It’s been a while since my initial blog post regarding the trials and tribulations with Sony, and their supposed ‘customer service’ that I had to endeavour through, and in that time I’ve progressed even further with my novel, Temporary, and have flown around the world in order to support First Date in competition, featuring on a number of panels where I discussed, and learned, a lot about film, myself, and the fact the Americans have no fucking clue who Postman Pat is. It’s not even like he was localised as Mailman Matt, he just straight up doesn’t exist for them. Thomas the Tank Engine however? They love that Engine.
Now that some time has passed however, and my initial raging emotions have simmered down to calculated, unimpressed, hatred, I felt it was time to continue the epic tale of Steve vs Sony, divulging with you the further stress that consists of contacting their support.
God speed to those who have needed to contact them in the interim, and to the brave men and women who need to do so in the future. God speed.
Discovering my PSN account was banned was a shitty experience, a first world one, granted, but an issue nonetheless; as my experience continued its downward spiral, it became prevalent that what truly mattered here was the principle of fairness. Something that was being methodically denied to me.
Powering on my PS3, I attempted to log into the WWE Network in order to get my old school wrestling fix of the day (currently working my way through all the action from WWF: In Your House), only to have it bounce me, refusing to accept any details.
“Weird,” I thought to myself, whilst logging out and attempting to log into my PSN Account in order to determine what the issue could potentially be. My heart sank as I came face to face with an image, not too dissimilar to this one:
Desperately, I restarted the console. “This has to be some kind of mistake,” I convinced myself, as the familiar strings of the Playstation tone sang out of my TV’s speakers. Trying to log into Netflix as a Hail Mary, the same message shot up to greet me.
My account was banned.
Calling PSN Support again, I got through to a girl (Louise) who was capable enough in her job to finally make a single reference number (which she provided to me, after prompting) that I could now quote if (oh, how naive) further help was ever required. Oh, boy. Louise was able to inform me that the reason my account was banned was due to a Charge Back. Essentially: by going out of my way to protect my money, in a way that Sony simply refused to do, I was now being reprimanded for my self preservation actions.
The options left for me? Pay for the purchases that I never made in order to unlock my PS account once more; no sympathy for the fact that I was hacked in the first place, with some guy/girl, somewhere in the world, using my account and money to download things I didn’t want, nor would ever want. As an extreme metaphor: It was like being hit in the face before being forced to smile and ask, “Thank you, sir, may I have another?”
I didn’t know what was worse, the fact that I was being punished for trying to protect my money, or the fact I was essentially left no real choice but to pay so somebody could enjoy those games and movie on my dime. Ultimately they are both sides of the same coin from the uncaring, corporate, bank of $ony.
Resolving myself to the Suck that was my current situation, I decided to count myself lucky: it could have been a lot worse than the £42 it ended up being. Having read horror stories of it totalling hundreds in the past for other poor souls, £42 of the Queen’s hard earned pounds seemed minimal in comparison, and so, sighing, I called back and got through to Callum. The first guy I spoke with. The guy who I spoke to twice, and who failed to make notes during the entire first interaction. I played it cool, I still wanted a friend during this situation after all, at least for the time being.
Explaining the situation to him, and having had the conversation with Louise, I was primed and ready with card in hand, eager to get this issue resolved, and finally ready to put it all behind me as I could once again sink into my couch and enjoy WWE action and Netflixy goodness.
Apparently you can’t pay using a credit or debit card; turns out any payment that Sony needs to take, in regards to PSN issues, needs to come via a PSN Gift Card.
Why, exactly, wasn’t I informed of this before we ended our call? Louise?
My girlfriend took the bullet at this point. Having been the reason that I found myself in this unfortunate situation, she was prepared to take ownership of it. I insisted she didn’t, an accident is an accident after all, but she was insistent. And so armed with £40 worth of PSN credit, she called up in order to get the issue sorted.
The phone rang, and the same hold music blared out tinnily in its mocking tones as we waited for some assistance, if you could truly call it that. The phone clicked as someone answered on the other end. A voice carried through the receiver as, not for the first time, I felt myself preparing for the ensuing obstacles.
It was Louise.
/End Part Two