Remember when your PSN got hacked and Sony didn’t care? I do…

About 6 months ago Brad Bourque over on Digital Trends posted about his abysmal experience having his PSN account compromised and the interaction that would be a pitfall in anyone’s customer service journey.

Brad had been hacked, the offender decided it was a great idea to add 3 $25 credit amounts and purchase NBA 2K16 on his account.  The story goes on from there.  You might be wondering, why on earth did I start talking about someone from Digital Trends anyways?  Well, it turns out he and I have something in common, getting hacked and having to fight with Sony.  Last night, a little after 10pm I received a message on my PS4 while I was watching a show, “Closing Application Cannot Verify License”, I didn’t think anything of it until I couldn’t log back in.  I figured maybe I just forgot my password, so I went to the “forgot password” area and was promptly told that my email was not valid.  My first response was confusion, befuddlement if you will, I then decided to check my e-mail and to my surprise, I had 4 fantastic (taste the sarcasm) emails from Sony Entertainment, 1 thanking me for my purchase of Fifa ’17 Ultimate edition for $133.49 CAD, 2 reminding me that there had been funds added to my PSN wallet ($133.49 & $25), 1 saying that I have successfully changed my e-mail address which I definitely did not do.

Considering the time of night (the emails showed up at 10:11pm), I did what any sane human would do and immediately logged into my PayPal account to start a payment dispute since Sony’s text support wasn’t even available at that time.  I also had a chat with my local bank and they speedily closed my debit credit card and asked  me to come into the branch the next day.  Early this morning I got onto the chat support with Sony, they were amazing to deal with, hastily supplying every drop of help they could muster to ensure my account had been updated, reverted back to my original email, password changed and a case number created for the refund process.  Now, since I needed these funds, I wasn’t completely satisfied with the “you’ll get a refund to your account” spiel, because honestly, if I’m being hacked the resolution should benefit me not the company who my account is attached to.  This is an attack on me, my money, my livelihood, please for the love of god do not turn this into a way to keep the money in your pocket, that isn’t how you keep customers.  Unfortunately though, for me and for Brad who I mentioned above, this is what has happened.

Because you disputed the charges with paypal
And Ths is the reason why the account got banned.
And the refund request that you made through us is not valid anymore.
The only way to unban the account is paying the debt amount with PSN cards (only with PSN cards). Once you have obtained the appropriate amount of PSN cards, please contact us starting a new chat to provide us with the codes and we will start a process to unban your account.

 

I was able to put a stop payment on my bank account which is what was recommended by PayPal to ensure that the fraudulent purchase didn’t leave my account for an extend period of time.  This along with with the dispute I had with PayPal opened apparently voided the case I had with Sony though.  Sony, having known about the escalations with PayPal turned this $158.49 fiasco into my fault.  Saying that my account is on a temporary ban until such time as I pay back the debt owed, once the debt is paid I can then request a refund and the $158.49 will go through.  So, If I understand this correctly, you want me, to pay for getting hacked, intruded upon and abused by someone with my own money, so I can get my own money back to spend on your services?  I don’t know if this is quite the policy you want to be stating to your customers.  In the end, if no money leaves my account, and you remove my access to said game along with the $25 of credit, does that not bring my account back to a $0 balance?  Is it really that hard to figure out?  Or is this just a way to prey on some people’s misfortunes.  To be fair to the people I have dealt with today, most of them were extremely helpful, including the last agent, she was straight forward, she explained the company policies and even gave me the little tid-bit about me being able to get that money back after paying it to unban myself, something the other agents didn’t have the decency to tell me.  The first agent I dealt with was also stellar, he led me to a place where I could activate password on purchase and even 2 factor authentication, something that back in April didn’t exist.  It’s important to note that these options haven’t been widely publicized to customers who would find it incredibly useful as a safeguard from this kind of fraud and terrible customer experiences.  Yes, who would have thought that password protected purchases and 2 factor authentication would protect you from a bad customer experience?

If you pay and you ask for the refund with us after that the refund will be granted.

So after a day of back and forth with my bank, PayPal and Sony, I feel like there are no winners…. except for Sony, obviously.  Those guys are coming out on top either way because in the end, I’ll be back to play video games on a console I love and have loved since the original PlayStation came out.  I’ll be paying $158.49 to have my account unbanned eventually and I’ll have that same amount as credit in my wallet, when all I wanted was to see $0.00 in there.  Eventually, that money will be spent because I’ll have no other way to get at it besides video games, and what did it cost me?  A soul wrenching experience, a terrible drive through the neighborhood known as “Sony Entertainment customer experience” where I drove in with a beautiful Mercedes Benz and left with a frame and a steering wheel, reduced to a go kart.  If I never have to dispute a charge on my account again, it’ll be too soon.  Thanks Sony.

 

PlayStation Announces Lithium: Inmate 39

This morning PlayStation announced a new creeptastic game, Lithium: Inmate 39. Brought to you by independent developers CanuArts, we have been given a promising first look into the world of Inmate 39. Previously CanuArts has done work in advertising and educational areas, this will be their first strictly console focused game, and will be available on PS Vita, PS4, and PC.

 

You will have the opportunity to be submerged in to the mind of Inmate 39, who is a psychiatric patient presented as a humanoid lemur, which is meant to represent how he sees himself. You will be taking him on the hunt for his origins, facing 30 different enemies along the way, each with its own connection to Inmate 39 and the storyline.

 

Developers found inspiration from the real drawings of psychiatric patients, along with classic horror games, some of which will have clearly recognizable elements in gameplay. You will face many perils, traps, and even puzzles to challenge you along the way. You will be faced with fixed camera angles, meant to trigger a feeling of claustrophobia, and force you to face all of Inmate 39’s deepest fears. Set completely in a gray scale color scheme, the brilliant blood red accents are sure to trigger feelings of discomfort.

Lithium: Inmate 39 is announced as “coming soon” and said to have additional DLC’s that will be available in the future. You can check out the trailer below!

For more on CanuArts you can visit their website canuarts.com.

Playstation Network – Xbox Live Free Games – March Edition

Each month Sony and Microsoft grace us with free titles for download. Here is the line up for both PSN and XBL for the month of March.

Playstation Network

Broforce – PS4
Galak-Z – – PS4
Super Stardust HD – PS3
Flame Over – PS Vita
Reality Fighters – PS Vita
The Last Guy – PS3

 

Xbox Live

02/16 – 03/15
Styx: Masters of Shadows – Xbox One

03/01-03/31
Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishment – Xbox One

03/16-04/15
Lords of the Fallen – Xbox One

03/01-03/15
Supreme Commander 2 – Xbox 360

03/16-03/31
Borderlands – Xbox 360

 

Sony has a lineup this month that feels like a swift kick to the face. Its a particularly amazing list of games. The clear winners this month for Sony are:

  • Broforce
  • Galak-Z
  • Super Stardust HD

The latter of the two of course being PS3 only.


PSN_Logo Playstation Network

 

Broforce is an amazingly amusing title that offers fast paced pixel graphic gun-play.

Galak-Z takes us back to retro space shooters like Lifeforce and Gradius.

Finally, Super Stardust HD is an amazing over the top shooter in the same vein as Galak-Z. You may also recognize the game play style present in Resogun which is also made by Housemarque


xboxlive Xbox Live

 

 

Styx: Master of Shadows is a classic stealth based action game. It is also a followup prequel to Of Orcs and Men.

Sherlock Holmes: Crimes & Punishments is a mystery action game and the newest entry in the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series.

Lords of the Fallen is an action role-playing game. The game follows the souls series of games style of play.

Supreme Commander 2 offers up RTS action.

Borderlands is the game in the series that started it all. Loads of updates and great gameplay. Did we mention cell shaded graphics?!

The real winners this month are:

Broforce
Galak-Z
Super Stardust HD
Borderlands

These are by far some of the best games Sony has offered. Sadly the lineup Microsoft has given us this month is more than lackluster. Hopefully April will yield us better options.

PS Plus – Free Games December 2015

PS Plus – Free Games December 2015

  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, PS3

An interesting cyborg FPS that some thought of as a prank when teased about its release. A lot of what you can expect from a Far Cry game such as, guns, vehicles, bad guys and explosions are all present.

  • Freedom Wars, PS Vita

A very strange Japanese PS Vita game that reminds me of Final Fantasy.. It is a 3rd-person action game with character upgrading, weapon crafting and micro managing of your team to lead the assault! Because it turns out you have a 1,000,000 year sentence.. and you have to lower that some how. Community service for life.

  • Gauntlet: Slayer Edition, PS4
Gauntlet Slayer Edition
Gauntlet Slayer Edition

A hack and slash action game very similar to Diablo.. but did you know it came first? With loot, basic puzzle solving, mashing buttons, some stick flicking and a dash of co-op.. You come up with the basic formula for a hack and slash game.

 

 

 

  • King’s Quest — Chapter 1: A Knight to Remember, PS4
Kings Quest Chapter 1
Kings Quest Chapter 1

A 3rd person exploration and puzzle solving game very similar to a Telltale game experience. An art style similar as well, hand painted and very detailed. Unlike Telltale, this game is more focused on puzzle solving and with each puzzle solved more of the game is unlocked. Whether it is new things in old areas, or new areas unlocked entirely.

 

 

 

  • Rocketbirds: Hardboiled Chicken, PS Vita
Rocket Birds Hardboiled Chicken
Rocket Birds Hardboiled Chicken

An intense side scrolling platform shooter, with guns, blood, action, adventure… oh and you’re a bird.

 

 

 

  • SSX, PS3
SSX
SSX

SSX is one of my personal favourite snowboarding games. The tracks you go down, the animations, the tricks, they all feel smooth. The landscapes feel real and some tracks come with their own hazards. From avalanches, extreme cold, lack of oxygen or just intense falls. You have to traverse the mountains with perseverance.