Does the currency symbol "¥" really mean Japanese yen? If you don't check it carefully, you may be charged nearly 20 times more than you expected!
Local consumer affairs centers across Japan have received several inquiries and complaints about the currency symbol on the shopping site "Calli-Calli" where calligraphy guidebooks are sold. It has been reportedly said that the currency symbol "¥" was shown when placing an order with credit card payment, but the amount in Chinese yuan instead of Japanese yen was charged, which was nearly 20 times more than expected.
When checking the shopping site, NCAC did not find any indication to tell that the symbol "¥" means Chinese yuan on the pages including ads and the order completion page. The shopping site is written in Japanese, so consumers misinterpret that the symbol "¥" means Japanese yen when placing an order.
Seller's information checked by NCAC
- Calli-Calli(account name for image-sharing social media: calli.calli101)
- Shopping site's URL:
- Note: The shopping site Calli-Calli is still accessible, so please be careful. In the above URL, " * " is shown instead of " : " to prevent careless access to the shopping site.
I thought the price was written in Japanese yen, but it was in Chinese yuan
In late January, I saw an online ad for download version calligraphy guidebooks and accessed the shopping site. I chose a guidebook priced "¥1,680" and placed an order with credit card payment. After that, I received a confirmation email from the shopping site which indicated the price as "¥1,680", but a notification email from the credit card company indicated the price as "¥32,916". Although I thought the guidebook was 1,680 yen, 32,916 yen was charged, which surprised me. When I checked the shopping site, a page titled "support" stated "The transaction currency is Chinese yuan." At first, I assumed that the currency symbol "¥" was Japanese yen.
I asked the credit card company to cancel the payment, but the company said as follows: "We cannot cancel it now. You need to request the shopping site to cancel the charge and wait for a reply. Please let us know the reply, because we may be able to investigate the matter depending on the outcome. The settlement is temporarily put on hold." What should I do now?
(from a woman in her 40s in January 2023)
Problems highlighted by the sampling of cases
- It's difficult to understand that "¥" means Chinese yuan (CNY).
- Although a consumer has requested for cancellation, there is no reply and no refund from the seller.
- The shopping site does not show the seller's information (e.g. company name, postal address, telephone number).
- There's no way to contact the seller.
Advice for consumers
- Comb through the shopping site to check if the currency symbol "¥" means Japanese yen (JPY) or Chinese yuan (CNY).
- If negotiation with the seller is difficult or if it does not seem to bring a solution, talk to the credit card company.
- In case of trouble or concern, consult your local consumer affairs center right away.
In case of trouble with a company outside Japan, you can consult the problem with the Cross-border Consumer center Japan (CCJ) through the online form on the NCAC's website. If the seller is indicated as an overseas company on the shopping site, feel free to contact CCJ.