Of course Docomo screwed me over with the contract on my 3g dongle. I should have known. Interestingly, they screwed me over in a similar way as my estate agent did. I had signed up for a two-year contract in early 2010, thinking I would just cancel it whenever I left Japan (which, at the time, I hadn't decided on yet). Then, when I finally did leave Japan in the summer of 2010 I tried to get it cancelled in the shop, but they told me that the cancellation fee would be higher than what it would cost if I would just let the contract run for two years and then cancel. I expected this, so I was ok with it and decided to keep the dongle for the time being, thinking I would surely come back to Japan within that time to use it and, perhaps, cancel it.
But it turns out my next visit would be more than two years later. I cancelled my contract today and had to pay an additional 9985 yen (~80GBP) to cancel it. Why? Good question. I'm not entirely sure, since the contract is in Japanese and any inquiry for explanation to the extremely helpful Docomo lady results in business Japanese with lots of bullshit words. From what I understand from the piece of paper I was handed, cancelling before the 2-year contract is up incurs a fee, but even if you cancel after 24 months you still have to pay 9000+ yen. I guess if I had waited another 2 years it would have been cheaper, but I've had enough. It's cancelled, and out of my mind.
I am not enjoying my experience with contracts. They are supposed to protect the parties involved, but all too often it seems that the reason people are using them is to put hidden clauses in that will work out to their advantage while screwing me over. It's made me a distrustful person.