The company’s revamped PlayStation Plus service began rolling out in Asia this week with some unwelcome surprises for many customers.
Chief among the complaints levelled at Sony was that users who had previously purchased PlayStation Plus subscriptions at a discounted price were being charged extra to upgrade to a different service tier, wiping out savings they originally made buying reduced cost memberships.
Introducing the all-new PlayStation Plus
Sony has been heavily criticised for a lack of communication on the subject since the revamped PS Plus service began rolling out earlier this week.
On Wednesday it publicly acknowledged the problem and, while stopping short of apologising for the issue, it thanked users for their patience while the company addressed it.
“Due to a technical error, players in Asia who have previously purchased a PlayStation Plus membership at a discount have been incorrectly charged for their upgrade pricing,” Sony claimed.
“This error has been fixed and impacted players will receive a credit. We thank you for your patience.”
Earlier on Wednesday, an alleged email from Sony’s Hong Kong support team was circulated online, claiming to show it acknowledging the charges as an official policy.
If accurate, the email could suggest that SIE has actually walked back on the policy following criticism, or that its Hong Kong support team was unaware of the error.
It remains to be seen whether Sony will address another complaint with the current upgrade options, which relates to users who stacked PlayStation Plus subscriptions before the option was disabled earlier this month.
In order to upgrade to a new membership tier, these players are reportedly required to do so for the entire duration of their current plan, which in some cases run for years and require making a significant upfront payment.
VGC has asked Sony if it will be possible for players with stacked annual subscriptions to upgrade to a higher tier for a shorter period of time, for example a year, with the option of then returning to the lower tier once that 12-month term expires, and will update this report if we hear back from the company.
While Sony is at least attempting to resolve some of the PlayStation Plus launch problems behind the scenes, the way in which it has handled the process so far suggests it was wise to rollout the new service in a staggered fashion.
It will presumably be hoping to address any outstanding issues before next month, so that it doesn’t encounter a similar fan backlash when the service arrives in Japan on June 2, North and South America on June 13, and Australia, New Zealand, and Europe on June 23.