Last night my son went onto the Sony PlayStation Network (PSN) Store to buy Metal Gear Solid for his PS3. He put it in the basket and then saw a listing for the MGS HD Collection so he bought that as well. He paid for both games and left them downloading overnight.
This morning he went to play the games and discovered, to his horror, that the MGS HD Collection was actually for PS Vita. He went back into the store and discovered that the title scrolls across the display box so while he saw the game title, he didn’t stay on the screen long enough to spot the (PS Vita) at the end. He was annoyed with himself for buying a game he couldn’t possibly play (as he doesn’t own a Vita, and doesn’t know anyone who does) and upset that he’d spent £23 of his pocket money on it.
I reasoned that he must be able to get a refund. After all, if we’d bought the game in a shop and got home to discover it was the wrong format we could get an exchange or refund. Hell, if I buy a Kindle book by accident Amazon will refund it. So I tracked down a number to call PSN’s support and spoke to a man called Trevor. I explained the situation and asked if there was any way he could have a refund. The answer was a flat NO. Apparently when you download a game you buy a licence to play it and there’s no way they will make a refund even if you haven’t been able to open the file. The guy also said it should have been clear in several places that this was a Vita game (not clear enough for Dan to notice, obviously, as he wouldn’t have bought it if it was!) and that there is a little message on the buy page saying refunds are not available (again, as an excited teenager buying a game, he obviously missed this).
It seems crazy that the PSN Store would even let him download a game to his machine in the wrong format. Apparently you can download Vita games to your PS3 and then transfer them to your Vita via a USB cable – but as far as we know, you need to have a Vita registered to your PSN account – which we don’t – and Sony would be able to tell that, and would be able to see that there’s no way he can do anything with the file he accidentally bought.
Now we are clearly in the wrong here – Dan bought the game in the wrong format, there’s no quibble about that. But you would have thought that Sony would have some strategy for occasions where genuine mistakes are made, in order to provide exemplary customer service. Dan has been a PS3 user for five years and we’ve had earlier Playstations before then. We have probably spent a couple of thousand pounds on games, devices and accessories over the years, easily. Dan is a loyal Playstation customer …. yet on the one occasion that he made a mistake, Sony are unwilling to help him out. Which has left him feeling very dissatisfied with this company that he has had utmost loyalty for.
As a small business owner I do everything in my power to keep my customers happy and I would always be willing to help in the case of a genuine mistake being made. Just a shame Sony aren’t willing to do the same.