back to article Sony tells hacked gamer to pay for crooks' abuse of PlayStation account

Sony has told a victim of fraud he must either pay the outstanding charge caused by his Playstation account being hacked, or remain locked out – effectively rendering his console unusable. In February, Ben Smyth's account was hacked and £49.99 was fraudulently charged to his credit card. His details were changed by Sony and …

  1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Pint

    Yet another one in permanent ethical beta.

  2. TechnoTechno
    Devil

    And Sony wonder why people have grown to despise them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      ...because they stopped selling Vaio's???

  3. returnmyjedi

    For the hackers.

  4. lansalot

    ..

    One of the reasons I've never (and will never) give MS my credit card for my xbox live account. Pre-paid vouchers all the way. I hope they're available for Sony too?

    1. Wild Bill

      Re: ..

      truedat. Sony have proved they cannot be trusted with sensitive data on multiple occasions. I don't understand why people give them their CC details.

      Prepaid cards are available, or what I do is just use paypal to top up my psn wallet online

    2. Michael Habel

      Re: ..

      One of the reasons I've never (and will never) give MS my credit card for my xbox live account. Pre-paid vouchers all the way. I hope they're available for Sony too?

      They are... But, to say that these aren't worth anything is a massive failure on your part... Perhaps what is needed is some new Financial Regulation that any eCommerce Kiosk that handles such sensitive Data such a Credit Cards. Must therefore offer their Customers... The option of enabling Two Factor Authentication. Before any Purchase can be made.

      With a Footnote in the T&C's that any Purchase made though 2FA will be non-negotiable. This to me, it seems would cover most of these so-called Bases....

    3. Anna Logg

      Re: ..

      "One of the reasons I've never (and will never) give MS my credit card for my xbox live account. Pre-paid vouchers all the way."

      Same here ..now. Around 40 quid's worth of transactions appeared on my PayPal account from Microsoft for XBox related stuff I hadn't bought, PayPal said not our problem, so gift cards it is from now on.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PR own goal

    Cost of write down to facilitate good will: £49.00

    Cost of a free credit to placate customer: £20

    Cost of a PR disaster for being an arse over trivial amounts of cash: priceless

    For everything else there is Mastercard

    ... or not, as that is what got them in to trouble in the first place ...

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: PR own goal

      It's actually a lot worse than that.

      "we need to insist that the account holder take full responsibility for their account security"

      So, if I open an account with Sony they will insist that I inspect the security of the data and it's processing and be in a position to insist they rectify any flaws that I identify.

      Now, for most people that would probably be a fairly daunting prospect - but since it's part of what I do for a living I reckon I could make the effort to ensure my account is secure.

      @El Reg - please do provide the contact details for whomever at Sony uttered this bizarre statement and a CC address for yourselves and I will happily act as your stalking horse. It's time that these corporate arseholes learnt that T's & C's do not trump rights and laws.

      1. Dan 55 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: PR own goal

        "we can state that our own database has not been compromised"

        WTF? Has everyone suddenly forgotten the news from a few months back? That shower wouldn't know a database compromise if it fell on their head. Which brings us to...

        "we need to insist that the account holder take full responsibility for their account security"

        Because they certainly can't.

        1. Swarthy Silver badge
          Facepalm

          Re: PR own goal

          "we can state that our own database has not been compromised"
          Can they? Can they really?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: PR own goal

        @El Reg - please do provide the contact details for whomever at Sony uttered this bizarre statement and a CC address for yourselves and I will happily act as your stalking horse. It's time that these corporate arseholes learnt that T's & C's do not trump rights and laws.

        Hmm. PCI audit request via the FSA (or whatever they're called now, I can never keep up), major flag to Trading Standards of unfair contract terms (AFAIK they do this frequently, so it's no longer at Citizen's Advice level), possible fling some deceptive advertising claims at them as well (should not be hard).

        Maybe check on how they deal with user privacy either - they may be US hosting without seeking user permission.

        Oh, and place a public ad in a broadsheet asking for other people who have suffered this problem. Nothing hurts more than bad publicity.

        I certainly would go to town on them. Enjoy!

        1. dotdavid

          Re: PR own goal

          The spokesperson is full of really odd statements.

          ""To do otherwise would create an opportunity for consumers to claim that they were not responsible for a purchase on their account, receive a refund and yet retain the content," continued the spokesman"

          Woah there - you're saying Sony can't prevent the fraudsters from accessing their fraudulently-purchased digital content, but can prevent legitimate customers from accessing their legitimately-purchased digital content until an outstanding erroneous charge is paid?

          What an odd system design.

      3. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

        Re: PR own goal

        @Sir Runcible Spoon, you may find this one helpful to assist the unwilling victim, for two reasons:

        1 - it explains the whole unfair contract terms thing for normal humans, but, even better,

        2 - it states the EU directive that that implements, which means Sony doesn't just have a problem with those clauses in the UK, it has that problem in the whole of the EU.

        Ah, I love the smell of executive trouble in the morning...

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: PR own goal

        If I was a customer of sony (and I never will be) I would keep them to their word and require that they give me access to their authentication systems. There's no way that I could be FULLY responsible for the security of my account unless I could audit and fix the systems on which it resides.

        After all, it's no secret now that sony are totally incompetent when it comes to security, so right now every single customer of sony is knowingly letting their personal information and credit card data reside on a aystem controlled by an organisation that is known to be incapable of and unwilling to protect it.

      5. dolph1806

        Re: PR own goal

        HI

        Can you take them on for me too. I had £89 credit on my account and someone hacked it and used the credit on rubbish games and wallpapers. I contacted them and was told they would investigate. I received a phone call and was told they couldnt do anything to help and it was my responsibility for the security of my account, They had the serial number of the attacker but would not tell me more.

        I have sent an email complaining and also telling them of the American who had been hacked and was told $150 could be reimbursed so why cant I. I have not downloaded the games. They say its because its all digital, but they can see I havent downloaded so just take it off my account and give me it back. I could understand if it was a physical copy but digital!! It doesnt cost anything to take it off the list especially as they can see it has not been downloaded.

        Thanks for any help you can give me.

    2. MrXavia

      Re: PR own goal

      Yup,

      that has pretty much guaranteed I will not be buying a playstation now...

      Also blocking access to legally paid for material has to be breach of trading standards?

      One of the reasons I don't make any DRM laden purchases in my house..

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PR own goal

      Actually, it's been proved time and time again that nobody gives "a fetid dingo's kidneys" about anyone else's losses beyond the time it takes for a more interesting news item to come round. Heck, people still trust Sony with their credit cards for gaming, despite two recent relatively news-worth events. Hence, their position is probably quite rational in purely mercenary terms.

  6. cyke1

    A good password is a pretty good protection, this fool should look in to one.

    1. The Mole

      What evidence do you have that he had a weak password, its not like the Sony network has never been compromised. Alternatively he may have been tricked into entering it on a web form, or credentials could have been sniffed off his network (no idea if it is encrypted or not).

    2. Roo
      Coat

      "A good password is a pretty good protection, this fool should look in to one."

      A good password is only as good as your luck and how well Sony take care of it. Besides it's possible that the account could be compromised without the need to crack a password if the attacker has broken into Sony's internal networks (which has happened repeatedly).

      I'll get my coat, it's the one with a copy of "passwords are for dummies" in the pocket.

      1. DJ Smiley

        and yet only one person had fraudulant activity and they knew about it fast enough to block it....

        so they got the email from sony to tell them they'd just brought something....

        so the 'hackers' didn't change the email address prior to the 'buying spee' of one item?

        Suddenly things aren't so simple anymore.

    3. Dabooka Silver badge
      FAIL

      @cyke1

      What an utterly bollocks comment

    4. returnmyjedi

      I could have the most complicated 29 character password and it would be as secure as 'password1' if it was stored as plain text on the company's server, as Sony did in the past.

    5. DJ Smiley

      You need more upvotes.

      There was no 'hacking' here, just someone stupid with no idea how to secure their own cash.

      1. Dabooka Silver badge
        Stop

        You seemt o be guilty of the same thing

        "You need more upvotes.

        There was no 'hacking' here, just someone stupid with no idea how to secure their own cash."

        Although I can't speak for the others, my downvote was because of the MASSIVE assumptions made that aren't covered in the article. It's not with no reason Sony acknoweldge it's fradulent, the fact the purpose of the fraud remains a mystery to us on here doesn't disgregard the fact it's been acknowledged. That's a pretty big element you fail to address in his and your post.

      2. asdf Silver badge

        >There was no 'hacking' here

        Nope just a couple of downvote trolls.

  7. TheTick

    And this is exactly why the move to cloud storage, digital accounts for games/books/films/taxes/banking etc are so worrying. The power is now with governments and organisations with their own agendas, values and interests at heart - not yours. They have the off switch, just like Aaron Russo prophesied in America: Freedom to Facism.

    "Convenience will be how the world will lose the freedoms it took millenia to gain". I can't remember where I read that and it's probably mis-quoted but sums it up.

  8. Badvok
    Pirate

    His account was 'hacked' and all they did was spend £49.99? And that sounds awfully like the price of a single game, which would then be permanently linked to the account just like the rest of his online purchases. Something smells a little piscine to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I think you missed the point that Sony acknowledge that he was hacked and refuse to refund anyway.

      1. johnnybee

        To be fair, they had no pressing reason to refute....

        ....its fraudulent nature.

        If they would have refunded the sum on accepting that it was fraudulent, then they might have been less willing to accept it. As they are unwilling to refund the sum in any case, why dispute the nature of the transaction?

        Sony: "You need to pay us £50."

        Punter: "But I didn't complete, or authorise the transaction"

        Sony: "We're sure you didn't. We will, nonetheless, be needing that fifty quid."

        As bad as the PR on this is, it'd be much worse if it went like this:

        S: "You need to pay us £50."

        P: "But I didn't complete, or authorise the transaction"

        S: "Our records show you did."

        P: "Didn't!"

        S: "Did!"

        ............

        P: "Didn't!"

        S: "Oh you're right - you didn't! We will, nonetheless, be needng that fifty quid."

    2. P. Lee Silver badge

      >His account was 'hacked' and all they did was spend £49.99?

      Maybe they were hoping to stay beneath the radar.

      Regardless it just underlines that you can pay all you want, but you never really own something while someone else has DRM control over it.

      Coming to think of it, if the charges were run up on a credit card, wouldn't the card company cover him?

      1. Dabooka Silver badge

        "Coming to think of it, if the charges were run up on a credit card, wouldn't the card company cover him?"

        They have, they acknowledged it was fradulent and put the money back in his CC account. That means Sony now have to take the 'hit' hence the alleged debt against his account. If the £50 charge was against another user or something else (liek a phone) that would've been blocked, but because it was fradulent against HIS acocunt, he's effectively been blocked out.

        I'd love to know why Sony can't just removed the service or content that was purchased and remove the debt too

        1. Badvok

          The story is a little confusing in the details. It does appear that the Credit Card company have accepted his claim that he didn't authorise the transaction and hence they have refunded the charge and pulled the money back from Sony. However, at one point the case is apparently 'under investigation' by Sony whereas at another point it is claimed that Sony acknowledges that the purchase was fraudulent. Definitely a little piscine odour in either the original story or the reporting of it.

          1. Dave Stevens

            Credit car company

            It does appear that the Credit Card company have accepted his claim that he didn't authorise the transaction and hence they have refunded the charge and pulled the money back from Sony.

            That doesn't work like that. When you contest the charge the retailer must prove that you did in fact make the purchase. In an online transaction there is no way to prove anything since there is no signature or two factor authentication so the retailer usually has to pay back or lose standing with the credit card company. In that case it's understandable that the retailer would want nothing more to do with that particular customer if it comes to that. Amazon does a good job of refunding me when things go wrong, but that's part of their business cost. I'd rather not have to pay more for games/online access to cover the costs of would be fraudsters.

            At a brick and mortar store, I cannot pay with credit card info. I need the actual credit card and the PIN number that completes the 2 factor authentication. It's another bad analogy.

            1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

              Re: Credit car company

              "At a brick and mortar store, I cannot pay with credit card info."

              Not entirely true. I managed it once (at a hairdressers of all places) where I convinced the lady on the till to process a 'cardholder not present' transaction because I have all the card details stored in my memory.

              So, not a normal thing to do, but it does prove it is possible :)

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          "That means Sony now have to take the 'hit' hence the alleged debt against his account."

          Yes, but Sony should know with whom that transaction was made and hence recall the payment they made and so not be out of pocket. I suspect that Sony either didn't bother chasing the fraudulently transacted monies, or it acted too late and the money had moved on, leaving a dead account with the organisation (PayPal?) who hosted the account refusing to refund monies...

      2. bpfh Silver badge
        Headmaster

        DRM

        If there is DRM, if the charge is cancelled, surely Sony can delete the purchased whateveritwas remotely - à la Apple - or is this asking too much?

    3. CommanderGalaxian

      Don't assume that people who purloin details splurge massive amounts. Afterall, how many people actually check there credit card bills thoroughly - and how many would simply think - if they see an unusual 49.99 - "...damn, must have been something I bought, can't remember what it was now though...".

      1. conscience

        That's true about checking your account, but it wouldn't always help if you did. A friend was hacked (Andorid/Play Store) and the extra charges didn't even show up on online banking for several months (Santander). Then all at once there were a lot of entries for Google Play over this period for lots of games and DLC/in-app purchases for titles that they had never even had on their device. I had an amusing time with reporting it, as I was directed to an online form with space to report ONE item when the dodgy items filled 7 or 8 pages of printouts! It was reported, and after a week exchanging a few emails with someone at Google and handing over all the details of the unathorised charges, one week later my friend received a full refund from Google no questions asked, no problem at all.

        Sony could learn a thing or two, but they won't. They never do.

    4. JEDIDIAH
      Devil

      Jerks that love to blame the victim...

      I've had credit cards hacked before. Sometimes there is an obvious and blatant large purchase put on the card. Sometimes it's smaller and more subtle. Not everyone acts like Richard Pryor in Superman III.

      Sony simply isn't honoring it's merchant agreement. What really should be happening here is that Sony should be under threat from the relevant credit card company.

      Yet another reason to distrust the cloud.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Jerks that love to blame the victim...

        Sony simply isn't honoring it's merchant agreement. What really should be happening here is that Sony should be under threat from the relevant credit card company.

        Doesn't that normally end up with a withdrawal of the merchant facilities? I think we should be told why not..

    5. d3vy Silver badge

      Smells a little.. What?

      Swimming pool?

      I can only assume that this is an only fools and horses reference?

      1. moiety

        @d3vy: Piscine: As of, or pertaining to, fish.

    6. elmo

      it smells like a swimming pool ? what? chlorine?

  9. Ben Norris

    No refunds under any circumstances is their standard policy. They charged me £39.99 just before christmas for a renewal that I had cancelled. Despite proof that they had accepted the cancellation they still refuse to refund the charge and gave the same ultimatum to block my account if I use the bank or small claims court to reverse the charge.

    They think they can completely ignore the law and take money as they please. I won't ever purchase anything from them again.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
      Trollface

      No refunds under any circumstances is their standard policy.

      Never give in to terrorists' demands!

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        The thing it, it usually says that thing about 'no refunds' when you click on the item to purchase it. If you weren't the person who actually ordered it (and it sounds like Sony admit that is the case here) then how can the user be held accountable for that clause for that particular purchase? He effectively didn't sign the contract.

        I see that there might be a general clause in the account, but it's usually stated at each purchase explicitly (it is on the 360 at any rate)

    2. VinceH

      "Despite proof that they had accepted the cancellation they still refuse to refund the charge and gave the same ultimatum to block my account if I use the bank or small claims court to reverse the charge."

      Now that's interesting. My immediate thought on reading the article was that if Sony have accepted the transaction was fraudulent, and are now blocking his account because of the chargeback, expecting him to pay it anyway, what he should do is pay it and take the matter to the small claims court to get it back.

      However, if that would also result in a blocked account, then perhaps he should go to the small claims court to recover the cost of everything he's purchased from Sony that their blocking has rendered useless, including the cost of the console itself.

      1. Remy Redert

        This is pretty much what I did when I had a dispute with Steam. Purchased a game, found it was utterly and completely broken and unplayable, contacted their support to get my money back. They of course refused, so I contacted my bank to get my money back.

        Steam blocked the account, I threatened to sue for the value of everything on the account, plus costs and damages. A few days later the account was unblocked and the offending game and related charges were gone.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Happy

        I like the way your mind works. Fun!

    3. King Jack
      Thumb Down

      Welcome to the club. Everyone knows what type of company Sony is and yet they still buy things from them. Sony is, and will remain on my shit list for many years to come.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Despite proof that they had accepted the cancellation they still refuse to refund the charge and gave the same ultimatum to block my account if I use the bank or small claims court to reverse the charge.

      Talk to Citizens Advice - no company can override or seek to override laws that were created explicitly for your protection, so screw them. I hope Sony threatened you in writing. Seek CA's advice, and prepare to go to the Small Claims Court anyway.

      I may just get a console to start kicking in their legal windows here - I could have a lot of fun with that.

    5. Twilight

      I had thought about buying a Playstation 4. Now I'm glad I didn't. This comment reminds me that Sony has been doing this for a long time. I had a similar experience around 2004 or 2005 with EQ1 accounts being renewed/charged even though they were canceled (which are now banned because I did reverse the charge via the cc company).

      1. VinceH

        "I had thought about buying a Playstation 4. Now I'm glad I didn't."

        Quite.

        I've generally been saying that I don't like the idea of the PS4 (the need to connect it, etc) and would therefore be more likely to stick with the PS3 and the wealth of games I already have. However, that didn't mean I definitely wouldn't get a PS4 at some point.

        With this, though, Sony have made that decision for me: No way will I ever buy a PS4 now.

  10. Swedish Chef

    Can't say I'm very sympathetic.

    Unless it was somehow Sony's fault that an unauthorised third party got hold of the account, I don't see why they should be held responsible for the consequences. How can we ever expect people to stop giving out their passwords and credit card data to each and every phishing site if they never have to face the consequences of their actions?

    I still think Sony are evil. I just don't think *everything* bad happening in this world is their fault.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: Can't say I'm very sympathetic.

      Translate this scenario into a bricks and mortar purchase of a game and you will see how ridiculous it is.

      Rascal buys game with your CC details from GAME.

      CC company refund your account and block the payment to GAME.

      GAME come round your house and take all your other games until you pay them for the game that was stolen from them by the Rascal.

      Really?

      1. Shaha Alam

        Re: Can't say I'm very sympathetic.

        "GAME come round your house and take all your other games until you pay them for the game that was stolen from them by the Rascal."

        it's actually more like your games were already in their possession and you agreed for them to bar access to it if you ran up any unpaid debts with them (whether or not the debts are due to fraudulent use)

        So Sony haven't taken anything from you, you agreed for them to keep hold of it and control your access to it according to their terms and conditions which you agreed to.

        I wish cases like this would get more publicity so people understand the realities with drm, cloud storage and restrictive license conditions. most reasonable people would presume that if they bought a game, it's theirs to play as much as they like. but it's not like that.

        nothing is yours unless it's physically in your hands, and even then, it's likely subject to license restrictions.

        i don't like it any more than you do but that's how things have been setup.

        1. Marshalltown
          Thumb Down

          "So Sony haven't taken anything from you... ???"

          They have denied you access to "services" that they agree you DID pay for - since you don't have a copy of your games in your own hot little hands they are storing your specific copy for you, and for which you have agreed tom pay them. Since they DID agree to that, and both you and they agree that you DID pay for those, blocking your account is essentially theft. Neither they nor you are disputing whether you had an account, just a specific purchase. If you consider a utility comparison, which in many ways is what on-line gaming is similar to, suppose you have a gas heater and gas stove (and for whatever luddite reason you chose) you don't have electricity laid in. Your itemized bill one month includes charges for electricity you could not possibly have used.

          You contact the utility and they tell you, "well all you say is true, but you still owe us for the electricity. Until you pay us, we are turning off your gas service as well as your electricity."

          You respond, "but I don't use electricity. Just gas. Go ahead and turn the electricity off, leave the gas alone."

          They, "sorry, until you pay for the electricity, no gas."

          That is not capitalism, that is robbery.

    2. Ben Norris

      Re: Can't say I'm very sympathetic.

      The point is there are no actual costs for Sony, they can remove the item from the account and playstation as easily as they added it. Not refunding any clown making unsubstantiated claims is one thing, not refunding where they have evidence and acknowledge fraud was committed is bad faith.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        Re: Can't say I'm very sympathetic.

        I'm not entirely certain that this game was added to this guys account (i.e. purchased from it) although there are indications that this was the case, otherwise why would Sony be telling the guy to make sure his account was secure. It's all a bit fuddled.

        Considering the DRM and protections against running/copying games outside of your account I don't see what the issue is here for Sony either. This guy has >£1000 worth of games purchased from Sony, I expect they stand to lose a lot more than £50 just from this guy alone, let alone everyone else.

        Even though I swore off Sony years ago, I was starting to be swayed into a PS4 because I didn't want an XB1 when (if) I ever upgrade. Now I will be going back to the bottomless money-pit of PC gaming*.

        *Mainly because there are so many ways to improve the experience I will end up buying them. (Think OR and motion chair etc. etc.)

        1. kb
          Thumb Up

          Re: Can't say I'm very sympathetic.

          Thank you for admitting you just like to buy lots of gimmicks, because if there is one thing we PC gamers really need to educate users on its the "PC gaming is teh expensive!" is a myth is priority #1.

          I have built many a gaming PC for sub $400 USD for friends that play most games on medium to high and with PC games not being CPU bound for years its beyond trivial to grab a used tower (after all we've had quads for nearly 7 years folks) and slap in a card and be able to play most games easily.

          Cheapest I ever slapped together a gaming PC? $120 USD for a single mom in the building who asked me to come up with the cheapest thing I could for her to use that her son could also play shooters on. I grabbed a Win 7 Athlon triple core HP for $50 off of Craigslist that already had Win 7, slapped in an HD7750 I found online for $69. Now he plays TF2, DCU, and anything else he likes and they are VERY happy with performance.

          So please be sure to continue to point out its only expensive if you want to buy gimmicks, because I don't know how many times I've had to explain to folks (even help them pick out the parts or PC) because they truly believed the "a gaming PC costs thousands!" myth.

          1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

            Re: Can't say I'm very sympathetic.

            "Thank you for admitting you just like to buy lots of gimmicks"

            You are welcome :) I could probably build a half-decent gaming rig from spare parts that are kicking around, let alone the near 10 year old Core-i7 sat gathering dust in the other room, or the two NUC's that are stuffed in a drawer waiting for me to do something useful with them :)

            However, they won't quite deliver what I would want, because half the fun of a good gaming rig is overclocking the shit out of it without deafening yourself or flooding the place with de-ionised blue water :P

            Once I get settled in my new house it will defintely be OR time, and new gfx card for the old gaming rig and an ssd and I will be cooking with binary bits :D

  11. Fading
    Flame

    I had a similar issue.....

    With EA over Christmas - google EA Fifa 15 fraud (other search engines are available) - ended up being locked out of my origin account for a month until it was sorted.

    The presumption of guilt was the most annoying thing and I'm of a mind to never purchase anything from EA ever again.

    1. Michael Habel

      Re: I had a similar issue.....

      The presumption of guilt was the most annoying thing and I'm of a mind to never purchase anything from EA ever again.

      Well at least your starting to catch on....

    2. Ben Norris

      Re: I had a similar issue.....

      At least you had a resolution eventually, Sony stand in front of any evidence and refuse to do what is right.

  12. MJI Silver badge

    He needs to escalate it

    Try contacting this person, he will get it sorted.

    https://twitter.com/yosp

    Need to get past the minions and onto the big cheeses.

    If Sony CE agree he has been hacked they should allow him access to his games, someone should be ashamed of themselves.

    This is now negative publicity, 1 lost PS4 sale is more than the loss of this stolen game price.

    Definately Contact YOSP.

    1. btrower

      Re: He needs to escalate it

      Tweeted this:

      @yosp I will never buy Sony again, no matter what you do, but you might save other clients:http://tiny.cc/sh8gwx

      Doubt this will have any impact at all, but at least they can't say they never heard from anyone.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: He needs to escalate it

      This is now negative publicity, 1 lost PS4 sale is more than the loss of this stolen game price.

      If this is all true and Sony now bars him from accessing everything else it'll be a lot more than just the price of the game and some customers - he could go to Small Claims and claim all his costs back.

      Now *that* would be costly, also because one successful claim like that would open the floodgates, and on top of that the bad publicity. That could comfortably put a six figure dent in Sony if they're not careful, and it seems that would be richly deserved.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: He needs to escalate it (@AC)

        "That could comfortably put a six figure dent in Sony if they're not careful, and it seems that would be richly deserved."

        While I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment of your post, I must disagree with the last sentence. When a big company acts the way Sony has done here, it's because they know that 99.99% of claimants will bend over and 'pay the man' just to recover the rest of their content -which in this case is being held hostage by Sony- and escape the hassles of a legal claim or a complaint to Trading standards.

        Of course the only way for us customers to prevent this is to make the issue as public as possible and exercise our legal rights to their full extent, including also asking for damages for the time the user can't access his content.

        It would be even better if the existence of abusive clauses in EULAs -like the ones discussed here- caused the company to be automatically fined by Trading Standards or similar bodies. Yeah, I'll keep on dreaming. :-(

        1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: He needs to escalate it (@AC)

          "When a big company acts the way Sony has done here, it's because they know that 99.99% of claimants will bend over and 'pay the man' just to recover the rest of their content -which in this case is being held hostage by Sony- and escape the hassles of a legal claim or a complaint to Trading standards."

          Yep,I think you hit the nail squarely on the head there. The vast majority of people faced with this situation would just meekly accept the charge. Those few who might try to challenge it will almost certainly end up with an "out of court settlement" because Sony don't want any legal precedence set. And the vast majority of the buying public will be blissfully unaware of any of these shenanigans and keep on buying from Sony. Yes, they may lose many thousands in sales from the "aware" potential buyers, but if they paid out without question on all fraud cases, they might be losing a lot more.

          Either they are total dickheads or they have done a cost analyses and decided this is their most profitable course of action.

  13. MJI Silver badge

    BD Based games

    I still buy them rather than download.

    They are mine and cannot be taken off me!

    1. Michael Habel

      Re: BD Based games

      I still buy them rather than download.

      They are mine and cannot be taken off me!

      Lol not until they post-harmlessly yank the Game (In Question...), from the PSN Service... (I'm looking at GT5, and some shovelware called Fairytail Fighters... Which despite having been Shovelware... Was actually a quite bit of fun Shovelware.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BD Based games

        GT5 still works for me. Perhaps you mean the online element of GT5? Fair enough in that case but for me that wasn't a core part of what I liked about the game.

        Still, you make a good point in general.

  14. John H Woods

    I would choose ...

    ... remaining locked out, and file a UK small claim to get a refund of all other money ever spent on the account. I bet SONY wouldn't even send a lawyer, and you would win automatically.

  15. Irongut

    Why do people buy from Sony? They have proved time and again that they can not be trusted.

    1. silent_count

      Exactly! Sony thinks that installing a rootkit on their customers' computers is acceptable practice and there are still people out there who think giving this company money is a good idea.

      Mr Smyth decided to play with a snake and I have no sympathy about him getting bitten.

  16. Michael Habel

    Remind me again... This isn't the same Story that broke about a Month or so ago now... Where S0NY eventually caved in due to the backlash of Consumer ill-will form the likes of Facebook & Tumbler or?!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      but since refused to treat other customers rightly and kept their money or locked their account.

  17. Breen Whitman

    Sony execs should be tried by a court of law and sentenced to the death penalty.

    They are vile scum. And to think we allow our children to be exposed to these monsters.

    1. James Hughes 1

      Are you Jeremy Clarkson? Is this your new job?

      1. TonyJ Silver badge

        Haha...it does sound very "Should be shot in front of their families" Clarkson-esque! Have an upvote.

  18. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Other reasons to get your account banned

    Your Personal Information:

    Offender revealed personal contact information about themselves in a public area, such as email addresses, phone numbers, or physical addresses.

    So you're in a game with some friends he wants to call you later and he tells you that's he's lost your mobile number - so you tell him. BANNED.

    Wow, these guys are STRICT!

    The section this guy was banned under was this:

    Reversal of Charges:

    A console or account may be banned due to having a credit card charge reversed or "charge back" resulting in debt. A charge back can include credit card theft, identity theft, or non-approved use.

    Which basically means that you are held responsible for things that are not under your control. This is known as a FAIL.

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Other reasons to get your account banned

      Be interesting to see to what extent these T&Cs stand up in a UK court, they do seem to try and impose unfair and and unreasonable conditions... Remember these are consumer contracts not B2B contracts.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Other reasons to get your account banned

      A console or account may be banned due to having a credit card charge reversed or "charge back" resulting in debt. A charge back can include credit card theft, identity theft, or non-approved use.

      Which basically means that you are held responsible for things that are not under your control. This is known as a FAIL.

      No, that is known as unfair contract terms, and AFAIK it is not possible for a company to insert clauses that bypass specific consumer protection laws because that would negate the whole point of having them in the first place.

      This definitely needs to hit either a court or start formal complaints, both via Citizens Advice and directly to Trading Standards - the volume of users having signed up to this rubbish is large enough for TS to take an interest. I would suspect these terms would not only be declared void, it is also quite possible that Sony could be ordered to pay back charges even of those who ended up accepting them because they thought those terms were valid.

      1. Andrew Taylor 1

        Re: Other reasons to get your account banned

        Personally I would get a lawyer as from my experience UK Trading Standards would be more interested in protecting Sony than the victim

    3. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Other reasons to get your account banned

      No, that's known as an 'abusive contract' clause, which has no power whatsoever in any European country.

      Dear Sony, you will lose. Trading Standards will rip you a new one.

  19. Spleen

    IANAL time, but my understanding is that in the event of identity fraud like this where the purchase was made via a credit card, under the Consumer Credit Act the customer must be paid back and the supplier and the credit card company are jointly liable for the money. Is Sony's attempt to push this liability back onto the purchaser not an illegal attempt to deprive them of their rights under UK law?

    Technically under UK law Sony would only be liable for a purchase over £100 and under £30,000, and this purchase was under that amount. However from the article it sounds like this is a blanket policy. (In other words, if the fraudster had stolen £200, Sony would still be trying to illegally push their liability onto the customer.)

    Small print in the terms and conditions does not override UK law.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Seems to be a massive issue with companies that operate in this space (steam, XBox online & PSN) they seem to believe that they are above National and Transnational law (UK & EU) it's bizarre, and unfortunately the market segments they sell into seem to be willing to suck it up.

      If the same had happened in a local store the store would be shit out of luck.

  20. Alistair Silver badge
    Coat

    The whole "online content only" issue

    Is likely the biggest reason I have not gone for a PS4.

    The whole family enjoys the console games and utilities - but in no way shape or form do we put *anything* relating to personal (credit card/paypal/debit card) payment data into the damned thing. I'll grab a bunch of PS giftcards every once in a while - and we use those ONLY. I went on a complete and total rant when the SO (quite some time ago) used a household credit card to buy things on EA. The card was cancelled that month and replaced. Any time we can't keep the code local and run it locally, we are at the mercy of the other end of the pipe, hell even my 9 year old gets that now (MS owning minecraft). Almost had to wean the SO off of Sims there for a while. Even on WoW we go timecards only. And Blizz is now setting up to do RL to Game funds transfers (see WOW token) - THAT will be a brilliant failure sometime real soon now.

    (and on WOW everyone has 2FA keys now -- Scarily - even *my* account was hacked once -- and I run it in wine....)

  21. Spotfist

    *Rant*

    Honestly, owning a console now days is like living in some sort of bizarre alternative reality where everyday rules just don't exist.

    I buy a Ford car, I'm a complete car nut so I Kev it up to the max. Does Ford call the lawyers and threaten to sue me for bazillions of monies? No.

    I buy a Ps3, decide I want to play around with the insides, perhaps run Linux on it, oh

    boy am I in trouble! Now I know that Sony bangs on about, "oh but the console is still ours, developers blah, blah blah". Ford have a good thing going too you know, after market parts etc. You don't see them fisting Joe public because they want to drive in reverse every now and then.

    If someone stole my car and used it in a bank robbery would the bank come knocking on my door? Perhaps for having terrible taste in cars yes but that's it. Plus my insurance company will pay me for damages to my car.

    Are Sony so incompetent that they couldn't possible just remove the purchase from the guy? I mean seriously WTF? Aaargh someone pinch me I need to wake up from this cr*p!

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: *Rant*

      "I buy a Ford car, I'm a complete car nut so I Kev it up to the max. Does Ford call the lawyers and threaten to sue me for bazillions of monies? No."

      But if you pull a Reggie Molehusband and your insurance company finds all those mods you'll be severely out-of-pocket.

  22. Valerion

    Profiting from crime

    If Sony have acknowledged this was a fraudulent transaction and are still insisting to be paid on it, they are profiting from a crime, which sounds fairly illegal to me.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Hacked seems just a general term

      for mistakes, poor judgement or bizarre software anomalies that can indeed result in something being billed to the incorrect account.

      What I find hard to take here are two things:-

      1) Sony acknowledged the transaction was made without authorisation/hacked etc

      2) Sony can effectively withdraw all the previously and ligitimately purchased items worth a great deal of money as these are "licenced" although charged on the basis you get more or less permanent access to them (although I expect th T&C says they be break/be withdrawn)

      1. crayon

        Re: Hacked seems just a general term

        Well it probably started back when newspapers report stories which involved computers by describing them as "a computer error caused blah blah blah ...", when 101 times out of 100 it was the idiot using the computer that "caused blah blah blah ...".

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Welcome to SAAS

    Software as a shafting.

  24. sjiveson

    XBOX Live

    After reading all this I thought I'd better remove the payment option from my Xbox live account. Seems you can't do it by logging into your account on the Xbox or online. Instead, I have to contact support!

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      Re: XBOX Live

      Even then they keep the card details.

      Do what sensible people do, buy vouchers online and use them to buy your games in xbl.

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: XBOX Live

      "After reading all this I thought I'd better remove the payment option from my Xbox live account."

      Also remember Apple? iStore/iTunes remembered your CC details without really asking permission and then used then without question for in-game purchasing etc.?

  25. JS001

    "We do insist (an obligation outlined in our Terms of Service) that the SEN account holder is responsible for all activity and transactions made on their account - due to the nature of digital content, in that it is made available immediately and cannot be returned, we need to insist that the account holder take full responsibility for their account security. To do otherwise would create an opportunity for consumers to claim that they were not responsible for a purchase on their account, receive a refund and yet retain the content."

    But in this case (and others that I've heard of) Sony has accepted the purchase was not made by the account holder. And why can't and/or won't Sony simply revoke access to that content and stop chasing the account holder for the money?

    "If the reported unauthorised transactions were made on a console other than the one owned by the account holder, the person responsible must have had details of the account sign-in ID and password."

    Because Sony has never been hacked, right? It can't possibly be Sony's fault. But even if it isn't Sony's fault, what on earth is their major malfunction in not revoking access to the fraudulently purchased content and not chasing the account holder for the money?

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

      I'm starting to wonder if their DRM is an all or nothing affair.

      I.e. they can't disable a single game, only the entire account.

  26. JonP

    DRM eh?

    ...due to the nature of digital content, in that it is made available immediately and cannot be returned... Eh? isn't the point of all that fancy DRM that it's licensed only for use by the account holder and only if he has an online connection to validate it? Can they not just unlicense/disable his copy of the game and let him play the stuff he's licensed for? I dislike DRM as much as the next person who finds it a minor inconvenience when the internet connection is down, but in this case surely it could be made to work in the customer's favour? Ah, no wait, silly me...

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What about that massive hack on Sony PSN not so many months ago?

    How can Sony irrevocably prove that enough details weren't acquired to make these purchases (by which I mean he didn't pass anything onto a third party himself, directly or indirectly)?

    There's an assumption from various posters that this guy is the only victim but how do we know that many others didn't just give into the blackmail?

    I'm heartily sick of companies thinking they can roll over a persons rights.

    I have loathed Sony for many years (long before the rootkit and how they treated Geohot) and they do nothing to ever make me feel differently.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hey El Reg

    Seeing as you are going into consumer defense and reviewing motors, fancy taking up my cause over a brand new vehicle I bought last November that's spent 27% of that time back being 'repaired' unsuccessfully and is back a third time for just one of those many faults (and I've just sent the UK MD a notice of rejection which they're looking into)

    I have months of emails telling them I wanted it replacing and being ignored etc.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hey El Reg

      Citizens Advice, goods not of merchantable quality etc etc.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Considering the financial hole they are in.....

    I suppose it is possible that they DONT have £50 left to pay him back with.

  30. Spaceman Spiff

    This is why

    This is why I will not EVER purchase anything from Sony, ever again! In the past, I have had a lot of Sony gear - technologically, they were great devices. Unfortunately, Sony has lost sight that "the customer is always right", starting with the CD root-kit fiasco. So, screw them I say! Vote with your wallet! Don't give them a penny!

  31. Mad Chaz

    How to contradict yourself

    " due to the nature of digital content, in that it is made available immediately and cannot be returned"

    But we can cut off access to any and all content on your account and everything linked to it. So what exactly prevents them from, say, removing that ONE game from his account and removing the charge? What did this really cost them? After all, no physical media was send to him, just some bandwidth was used. Removing the game doesn't even cost bandwidth.

    So basically, Sony is saying they are unable to make a button allowing the call center drone to make a simple SQL statement in the database to remove the game from your account? Now I'm no game developer, I suck at making pretty things. But I have a lot of programming experience and this sounds like a trivial problem that SHOULD be solvable in an afternoon by any half decent programmer.

    No wonder they store passwords in plain text and can't figure out how to keep everyone and his brother from hacking them ...

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Count down to Lizard-noymous hack

    In 5.4.3.2.1

  33. tevilone

    another affected user

    This happened to me last year too. Some little turd faudulently used my details to purchase a ps4 game (regardless the fact I have and probably will never own a PS4).

    I reported the fraud, got the whole case investigated, then once they acknowledged that it couldnt have been me, they played the all transactions are the responsibility of the account holder rubbish.

    They then said an ah well at least when you get your ps4 youll have infamous second son on it for free. Err Not free if ive been fleeced 50 quid for the luxury.

    I ended up going to my bank and getting them to claim my money back. 2 weeks later found my account was banned and they wont unban until i pay off the balance. Ah well. Seeing as ive removed my details from the account it can stay bloody banned. Never trust a corporation like Sony with your details. Their flawless security system isnt that flawless.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sony is protecting themselves from user fraud

    It's clear that whomever made the charge had to know some specific details that the owner of the credit card would only know and also their Sony acct. data. That means the burden is on the credit card holder not Sony. Anyone could provide their personal information to a friend who could log-in and then have the credit card holder claim their credit card info. was stolen. There may be more to the story than what is being reported but from what is being reported it looks to me that Sony is being reasonable and protecting themselves from consumer fraud. It's important to read and understand the TOS before you sign up for online purchases. If the person's data was stolen by a hacker this is one more reason why hackers should be shot...

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      Re: Sony is protecting themselves from user fraud

      "..Sony is protecting themselves from user fraud"

      Erm Sony acknolwedge the transaction was fraudulent. They are holding him to ransom because the bank/credit card issuer stopped the money being sent to Sony.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "Sony takes no responsibility for fraudulent use of my credit card details and.."

    ...."security rests solely with me."... "Until the money is repaid, all of his purchased content is unusable – including his games, as they require online access. He is currently unable to use more than £1,000-worth of purchased software and hardware."

    Hell, here at Sony, we don't even take responsibility for being outright hacked just a few short months ago'.... What a nice cold corporate response. But I doubt the policy is any different at Microsoft! Still, its enough to make me want to get the box re-shipped once a crack is available. Fuck online play! Buying a console is a liability now, with online security being so flaky still...

  36. The Vociferous Time Waster

    Lawsuit

    Lawyers must be queueing up to take this one. Probably also publicising it to get enough others for a class action.

    1. Richard 12 Silver badge

      Re: Lawsuit

      Class action isn't really a thing in Europe.

      That said, it's a wonderful own-goal by Sony.

      The only possible legal results from this are that they cancel the alleged debt, or that they cancel the alleged debt and pay a fine.

      The PR result is already clear.

  37. g7rpo

    yet another reason to

    Boycott Sony

  38. ChrisInAStrangeLand

    Small claims court.

    Take Sony to small claims for all the content they stole. If they don't show you'll get a default judgement.

  39. awood-something_or_another

    Who gives a fuck?!?!

    Perhaps this person should be more concerned about his retirement and stop wasting his fucking life doing things that don't make a fuck of a difference when it comes to LIVING.

    You gamers are fucking idiots. You neglect your babies, wives, life.....exercising your thumbs and wonder why you have no concept of what real life is all about. Waaaaaaaa for your fucking BAN! How about you drop a hundred pounds from your soda and junk food obesity, ya lazy fucks.

    1. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

      Re: Who gives a fuck?!?!

      A. Troll

      B. Hacked account

      C. Dickwad

      D. Facetious

      E. Pwned really hard in WOW.

      Take your pick.

      1. unwarranted triumphalism

        Re: Who gives a fuck?!?!

        Not bad, you got a few bites.

        Try being a bit more subtle though, that way you will get a more interesting argument.

    2. Maty

      Re: Who gives a fuck?!?!

      FOTW or Troll?

      I'll go with E

    3. Alistair Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Who gives a fuck?!?!

      ... Oh -- look --- its the 'gator from this article......

      http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/01/20/cateating_crocs_threaten_future_survival_of_the_net/

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who gives a fuck?!?!

      Ah, a beginning troll. How sweet.

      Not quite enough venom, spelling mistakes and capitalisation though, must do better but it's clearly your first. You're still only mildly amusing. Keep at it, it'll come.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Who gives a fuck?!?!

      Right, so a better use of time would be to spend hours reading geeky websites posting comments on topics you know nothing about (and are probably not clever enough to know anything about) casting aspersions about other peoples lifestyles, that you can't even articulate without swearing. Yeah. Way to go. What a ridiculous small minded, uneducated comment.

  40. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Meh

    Sony != (security OR ethics)

    see title

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    good old sony .

    wouldn't sony be making money due to crime ?

    if they know its a fraud ?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Proceeds_of_Crime_Act_2002

    just a idea ?

  42. Dave Stevens

    Ben Smyth's details

    "If the reported unauthorised transactions were made on a console other than the one owned by the account holder, the person responsible must have had details of the account sign-in ID and password," he added.

    That's not admitting the transaction was fraudulent.

    On PSN, you have an id that's visible to other players, but you don't use that to log in. You use an email address.

    It's pretty unlikely someone would get Ben Smyth's email address and PSN password and then use that to log in on a PS(3? 4? Vita?), purchase one game, and download it just so he can play it, but only while he's logged in as Ben Smyth. What do you get out of that? A free rental just to piss somebody up?

    It's not uncommon for PSN users to trade ids and passwords so each one can play games that were bought by the others. Users who do that break the licensing agreement and take obvious risks, although they are usually smart enough to remove the credit card info from their account. The odds favors this outcome.

    1. kb

      Re: Ben Smyth's details

      Wow...you've REALLY not dealt with online trolls or gaming douchebags before, have you?

      First of all given Sony's record on security, with even their movie division getting pwned to the tune of a billion bux? Expecting their PSN security to keep out hackers is a BIG assumption and I would argue given the track record? Unfounded.

      Second you've obviously never pwned one of these narcissist crybabies before because BS like this? Right up their alley. I ended up having to get the cops involved with mine as when he couldn't figure out how to hack my PC gaming account he ended up DDoSing my ISP, all because I dropped him like a bad habit in an online game, so going "FU you can pay for my game now beiootch?"...yeah really wouldn't surprise me.

      At the end of the day it should be trivial to see whether or not this guy is a friend of the person or just an asshat and considering their track record on security? Frankly they should be assuming its a hack, after all their security does stink ATM.

  43. Dave Stevens

    Car analogies

    Gaming software is not at all like transportation hardware.

    The article is so incomplete that it doesn't even specify which game was bought and downloaded.

    Let's assume it's something for EA, Activision or Ubi. As soon as the software is purchased, Sony credits one of the above company for the amount of the purchase minus a commission. So, realistically, one of the above company should be the one refunding the money because they are the one with the money. Let's go asks those companies what they think. It should be worth a laugh.

    Also the value of the games on the account are probably inflated. Games lose value quickly and anything on disc is unaffected. Downloaded games have little value since they are not transferable. Go bankrupt, you'll find out it's worth nothing. Most people format their hard drive before they sell their consoles.

  44. bomyne

    Security is our responsibility, not Sony's.

    1. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

      No, and I think Sony is on very dangerous ground indeed

      Security is our responsibility, not Sony's.

      Not quite - it's actually a shared responsibility insofar that the only aspect the client can control is the quality of their password. However, a strong password is of no use whatsoever if Sony have done sod all to protect the network itself. They can insert contract clauses all they like, but if we have clear evidence of a hack and it is NOT the user, liability falls to Sony, in addition to the fact that that clause is actually invalid under UK law as it's unfair.

      Having just looked it up it appears even worse for Sony: it is an EU directive so their silly "we keep your dosh" clauses are not just invalid in the UK, they are invalid in the whole of Europe!

      In other words, it appears we're heading straight into a Europe versus Sony here, and it's at this point I personally regret not being a Sony customer that got hacked myself because I would have *so* much fun with this one. I'd make them sorry for ever having tried run that scam on me.

  45. Frank N. Stein

    This situation is why I don't own any Sony products any more, not the least of which is a Playstation. After the multiple Sony hacks, including the Playstation Network, I wouldn't buy one of their consoles. I'm not convinced that XBox Live is any better. Free online PC Multi-player works just fine for me. Never had any problems with it. Sony can keep their consoles, since I know their policies and want nothing to do with them.

  46. john devoy

    Is this the same Sony that recently suffered a major hack and ran about bleating that hackers were evil and it wasn't Sonys fault?

  47. OlsBean

    A Sony spokesman told The Register: "We do insist (an obligation outlined in our Terms of Service) that the SEN account holder is responsible for all activity and transactions made on their account – due to the nature of digital content, in that it is made available immediately and cannot be returned. We need to insist that the account holder take full responsibility for their account security."

    Rubbish, I had money stolen for a PS4 Game that was not released for 6 weeks, I don't even own a PlayStation, Sony stole this money from me and when my Bank recovered it back from them and they could not hurt me directly they limited access to my 9 year old sons Child Account (PSvita) in an attempt to Blackmail me into paying up. Sony are an absolutely disgusting company with no ethics whatsoever, deal with them at your own risk, for me, my family and friends I have shared my experience with there will be no more Sony Products Purchased.

  48. kb
    Happy

    Yet another reason to buy a PC

    You aren't forced to buy from a single company, can't have online play held hostage, don't need your CC to use it (you can even buy Steam bux with cash from several retailers if you CHOOSE to use that service) and several places sell games with absolutely no DRM at all.

    Considering they've been selling AMD quad APU systems at Tigerdirect that can even play BF4 above 30fps for around $220 USD along with the fact that MSFT announced Win 10 is gonna be free for the first year to pretty much anybody? I'd say its a no brainer.

    I know I'm VERY glad I got my family into PC gaming, by shopping smart and getting systems with plenty of room to upgrade I doubt I have even $1300 USD into the FOUR PC towers we have while we all have plenty of power (quad for the missus, hexa me and the oldest, octo for the youngest because he had to be Spinal Tap and go to 11) and the amount of money I saved on games is just nuts.

    Being able to have a family game even with the oldest the next town over with the new wife and the youngest in his new apt down the street without having to shell out a pile of cash just for "permission" to do so? Priceless.

  49. This post has been deleted by its author

  50. Unicornpiss Silver badge
    FAIL

    My Sony account was hacked and all I got was this lousy T-shirt!

    Just another bad decision in a long string of them by Sony management at all levels. Really, how hard would it be to comp this guy? In light of the last decade of bad decisions by Sony, building a little goodwill would go a long way. Sony's hardware has always been impeccable. It's their software and implementation of corporate decisions that will end up doing them in.

  51. Donald Becker

    "Security is our responsibility, not Sony's."

    I'm guessing you mean this facetiously.

    Clearly Sony has been notably irresponsible when it comes to their own security. Expecting users to take financial responsibly for something that could well have been yet another security breach is just what forgiving users should be doing, right?

  52. jimparslow

    My Account has also been banned

    Like many many many other users my account has been banned due to me reclaiming stolen funds from Sony after fraudulent activity (confirmed by Sony).

    I am going to fight this until I have nothing left to fight with. I only use my PS4 rarely, due to spending time with my 2 children so when in the rare occasions where I do use it I was saddened to realised I was then banned.

    When I asked them about the subscription I am still paying for for playstation plus, they merely said this is not usable on a banned account. so they are now stealing from me twice.

    Whilst I am not really bothered by the content that I may lose, it is the principle of this. I am truly and utterly disgusted by the stance of Sony, who merely sit behind a faceless support system where they simply throw terms of service at you.

    If anyone has any advice, or has had their ban overruled I would love to hear how you managed it? I feel like I am trying to ice skate up hill.

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    There is something very wrong with Sony holding previous legitimate purchases hostage to force payment of another, small, fraudulent one. That doesn't really sound like it's legal.

    Also, why doesn't Sony simply disable the fraudulently purchased item? I'm pretty sure all Sony's software requires on-line activation nowadays.

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