I’ve written about the sorry state of customer service in the world today and PlayStation’s Customer Service Department is no different. In fact, Sony has assembled a highly talented team of individuals when it comes to bungling customer relations to the point of losing a loyal customer forever.
A loyal customer for 16 years that’s spent an unfathomable amount of money since the original PlayStation was released in 1995. A loyal customer that sold his Xbox 360 to buy a PS3 the week it came out.
This is how I described myself, before yesterday.
Yesterday was the day my PlayStation account was banned forever.
I’ve always wondered how one can possibly get their account banned. The PlayStation network is full of anti-Semitic, racist, sexist usernames, and none of these users seem to have any problems accessing the PSN so they can verbally abuse every person they ever meet online. Sure, there’s a system to report these types of individuals, but how often does Sony ever take action against them?
Being one of the lucky few who’s been banned, I’ve decided to compile a step-by-step guide of a sure-fire way to get banned from the PlayStation Network in 30 days or less.
1. Store your credit card information on your PSN account.
In hind-sight, this was a stupid thing to do, especially after witnessing Sony’s highly talented team of network security specialists in action. However, this step is necessary for getting your account banned.
2. Wait for your PSN account to get hacked.
There’s not really much to do here except wait. But rest assured, Sony’s network engineers have all but guaranteed that it will happen sooner or later.
3. Allow the hacker to purchase $220 worth of content in 6 minutes.
The $220 will be charged to your credit card. I actually feel kind of lucky that $220 was all that was taken from me. I also feel lucky the hacker didn’t hijack my account by changing my password. Either way, the specific dollar amount doesn’t matter so much, but a larger amount will increase your chances of success.
The 30 days or less starts here.
4. Call PlayStation and report unauthorized use of your PSN account.
This step is fairly self-explanatory. You will get a lecture about fraud, and they will tell you to dispute the transaction with the issuer of your credit card. After being on hold for what felt like ages and finally getting to explain the situation, I was actually told “Sorry, I can’t help you.”
5. Dispute the transactions with the issuer of your credit card.
This was actually a surprisingly painless process. I spent 5 minutes on the phone with a representative from my bank, who asked me a series of questions about the disputed charges. About a week later, I had to sign an affidavit confirming my intent to dispute the charges, and I also received my new credit card.
6. Wait a few weeks for your credit card company to refuse payment.
The transactions should be removed from your account immediately, but you’ll find out in a few weeks if your dispute was successful or not. Make sure you didn’t fraudulently dispute legitimate charges, as you could end up in legal trouble.
7. Turn on your PS3, and be notified of your ban.
8. Create a new PSN account, or buy an Xbox 360.
You will still be able to access your downloaded games as long as you don’t delete your banned account from the console. The only thing that will be lost is Trophies, so be prepared for your online ego to take a hit.