,800 and 29,800 yen (depending on specific employment type) for a single job-quitting proxy.

But ironically, for a service that’s all about getting people out of sticky situations, Yameho itself has multiple sneaky ways of sticking its claws in you. For starters, yes, it’s true that Yameho costs 3,300 yen, and that you can use the job-quitting service twice, but while 3,300 yen is the cost per month, two is the number of proxy services you’re allowed to use over the course of an entire year.

▼ toNEXT Union is clearer about that in this new promotional tweet, which specifies “two uses per year for 3,300 yen a month.”

OK, so if Yameho tops out at two job-quittings you can just cancel it after the second time you use it, right? Like, say you quit one job in December, and another in February, and then opt out. That’s still two job-quittings for just 9,900 yen, way less than even one quitting would normally cost. But nope, even though the price for Yameho is quoted as per-month, when you sign up, you’re actually signing up for a full year, which works out to 39,600 yen.

Yameho users are allowed to opt out of the service early by paying a cancellation fee, but even this ray of hope is essentially one made of harmfully intense UV light. The cancellation fee is 39,600 yen, the same cost as an entire year of Yameho, meaning that in any and all scenarios you’re actually paying more to cancel than you would just sticking it out for the full 12 months, even if you’re spending most of that time at zero usable job-quittings.

All right, but at least at the end of those 12 months, you’re out, right? Maybe…but maybe not. Yameho, by default, is an automatic renewal contract, and the no-extra-fee opt-out window is incredibly narrow, lasting for only 14 days starting from when you make your 12th monthly payment. Miss that, and toNEXT Union will go ahead and sign you up for another year, then keep right on billing you every month.

As a final bit of weirdness, remember that toNEXT Union’s most inexpensive one-quitting proxy plan (for quitting part-time positions) is 19,800 yen, which would then be 39,600 yen for two times. In other words, people quitting part-time jobs are better off not signing up for Yameho, since it won’t save them a single yen, and in effect they’re simply pre-paying full-price for a second quitting they may or may not use.

With all that taken into account, Yameho doesn’t quite sound like the easy step to a less stressful life it presents itself as, with reactions on Twitter including:

“That’s not what ‘all-you-can’ means.”
“What’s up with calling it ‘all-you-can-quit’ if you can only use it two times?”
“Quitting Yameho sounds like a serious pain in the butt.”
“Only a matter of time until someone starts offering a proxy service to quit the Yameho job-quitting proxy service.”

It’s worth bearing in mind that for people with very specific circumstances (quitting one full-time job and seeing themselves likely to quit one another within the next 12 months), who are also attentive enough to not miss the no-charge opt-out window, Yameho can save them about 20,000 yen. Everyone else, though, is probably better going with single-use job-quitting proxy plans, or maybe just ripping the proverbial Band-Aid off by themselves and looking for emotional support afterwards.

Source: J-Cast Trend via Livedoor News, Twitter, toNEXT Union
Top image: Pakutaso
Insert image: Pakutaso
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