Don’t buy PSN Season Passes. The system breaks every week and Customer Support doesn’t give a damn.

Dear Sony management in charge of the North American customer support team:

I am writing this post to let everyone who follows me know not to waste their money nor time purchasing Season Passes from the PSN (Playstation Network). I have purchased two Season Passes and both of them bug up every week. Neither tech support nor customer support are interested in solving this problem.

What happens is that when they add the new episode to the Store, for some inexplicable reason the Season Pass vanishes from my account and I cannot watch the latest episode.

The first time this happened, it only applied to The Walking Dead Season 5. I contacted customer support and explained the issue, and the service rep refunded my wallet so I could just buy the episodes individually. That was not what I wanted, but I accepted the solution.

This time it happened to American Horror Story: Freakshow. That was today. I contacted customer service thinking they would either fix the Season Pass bug or refund my wallet again. Instead the service rep told me I needed to wait 34 hours for the PSN Store to be updated with new products.

I tend to only watch shows when I eat a meal. It’s my free time. I don’t like having to take time away from my schedule to alert a company that their employees aren’t doing their jobs, and something like the database not acknowledging customers have purchased a product should rarely happen. Yet it’s happened twice now, under the same circumstances. This is inexcusable, as is customer support refusing to do anything about it, nor even take the time to understand what the problem actually is.

Now that I have learned your content delivery system is unstable (honestly, how hard is it for a database to remember my prior purchase history? That’s a rhetorical question, by the way. I know it’s not hard. ) and your customer service doesn’t care about assisting me, this experience will have a strong impact on my future purchase decisions related to digital product downloads. Furthermore I will no longer purchase TV shows through your service. I will use iTunes or Amazon instead, and I will encourage others to do the same.

Here is my log of the conversation. It is also posted to reddit.  And my Facebook Fan Page. And my YouTube channel of over 13,000 subscribers.

Romeo: Hello, My name is Romeo how may I assist you today?

You: ok

You: my Season pass for American Horror Story: Freakshow isn’t working

You: it’s asking me to buy the latest episode

You: this happened to me previously for the Walking Dead too

Romeo: I am sorry for the inconvenience, this episode was release wed last week should be available after the store update. 5PM PST

You: uh

You: no

You: the episode was released seven hours ago

You: Episode 6: bullseye

Romeo: Even though that we need to wait for store weekly update.

You: the problem is I can’t watch it because my account doesn’t acknowledge I bought a Season pass

You: Okay that isn’t part of what I bought. I didn’t buy a pass that requires a weekly “update” to be able to watch

You: I pre-bought all the episodes so I could watch them when they came out

You: I get that you don’t personally manage the database, but this is a database error issue

Romeo: It does not require a weekly update every week the store is updated to add more content and promotions, unfortunately this is causing that you are not able to get the episode yet.

You: I’m not getting the episode because your database isn’t acknowledging I have a season pass

You: that doesn’t have anything to do with the episode being available for watching

You: if I paid 1.99 I could buy the episode right now

You: the issue is I already paid for it with the Season pass

You: yet the PSN account isn’t acknowledging that

Romeo: Well let me explain again, you purchase the pass to have episodes, system knows it unfortunately today is the store update and more things are added to the store including your episode. This store matched with releases and that is why some consumers are not able to get it yet.

Romeo: You need to wait.

Romeo: If after the store update 5PM PST you have any other issue please contact us.

You: I don’t want to wait. That isn’t why I bought the pass. I bought it so I could watch the episodes as soon as they come out

You: why did I pre-pay for the episodes if I have to wait a whole nother day to be able to watch them?

Romeo: As I mentioned you before you need to wait the release of the episode matches with the store update unfortunately like most of the game releases today. You need to wait for it to be available.

You: To be clear: Episode 6 is ALREADY available to watch

You: but it is asking me to BUY it

You: it also offers me to buy the Season pass all over again

You: so the issue is NOT what you are claiming

You: the system does not acknowledge I have a Season pass

You: if you don’t know how to fix it, please refund my wallet for the Season pass so I can just buy it. It’s clear your Season pass system breaks every week

You: as mentioned before this happened to me with The Walking Dead the other week too

Romeo: I understand, to be clear with this you need to wait.

Romeo: 5PM PST is the end of the update would be non chaged for you that have the pass.

You: No. I’m not going to wait. I will never buy another product through the PSN ever again

Romeo: Anything else ?

You: Your not delivering what was purchased

Romeo: i believe it is understandable the game is there and there is a store update so it can be available for not being purchase for you since you have the pass, that is the information we have in a few words you need to wait.

Romeo: Thank you for contacting PlayStation Chat Support

You: it’s not a game. It’s a TV show episode. Which I already bought

You: and PSN won’t allow me to watch it

Romeo: But it is part of the store, I belive you got it on the store right ?

You: because suddenly it stopped acknowledging I have a Season Pass

Romeo: The pass was redeemed on the store right.

You: I ALREADY PAID $19.99 FOR THE SEASON PASS. NO

Romeo: Yes it is appearing that you need to purchase it, this will change after store update I BELIEVE IT IS CLEAR THAT.

You: I HAVE NOT BEEN REDEEMED FOR THE SEASON PASS FOR AMERICAN HORROR STORY: FREAKSHOW

Romeo: Sorry for the caps.

You: I’m not sorry. You are not listening to me.

You: You are trying to speed along and not solve my problem

Romeo: The information was given I do apologize for the inconvenience, your episode is appearing like you need to pay it but you have the pass, it means you should have it free, this must change after store update.

You: I want to access the product that I purchased right now. Not tomorrow night. Right now. Because the episode is available for watching but I cannot watch it unless I pay for it twice

You: The store shouldn’t need a “Store update” every Week

You: just to watch a show I already paid for

Romeo: This conversation is going round in circles, the information was given it is understandable and clear. Unfortunately, it appears I am not able to assist you with your request today. I will be disconnecting this chat session. Thanks for contacting PlayStation.

 

Update 11/18/204 1:46 PM CST: After writing this article I contacted customer support again.

Carlos: Hello, My name is Carlos how may I assist you today?

You: Okay. I want you to listen closely. I realize this issue is not your fault.

You: However you are a customer service agent of Sony. As such I call upon you to right this wrong.

You: I am the CEO and founder of a YouTube multichannel network of over 1,600 gaming channels. I am the individual in charge of all purchase decisions for our network. We also operate gaming news blogs. I just experienced a very incredibly bad case of poor customer service.

You: I have posted the entire log to my personal blog, as well as crossposting it to my FB Page, Twitter and reddit

You: https://careymartell.com/2014/11/season-pass-psn-playstation-network-broken/

You: I am not going to sit in customer support queue again to get a simple matter resolved. I ask you to either refund my wallet for the Season Pass that clearly is broken or to restore my access

You: if this matter is not resolved to my satisfaction it will greatly taint the otherwise good experience and relations I have had with Sony.

Carlos: Are you still there?

You: Yep
Carlos: May I have the information please?

You: What information?

Carlos: – First and Last Name on account
– Sign-In ID (email address)

– Online ID

You: [emailed removed]

You: [username removed]

You: Carey Martell

Carlos: Thank you. One moment while I access your account.

Carlos: What is the season pass that is not working and why sir?

You: American Horror Story: Freakshow. I have no idea why it is not working. It is asking me to purchase the pass again

You: This happened previously with The Walking Dead Season 5. I was refunded the purchase to my wallet so I could just buy the episodes individually.

You: I would accept that resolution again if you are unable to restore my Season Pass functionality

Carlos: It was with the episode #6 “Bullseye” correct?

You: Yes

You: And I know that I purchased the season pass. It is in my purchase history for my account. The season pass was purchased on 10/26/2014

Carlos: Yes sir, that’s correct for $22.99

Carlos: I can escalate the case in order to recover the access to the season pass but it will take 3 – 5 days.

Carlos: The refund also takes 3 – 5 business days but before processing a refund we need to investigate what is exactly happening with the content.

You: I’m not very happy to hear that. I was looking forward to watching the episode during lunch.

Carlos: I really do apologize for the inconvenience sir.

You: I also do not have time to sit in customer queue again. Is there email this can be followed up by? Or a phone call to reach me at?

Carlos: If we escalate the case we will contact you by email once the case has been reviewed and with a resolution.

You: From my perspective I have already paid for the product and it’s not being delivered on time.

Carlos: I understand your point and we are not saying that is your fault but we need to investigate and we will provide you a solution.

You: I’m not having much faith in the issue being resolved. How do I know it will get resolved? I’m being asked to wait 5 days — almost a week — to be able to view a product that is otherwise available to everyone else to view

You: but because I preordered it with a Season pass, I’m in a position that if I want to watch it I need to pay for it twice

You: I would like to see a resolution today. I don’t expect or need a refund to my bank account. A refund to my Sony wallet account would be fine, so that I can just pay for the new episode from the money in the wallet. I am also okay with a deduction from the episodes I already viewed using the Season pass

You: I do not believe my expectation is unreasonable.

Carlos: I understand sir but we have to follow some procedure before making those request and as I explained the refund it’s between 3 – 5 business days and we have to look into the problem and see why it’s not working.

Carlos: I already escalated the case. This is your case number: 02953100

You: when I had this problem with The Walking Dead my Season pass was refunded, minus the cost of the episodes I already watched. The credit was given to my Wallet account on the PSN

Carlos: Please allow 3 – 5 business days to get a resolution sir.

You: So I am confused on why that cannot happen in this exact same situation

Carlos: The procedures has been changed sir.

You: I appreciate you taking the time to look into this, and try to find a resolution. But I am not happy about this change in procedure.

Carlos: I understand sir and I would like to do something more but unfortunately this is the procedure for now on.

You: is it possible for me to file a complaint about the change in procedure?

Carlos: You can type it here and every single chat it’s reviewed. The quality department will review your concern.

You: Okay. Well I am not happy with this change in policy. I don’t see how it is my problem if your content delivery system has a bug. My purchase is a customer service issue.

You: I don’t understand why a refund cannot be made to my wallet, or some “switch” flipped to restore access to my account

You: it should be a very simple database problem to sort out

Carlos: I understand sir. We appreciate your feedback.

Carlos: My apologies for the inconvenience. Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

You: no

Carlos: Thank you for contacting PlayStation Chat Support, have a wonderful day.

 

Update 11/20/2014: 

Well, last night I tried to see if this issue was resolved after getting a message saying the episode was available for download. But the PSN Store app wouldn’t even load despite sitting at the loading screen for 10 minutes, so I shut it down and watched the Netflix app — which worked fine.

This morning I got the PSN Store app to load but my Season Pass is still missing. I did have the newest episode available for download in my downloads list, though.

So basically nothing is really resolved, but they made it so I could watch the episode. Sounding like I’m gonna have to contact tech support every time a new episode comes out, which is not the reason I pre-bought the season.