Pure Opinion: Sony’s Poor Payment Handling is Sending My Cash Elsewhere

Sony has a problem. The company wants my money, but it doesn’t want to make it easy for me to make payment. This is not good. Not good at all.

Almost every week there are new deals and discounts on the PlayStation Store, and they’re often pretty darn good when compared to Nintendo and Microsoft’s offerings. Nintendo’s first-party games almost never drop in price, so I’m left scraping around in the dirt trying to find a diamond. It works sometimes and I end up with a gem of a game for just a few pennies. But that’s it. Most of my Nintendo purchases are limited to dirt-cheap indie games or ports of big games that I know I’ll like, and the occasional first-party release.

Microsoft, on the other hand, usually has some decent deals, but nowhere near the over-the-top offers that we see on the PlayStation Store every other week. While PSN will host hundreds of deals which often include first-party releases, the Microsoft Xbox Store usually carries less than 100 games on offer, and often they cost more than they do on the PS4. It may only be a few pennies difference, but look after the pennies and you’ll save the pounds. Also, much to my annoyance, there are often sales based entirely around virtual currencies, like NBA2K coins and GTA V Shark Cards. No thank you.

So the PlayStation Store has the most frequent sales and often the best games on offer. Unfortunately, it’s now becoming a rarity for me to buy games from the PlayStation Store. Instead I go to the Nintendo Switch and my Xbox One X to pick up my cheap games. Honestly, my PS4 is just being used to play PSVR and to review games as part of my work.

The problem is that I have a UK account but I live in Germany. This means I can’t use my German bank cards, my German credit cards, or even my PayPal account to make purchases. In the beginning this wasn’t so bad as I’d simply buy a PSN gift card and do my spending that way. Not anymore, though. I’ve had enough of having to spend £10 just to buy a £4.99 game. I’m sick of going through third-party sites that sell these codes because sometimes they just don’t work and there’s little chance of a refund. I always pay via PayPal, but since the start of this year I’ve had six codes not work for me, and I’ve received zero refunds, resulting in a total loss of £150 (I tend to buy my codes in £10 or £25 denominations). That’s not Sony’s fault, sure, but they’re not getting completely off the hook. If their systems weren’t so backwards, I wouldn’t need to do this! And yes, I’m aware I could just make a German PSN and buy the games in my local currency and then play them on my main account. I’m aware that option exists, but I’m not doing it. I don’t have to do it on the Xbox or the Nintendo. On those stores my identity is universal. I can go anywhere and buy anything without having to remember to set up two-step authentication for multiple accounts.

Some will say I’m being pedantic and that I should just suck it up and make another account. Maybe that works for you, but as a customer, I think I’ve got the right to be a little demanding. I mean, all I want to do is spend my money. Should it be that complicated?

I went to America this year with my German debit and credit cards in tow. I didn’t need to put on a mask and pretend  to use them at 7/11. Sort it out, Sony. Please. I just want to buy games!

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