People reminded to just say “no” to crabs at their doorstep.

Has this ever happened to you? You’re sitting at home, looking through your favorite social media app Crabhouse and sipping on a cold glass of crab cola when suddenly the phone rings. On the other end is a shady salesperson trying to sell you crabs, but when you politely tell them you’re already well-stocked with crabs, they just continue their high-pressure sales pitch.

If so, you’re among the growing number of people in Japan victimized by what’s being called “crab negative option sales” in the media. In 2021 alone there were a reported 5,189 cases of this, which is more than twice that of the previous year.

Negative option sales is when a company constantly sends a product and automatically charges for it, until the customer tells them to stop. Oftentimes, in these instances the company makes it incredibly difficult to cancel so they can continue making money. So too do crab negative option sales groups try to rope people into long-term seafood commitments against their will.

▼ A news report on the rise in crab negative option sales

Among the reports are incidents of people dealing with relentless sales reps over the phone trying to force people into buying crab, salmon, or other seafood products. In some cases the salesperson will try to tap into people’s sympathies with claims such as, “I’m in trouble because I’m losing income from the pandemic.”

In other, more serious reports, even after denying salespeople on the phone, some people have been getting cases of seafood sent to their home by cash on delivery. The National Consumer Affairs Center of Japan is reminding everyone not to accept any unordered item sent to them, and instead take note of the sender’s information and report it.

It’s important to note that the figures presented are only the reported cases, suggesting that a great deal more people have experienced crab negative option sales too. Comments to the news seem to suggest that as well, with a large number mentioning some encounter with such shady seafood sales.

“If you pay for it once, they’ll just keep sending stuff to you. It’s a hassle.”
“I got a call to my house by someone selling seafood, be careful everyone.”
“The cash on delivery system should just be banned.”
“If I lived alone it would be easy to refuse, but living with other people I might assume that someone else ordered it and accept it.”
“I just never answer the phone or the door. It’s never anything good on the other end anyway.”
“Sounds like what NHK does, doesn’t it?”
“My dad got suckered into this last year.”
“I’d eat it and then send back the shells by cash on delivery.”

Taking advantage of people’s inability to refuse is one thing, but the other horrible aspect is the food waste that goes on. Once the package has been sent and returned, the seafood inside is likely not very usable.

Nevertheless, the most important thing is to take a hard line with these crab pushers and refuse all of their advances, otherwise they’ll just be encouraged to do it more. If you’re like us and feel bad about letting food go to waste afterward, try ordering a legit mystery box of imperfect seafood from Amazon to help balance out the universe.

Source: Ameba Times, YouTube/ANNnewsCH
Top image: ©SoraNews24
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