Sony Auto-Renews My Membership Against My Will, Won't Budge

All Forrest wants to do is sign up for a year’s worth of Sony’s paid PlayStation Plus plan, which gives customers bonus features above and beyond the free service. He says customer service reps are forcing him to stick with a less cost-effective 3-month plan, which he accidentally bought due to an unintended auto-renewal.

He argued his case to the rep and threatened to ask his credit card company for a chargeback, and then things got ugly.

He writes:

Today I had a unsatisfactory encounter with a manager of one of Sony’s customer service lines. I called up to request a refund for what I considered to be an unauthorized transaction with the automatic renewal of my PlayStation Plus account. As a very early adopter of the program, I had not selected automatic renewals as I was planning on leaving the country to travel at the time of signing up. Additionally, I received no notification of pending renewal, only a notification that the funds had been taken out of my account. After 10 minutes of searching the PSN website, I managed to find the setting for automatic renewals, the first time I had ever seen it, and disabled it.

This was the first day of renewal, and I had not used the service for weeks prior to the charge. I was considering signing up for a 1 year subscription prior to this incident, it costs close to $20 after tax for 3 months, and $50 for 15 months due to a special promotion. Clearly the longer subscription is a better deal, and it was my intention to switch after my subscription ran out.

I thought it would be a simple request to refund an erroneous charge, unfortunately after being escalated to a manager, he would not budge on the no refunds policy. When I said that I would issue a chargeback for this unauthorized charge, he threatened me with banning my account as well as my PlayStation 3 from the PlayStation Network claiming it was policy to send any charge disputes to collections and marking the account as delinquent. This would essentially make my PlayStation unable to use any of the online services. He suggested that I purchase a new system in order to restore my online capabilities.

I have called your tipline with possibly more details, written to the BBB, and did an Executive Email Carpet Bomb with the two email addresses provided in one of your many fine articles. I want this story to be published regardless of the outcome so your readers know that once PSN has your money, there is no way to get it back.

If you’ve suffered a similar problem with Sony, let us know how you handled it.