I want to play the Scott Pilgrim downloadable game today. It’s available for only $10 as a digital download from the Playstation store. Since I’ve previously used my credit card to buy PS3 downloadable games, I expected no trouble. But I got some.
I fired up my PS3, logged onto the store, selected my purchase, and agreed to add money to my "wallet". BUT no go. The screen tells me my credit card can’t be processed.
This isn’t so crazy; the card I used is…probably old; I just need to update it. So I go upstairs to my computer, log on to the Playstation store on the web, and update the credit card. Sure enough, The Sony store had (on file) a card with an expiration date that was a few months ago. I’d already gotten the newer version of the credit card, with the same number but a newer date, so I entered all of its info (including the 3-digit number on the back), checked the billing address, and went to purchase points.
" The credit card information is not valid. Please check your entries carefully. "
Grrr! I checked and tried again. Same thing. So I whipped out my Discover card, and typed in all of its info. Still no joy. So mebbe someone on the phone can help me, I (overly) optimistically think. So I find the number (SCEA Consumer Services’ Accounts and Billing line at 1-877-971-7669) and call.
I have to wade through the typical amount of voicemail options, but in about 60 seconds, I hear an actual human voice, a nice woman with a heavy accent. She immediately asks for my phone number. Then she asks for my e-mail addy. Then she asks what sony device I’m calling about. I tell her it’s a billing call, and she still insists. So I tell her it’s a PS3, and she makes me flip over my machine and tell her the full serial number.
Now finally she asks why I called. I say I can’t get my Scott Pilgrim game ’cause the Sony Store won’t accept my credit cards. I ask her to look at the last transaction attempts and help me understand what went wrong. She sez she cannot do that, but she CAN help me with my problem.
Then she proceeds to read from the same website I’m looking at, breathlessly rushing through "things to try", like verifying that the 3-digit security code and the billing address are right. She also tells me to check with my bank, to make sure nothing’s wrong on their end. Then, without stopping, she sez that (other than these suggestions) she cannot help me in any way. So I hung up.
Sony, you wasted my time. You got me to call your "help line", you collected a bunch of data about me (stuff that you SHOULD have already), then admitted you were wasting my time. I’m a grown man who wants to buy your products! Why are you stopping me?
What it looks like (to me) is that Sony set up a billing system that was designed to deal with kids and criminals. And I’ve seen it before (with PayPal, who still thinks I’m a gangster for some reason). Grrr.
But the bottom line is still that Sony is losing money by treating me this way. Good work, Sony.