PSN User Hacked and Robbed But Sony Refuses to Refund Him His Money, Bans His Account

A PSN user has revealed that after being hacked and having $500 worth of games charged to his account by the hacker, Sony have refused to refund him the money he’s entitled to despite having previously detailed that they would do so, before banning his PSN account outright after he followed their advice on how to handle the matter.

In a post on Reddit, user serfbufo (who we’ll refer to as SB from here on out) detailed an incredibly frustrating experience he has suffered through with PSN customer service, which has not only left him hundreds of dollars out of pocket but has also denied him access to his PSN account and the games he has previously downloaded. 

SB revealed how back in August, he discovered that $499.91 had been charges to his debit card. After investigating, he learned that the charges had been made through his PSN account, with a hacker having accessed his PSN account and used his card to purchase nearly $500 worth of PS3 games (SB states that he only owns a PS Vita). SB then opted to contact Sony rather than issuing a chargeback, a process which sees a bank filing fraudulent charges against a merchant, because Sony’s company policy means that they ban any user who attempts to do so.

Also See: Star Wars Battlefront’s Voice Acting is Hilariously Awful

After an email from Sony stating that his refund of $499.91 had been approved, though SB states that the company is “quick not to admit any fault,” referring to the refund as a “one-time gesture of goodwill” (because it was SB’s fault that someone remotely gained access to his PSN account’s password?) He then notices that two of the four charges that had been to his account had been refunded, with him having received $229.97. However, after another week of waiting, he still hadn’t received the $269.94 that was missing, so he called Sony’s customer support line.

In his first phone call to them, SB is put into contact with an employee who states that the $500 will be refunded… to the wallet of his PlayStation account. Obviously SB is dissatisfied with this, though the Sony employee later ensures SB that his money will be refunded, and that he should contact his bank in order to find out how long this process will take. SB also brings up the issue of a sub-account that was made on his profile by the hacker, asking the employee if that account can be deleted – the employee informs him that the removal will not be possible, but that the account can be banned, ensuring that the hacker will no longer have access to it. The employee then confirmed that the charges to his card should be undone, with him therefore receiving the full $499.91 in the process, but that SB should call them back if his bank had not provided him with an update.

PSVita

However, after waiting for two weeks, SB had not received the refund. After being forwarded to the billing department by Sony’s customer services following “a few frustrating conversations,” SB is put into contact with an employee named Warren, who revealed to him that the two charges making up the $269.94 that had been stolen for him had been made via the sub-account. Warren stated that this account had been banned, which is why the refund could not be processed – so SB requesting that the hacker’s account that had been on his profile should be banned, was now preventing him from receiving his refund. 

SB stated that the ban of the account was issued on September 1st, over a week after the fraudulent charges to the account were made, which should therefore mean that the ban should not interfere with his refund. This is when Warren informs him that the only way to resolve the issue – because temporarily lifting this ban in order to process the refunds was, for some reason, impossible – would be to issue a chargeback, which as previously stated, leads to Sony banning accounts as per their policy.

But with this being the only option given to him by Sony, and with Warren assuring him that it would not lead to his main account being banned as the chargeback was being issued in relation to his sub-account, SB filed the chargeback with his bank. However, on October 30th, Sony rejected his claim and – guess what? – they’d banned his main account.

SB revealed that a representative for his band had theorized that “the chargeback had been treated as “unauthorized charges” instead of “fraud.” “I wasn’t sure what the difference was,” he continued, “but apparently unauthorized charges are when, say, a company overcharges for a service, or when you cancel a monthly subscription but they keep billing you. Fraud is when someone pretends to be you and uses that info to charge your card. This seems like clear-cut fraud to me.”

SB is now waiting to hear from Sony in the hope of reaching a resolution, though regardless of whether or not this will be the case, they will have still allowed one of their customers to remain out of pocket for over three months after being hacked, as a result of an issue that they insisted would be resolved a week after he had filed the initial complaint. This is yet another example of Sony’s incredibly shoddy customer service when it comes to PSN, and its willingness to lay the blame on its customers rather than do its job by protecting their rights and their security. Hopefully next time such an incident occurs, the user won’t feel like they have to take to Reddit in order to force Sony into giving them adequate customer support, as is routinely becoming the case.

[Via Reddit]