We all do it, litter an absurd amount of websites and apps with all of our personal details without a care in the world and without any of the ramifications that comes with it… Well, something bad happened, something real bad.
Setting the Scene
If we are friends in real life or on Facebook you’ve got a good idea of what’s coming, if we’re not, I’ll set the scene. It was a fresh morning toward the end of 2016, December 7th to be precise. It was approximately 9:30am and I turned my PS4 on to endure some morning viewing of Netflix (probably Big Bang Theory or some bollocks). When my account wouldn’t sign into the PSN automatically I assumed there was a firmware update so I checked to see if what was going on. There was no update so I put in my password and nothing, shrugged my shoulders and after a few attempts I had tried all my alterations of my password and this is when I realise something is wrong, I keep my cool at first, I attempt to sign in on my phone which also didn’t work and finally I knew something was definitely wrong when I tried my laptop and still… Nothing. It wasn’t until I checked my PayPal account when I knew the worst happened, I got hacked. £50 of my hard earned cash was missing from my bank account from PlayStation, to which I can confirm was NOT me because I hadn’t been on my PlayStation for a few days so I was straight on the phone to Sony.
The Long Road Without PSN
Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s not being hacked that pissed me off. It was the atrocious customer service from Sony, a company which I have been a loyal customer of since the original PlayStation days. When I first rang up Sony the person on the phone was really helpful, he sorted out the compromise and I was fully refunded within a few days which was good because it was about 48 hours till payday and I was fucking skint, he informed me that my account would be suspended for a few days (take note of this), so that Sony would be able to investigate the compromise and have a better idea of what happened to me, which is understandable.
At first, I didn’t really think much of the downtime. My girlfriend has a PSN account I could use and I have a Steam account, a Wii U and an Xbox One so I was able to access online gaming and my PSN account will be back up within a “few days,” fast forward a week or so and my PSN account is still not live so I ring up and after a short conversation the guy on the end of the phone assures me that it will be today or tomorrow, which I kind of knew was bullshit but I did the whole “All right, cool” thing on the phone. I let them have a little bit of rope for now with it being nearly Christmas and everything.
I’ll skip over a bit and low and behold on 23rd December 2016, I finally receive an email telling me that I shouldn’t give out my password and the dangers of brute force attacks and all that, basically it was Sony covering their back and the email also informed me that there was a debt of £14.99 debt on my account and I’ll need to use a voucher (FROM A SHOP!!), I thought “Oh, whatever, I’ll just pay it back when my account is back online,” I was still curious as to when my account was to be online so I dropped them a quick reply which the email said I could and they’ll get back to me, which they didn’t…
Another week passes and I’m really starting to lose my patience now, we’re gaining slowly on a month downtime with my account and there is no reactivation in sight. I was back on the phone and was told that in order to get my account back online, I would have to purchase a voucher which value must be at least £14.99 and I would be able to access my account again, after suggesting that they just put it back on and take the money that way, I reluctantly agreed. The next day I rang back with the voucher and I thought that would be that and within a few hours I’d be back online, this was not the case. A further 8 or 9 days go by and I finally get an email telling me that they have credited my account with the voucher and wiped away the debt, I jump straight on try and sign in and it flashes up I need to change my password for “security measures” which is fair enough. With that out of the way I’m about to sign in for what feels like decades offline and still it would not let me sign in, fuck knows why. I keep trying this for the next couple of days and I lose my patience and give them a bell and it turns out the absolute numpty who’s job it was to simply activate my account couldn’t tell their head from their arse and here’s the funny thing, after the bloke on the phone explaining to me what had happened he said it would have to go back through so me assuming it was gonna take another 6 weeks was surprised when it was back up within 24 hours.
If it can be done this quickly why was I waiting for 44 days?
Final Summation – Sony’s Awful Customer Service
I quite liked Sony as a company before this, I always thought they were quite fair ignoring a few things like the launch of the PS3 and all that. However, this was enough to convince me otherwise, after countless phone calls to them and don’t get me wrong their staff were very helpful but after pretty much every phone call ending in “It’ll be back on today or tomorrow” or “soon” when I asked when my account would be back online not to mention ignoring email which was frustrating, they just weren’t getting the job done.
I am very grateful of them refunding my account with the money lost on the compromise but the fact I had to pay for a subscription for a service I was not receiving and then wait longer than a week after payment was sent to access the service again was unacceptable. On my most recent phone call to Sony, I asked if I would get some sort of an extension on my PlayStation + subscription to make up for the downtime, to which he said he couldn’t authorise anything himself and would have to get a supervisor to call me back. You wouldn’t be surprised to know that did not happen.
It’s infuriating that they are playing down me getting an extension for this and they have the audacity to call it compensation which by the way it is not, I’m not asking for compensation I’m asking for what I paid for. How can you justify charging somebody for a service and not giving them
A “supervisor” is set to call me back on Tuesday 31st January.
PS. I had other games to play, I had an XBOX One, Wii U, PS Vita, 3DS and my girlfriend was a little dear and let me use her PSN account now and then so it wasn’t like I was short of games… I just wanted MY PSN account back. Not to mention I missed the January sales.