Today I had the task of starting to get my old internet account switched over to my AEON successor's name, I'll call her A-san here. It was long overdue and needed to be done. I thought I would explain this two-step process based on my experience today.
First of all, if you have an internet account with NTT East Japan, you most likely have two things to deal with: NTT for the Internet hardware (router etc.) and Yahoo BB through Softbank. Step one, I called NTT. They luckily have an English toll-free number available weekdays from 9-5 (found on their English website for Flets光, Google is your friend). This made this part easy. I told them a new person is living in my former apartment, I want to change the account holder's name to hers. It cannot be done over the phone. BUT, they can get the information and have the documents needed sent to you. The papers are also available on the Japanese website, but Aki wasn't around, so I didn't want to make any mistakes, and had NTT help me. Anyway, when the documents arrive, they need copies of both of our IDs (gaijin card is fine) front and back (B&W is OK), and then both of our signatures. There is a name-transfer fee of ¥840. Much cheaper than breaking the NTT contract, which is the original goal in doing all of this. It will take about a week or so to get it processed.
Next came the battle with Yahoo BB. They DO NOT have an English support number. There are a bunch of menus to work through when you are initially connected. I don't remember which numbers I pressed, but I believe '2' was the first one, which is for people currently holding a contract. Out of the next options, I pushed the option for an operator, which might have been '7'... Sorry, I don't remember the exact wordings... That aside, I chose to try and battle it out with my slowly improving Japanese and see if I could survive. You won't learn a language if you don't try. I first started with my typical, 「すみません。日本語はちょっとですから、簡単な日本語でよろしくお願いします。」Bascially an apology for my bad Japanese, and asking the operator to please use simple words, i.e. no keigo. I went on to explain how I wanted to change the name on the account. YOU CANNOT CHANGE THE NAME with a Yahoo BB account apparently. She told me that basically, I have to cancel my Yahoo BB subscription, and A-san has to call them and create a new account in her name. There are cancellation fees involved, and I believe they vary depending on how far you are into your contract. Since my contract is about a year and three months in, the cancellation fee is about ¥5000. No way around it, can't be done. So, they will send me a document in the next week or so confirming the cancelled contract. For A-san, they said it should take about a week for her to get her internet service back up. Some advice the lady did give me though, was that I could have left the contract open for another week while A-san gets her new one set up, and then have my service cancelled the evening before her new service is turned on. However, it was already done, sigh. I again thanked the lady for putting up with my crappy Japanese and said my よろしくs etc. and finally hung up.
So now it's just a week long of getting some paperwork filed and then it will be done. It takes less time to do it this way than setting up a completely new fresh account, because the hardware is already installed at the apartment, so no one has to come set it up. All that will need to be done is Yahoo BB to open the IP address to the connection as soon as the account is set up.
NTT East: A cheap transfer fee and some paperwork, and they can change the name on an account.
Yahoo BB: Impossible, no way out of that cancellation of a contract. I think they do it on purpose to make more money.
I was pretty proud of myself with the Yahoo call because I understood more like 65% of what was said than the 45% last time I had to call a phone/internet/service company back when I moved cough *Yokohama Waterworks Bureau* cough. This job change has done my ears some good haha.