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3,480 apply for refunds from Hankyu Hanshin after menu scam

19 Comments

Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc said Friday that so far, 3,480 people had contacted them to apply for refunds after the company announced earlier this week that it lied to thousands of customers about ingredients used in its restaurants.

On Tuesday, Hankyu Hanshin executives said that customers who can prove when they ate at one of the restaurants under investigation will be entitled to a refund. Fuji TV quoted a company spokesman as saying the refunds were likely to cost the company about 10 million yen.

Eight hotels and four restaurants operated by Hankyu Hanshin in Kyoto and Osaka misrepresented ingredients in dishes that were eaten by an estimated 79,000 customers. In all, 47 menus contained bogus information.

Meanwhile, the 5-star Ritz-Carlton hotel in Osaka said Friday that it has used packaged orange and grapefruit juice, which it labeled as freshly squeezed juiced in its restaurant and for room service. Some of the hotel's own baked bread was in fact baked by an outside company, the hotel said.'

The hotel is managed by Hanshin Hotel Systems, a subsidiary of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings Inc.

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19 Comments
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Talk about 'first-world problems'...!

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

In the end it all comes back to bite you in the arse if you cheat your customers. Lesson learned? One would hope so...

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Well, management weren't very apologetic during that hastely convened press interview. Without blinking an eye, they said it wasn't done with financial gain in mind or to deceive their customers. No, it was due to "mislabeling" and "insufficient staff training", while almost bursting out in laughter. What was it, they forgot to tell the staff to never babble about this scam or they would never work in this industry again and that they would be harassed by foul mouthed men with panchi paamu hair style and a terrible fashion sense? What a shame these guys. Not for financial gain? Well, not anymore, having to pay back 10 million yen and gaining a bad reputation. The service they provided was impeccable though^^.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why on earth would Ritz-Carlton want to let Hankyu operate their hotels?! Like having a Porsche made by Daihatsu...

This little scam they tried to pull just goes to show that Japan is not more honest or customer friendly than your average country. I am sure the gullible Japanese consumers would have to experience millions of these cases until they would finally accept tha fact, though.

Apart from all this, Inwould suspect this is just the tip of the iceberg. The service industry is one dirty business (globally) where all kinds of tricks occur.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

A couple of years ago a restaurant in Hokkaido was caught ought scamming Chinese tourists by feeding them regular beef and claiming that it was high-grade. Several of my Japanese friends insisted that this would never have happened to Japanese people, because "we know all about quality, we can tell the difference." Sure they do!

8 ( +8 / -0 )

The Ritz-Carlton has joined this club also?! This is just like rolling the dice.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

but you people eat MSG in curry, udon, nori, ramen.... like it is salt... and it is not. McDonald's tells you what they put in their food and you stand in line to get it... Japan is still third world in mentality.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I think people forget that Japan has a VERY serious food culture (why do you think there are a huge number of people constantly looking for the latest and most interesting ramen-ya noodle shop or ekiben shop near a railroad station literally from one end of Japan to another?) and anything that ends up deceiving customers will be viewed not very favorably.

Indeed, probably one of the most famous examples from Japan of customers being deceived in terms of food was from the 1930's, when unscrupulous retailers sold repackaged tins of Crosse & Blackwell curry powder (which was imported into Japan from the UK and cost a lot of money) with curry powder made by House Foods and S&B locally in Japan. The resulting scandal literally caused an international incident that made the scandal described in this article seem like a minor event in comparison.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

I want to eat chicien nuggets. Meanwhile chicken nugget 3% meat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

What gave rise to "Hankyu Hanshin" coming clean ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Is it only me that is wondering why this obvious (to me anyway) case of fraud is not in the crime section?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Any idea of what the mislabelling consisted of? Apart from the OJ, not much evidence.

I would have thought that anyone could tell the difference between freshly-squeezed orange juice and the carton equivalent. If is like instant coffee vs the real thing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Those juices being freshly squeezed out of those plastic bottles in not misleading anyone.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It seems only fair that customers should get a refund. Hankyu Hanshin should thank their lucky stars that Japan is not home to so many litigious parasites such as back in the U.S. Heck, there are many folks who wouldn't hesitate to sue for the "stress" and "trauma" of eating something different to what is advertised. The company admitted it had lied to consumers. This would be harder in the U.S. as the floodgates would open. But back in the States, we do have at least some degree of corporate responsibility so a head or two would roll at the company. Here, it is simply "regrettable".

0 ( +2 / -2 )

mataka, I wouldn't be surprised that the head of the retail division of Hankyu Hanshin Holdings is "sacked" (to use a British English term) very soon--or resign as a case of "loss of honor."

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Read the Japan Times. The bosses are blaming their workers for this.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Crazy how much press coverage this story is getting. If they think the food they ate was subpar than what about the food coming out of the Fukushima Nuclear power plant area? But I guess that is just boring.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Wait up!

Isn't this the country where supermarkets often fail to display the weight of the goods being sold too? You can be sure that the supermarkets have ordered so many kilos of this or that but when it comes time to retail the goods then suddenly weights and measures just disappear.

Opening a bag of sweets here and being able to count the number of wrapped sweets inside always feels like a major ripoff..............

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

If they think the food they ate was subpar than what about the food coming out of the Fukushima Nuclear power plant area?

Precisely, if they lied about quality, how do you know they don't lie about origin, freshness, ingredients ?

But back in the States, we do have at least some degree of corporate responsibility so a head or two would roll at the company.

Yeah ? How many heads of Wholefoods have rolled so far ? They get caught red-handed at labeling cheap GMO crap into overpriced organic like every other week. And business as usual.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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