An email which has been posted online seems to confirm earlier reports that players subscribed to PlayStation Plus at a discount may have to pay the discount back to Sony in order to upgrade to PS Plus Extra or Premium.
The revamped PlayStation Plus service launched in much of Asia this week, and is due to roll out in Japan, the Americas, Europe and Australia in June.
It’s since been claimed by some Asian players that anyone who purchased PS Plus subscriptions at a discounted price, including those who chose to stack subscriptions before the option was disabled earlier this month, is being charged extra to upgrade to a different PS Plus tier, wiping out any previous savings they made buying reduced cost memberships.
UPDATE: Sony Interactive Entertainment has claimed a “technical error” was to blame for players being charged extra to upgrade to different PlayStation Plus membership tiers if they had previously purchased discounted memberships.
Introducing the all-new PlayStation Plus
“Thank you for contacting PlayStation Support and checking the price of your PlayStation Plus membership subscription.
“Since you purchased PlayStation Plus at a discounted price at the time of membership, there are two PlayStation Plus memberships that cannot enjoy other discounts:
“1) PlayStation Plus membership bought with a discount.
“2) PlayStation Plus membership redeemed with redemption code.
“Therefore, if you need to upgrade to Level 2 or 3 Premium membership, you will need to make up the difference between the previous discounted price and the normal price.
“For example, a PlayStation Plus membership is HK$308 for one year and the discounted price is HK$187.6. The difference is $120.4, divided by the number of months remaining.
“Please rest assured that the system will automatically calculate the difference that needs to be repaid if you need to upgrade. Of course, you can also upgrade or downgrade your membership according to your preference.
“If you do not upgrade, your current PlayStation Plus membership will not be affected. Please be assured that game offers, free monthly game subscriptions and access to 100G of online storage will remain unchanged.”
VGC has asked Sony for clarification on the matter and will update this story should we receive comment.
Players who previously stacked PlayStation Plus subscriptions also claim that in order to upgrade to a new membership tier, they’re 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, especially if they bought them at discounted rates.
Seemingly confirming that users who want to upgrade must do so for the remainder of their current plan, PlayStation’s UK site currently offers the following information on PS Plus upgrade options:
“When the new PlayStation Plus membership plans launch, you will be able to upgrade to a plan with more features and benefits.
“When you upgrade you will be charged a pro-rated fee to level up the remaining time on your existing membership to the desired level.
“For example, if you purchased a 12-month membership five months ago and have seven months left, you will need to pay a pro-rated upgrade fee to upgrade your remaining seven months to the desired plan level.
“Then on your next payment date, you will be charged for the standard price of the membership plan level that you upgraded to at your current payment frequency.”
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.