The PSN digital refund policy will be the focus of a BBC Watchdog investigation that will be aired tonight.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s digital refund policy will be highlighted on tonight’s episode of BBC Watchdog.
The report will air within this evening’s show, which starts at 8pm on BBC One.
The BBC Watchdog enquiry was sparked by one particular customer, who complained about the PSN refund policies. His case is that Sony refused to refund a purchase made after his account has been stolen – something which Sony acknowledged prior to the purchase.
SCEE has always been very clear on its refund policies in that there won’t be any unless the content is broken or defective in some way.
It’s not just Sony that follows this refund rule either. You’ll find that this is the standard approach among downloadable platforms such as Valve, Apple, Microsoft and Nintendo.
But, it’s normal that companies tend to bend the rules when customers’ accounts are known to be compromised.
See also: PS4 vs PS3
This was the case with UK PS4 owner John Lappin, who was able to provide proof to Sony that his account had been stolen.
Lappin saw a £39.99 purchase charged to his PSN account made from a PS3 – a console that he doesn’t own.
He contacted Sony for a refund and the company investigated and replied, even acknowledging that the account had indeed been hacked and the purchase made by another person.
“Our investigation concluded that the serial number of the console on which these transactions were made does not match the serial number provided to us on your original call,” said Sony in an email to Lappin as noted by rllmuk forum.
“Regrettably, as stated in the PlayStation Network Terms of Service, we are unable to offer a refund on purchases made on PlayStation Store unless the content is found to be defective.”
Despite this, Sony was clear that it realised the transaction had been made fraudulently and stepped in to make sure this didn’t happen again.
“We have taken the appropriate action against the console which mad ethe purchase but unfortunately we cannot share the details of this console with you for security purposes”.
Lappin attempted to take the matter further by calling Sony’s customer support, which you can listen to here, https://soundcloud.com/john-lappin/sony-fraud-call where Lappin asks whether the refund would be possible because Sony had taken anti-fraud action against the purchase.
However, the refund was refused as Lappin wasn’t able to prove he didn’t buy the content from a PS3 console himself.
Once BBC Watchdog started investigating, Sony refunded Lappin’s money two weeks later.
Don’t forget, you can always watch the BBC Watchdog episode via BBC iPlayer if you miss it tonight.