A Warning About PlayStation Now Renewal Payments

I don’t hide the fact that I’m a fan of PlayStation Now, particularly PS Now on the PC as I do not own a recent PlayStation console.  I’ve written a PS Now on PC review and highly recommend that you check it out if you’re a PC gamer with a lower-end system but a strong internet connection.

With that being said, I do have a small warning regarding renewal payments for PS Now.

I originally signed up to PS Now with a 12-month subscription and, as you’d expect, it renews automatically.  No surprises there.  I thought that I’d cancelled the renewal, but I obviously hadn’t as I got hit with the 12-month renewal price at full price (again, standard stuff).  I’m usually very good at cancelling renewals, doing so on the same day (just ask Spotify, Deezer, Amazon Music and countless other services that regularly do 3 months for a low price).

What I actually think happened is I entered my payment details to get the (at the time) 7 day free trial and then cancelled the renewal.  I liked the service, so I went onto CD Keys and got a 12-month subscription.  I missed that Sony continues to hold payment details from the trial and that they had reactivated the renewal.  I cannot be certain, but still, it is all above board from Sony’s point of view and my fault for not noticing.  At least there is a 14-day cooling-off period, right?  Well…

What I didn’t realise is that you do not get a cooling-off period for your renewal payment.  The 14-day cooling-off period applies only to new customers.

If you’re an existing customer who has forgotten to cancel the renewal and you miss the renewal email, then Sony is under no obligation to refund your renewal payment.

Now, I’d like to note, rather than doing a chargeback and likely getting my account completely banned, Sony has the facility to write to support where you can request a refund.  I did this and the money was refunded within a few days or so and it was fine, so kudos to Sony support for that.  However, I wanted to write this article for fellow PS Now users as the response I received made me feel like I was fortunate rather than it being a standard company policy.

Here was the response:

Thanks for your email about your PlayStation Now membership.

When you bought PlayStation Now (or started your trial), the product description clearly explained that you were buying an ongoing subscription for which you would be billed automatically at the frequency you had chosen.

Our cancellation policy provides a 14 day “cooling-off period” on the initial purchase from the start of your subscription, which allows you to evaluate the service and to cancel and obtain a refund within this period. However, the cooling off period does not apply to subsequent recurring payments. After the first 14 days, you can cancel your subscription at any time so that your subscription will expire at the end of the then current month, which will stop future payments, but you will not receive a refund for payments already made. We also sent you an email reminding you that your next payment is due before each subsequent payment is taken.

Nonetheless, I can see that your next membership payment has only just been taken, so I’ve cancelled it and refunded the charge back to your payment method as a gesture of goodwill.

Don’t forget that you can manage your account for PlayStation Network, including periodic billing, by clicking on the Account Management link at the bottom of this email.

I got lucky, though I’d be surprised if they weren’t equally lenient with others who have forgotten to renew if they contact Sony within 24 hours of the renewal payment being taken.  But, there are no guarantees, as Sony seems to have no obligation to refund the payments.

If you have signed up to PS Now and you aren’t sure whether you want it to renew, I urge you to check whether you have cancelled your renewal NOW just to be sure that it is not set to renew automatically.  I got lucky, but that isn’t to say that you will, too.

TL;DR: I’m an idiot and didn’t cancel my PS Now renewal, Sony’s cooling-off period doesn’t apply to existing customers, however they refunded my money but may not refund yours so make sure that your account isn’t automatically set to renew.