The infamous 2011 PSN outage has become the subject of a recent class action lawsuit for PSN users who can prove they had accounts prior to May 15th, 2011. However, class action filing protocols may not necessarily be ready knowledge for ‘the players’. This article will contain a how-to guide with each step of the process along with commentary. Given the necessity of signing in with one’s PSN ID to confirm the date of account creation, I made sure to allow ample time between my personal filing and this article. As of 3/17/2015, nothing malicious has happened to my personal account in the wake of filing. If anything changes, then this article will be altered accordingly.
This suit isn’t limited to solely the PSN user base since Sony Online Entertainment [SOE] and Qriocity music accounts are applicable for participation. Submitting a claim entails allowing access to one’s PSN account from a court to verify the authenticity of individual cases. This may be a point of contention for some who are squeamish to share their passwords on a service they frequently use a credit card.
The process begins with the selection of the affected account. The rest of this guide will operate under the choice of a PSN account. Users who suffered from identity theft and unauthorized credit card expenditures are directed to their own section asking for a significantly higher burden of proof.
Signing into the relevant account precedes the step detailing the required information for the various settlement options. The ‘Wallet Balance Payment’ choice terminates the account in exchange for an undisclosed payment. The ‘accountholders benefits’ option provides rewards depending on the level of claimed damages. The remainder of this guide will use the ‘accountholders benefits’ path. Further evidence will be required for claims past simply owning a PSN account before May 2011; if you can not readily provide such evidence, it is best to stick to the basic option.
The reward tiers are either one free PS3 or PSP game from a short list, three PS3 dynamic themes or three months of Playstation Plus. The list of games is very similar to those presented during the Welcome Back Program from 2011. Existing Playstation Plus members are excluded from the option of three free months of service. Commenting on the value of the dynamic themes is difficult because they are glorified cosmetic items. Ownership of one title versus ‘rental’ of multiple games over three months is the primary choice here. Those on the fence about potentially buying a PS4 in the near future may want to opt for the free game choice unless they don’t intend to play on-line multiplayer. It is important to note that participants in the earlier Welcome Back Program are still applicable for settlement.
The option for an additional reward is available for those who are able to prove that their access to Netflix/Hulu Plus was directly affected during the blackout. This process complicates the submission exponentially because of the requirement of evidence. Proving that there was no other way of using these services at the time may prove to more of a commitment than the payoff. None of the rewards exceed a value of $40, which begs the question of how much the additional claim is worth. The filing processes ends with checking a box stating that the information provided is correct.
The deadline to file is August 31st, 2015.