When you turned on your PlayStation, did you notice a message popping up indicating that your PSN account has been temporarily or permanently suspended due to violations of the service’s policies? Well, I’m sorry to tell you this, but in all likelihood, your PSN account has been banned by Sony. Typically, this happens when you engage in harmful behavior against other users, in-game misconduct, or other unfair techniques aimed at gaining advantages that users should not otherwise be entitled to.
As you will find out in the course of this guide, unbanning PSN accounts is not a simple matter, and the chances of succeeding are closely related to the type of violation found. Among other things, the suspension of your account is not always permanent: if it is a temporary ban, in fact, you will be able to access your profile again (and the digital content associated with it, including games) at the end of the suspension period.
If you have fallen victim to a ban that you believe to be unjustified, or if you want concrete information on how to prevent this from happening, all you have to do is take a few minutes of your free time and read carefully everything I have to explain on the subject: I am sure that, once you have finished reading, you will have a clear idea of what (not) to do. That said, there’s nothing left for me to do but wish you a good reading!
Before I get into the heart of this guide and explain to you how to try to get access to a banned PSN account again, let me give you some more information about the reasons why Sony may restrict an account and the direct consequences of doing so.
Specifically, the PlayStation Network Terms of Service specifies a specific code of conduct (Chapter 13), which requires you to have an inclusive, fair, polite and respectful attitude towards other users, not to cheat, not to do anything with your account that violates its terms and, in general, not to do anything that may damage PSN, its products or the reputation of the PlayStation service and brand.
By way of example, below is a list of behaviors that should be avoided in order to avoid having your account or the entire console banned. The complete list can be found in Chapter 13 of the PlayStation Network Terms of Service that I linked to earlier
- Do not use language that is hateful, vulgar, offensive, or discriminatory based on age, gender, religion, or any other aspect of the person.
- Avoid violent, threatening, harassing or stalking attitudes towards other users.
- Avoid illegal actions and attitudes.
- Do not share violent, erotic or pornographic images with other users.
- Avoid impersonating others or infringing on the privacy or intellectual property of other users.
- Don’t cheat, deceive other users or exploit bugs, glitches, vulnerabilities, or unintentional mechanisms in Sony products or PSN in order to gain advantages that you would not otherwise have.
- Do not share, rent, sell, sub-license or transfer your account to others.
- Do not purchase or trade your account with others.
- Don’t make chargeback requests (e.g., on PayPal) as a result of targeted purchases, without a legitimate right to a refund.
- Do not use phishing techniques or similar systems to gain access to other accounts.
- Do not send spam messages of any kind to other users.
- Do not forward offers or purchase recommendations to other users without their consent.
- Do not use or associate your PSN account or its products with commercial activities.
It’s important not to think that you can get away with violations: as I explained in my guide on how to ban on PS4, users harmed by misbehavior towards their person, their gaming experience or other, can report to Sony the potentially guilty PSN profiles, providing any kind of evidence against them.
In addition, Sony reserves the right to access the information and/or activity of each PSN profile at any time in order to verify the veracity of the reports or to perform checks in case of suspicious activity.
If Sony decides – following a report of misbehavior by users or automated systems (with related investigation) – to sanction the removal of the user or the console from the PSN, the profile in question will always receive an email at the mailbox associated with the PlayStation Network account, containing the notification of the ban, the nature of the same (whether user or console) and the duration (whether temporary, with expiration date, or permanent and therefore final).
At the same time, your PSN account will be suspended and you will not be able to use it from the web, consoles, smartphones, tablets, computers or other devices; you will also be prevented from accessing digital games purchased through the profile in question, accessing digital content and content you create on the network.
So, if you try to log into PSN and receive an error message about the account suspension, please check your inbox and identify the Sony notification message in there; have a look at your Spam folder if you can’t find the email in your inbox.
How to unban a blocked PSN account
Generally, bans applied by Sony on PSN, whether they are temporary, permanent, limited to the account or extended to the whole console, cannot be contested and are issued permanently: the only exception involves the ban for account debt.
In this case, simply pay off the debt and contact Sony to request the reactivation of your PSN profile. So, for starters, buy a PSN Card of an amount equal to or greater than the debt to be paid: you will have to dictate the code, in the future, to the operator who will manage your request.
In addition, make sure you have the information I list below.
- The PlayStation serial number, printed on the sales package or on the back of the console.
- Your PSN account information.
- The game or service for which you need to settle the debt.
- The approximate date of the reversal transaction.
To request assistance to Sony staff, dial 02.36009081 and follow the instructions of the automatic voice, to access the area dedicated to your problem: at the time of writing, you must press button 1, to get assistance for PlayStation Network and then the button 2, for assistance related to systems and accessories.
Once you have made your choice, you will be asked whether to authorize the recording of the phone call, by pressing the 1 button, or deny it, by pressing the 2 button; once this step is completed, you should be put in contact with a support employee, to whom you can expose your problem.
I recommend that you always listen to the voice guidance to avoid wasting time, as the combination of keys to press is frequently subject to change. If you’re having trouble getting in touch with Sony, take a look at my guide on how to contact PSN – it may come in handy.
In any case, during the call, you’ll be asked to provide your account information, how you owe the balance and, of course, the code of the PS Card you previously purchased (any remaining amount will be credited to your PlayStation wallet).
Once you’ve completed the call, the operator will forward your request to the relevant bodies; it may take several days or weeks for your account to be reactivated and you will be notified by email.
If you’ve received a temporary or permanent ban against your PSN account or PlayStation for other reasons, the chances of getting your access back (or having your ban lifted before it expires) are extremely rare: if you think you’ve been banned by mistake, however, you can always try to report your problem to Sony by contacting the company in the same way as above. Once again: remember that I can’t promise anything!