In March, Sony had a promotion for PSN that offered a $10 store credit for every $50 spent. I never really paid much attention to the PlayStation Store before, but I figured this deal would be a nice time to get my feet wet.
To take advantage of this promotion, I ordered over $100 in games plus a year’s subscription to PlayStation Plus ($50). In April, I received $20 in credits. When I inquired where the other $10 was, I eventually was informed that the PS+ subscription did not count because I ordered it with an Amazon PSN subscription code, rather than a regular Amazon PSN code like the rest of my purchases (it’s not like I’m going to give Sony my credit card after their hacking debacle). Apparently, the payment method promoted with 5 different links on http://us.playstation.com/psn/playstation-plus is no good for the purposes of this deal.
I have tried to discuss the problem with Sony but just keep being introduced to a brick wall. Attempts to contact customer service have met with no ability or desire to offer resolution, as both the front line CSRs and their supervisors were trained to say no without consideration. Tweeting the community manager didn’t even get me that far, as I was merely ignored when I did that. Same story about posting on the PlayStation forums, where a 48 page thread of complaints about this promo remains unmonitored by Sony. I even tried sending an e-mail to the CEO using an address that was posted on a well known consumer website, but no doubt Jack Tretton changed his e-mail address after the Internet went crazy contacting him. Or perhaps the culture of not caring comes from the top.
It seems that 15 years of buying systems and games from Sony is not worth 10 bucks, nor is any future business I may provide them. They don’t care if I never subscribe to PSN again. They don’t care if I stop making game purchases, digital or otherwise. They don’t even care if I buy an Xbox One instead of a PS4, which would mark my first purchase of an Xbox.
The irony of this whole situation is that the entire point of the promotion was to do exactly what I did: make purchases that I otherwise would not have. The ultimate outcome, however, does not seem to be what was intended. Having tried to deal with Sony for weeks, it just leaves a bad taste in my mouth that only serves to decrease my desire to do business with them. By this point, I don’t even really care about the $10 any more, as the time I wasted trying to receive it is worth a lot more than that. Now it comes down to the principle of wanting to buy from a company that makes an effort to care about and respond to its consumers.
And a company that doesn’t promote retailers that sell their items, then refuse to accept purchases from those retailers when a special deal is on the line.
Update: As a few people wrote in to point out to us, the prono was for customers making purchases out of a Sony wallet, which Shane could have filled up using prepaid cards from Amazon. “He didn’t purchase Playstation Plus with his SEN wallet (he purchased it direct from a retailer) so he wasn’t eligible for the $10,” points out reader Jesse. Indeed, that is what a blog post on Sony’s site describes.