crime

Couple held for refusing to pay hotel bill after 42-night stay

52 Comments

Police in Marugame, Kagawa Prefecture, said Sunday they have arrested a 50-year-old man and his 48-year-old wife after they were unable to pay their hotel bill following a 42-night stay.

According to police, Tadahiro Maeda and his wife Chieko, who have no fixed address or occupations, checked into the hotel on June 13 and stayed until July 25, Sankei Shimbun reported. Their bill for the 42-night stay came to 378,000 yen.

The hotel said it had requested the couple many times to pay their bill but they kept putting it off.

Police said that when they were arrested, the Maedas had only 5,000 yen on them. They were quoted by police as saying they intended to pay their bill.

Police are questioning the couple to see if they have stayed at other hotels this year and left without paying the bill.

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52 Comments
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The only thing know about Marugame is the boat racing. Is this how they planned to pay the bill?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

High class homeless ...

5 ( +6 / -1 )

The hotel said it had requested the couple many times to pay their bill but they kept putting it off.

Japanese hospitality in action, wait until it gets too far before doing anything about it. The hotel should have kicked them out weeks earlier.

4 ( +8 / -5 )

Unless one has been in a homeless situation negative comments do not apply. There are no shelters in Japan for those in need, and the urban homeless issue is just beginning for Japan. It is possible they had all intentions in paying but the circumstances behind them being homeless is not shared by the media. That goes along away in public opinion and those willing to step up to offer help vs criticism.

4 ( +11 / -8 )

Maybe the police will now provide them with free accomodation, but not so comfortable.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

They are homeless, it's either this or the streets. You can't blame them for staying put in the hotel, even though they had no money.

-12 ( +7 / -19 )

They are homeless, it's either this or the streets. You can't blame them for staying put in the hotel, even though they had no money.

I can. The hotel is a business that had to pay for the logistics to support these people's stay. It's not the hotel's fault these people were homeless, nor was it the hotel's fault that the government does not have a support system in place for people like this. Yet these people directly put the hotel in a position of having to pay for it.

Just because these people are in a tight position, doesn't mean that everyone else is in the wrong and should have to pay.

25 ( +25 / -0 )

They are homeless, it's either this or the streets. You can't blame them for staying put in the hotel, even though they had no money.

Could they come and stay with you? Same thing in a manner of speaking.

17 ( +22 / -5 )

@strangerland. I didn't say any of that. Nor do I blame anyone or apportion fault or say what they did was right.

I'd take more water with it next time.

-10 ( +2 / -12 )

@strangerland. I didn't say any of that. Nor do I blame anyone or apportion fault or say what they did was right.

I didn't say you did. I was just giving the reasoning on why I can blame them for staying in the hotel. It was wrong, and them having no place to stay doesn't make it right or excuse it. They deserve jail time for this.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Unless one has been in a homeless situation negative comments do not apply. There are no shelters in Japan for those in need, and the urban homeless issue is just beginning for Japan. It is possible they had all intentions in paying but the circumstances behind them being homeless is not shared by the media. That goes along away in public opinion and those willing to step up to offer help vs criticism.

Where does the article say they were homeless? Just because they have no "fixed" address or registered occupations does not mean they are unemployed nor can it be assumed homeless.

However for discussion purposes here, let's say they are in fact homeless, are you willing for forgive someone freed-loading off a for profit business? Good intentions? Let's assume they did have them, then why not come clean with the hotel and offer to barter for their bill? Work it off? Be honest and explain their situation and keep the cops out of it "maybe".

They are responsible for their crime, and yes it is a crime, but they could have done something to alleviate the problem sooner.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

I am a bit surprised by the fact that so many fellow posters seem to agree with this couple's actions. Interesting. If I had been the manager of the place, I would have let go for about three days, that's it !

5 ( +5 / -0 )

That's nothing ! I have a tenant refusing to pay rent and it's been 150 days!!!! I'm prevented from harassing the tenant (by law) and only have recourse to legal action at a cost of 300000 yen. Police involvement over a civil matter, what?

No wonder there are increasing numbers of homeless people on the streets!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

I find their actions wrong and criminal, surprised the Hotel for that long.

As for Tenants tough to get them out as you can't kick them before 1yr of unpaid rent, now if there were complaints from other tenants it would be easier .......

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This reminds me of those stories of people jumping in a taxi and asking to be driven hundreds of miles only to reveal they have no money when they arrive. Why not pre-authorize a credit card, like most hotels do?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Arrested before they could pay the bill, seems like an easy way out of the bill :)

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Police involvement over a civil matter, what?

It would probably be considered fraud (a criminal matter) if it could be proved that this couple either had no intention to pay or no means to pay at the time they checked in. I think the law in Japan is lessed well developed but in other countries the line between civil and criminal gets complicated when people are arrested with a credit card (that could have been used to pay) and the suspect claims that they aren't paying due to some complaint with the service.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Much needed information is missing from this article. Perhaps a later report will tell us more about what is going on?

3 ( +4 / -1 )

so if a homeless person stole something from a conbini, that would be okay, too? because it's either that or they starve to death. so the logic is that homeless people can do whatever they want...because there are no better alternatives. homelessville, here i come!!!

4 ( +5 / -2 )

Most of the Japanese hotels I have stayed in want the cash up front.

kurisupisu: Isn't there a guarantor you can claim the unpaid rent from? Or is the guarantor system a complete waste of time?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The only thing know about Marugame is the boat racing. Is this how they planned to pay the bill?

Man when I think about Marugame, I think about Sanuki udon. That is how they probably intended to pay.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Wow, no homeless shelters here. Did not know that. So these homeless thought deeply and created their own shelter. Nice thinking out of the box.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Just because these people are in a tight position, doesn't mean that everyone else is in the wrong and should have to pay.

Agreed

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Well they'll likely get a longish stay in jail. Not sure what type of "payment" they can render for such, but it might be awhile before they get out....

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Now they get to stay in jail, room and food for free! At my expense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Elizabeth Heath - They are homeless, it's either this or the streets. You can't blame them for staying put in the hotel, even though they had no money.

They are thieves who have stolen money and services from the hotel. Yes, you could blame them.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Sankei says that the couple also took meals at the hotel. The hotel said when they asked them to pay, they would make complaints about the quality of service or staff attitude, so the hotel found it difficult to press strongly for payment. But at some point the hotel set a limit of the 24th and when the bill hadn't been settled by the next day, they got the police involved. Do we have a new term, "monster lodgers"?

It is not true that there are no shelters for homeless in Japan. Some of the larger cities do have them but some homeless people are often reluctant to stay as they don't want to abide by the rules, such as no alcohol. And some have too much pride to go to city hall and ask for help. However I wouldn't expect a place like Kagawa to have a major homeless population not to have a specific shelter.

That said, this couple doesn't sound like the type to go to a shelter.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

While I agree the couple deserves very harsh penalty for this...why in this day and age doesn't a hotel ask for credit cards or at least some kind of ID they can check behind the scenes?

I get the Japanese system of not worrying about the money until after...that's well and good, but not for 42 days. 3-4 days tops these two should have been checked.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Correction to my above post: not to have---> nor to have

@bjohnson23 "There are no shelters in Japan for those in need,"

I know for sure that Tokyo, Osaka, and Nagoya have shelters. And I have seen information about shelters in other places but am too busy to research the details at the moment. In any case, I hope you will not repeat the misinformation you posted above.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

@Educator: Here in Podunk Matsuyama, we have several care facilities for the homeless as well. Not the Ritz, but they exist.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

At first I thought I was going to read an article about a couple staying at a Love Hotel for 42 hours without paying, but I misread the headline.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

lots more free accomodation on the way.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I hope the judge asks "The Maedas" to repay the hotel. Since they seem to like the place so much perhaps they could work off their debt at the hotel they know so well.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@kaynide

Thanks for the information!

And a further note to bjohnson23, not that I think it's your business to decide whose comments are valid, but just for the record, I have experienced being homeless more than once. And I think what this couple allegedly did, regardless of the reasons for them being unable to pay the hotel/meal bills, is outrageous and unacceptable. At the very least, when the hotel first asked them to pay, they should have fessed up and offered to clean rooms etc to work off the bill. But if what the hotel says is true, they chose instead to get belligerent and intimidate the staff into silence. There is no good excuse for that kind of behavior.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Bonnito and Clydo

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The hotel is a business that had to pay for the logistics to support these people's stay.

Strangerland, this couple are on skid row. The reality is that they, and other people like them, don't give a flying hot dog about hotel logistics.

Yet these people directly put the hotel in a position of having to pay for it.

Not so. The hotel is entirely negligent in this situation by a) allowing the couple to check in without payment or at least a credit card as collateral, b) by extending the couple's stay and c) by not having the couple removed in a timely manner.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

Strangerland, this couple are on skid row. The reality is that they, and other people like them, don't give a flying hot dog about hotel logistics.

Of course they don't. If they had cared, they wouldn't have done it. That doesn't change anything I said though.

The hotel is entirely negligent in this situation by a) allowing the couple to check in without payment or at least a credit card as collateral, b) by extending the couple's stay and c) by not having the couple removed in a timely manner.

And girls who wear miniskirts are responsible for getting raped, right? Shall we blame victims of some other crimes as well? Because that's exactly what you've done above.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

And girls who wear miniskirts are responsible for getting raped, right? Shall we blame victims of some other crimes as well? Because that's exactly what you've done above.

Stop deflecting. Any commercial operation has a duty towards due diligence, both in law towards their customers, and also in performance of the terms of commercial insurance, which they must have.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Stop deflecting. Any commercial operation has a duty towards due diligence, both in law towards their customers, and also in performance of the terms of commercial insurance, which they must have.

There's no deflection about it. And they are the victims here, no matter which way you spin it. Do you really think a court of law would deny the money to the hotel for the reasons you've stated?

Sure the hotel could have protected themselves better, but that still doesn't put them at fault. Just naive, which last I checked isn't against the law.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This would be a civil infraction in the US, not a criminal one. It's actually a fairly common one. Failure to vacate can involve the police, but only as an escort and that requires a court order and if they've been there 30+ days that order becomes more difficult to get, as they've established residency.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Educator 60, either fiss up "And I have seen information about shelters in other places but am too busy to research the details at the moment" post the data you supposedly say exists on shelters in Japan or tee off. The hotel had the right to refuse the service after no payment. Was the couple wrong by not paying of course but they were more wrong in explaining the circumstances for non payment and deserve responsibility, not saying they were homeless but for the sake of argument it is possible pride got the better of them. In regards to your so called homeless situation, in Japan one goes to their family as that is part of the system in Japan but pride seems to get the best of many.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

And they are the victims here, no matter which way you spin it. Do you really think a court of law would deny the money to the hotel for the reasons you've stated?

No, I don't, but that's all academic 'coz they're skint.

Sure the hotel could have protected themselves better, but that still doesn't put them at fault.

Which, in a way, is my point. However...

Just naive, which last I checked isn't against the law.

No, Sir, it isn't - but you'll be wanting that insurance payment, right? Oops, didn't check the small print? Too bad.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@bjohnson23 "either fiss up ....... or tee off."

My, I see you are polite as well as wrong.

You stated "There are no shelters in Japan for those in need, ". How about giving us some proof that that isn't a lie? Kaynide and I have both given you some pointers to help you rectify your error.

"Was the couple wrong by not paying of course but they were more wrong in explaining the circumstances for non payment and deserve responsibility, not saying they were homeless but for the sake of argument it is possible pride got the better of them. "

Could you rephrase that so it's coherent? I don't get your point.

"In regards to your so called homeless situation, in Japan one goes to their family as that is part of the system in Japan but pride seems to get the best of many."

Charming. First you stipulate that one can't make a negative comment unless ones been homeless and then you call it into question? In any case what's done in Zjapan has nothing to do with my former homeless situation. And by the way, many, probably most of the homeless here in Japan do not go to their families (and some do not have families to begin with). If they did they generally wouldn't not be homeless.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

unable to pay their hotel bill following a 42-night stay.

Teapot drama that makes the news because there are no other real news. That's not extraordinary in the business world. Every week, I spend one full day calling companies that are are late for 2 to 3 months on their payments, and I'm talking about Japanese companies doing it to a Japanese company, and they say "ah, yeah, we've not paid yet, thanks for telling us...well, we'll pay next er, after Christmas...'. I'm sure most hotels have impending bills to companies/public organisations that will wait longer than 42 days to repay. Even for individuals, 40 man of debts is peanuts. Miss a step and you will charged that for a couple of hours in hospital. In 10 seconds, you can break 50 man of china stuff in a fancy store.

homeless? Just because they have no "fixed" address

That's the only definition, having no home. Now, you're right, it's possible, it's even likely, they are not poor at all. They can be real crooks that say they have no asset to avoid repaying. Or they can be sincere when they say they intend to pay, maybe they are waiting for funds not immediately available. At some point, I've done like them. I arrived in a country with my backpack and only money for 2 or 3 meals, then my banks did me a bad trick so all my accounts were blocked, credit cards cancelled. I didn't know how long I would have to wait to receive money from my country by another channel, I had a ticket back home one month later. I've stayed at the same 'hotel' (guesthouse) during 3 weeks. The difference with them is I told it to the owner when I arrived and she said that was OK. I said that in the worst case, I'd send the money from home when I'm back, but she had to trust my words. And I've paid it all.

many fellow posters seem to agree with this couple's actions.

I think they lack of class but they don't deserve to be hung at dawn. But well, whatever the industry, you deal with inconsiderate people. That's nothing special. I'm surprised the police accepted to get involved.

Interesting. If I had been the manager of the place, I would have let go for about three days, that's it !

That's why you are probably not a manager in a commercial activity. Throw then after 3 days, you're sure you won't get a yen. Otherwise, you risk being paid 42 nights. They are throwing them now because they need the room for high season.

Why not pre-authorize a credit card, like most hotels do?

Most hotels don't do that, or they don't always do it. And that's for the same reason the guesthouse lady kept me, her interest, her chances of gain. An empty room and idle service staff, that brings you zero income, a full room cost you nothing more. So, if you are not refusing super-customers (peak season kamos that pay 300% even in advance), you have nothing to lose and everything to win by taking customers. Even if 2/3 of them didn't pay, you'd still get 1/3 of the money, which is superior to zero when you reject all risks.

I get the Japanese system of not worrying about the money until after...

That's not just Japanese. That's taking the risk of being in business.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sort of reminds me on of the Greek situation... living on loans, unable to pay them back, unwilling to declare bankruptcy, and waiting for sponsors. Only in this case, Angela Merkel will not bail them out.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

"That's nothing ! I have a tenant refusing to pay rent and it's been 150 days!!!! I'm prevented from harassing the tenant (by law) and only have recourse to legal action at a cost of 300000 yen."

Good grief!!!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

another japanism just show your bald head to the hotel staff and you will be forgiven.BUT, nido tou kurikaisun janaiyo ne.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Corrections for my way too many typos!

unless ones. --> unless one's

in Zjapan --> in Japan

wouldn't not be --> would not be

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Educator60: Corrections for my way too many typos!

Been out country too long ;)

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

42 days. That's a hell of a long stay, can't believe they got away with it for so long. Good thing the hotel finally took action. Better late than never.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I think most hotels would start asking for money after you have been there 1 week (assuming they do not demand a credit card earlier than that)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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