One of our readers (who wishes to remain anonymous) passed along an email from Sony Entertainment Network customer service on Friday saying that the company had accidently overcharged them sales tax related to the period between November 18, 2010 and April 11, 2011. While his email noted that they overcharged him by 0.06 cents, we have seen at least one other email saying that the company overcharged a customer by $9.24. We have asked Sony Online Network how wide-spread this overcharge is, but the company did not respond at the time of this writing.
The company told those customers that these extra charges are the result of a mistake that modified some customers' accounts. The sales tax relates to purchases between November 18, 2010, and April 11, 2011, which is a pretty large span of time to have these kinds of charges being applied to customers. On an account that is mostly inactive, this may be a minor thing, but on an active account paying for digital downloads, subscriptions, or making micro-transactions, these charges could prove to be substantial. For now we have no idea about the scope of the problem - it could simply be that this only affects a handful of customers.
The email sent to our reader can be found below:
Dear Sony Entertainment Network account holder, After performing routine system maintenance, Sony Entertainment Network sales tax records were mistakenly modified and some customer's accounts were charged sales tax in error. Between November 18, 2010, and April 11, 2011, one or more transactions originating from your account was charged sales tax in error. Correcting this, we will refund the errant charges back to your account in the amount of $0.06 via your Sony Entertainment Network wallet. This will appear in your transaction history as a one-time inclusive credit. We are diligently working to correct this error and will have your account refunded by March 31, 2012. If you do not see the credit to your account by March 31, 2012, or if you have further questions please contact our customer service department at: http://us.playstation.com/support/contact_options/ Thank you, The Sony Entertainment Network Team
If you have received an email from SEN concerning accidental sales tax, please let us know in the comments.
Update: We erroneously wrote "Sony Online Entertainment" in our title and in the body of our story, when it should have been "Sony Entertainment Network." We apologize for the error.