Now, don’t go spending it all in one place, folks.

On 2 July, one of Japan’s largest telecommunications companies, KDDI, experienced a massive network outage by human error that is said to have affected well over 30 million people and a large number of business services. It was a long one too, spanning 80 hours in some cases, and while for some it was merely a mild inconvenience, a lot of people who rely on their mobile phone service au were all essentially cut off from emergency services and put at an added risk during the fairly long period of time.

▼ News report of the outage with an apology bow by KDDI execs

In the time since the problem occurred, there was a lot of discussion about what happened and what could be done about it, and on 29 July KDDI President Makoto Takahashi held a press conference on the matter. After apologizing for the incident again, Takahashi explained how it happened during maintenance work and the steps that the company will take to prevent it from happening again.

He also spoke positively about further progress towards a system in which the major telecom companies will allow each other’s customers to use their service via roaming in urgent times such as this. That’s all great news, but the real headlines were made by a promise from the company to issue an owabi (gesture of apology) to about 35,890,000 customers…

…to the tune of 200 yen (US$1.49)! 

Granted, on the company’s side that’s actually a gigantic amount of money, upwards of seven billion yen ($52M). Everyone else, however, must have felt like a waiter getting tipped one cent, in that it probably would have been better to have gotten nothing at all. I could be wrong though, so let’s see what comments about the news had to say:

“200 yen LOL”
“Did you hear? Two hundred yen!”
“200 yen lololololololololololol”
“You can get an OK beverage with that.”
“I’m going to buy candy!”
“I can’t afford a Red Bull with that. Maybe my kid will loan me the rest.”
“I wasn’t able to get work done that day because I couldn’t use the phone. What do I get?”
“LOL That’s horrible.”
“I would rather they give 70 people a chance to win 100 million yen.”
“That’s like what I give my daughter for a snack on her 1st grade field trip.”
“Well, I was angry at first, but now…”

In addition to the 200-yen owabi, the some 2.7 million customers who were affected by the outage for more than 24 hours, will be refunded for two days of usage in an upcoming bill. Furthermore, President Takahashi promised to dock his own pay by 20 percent for three months as penance.

How all this will affect the company’s bottom line remains to be seen. Normally, I don’t give stock advice either, but with all these people about to come into a sudden windfall of 200 yen, I have a feeling that there’s never been a better time to invest heavily in ice candy and puffed corn snacks.

Source: TBS News Dig, Impress Watch, K-Tai Watch, Itai News
Top image: Pakutaso
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