Sony’s PS4 Parental Controls Protect Exactly No One

Don’t ever, ever put PS Plus on a Playstation 4 sub-account.

When setting up my sons PS4 account, I did the right thing and entered his correct age — 16. I added it as a sub-account under my master account. I set the parental control levels I thought were appropriate.

We go and buy a PS Plus card so that we can play Call of Duty Ghosts online. He plays (way) more often than me, so I hand him the card to redeem. He redeems it on his sub-account.

He goes to play online, and it says “Online service is disabled on your Sony Entertainment Network account due to parental control restrictions.”

“Oh,” I think, “I must not have set the access level high enough.” But alas, it’s high enough.

I try setting them higher. I try signing in and signing out. I restart the system. Still no access.

I sign in with my master account. When a PS4 is set as the primary console for an account with PS Plus, all the other accounts on that system are supposed to be able to share it. “Surely I can play through my master account” I think.

No. I’m also locked out because the PS Plus subscription is on the sub-account.

I start an online chat to ask what’s going on. The guy is nice but ultimately can’t help me.

I call their support line and ask to speak to a supervisor, hoping to get the PS Plus moved to my account, be given a credit to my account, something, anything.

I explain the situation on the phone: I bought PS Plus, my son put it on his account, no one can access the online portion of the game. There’s nothing he can do, he says. I ask what the point in setting parental control levels is if they’re ignored. He defers to the designers that made it. I point out this could’ve been avoided by lying about his age, but didn’t. I tried to set it up right, like a responsible parent. I ask “Where does it say that a PS Plus subscription, applied to a minors account — who has parental controls that gives him access to play the game — will actually not let him play and also lock out all other accounts and essentially be useless?”

He replies “You can read more about our policies…”

I interrupt. “No, I’m asking, from grabbing the card in the store to redeeming it on my sons account, where did it say any of that?”

He goes into a robot voice. “You can read more about our policies…”

I ask if he’s the only supervisor, or if I can talk to his supervisor.

“Sure, I can transfer you to my supervisor. But you’ll be on hold for awhile, and it will not reverse this outcome.”

I feel like it’s a failure of character that $17.99 could ever induce so much rage.

/end rant.


  • Peter Walburn says:

    I unfortunately did exactly the same thing as you. My son plays much more than me and so I let him activate the PSN+ membership on his sub-account. Now, it’s next to useless. And all because I didn’t want to lie about his age on his sub-account.


  • Stefan says:

    Exactly that happened to me in the Past with a Second-Account, it was frustrating. Sony might “maybe” have the Console with more so called Performance in Hardware and sold More of them but in Terms of Customer-Service they are DUMB as F*CK!

    But that all doesn’t concern me anymore, because i sold my Console and got back to my Roots as a PC Gamer. No more paying for a Service that locks away the Multi-player of a Game or a Part of it’s Function. ;-)


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