I haven’t played my Playstation 4 much since finishing the excellent Tomb Raider Definitive Edition. So I was excited to blow off the dust and purchase The Last Of Us Remastered, which I had started for a few hours on my Playstation 3 and is supposedly much better on the Playstation 4. The lure of 60 frames per second is enough to get my money again. I saw that Playstation Plus members get a 10% discount in addition to in-game benefits — perfect.
To my surprise, the same credit card I used to purchase my Playstation Plus subscription a few months ago failed to work. “The credit card information is not valid. Please check your entries carefully.” Huh? I double checked just in case I was suffering from memory loss. Nope, perfectly valid. Tried my other credit card, same message.
Googling revealed this problem existed since 2007, all the way to July 2014! Holy smokes, how has Sony not fixed this yet? Over the next hour plus, I tried all the tips suggested:
- Making sure the billing address on PSN is exactly like it is on my credit card statement
- Adding wallet funds from my Playstation 3
- Adding wallet funds from the web
- Deleting the billing address entry and adding again
- Putting my unit number on the second line
- Inputting information in caps
- Making the billing and residential addresses the same
- Checking my credit card statement to see if there was a $1 or $0 transaction from Sony (there wasn’t any)
The only tip I have yet to try is waiting 24 hours, because apparently Sony might lock transactions from your account if it detects an error for 24 hours. Without telling you, of course. I will try that and the customer support line, although forums suggest Sony will just say your Internet connection is faulty.
Madness how something so crucial can be broken for so long.
If you’re suffering this and using the US Playstation Store, there is one neat workaround. Purchase a digital card at Amazon and you’ll be able to redeem the code right away. Not much use for those outside the US however.
The root of these problems seems to be Sony’s extreme conservatism with its credit card verification policies. But why? I’ve never had these kinds of problems with Microsoft’s Xbox or even from e-commerce in general, and everyone seems to be doing fine.
This kind of fuck up just makes paying customers angry and frustrated.
Update (August 1, 2014): Spoke to a Sony customer support person over the phone and he tells me that I have to wait 7 days instead of 24 hours, because “there are lots of missed charges and we are trying to protect your credit card.” What? The missed charges were from Sony, which he acknowledged, and they were missed because the Sony Store mysteriously thought the credit card information is wrong! Terrible. I’ll just get the game at a real store.