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Any gaming network that you are active on will have a set of rules and regulations which need to be followed very carefully. Failing to do so can lead to penalties and oftentimes will end with a suspension or ban.
This happens even on the Playstation network when you fail to comply with their rules and regulations. Most of the time Playstation will impose a temporary ban or a suspension when their community code of conduct is violated but in the case of a more serious violation you could receive a permanent ban immediately!
So what happens when you get banned?
What happens when you get banned depends on the type of the ban that you received. If you received a console ban then that means that you will not be able to use your console to access anything on the Playstation network until the ban is lifted. If it is an account ban then you can still use the console to access the network but you have to do so with a different account than the one that was banned.
While a suspension is a temporary punishment, in case of bans you will normally get banned for life and it cannot be lifted. That is why it is only used in cases of serious violations.
Some people say that they got banned but if it is for a limited amount of time then they actually received a suspension and not a ban.
In the rest of this article we will go into more detail about bans on the PSN (Playstation Network).
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Types of PlayStation Bans
There are basically two types of bans that you can receive on the Playstation Network. The first one is most severe while the second one can be bypassed by creating a new account.
With a console ban no user accounts are able to sign in to the Playstation network at all using that console. So in this case, if a console gets banned it cannot be used for online gaming through the Playstation network nor can the account or the Playstation store be accessed. It just completely bans everything that is attached to the banned system.
However, an individual Playstation account can be used through another Playstation system network provided that the individual account is working and has not been banned either. Often when the console is banned the attached account is banned as well so you will normally have a duel ban when your console gets banned from the network.
If an individual account is banned from signing in to any of the Playstation network on any of the Playstation systems then it can be referred to as an account ban.
If you see an error code while you are trying to sign in to your account or the Playstation system that means your account or console has been banned. A specific error code appears when you attempt to sign in and if you search for that code online (or read this article about the code meanings) then you will be able to determine exactly what the code means.
If your console or account are banned, a notification email will be sent to your registered email address letting you know that:
- That you have been banned;
- The reason for the ban that was taken
- The date from which the ban is actively effective.
Reason for the ban
When your console or account is banned you will get an email that will give you further details and tell you why you were banned. Often the reason for the ban is very general as Playstation does not normally give out specific reasons for the bans that they issue other than that the terms and conditions or code of conduct was violated.
Even if you call the support center staff they will normally just let you know about the general reasons why you were banned and will rarely give you super specific answers.
This can be annoying but for most people they will likely know exactly what they did that was wrong if they really thought about what they had done or said online in the past few days or weeks. Playstation doesn’t get super specific with the answers because often a ban is a result of repeated issues and they don’t want people to feel like they can get away with acting wrongly for a certain number of times before they are banned.
Playstation wants everyone to abide by the code of conduct all the time.
To lift or not
Any violation of the code of conduct calls for a thorough investigation. It is only then that a ban or suspension is imposed depending on the severity of the action. So only after a thorough investigation conducted by the moderation staff of Sony, a ban is imposed.
Hence, bans or suspension can not be easily disputed and are practically irrevocable with only one exception. And that exception is debt account or non-payment. In such cases, the ban can be lifted once the required payment has been repaid.
What happens to your content when you get banned?
As per the PlayStation Network’s terms of service, there won’t be any refund of any active content or subscriptions that were active at the time of the ban. So obviously, you will not receive any refund in such a case which has been clearly mentioned in the terms of service that you are bound to.
Also if your account gets banned you will no longer be able to access any subscription or any trophies won or any other content related to the banned account.
But in the case that only your console has been banned then you can still access your account or content or subscription through any other system provided that your account is active and not banned.
Buying a banned Playstation
Everyone likes to save some money and buying a used console is a great way to do it. However if you find out that the console has been banned then that should be an immediate sale killer as you certainly don’t want to purchase a banned console.
Once a Playstation system gets banned the decision is irrevocable and final and even if you bought the banned system from someone Playstation still will not unban the console.
Hence, investing in a second hand Playstation system that has been banned is a terrible idea and is bound to blow up in your face once you realize that you can’t unban it. It is always a good idea to only buy new consoles or a used one from someone you know or from a store with a good return policy. The last thing you want is to spend good money on a console from Craigslist and then find out a week or two later that it has now been banned! .
Things to check when you are banned
So what should you do once you realize that there is a ban imposed on your system or console? Well, obviously the most common and reasonable thing to do in such a case, first of all, is to check the Playstation website and read up on the terms of services and look for the rule that you may have violated.
\If after reading all the terms and the code of conduct you don’t feel like you broke any rules then contact the Playstation support staff and have them check on the case. Mistakes are sometimes made so it is worthwhile to contact them and see if one was made in this instance.
The next thing is to check with your bank account as to any debt owned towards the Playstation network as it has a zero-tolerance policy for any sort of debt and immediately bans or suspends the account. If you are temporarily banned or have no money in your account or have asked the bank to stop payments then that could be the cause of the ban. In such a case, once you take care of the owed amount your account will be active again and the ban will be lifted.
Another thing to check if money is not the issue is to sign in from a different Playstation or browser. If you can get the access from there then, in that case, there is no issue with the account but the issue might be with your console being banned or not connected.
Unfortunately if you have been permanently banned then you are often just plain out of luck as once your console or account is permanently banned nothing can be done to remove it as only the most offensive actions call for such ban and that is done after a thorough investigation.
To sum it all up it can only be said that even though Sony is very particular and stringent with their conduct rules they only impose a ban after a thorough investigation of any severe violations, so if you want to avoid getting yourself in such a situation it is best for you to abide by the rules of the company all of the time and if you get a suspension for something then take it as a real warning and don’t ever do that again!