News of the product prices falsification of some tenants from the online shopping giant Rakuten Inc., continue to circulate. And now, some tenants are claiming that the instructions to do so have actually come from employees from the company itself.
A tenant of the online shopping mall selling fresh food products told investigators that an employee of Rakuten, who gave his designation as an electronic commerce consultant, approached them back in 2011. The employee informed him to double the regular price of his products then offer a 50 percent discount to the buyers. Another tenant said that a Rakuten EC consultant told him to increase the regular prices for his drinks so he can offer a discount of 77 percent. Fearing the authorities will find out about the deception, he refused to comply. Similar stories are now coming out from other Rakuten tenants.
Falsifying prices is a direct violation of the misleading representation ban law. Rakuten revealed in November last year that price mislabeling happened during the bargain sales in celebration of the Rakuten Eagles professional baseball team winning the Japan Series. At that time, the company official did not mention if any of their employees had taken part in the illegal activity. At that time, 17 tenants were punished with a one-month sales suspension and Rakuten Chief Executive Hiroshi Mikitani expressed regret for the mislabeling. But the serious allegations of the tenants this time require action and a spokesperson from the company said, “If it were true, it would have been a grave violation of company rules we cannot ignore.” The official said that those who will be proven to be involved will receive “strict punishment.” The Consumer Affairs Agency will also work with Rakuten to look into the issue.