This site collects stories from people with experience of Sony's customer services. It was inspired by the continuing tales in this thread on RLLMUK, from which some stories are taken.

If you have a similar story, please get in touch! We hope that collecting these stories will help Sony to realise that their awful approach to digital accounts, customer service and denial of standard rights is hurting their business. None of the major video games news sites seem to be interested for some reason!

Note that we will not take anonymous submissions, and submitters remain responsible for the factual accuracy of their stories.

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

All my devices have been deactivated

From NeoGAF:
I have 2 Ps4 and 2 Ps3. All listed as my devices. We have 1 ps4 set as primary console, one as guest.

Now, yesterday apparently all my consoles were deactivated. I did not do this. There is a Ps4 now activated as my primary console (but I do not own this console).

I dont know what to do, I have 2 Ps4's in the house and I cannot activate either as a primary.

I cannot deactivate all my consoles as they have already been deactivated on the PSN account page and it no longer gives me the option.

I contacted PSN support twice, and they say I have to wait 6 months, and that they seem to think I have given my PSN details to another PS4. I am claiming this must be account fraud.

However, PSN support say as this mystery Ps4 has made some free purchases (PS+ downloads) on my account then they dont believe me and say it is my doing. I ahve argued with the guy for hours, he will not let me speak to someone else and I cannot deactivate this unknown Ps4.

Help GAF, I am going nuts. PSN service is the rudest and most non-compliant and unhelpful support I have ever seen. I am the account holder and they will not help me and terminated the phone call. Unbelievable.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

My niece bought a film on my Vita

From NeoGAF:
I'd gotten in from work yesterday with the Vita and a few other things in my hand. I couldn't put them all away at once so I left the Vita on a counter, and when I came back i saw it was on the table in a different room and a purchase had been made for a film. My sister and 2 year old niece were visiting and in the 2 minutes i was gone someone must have given the Vita to her and the purchase was made. It hadn't been downloaded and it was asking me If I wanted to which I declined.

First thing I did was find out the Customer Service number to but they were out of hours (Close at 8:30PM in the UK which is ridiculously early). I called them today wanting a refund explaining the problem. They agent said he'd send a refund request through to the department, but in his experience he expects it to be declined. I mean what? I never downloaded the film, have an account that stretches back to 2008 in which I've made a good amount of purchases over the years and never needed to call customer service or ask for a refund before, and a purchase that the agent agreed was clearly made in error can't be refunded because that's their policy.

The agent accused me of lax security on my end as well and said I should have had password on checkout. Now I can accept that my niece getting into her hands was on my end (even if I left it on a high counter for 2 mins), but the extra security is something I've always wanted. I have it so a password is required on checkout for all my online purchases, be they digital on stuff like Google Play, or retailers like Amazon. It's something I've wanted to set up on the Vita for ages but could never find the option. When I asked the agent how to do it, of all things he then says he's not sure if it's possible on Vita and shows me how to do it on PS4 instead.

Again, Sony says that it is the customer's responsibility to keep the account secure, but don't give them the tools to do it.

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

I’m amazed that you think I’d still have a PS4 after all this

Shortly before the Watchdog piece aired, John Lappin (featured on the programme, whose story was featured here) received an email from Sony.
Dear Mr Lappin,

As you are aware, BBC Watchdog has brought your case to our attention.

We constantly strive to improve our Customer Service offering but unfortunately we sometimes get it wrong, and on this occasion, our internal processes have not met the high standards we set ourselves.  I would like to take this opportunity to apologise for the experience you had.  This is not the experience we want our customers to have.  As a result of this case, we are conducting a review of our process for reviewing and responding to Unauthorised Transaction complaints to ensure other users are not similarly affected in the future.

Having re-examined this case, I can assure you that neither PlayStation Network nor Sony Entertainment Network services were compromised to obtain access to your account.  In this instance, available evidence suggests that your account was accessed by attackers using usernames and passwords that were obtained outside of our Network. 

Sadly, criminal activity like this is an unfortunate element of modern, online life, which underlines the need for everyone to take precautions to protect their personal details online.  We recommend that our players create complex unique passwords that they have not used before, use different username/password combinations than those used for other online services, and keep a close eye on their accounts for unusual activity. 

Your SEN account Wallet has now been credited with the funds that were used to make this purchase.  If you haven't already done so, please make sure that you change your SEN account password to ensure that your account is kept secure.

We hope that the above goes someway in restoring your confidence in PlayStation.

Yours faithfully,

Jon Budden
Head of Consumer Services
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Limited
It's a good job the BBC brought John's case to their attention, since the months of emails, calls and contact he had gone through didn't seem to.  A few things to note here:
  • Sony are still implying it was John's fault that his account was stolen.  Constantly telling basic security advice like 'complex unique passwords' implies that they are assuming he wasn't.
  • They have credited funds back to his account, which is useless as he no longer has a Playstation.
  • John did keep a close eye on his account.  As soon as he noticed an email about the purchase he contacted Sony.
John has posted his reply to RLLMUK:
Unfortunately, no it doesn’t come anywhere near restoring my confidence. You have begrudgingly refunded me after 6 months, multiple calls and emails, tweets to various executives at Sony and a BBC investigation. I suspect had the latter not happened you’d still be ignoring me. Whilst I appreciate that my situation could well have been someone trying to trick you, you just assumed that was what I was doing. The fact that this is even possible is a flaw in your systems, not something your customers should suffer for. You cannot assume all your customers are potential fraudsters and refuse to refund them as ‘punishment’ for a crime just because your lax processes mean it’s remotely possible they may have committed it.

As you say, sadly criminal activity like this is an unfortunate element of modern online life. Perhaps then, you should provide tighter security for your customers like two factor authentication. If you don’t want to pay the cost of fraud, protect against it, don’t force your customers to pay for it.

Almost everyone I spoke to in your customer service centres, after 30 minute waits each time, was friendly and tried what they could to help but were ultimately powerless to do so thanks to your policies. Only one agent, the last I contacted was rude and told me Sony were keeping my money as a punishment.

The only person at Sony who gave me any faith in your company was the first guy I called who is in the recording you may have heard. He did what he could and clearly understood the issue and what was wrong about how it was being dealt with.

Whilst I appreciate the fact that you have refunded me, it’s useless to me now as I no longer own the machine and frankly I’m amazed that you think I’d still have a PS4 after all this. (The one in the Watchdog piece was provided by them which I reluctantly agreed to use for the show). I’d ask for it to refunded into my bank but we both know that’s not going to happen.

Thanks for emailing and good luck improving your services for others.

That would be a great place to leave it, but there's more.  A little investigation from a new user at RLLMUK shows that Sony (or at least its people) still don't quite get Internet security.

Sony's argument for no refunds is that all users are responsible for everything that happens to their account; and liable for any costs incurred.

This is despite the fact we still don't have adequate measures for protection - notably, two-factor authentication (that is, when you get texted a code to log in after entering your password). Steam, Origin, Google Play, iTunes, and even Xbox all do this.

However, after looking at Jon Budden's twitter (the guy who emailed Pockets and is Head of Consumer Services SCEE) - he complained a couple of months ago, on April 21st, to PayPal after his account got hacked and money spent! Unbelievable.

Maybe he should've had a stronger password. I guess it's do what we say and not as we do?

Note that this Twitter account has now been deleted.  As has his Facebook complaints about having to make five phone calls to chase something up.

Imagine making five phone calls, and sending countless emails, and complaining for six months and then still being told that a company is assuming you're a thief?  I think that may be worse.

I watched Watchdog and was stunned by the hypocrisy

The full Watchdog programme can be seen below.

The Sony part is on first, though later in the programme others have called in with their experiences.

Sony's response is pathetic, I'm afraid.  The website they recommend people to visit - https://www.getsafeonline.org/ - does not really relate to much on this website.  People have had accounts stolen who have followed everything recommended, including unique passwords and email addresses.  And let's not forget the issue is more about Sony refusing refunds even when content has not been used, or has been blocked on the fraudster's machine.

Amusingly, a page on that website - https://www.getsafeonline.org/business-news/sony-hack-highlights-major-shortcomings/ - looks at the Sony Pictures hack and recommends things that should be changed due to poor quality security:
  • Ensure all sensitive data is encrypted.
  • Do not store passwords in the same place as password-protected documents.
  • Use two-factor authentication.
  • Keep sensitive personal data separate from other data.
  • Carry out regular external security checks.
Do we have any confidence that Sony has done any of these?  We know they haven't implemented two-factor authentication, so consider us sceptical.

So, hypocrisy from Sony? You've not seen the last of it yet ...

When I hear the name Sony now I cringe and frown

A long and interesting blog post, which covers one of the stories set out here in more depth with a bit of a kicker (as briefly mentioned here):

However my Son, Ollie who was 9 at the time also has a Sony Account because he is the very proud owner of his own PS Vita, which most of you will know is a handheld portable gaming device and order to manage that and purchase certain games he needed an account. Now because Ollie was 9 he has what is called a Sub-Account, which in simple terms is an account with very restricted access, which sits under my master account, a child account under a parent account. So by me losing my account it meant we had lost full control of his account, although he was not banned himself he still had access to all the games and content he had purchased, we just could not purchase any more because it was funded from my now banned account.

So not the end of the world but as you can imagine I am kind of still upset by this, so I contact SEN Customer Services again hoping to reason with them and appeal to their human nature, I hit a brick wall, I am spoken to like I am a child, seriously, I'm like hello, I'm closer to 50 than I am to 40! I asked to be transferred to someone who can help right this injustice, I am told no, I tell the guy on the end of the phone that I am not hanging up until he at least tries to help me, to which he responds, "in that case I am terminating this call, Goodbye!...." and hangs up.

Watchdog obviously contacted Sony with their long list of viewers who had complained to them and Sony reinstated in full last week the accounts of the 2 guys who had their full stories portrayed on Watchdog, however at the same time, they actually banned my Son's Sub-Account, meaning he has now lost all access to his purchased content, so it seems instead of being helped by Watchdog, we have in fact been punished further.
 More details, including a possible resolution, can be found on the RLLMUK thread.

Monday, 1 June 2015

I most certainly did not want Outlast

From AaronionRings on Eurogamer:

They essentially stole money from me by charging me for a game without my consent. My account hadn't been compromised, I'm the only one with access to both it and my console. I got an email receipt as soon as they did this and I contacted customer support within minutes to get them to refund me because I most certainly did not want Outlast and I was not willing to let them just pocket the £16.

I had to guide one person to do her job and she became rude and unwilling to help after disappearing for 10 minutes, I got someone higher up in customer support to phone me and he was rude and yelled down the phone about how PSN is infallible and how no issues of any sort can occur because they're all accounted for. He didn't let me get a word in until I insisted on being able to speak and then he outright called me a liar without using the direct words before hanging up on me. I've nothing to gain by being rude and customer support tends to only go well if you're nice so I was polite throughout. I don't get how a company like this can have such hostile customer support.

They only offered any type of compensation when they realised I wasn't going away after contacting the director of public relations (or something like that). Their apology was not to offer me a refund it was ... sending me a code for 1 month of PS Plus. Oh and they sent me a used code. Brilliant. When I sent an email about that ... no reply. My 2 follow ups, a week or so apart likewise received no reply.

About 8 months or so later I receive an email from customer support offering £10 credit as a goodwill gesture for what I had to put up with and the person who sent it just needed to phone me to confirm my details. She phoned me and surprised me by being very polite and actually putting the credit on my account. I'm convinced she was an intern made to go through old emails noone else wanted to touch.

This took around a year total to get anything sorted and I didn't even get the desired result. Simply the best one I was able to get in the end. That's unacceptable. They're an awful company if your issue isn't directly covered by a warranty and will avoid responsibility if they think they can get away with it. It's not just the UK support either, I've read a heck of a lot of similar stories from the US.

As an extra note, the only reason I didn't issue a chargeback is because I knew they'd ban my PSN account and I'd lose access to my other purchases.

Friday, 29 May 2015

Post-Watchdog tweets

Graham's been curating a Storify list of tweets reacting to the Watchdog programme.  Not great publicity for Sony, it seems.


Thursday, 28 May 2015

Post-Watchdog update

Wow, what a response. Many thanks for all your messages. Many have pointed out that Sony haven't actually said they will change anything, which is pretty awful. They recommended people visit an online security website, which says that you should use two-factor authentication. Oh, Sony.

But the worrying thing is that they are still parroting the line that all transactions and security on a PSN account is the responsibility of the user. This is at best disingenuous and at worst dishonest. What's more, it fails to deal with the basic issues of Sony refusing to issue refunds even when they have stopped content working on the account and console.

I am about to get on a plane for the next 17 hours, but will link to the programme when I can and publish some more thoughts. Thanks again, everyone - it's progress but we're not quite there yet!

We all had issues with Sony's customer service (a compilation post)

With the increased exposure due to the Watchdog programme, people all over the Internet have been commenting on the stories, adding to the initial stories from RLLMUK.  These comments generally fall into four categories:
  • I got a refund so I'm all right Jack
  • Something irrelevant since they haven't read the situation properly
  • Backing up Sony because of some sense of company loyalty
  • Other horror stories
Here are some examples of the last of these.

Agent_Llama on Eurogamer:
My other half bought a game from PSN and, somehow, they managed to charge him 12 times for it. Refused to refund it, even though it's technically impossible to buy a game more than once on PSN. Eventually managed to wrangle vouchers out of them to use on PSN, but they flat refused to refund the excess charges.
wibbl on Eurogamer:
I have been trying to chase up 10 quid that I am owed for a PayPal promotion they were running throughout March that has never been honoured. PayPal actually refunded the money I was owed, but Sony then responded to this by banning my account.
I'm now embroiled in a tedious support saga trying to both get my account re-enabled and my tenner back.
All because two multinational corporations are incapable of running a simple promotion, and both are more interested in pointing the finger at each other than actually protecting their customers.
I was the victim of fraud on PSN. £34 in FIFA points that had been bought abroad. I had to chase them for months to get it back.
I bought a DLC on the wrong store, which doesn't match the version of the game I have. This means I can't use that DLC - and Sony refused to refund me. I don't get it - I'm unable to use the DLC and it was made in error. They can block the license for that DLC on my system, so why not give me my money back? I spent $10 in vain.
Back in October, I used the 'add £50 via paypal and we'll give you £10 extra credit' promotion. After adding the money, PSN didn't credit me. I then contacted Paypal, who blamed Sony, and then Sony, who first claimed the promotion wasn't valid (it was, it had been emailed to me earlier that week) and then blamed Paypal. It took me a total of 9 emails to five different people to get the bottom of it, and even then only after I forwarded them a copy of their own promotional email, then the receipt from my paypal transaction. It was only a tenner, but even so, their immediate answer being 'not pur fault!' when I've just given them £50 and spent hundreds with them on my PSN account over the years was disgusting. My advice is to avoid any Sony/Paypal promotions like the plague.
Sony have terrible customer service; I was on the receiving end of it after my original 'fat' PS3 had the yellow light of death, and the refurbished one they replaced it with had the same yellow light within 24 hours of me receiving it, and the refurbished one the replaced that one with also yellow lighted within another week. It took a few hours of phone calls and a lot of frustration before they eventually agreed to send me a newer model PS3 instead of another refurbished 'fat' one, which clearly had a problem. That replacement is still going strong.
Had similar issue here in Australia. Accidently purchased a PS Vita game on the master account, instead of my kids account , so had to purchase it again (not sure which way around) , either way I asked for a refund of the game I couldn't use. After a few emails, they stopped responding to me. Pathetic customer service.
I bought the monthly plus games through the PS Plus section of the PlayStation website and was charged for one of the games due to a mistake of their pricing. I spent weeks getting in contact with Sony and got nowhere, it was only after I contacted several gaming journalist websites and watchdogs that I very suddenly and randomly got a refund.
I was appalled at Sony's lack of customer service and lack of process for complaints. Each member of staff had a different answer and method to deal with my complaint. It took on average 4 days for an email to be responded to and nearly an hour to get through to a real person on the phone. Every one of their staff admitted the problem was with their website but would not issue a refund or even a credit voucher as it was against their policy.
Back when they gave out the 10% code for the Christmas outage, I accidentally ordered (via the web store) PS3 DLC where I actually wanted the PS4 version. Rang up, not expecting any joy, and was told that there was nothing that could be done about it, even though I hadn't actually downloaded the content at all.
PoliteElliot on Gamespot
In my experience Sony customer service was terrible! Purchases were made on my account fraudulently and I contacted Sony via their website. I reside in Norway and I had to email 3 different customer support addresses, all supplied by Sony, and each time I was asked to try another address! Eventually, unbelievably, I was asked to contact a Film company!!??
"Thank you for contacting Nordisk Film Distribution AS – Official distributor for Sony Computer Entertainment Europe. We will return with more information to you as soon as we receive it from SCEE."
And I never heard anything from them after this ...
Eventually I just gave up - congratulations Sony, cutting down your support costs by making it so ineffective your dissatisfied customers give up. If it was as difficult to make purchases as it is to get customer service Sony would make very little money.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

I complained about Sony on Watchdog

To be broadcast on Thursday 28 May, at 8pm on BBC1!  Watchdog has interviewed a fair number of the people on this website, investigating the way Sony's customer service is lacking.  The main complainant is Pockets, from RLLMUK, whose post in this thread was the first I uploaded to this blog.

Expect a half-hearted apology and nothing to change.

Update: the BBC's interest has meant that this issue has finally seen some coverage in gaming media.  Gamespot and Eurogamer have run stories, and MCV has picked up the news too.  Most stories originated from a NeoGAF thread and didn't do any more research until posters from RLLMUK contacted them.  This blog has been linked to from a few stories now.  Welcome, all!

Sunday, 24 May 2015

After complaining about refund issues, Sony blocked my son's account as well

Remember this one: http://talesfromsonycs.blogspot.co.uk/2015/02/someone-else-preordered-game-and-i-cant.html ... there's been a bit of an update!

They've just banned or suspended my Son's Sub Account, the one which was under my suspended account, I wonder if this is because of my Watchdog Complaint, too much of coincidence? Anyway well done Sony, one very sad and upset little boy, who now believes he has lost all his PS Vita games, of course you can't get hold of anyone until Monday!

Monday, 18 May 2015

A petition to get Sony to implement two-factor authentication


Please sign this.  It doesn't address every problem, but it would solve a lot of them.  Until Sony offer multi-factor authentication, them telling us that we are fully responsible for the security of our accounts is just a joke.

Sony takes account security less seriously than we do

You would think that when they are dealing with money and credit cards, they should make sure their security is up-to-date.

I didn't verify my new email address but they changed it anyway

So a mate of mine has an old, old PSN account that he signed up for years ago ... and never really used it as he made another with a better name. It's associated with an old email that he doesn't use at all either.

He logged in the other day and found 6 emails from Sony.

First one: Your sign in email has been updated.
Next 4: Please verify your new sign in.
Last one: Your sign in ID has been changed.

The entire process took about two hours.

'Reece O'Donnel' appears to be the hacker, if that is the real name.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

I took Sony to the Small Claims Court and they settled before the court date

Taken from NeoGAF at http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=938443 ...

My PSN account got hijacked yesterday. They bought GTA5 on my account and then changed the log in details. I didn't notice this had happened till today, at which point £500 had already left my account! All on PSN games by the looks of it. I've just got off the phone to my bank and cancelled my card to prevent any more charges. Tomorrow I'm going to call Sony and get my account back using the three serial numbers I have for my PS3, PS4 and Vita ...

First update:

Thanks for your recent contact regarding your Sony Entertainment Network (SEN) account.

I understand from our contact that you did not recognise some transactions on your account, and you reported these transactions as unauthorised. As these transactions were made via our online webstore, we're unable to take action against any consoles for processing this purchase. We will however investigate any devices involved where possible and take action where appropriate, however we will be unable to share details of this.

Unfortunately, as the account holder you are responsible for all use of your SEN account, including all purchases, and agree to pay for all orders placed using your SEN account. For this reason, we cannot offer a refund for these transactions - this is outlined in our Terms of Service.

As PlayStation Network has not been compromised, I can assure you that any information stored on our servers is secure. We would highly recommend that you change your account password to re-secure your account. The billing details have already been removed from your account.

For your reference, our Terms of Service can be found here.

I hope this helps, but if you have any other questions please contact PlayStation Support using the contact details below or by replying to this e-mail. Quote reference 141127-005538 and one of our team will be happy to help.

Thank you,
Called them up and they said my only option is to get my bank to do a chargeback, which will probably lead to my account being banned and maybe my consoles too.

Looks like I'm seeking legal action; I can't let £598 slide.

Second update:

I sent a lengthy formal complaint letter to Sony a couple of weeks later explaining my issue. They finally got back to me (via phone as well); they explained how I must have misunderstood their previous contact with me (in a really condescending way) and reiterated their EULA saying how it's my responsibility to keep my account secure; as there hasn't been a breach of PSN the access of my account was my responsibility. They also stated that after goods have been transferred I am not entitled to a refund after said transaction has taken place. They also insisted that they comply 100% with trading standards regulations. I had them email me to confirm they had received my complaint.

I want to take this further if I'm honest; I'll probably evaluate my options and see what I can do through the legal system.

Third update:

Good News Everyone!

I went through the small claims court and they settled before it went to court. 

I got my money back! its ridiculous that it took 6 months to get it sorted however...

Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Sony will take your money if you don't spend it quickly enough

If you leave money in your wallet for too long (we think it's two years - used to be one) with your account unused, Sony help themselves to it anyway.

From their (old, may now be changed) T&Cs:

Please understand that the Sony Online Network wallet is not a bank account and we are not operating as a bank. You will not be entitled to a refund for any unused funds, except where expressly provided by these Conditions or by applicable law.
Wallet funds must be used within 24 months of purchase.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

I can't remove my credit cards because the website doesn't work

I'm trying to sort out these toggles [to turn off auto-renew, remove my credit card] on the website - I got as far as it taking me here :


With this message:
This web page has a redirect loop 
Well played Sony!

Friday, 3 April 2015

My account was blocked because I blocked a fraudulent payment

In a rare move, a proper news website has run a piece on Sony's awful customer service: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/04/02/sony_holds_gun_to_gamers_heads_over_fraud_charges/

"I was advised on the telephone by Sony support that all use, including fraudulent activities committed by an unknown third party, is my responsibility. He advised me that Sony takes no responsibility for fraudulent use of my credit card details and security rests solely with me."

A couple of points here:
  • The third party is not unknown to Sony.  They will have records of the IP address used to make the purchase and the console that the game was downloaded to.
  • Security cannot rest solely with the consumer since they need not be involved in any fraud - it could be the (known) third party calling Sony and asking for a password reset, and there's nothing that the consumer can do about that.
 Later in the article Sony respond, showing complete idiocy about how digital marketplaces work and consumer goodwill can be retained.

To do otherwise would create an opportunity for consumers to claim that they were not responsible for a purchase on their account, receive a refund and yet retain the content.
You could just remove the licence for that content from the account, and ban the console that was used to buy it. Then the content would not be retained, unless the fraudster wanted to only play offline for ever more.

If the reported unauthorised transactions were made on a console other than the one owned by the account holder, the person responsible must have had details of the account sign-in ID and password.
 Again, wrong.  There have been stories of people regaining access to their account by just calling Sony customer services and asking for their passwords to be reset, to a different email address.  The security breach could be entirely on Sony's side.

the nature of digital content, in that it is made available immediately and cannot be returned
It can be returned.

whether the account holder willingly gave their details to a friend/acquaintance or were tricked into providing them via phishing sites or similar, the responsibility for keeping this information secure does lie with the account holder
If Sony offered two-factor authentication on their accounts, they may be right to insist on this.  But they don't, and they have suffered multiple security breaches themselves.  Do they really need the odd £50 that is reclaimed from fraudsters instead of having a happy customer base?

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Sony renewed my PSN subscription even though auto-renew was turned off

Sony helped themselves to $17.99 of the $50.00 I had in my wallet which was actually to pay for another year; they took out just 3 months even though I have auto renew turned OFF.

Although its not disastrous ($5 loss) don't assume the auto renew OFF is OK.  It means they will take the funds if they are in your wallet but won't take from a card. I searched high and low on the site and can't see the option to not touch your wallet. It even says I have no subscriptions.

So in 3 months I will have to top up the $50.00 and purchase the year sub before they take the 3 months again.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Sony ended the chat because I complained

A chat transcript:

There is a difference between "can't" and "won't" which Sony need to learn.

Friday, 20 March 2015

I have no PS4 but I now have an expensive copy of AC: Unity

Taken from NeoGAF at http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showpost.php?p=151818581&postcount=422 ...

My PSN account was also hacked and in the end I got the exact same formletter as shown at this post.  Thankfully I managed to go in and change my password and remove my credit card before the hijacker changed it and lock me out.

The hijacker had attached his PS4 to my account, removing my PS3, and bought the digital collectors edition of Assassins Creed Unity.  My account is Swedish and I was in the US at the time so I sent an email to them rather than calling, I could not find a number to call anyway.  After several days I got a reply stating I needed to call in because they could not handle this via email.  After more than an hour in the telephone queue on an international call very early in the morning I finally got a person to explain my situation to.

Since I did not have a PS4 at the time the guy on the phone said this was obvious fraud and they would refund me and remove the PS4 which made me happy.  After a couple of more days I got an email that I needed to send them my PS3 serial number. Not very easy to get since my PS3 was in Sweden and I was still in California.

I did send them my serial number once I'd got it and got a new reply with the formletter that they would not refund me the money.  I obviously complained but got a new mail back informing that this was a final decision and there was nothing I could do to get the money back!

I still have no PS4 but I do have very expensive version of Assassins Creed.

Sony PSN support and theft protection is absolutely horrible and I would strongly advice everyone to not have a credit card in their account.  I wonder how many of these cases happen every year.  Sony obviously gets a percentage on everything sold so they even earn money on these thefts, perhaps they care more about that then their reputation.  You would think that with the recent couple of years of Sony hacks they would be more sensitive about more bad will about their online services but apparently no.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

I bought an extended warranty for my PS4 but when it broke Sony wouldn't repair it

A lengthy piece over at Bleeding Cool.

I heard my wife stirring and she ended up waking up and running downstairs in a panic thinking our house was on fire because she smelled the burning plastic smell. I told her I was pretty sure it came from the PlayStation 4, and she asked me if it was smoky in the house or if her eyes were messing with her since she just woke up. She confirmed our suspicions – it smelled smoky when she went upstairs, turned on the lights up there, and the smoke was fairly thick. Obviously, I was quick to contact Sony about this issue.

After setting up a service, now being a year and 3 months after my purchase date, but still well within my three year extended warranty, I waited a week for my shipping box that never came. I contacted Sony again to get an update on the situation where I was informed that I was NOT under warranty anymore and that my $60 extended warranty only covered my then second console despite what I was told. I got off the online chat and called Sony support directly where I was put on hold for quite a while until I was eventually informed that they would NOT cover the PS4 unless I paid for the service. All of this, despite the fact that it had the potential to burn my house down if I wasn't around to notice the smell and unplug it. I immediately traded in my console as a broken, defective system (lessening my trade value) and put my money towards some upcoming Xbox One releases.
Sony think that security of your PSN account is entirely your responsibility - do they also think that making sure your PS4 isn't dangerous internally and doesn't burn down your house is also your responsibility?  Maybe they want everyone to open their consoles to check they're safe ... which of course will invalidate the warranty.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

I accidently bought PS3 DLC instead of PS4 DLC, and Sony won't swap the licences over

More of the stunning customer service we've all come to expect from Sony here.


In a nutshell: bloke's daughter buys DLC, but acidentally buys the PS3 version instead of the PS4 one on Sony's awful web store. Asks Sony if they can swap it the right one - 'Computer says no!'

Now I know that this is customer error, but any right thinking company would just revoke the license to the PS3 DLC and give them the PS4 license instead (given that they're the same price). A tiny gesture of goodwill that would cost them nothing and help prevent driving customers into the hands of competitors. But this is Sony.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

A hacker stole $600 from my credit card, and Sony told me they will refund $150 at most

From Reddit:

On the morning of the 26th of February, I received an e-mail saying that the e-mail address associated with my PSN account has been changed. Having requested no such change, I began to panic and checked to see what was up. Sure enough, I could not log in to my account. It seems that someone else had managed to get in and lock the door behind them. I immediately hopped over to my bank account website and found that a total of $570 had been spent on FIFA points in FIFA '15.

I called up Sony customer support and requested that control of my account be returned to me, which they did. Sony was quite helpful, and the process was painless. I asked about having the fraudulent purchases revoked, and the Sony representative said that the charges could not be cancelled on his end, but I could cancel the charges at my bank by filing a fraudulent purchase claim and I should not be charged for those purchases.

Fair enough. I did as I was instructed and the total amount was returned to my bank account. I was hoping that would be the end of the story.

Today I found that my PSN account had been blocked or temporarily suspended. Upon calling customer support and speaking with two different people, I found that Sony is locking me out of my account until the full amount, $570, has been paid.

I explained that this was a fraudulent purchase made by someone who had hacked into my account. I had never given my username or password to anyone. They did not budge on their position, though. Sony is holding my account hostage until I pay their ransom.

I have been a member of PlayStation Network for years, and I have made hundreds of dollars of purchases over the PlayStation Network, and Sony is locking me out of all of the digital content that I have earned. The only other option I have is to start a new account, which essentially mean surrendering all of the digital content (including 300+ full games) that I have paid for over the years, not to mention my still-active PS+ membership. On top of that, opening a new account means resetting all of my save games, trophies, DLC.

I don't know what to do anymore. I have tried elevating this issue as high as I can, but Sony is still denying me access to the content that I have purchased from them. I just wanted to share my experience in case anyone else has been similarly extorted by one of the major corporations.
I am a graduate student who doesn't have an extra $600 to throw at this problem to make it go away. My PlayStation systems have been great comforts during my times of stress. I am devastated that these have been taken away from me by a company that I have supported for years.

[Note: being Reddit, this has been picked up by a couple of other website - see http://consumerist.com/2015/03/12/playstation-network-users-report-hacked-accounts-terrible-options-from-sony/ and http://www.bitterwallet.com/playstation-doesnt-do-much-for-you-if-youve-been-hacked/84008. The user got it resolved in the end, after weeks of complaining and discussions with the legal teams.  This is not something paying customers should have to go through!]

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Someone else preordered a game and I can't cancel it

I don't even own a Playstation, I have a Sony TV and my 9 year old son has a PSVita on child account under my parent account.

In October last, I receive an email thanking me for my Purchase of Middle-Earth™: Shadow of Mordor™ Legion Edition (Full Game) £54.99 for the PlayStation, a game that is not even out, it's was not released for another 6 weeks, so a pre-order, I obviously did not make this purchase, so I logged straight into SEN, removed my payment details and update my password, then I immediately contacted SEN, by both email and telephone, I was told it would be sorted within 5 days, it took them almost 6 weeks to come back to tell me to go take a jump as they don't do refunds, case closed.

I then spent days and days trying to speak to someone who was able to communicate without the assistance of scripts, I tried social media, I even tried Sony UK but they completely disown SEN, not wanting to know. Eventually I was left with no choice but to contact my Bank and the upshot was that after investigating Visa confirmed I was protected as UK Consumer and they refunded me.

Fast forward to last week, account banned! At first I was not bothered as I only have the TV and I am content that after being treated like this I will never buy another Sony Product again, however I have now discovered that my Son has no access to the games he had downloaded via (Codes from Amazon) etc. So I telephone them (yet again) to basically be told Pay Up the £54.99 or lose the lot, talk about Blackmail and Bullying, I was calm and polite and asked the guy to transfer me to a someone who could hopefully help me, he refused and simply read from his script. I then said I was not satisfied and I wanted assistance to which he said he was then terminating the call, which he did.

I just can't fathom Sony's Business Plan, we are middle earning household, we've bought a number of Sony Products over the years, one being a new TV just a few months ago, I was genuinely going to buy another, I know it's easy to say that to add gravity to it but we were actually in Curry's last November looking at replacing our Main TV with a Sony and my wife said lets wait until this current issue with SEN is resolved at the time I was disappointed but now obviously not, what kind of business has a plan that alienates customers like this, with Bully Boy Tactics! No one wins!

Friday, 23 January 2015

I bought six games and only five work

This epic saga is also captured on a separate site at http://sonyfail.blogspot.co.uk/

I bought my son the Lego Vita 8 gig memory pack from Argos a few weeks back when it was in the sale. It has the 8 gig card and a voucher code for 6 Lego PSP games -  Indiana Jones, Star Wars, Batman 1 & 2, Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter.

Went to the redeem voucher screen on my vita and redeemed the code. All appeared to go through OK (well, it came up with a few connection errors but that’s not unusual for the PSN) but I quickly saw an error screen for Harry Potter before it disappeared. Invalid code or something.

Anyway, went to the transaction screen and 5 PSP games are queued for download. Apart from Harry Potter.

I start them downloading anyway and they all download fine.  But HP ain't on the list.  Next day I try the code again (in case it was a glitch). Nope, just shows the 5 I have already downloaded.  I search for HP on the store and it’s on there. It only has the ‘buy now’ option for £11.99.

So, with a drink in hand I decide to ring up the helpline. 55 minutes later I get through to someone. Give them credit, they were quite helpful and friendly but in a nutshell ...
“That shouldn’t happen, if the code is invalid it should be invalid for all the games, not one out of the six”
“Our system shows that you have downloaded POTC OK but it's in Russian”.
Rigghttt. I tell her over the phone that its not (I start the game while she’s on the phone to make sure).

She can't work out why HP won’t download and she’ll have to escalate it.  Could I take a picture of the screen that’s asking me to pay for it and she gives me a reference for the call to go to ‘stage 2’ or whatever. I make sure I read the reference number back twice to confirm.

She gives me an email address to send it to. I send an email to them with a picture of the screen and also a picture of the voucher code as well to cover all the bases.


They reply “Unfortunately the reference number you have quoted is incorrect”

I reply “This is the number I was given, if you can't trace it, cant you use my PSN ID? If not, can you please ring me?” I give them my number.


They reply “Thank you for your email. We are looking forward to hearing from you”

I reply “I have already replied, please see the email chain”

They reply “thanks for your email, can see you are having some problems with your account. Unfortunately, the voucher code you have provided is not for the UK Region. Therefore, you will be unable to redeem this on a UK account.”

I reply “Suggest you recheck the situation and if it's not valid, how come I managed to download 5 out of the 6 games?” I also say that if they want, they can credit my PSN id with £11.99 so I can buy it directly.


Thanks for your e-mail about your PlayStation Vita (PS Vita).

I'm sorry to hear that you've experienced an issue with you PS Vita. From the information you've provided, you may be able to rectify your consoles issue by attempting to place you console into Safe Mode. Safe mode is a start-up mode for your system that helps with solving problems. In this mode, only a few system functions are available.

In order to to start your system in safe mode simply follow the instructions in the link provided below:

[link removed]

I hope this helps, but if you have any other questions please contact PlayStation Support using the contact details below or by replying to this e-mail."

Does the Sony helpline have a safe mode?


To follow your file, we have to ask you to contact first the game publisher, explain your problem and if they can not help, please ask them to provide you a file number so we can check with them later, this is mandatory for the concerned service which takes care of this type of demand.

Before calling us, please try to
  • Re-install the game.
  • Launch the download from a computer.
  • Try safe mode and rebuild database (no data loss)

We won't be able to call you.

I've replied ripping apart all their suggestions 'Cordially'


Thanks for your e-mail about your PlayStation Vita.

I apologize because of your situation.

I can see from your e-mail that you’re still having problems with your voucher. Unfortunately I’ll need more details before escalate your case to another level.

Therefore I’d be grateful if you’d contact PlayStation Support using the contact details below.

Sorry and thank you for your understanding

Thanks for your e-mail. I’m sorry that you’ve had a problem with downloading Harry Potter for the PS Vita.

I have read through the previous E-mail and because we are unable to assist you through the E-mail and therefore require you to call us. We are an inbound contact centre and do not offer outbound calls so i apologize for the inconvenience this is causing you but if you would like this problem resolved i suggest you call us so we can assist you further.

I hope this helps, but if you have any other questions please contact PlayStation Support using the contact details below or by replying to this e-mail.

Trying to work out what good it will do to ring up the general number when they have told me they can't help and raised it what I presume to be second tier?

I won't bore everyone by copy and pasting the last 3 replies I've had from them but they are adamant that I need to ring them as 'they need to check a few details'.

I've asked them what they want to know as there is no point ringing the general number (and waiting for an hour to speak to someone) where I presume that the script readers on the front line wont be able to deal with matters that are 'at the next stage'.

Of course, I'm presuming that Sony have a tier system of escalating issues.

Let's recap

They have told me that my voucher was not compatible with my account. Yep, the one that I downloaded 5 out of the 6 games with. They have said I have to contact the game publisher. I've also been through about 5 different people in my emails, each of which either don't read the previous emails, understand the problem, or are just trolling.
Thanks for your e-mail about PlayStation.

We understand one of the games is missing from the pack and we are looking into the matter for you. One of our team will be in touch with you shortly to discuss it with you further.

Wonder if this is linked to a ranty blog I did yesterday and tweeted to various Playstation executives.