Worried couple reading a letter sitting on a couch in the living room at home

PlayStation Vue Delays the Price Hike on Grandfathered Subscribers (For Now)


Worried couple reading a letter sitting on a couch in the living room at homeRecently Sony announced that PlayStation Vue subscribers in 203 out of 210 markets will be seeing a $10 a month price hike. This comes as PlayStation Vue is eliminating its Slim plans for subscribers in markets with zero or few locals.

When the price hike happened back in July, all new subscribers had to pay the new price at the time of sign up. Current subscribers with the Slim plans received notice that in October their price would increase. Now it seems the price hike may be delayed to some undetermined date.

There has been a lot confusion over when the price hike would happen with PlayStation Vue customer service reps telling subscribers that as long as they don’t change their plan their price wouldn’t change; however, that is both true and incorrect.

It is true that if you change your package at any point your grandfather status will end, but according to a PlayStation Vue rep on the forums everyone’s price will be changing soon.

“Unfortunately, the information you received during the chat was not correct. Subscribers who signed up for older Vue plans will still be transitioning to the newer nationwide plan with updated pricing in the future. Apologies for any inconvenience this may have caused. We will update the title of your thread to prevent further confusion,” said a PlayStation Vue rep in its forums.

October was supposed to be the month when grandfathered customers would start seeing the price hike; however, if you look at your account most subscribers are still being billed the old Slim pricing.

Sony is not stating when it will charge the new rate. Instead of saying October it now says it will happen in the “future.”

So for now it seems like you can keep your Slim pricing as long as you don’t change your package, but at some point in the future everyone will see a price hike. When that will happen Sony is no longer saying.

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  • Jimmy Luvaas

    So anyone with a billing cycle date after Oct 5 was suppose to transition to the price hike the next cycle (November) and if you go to the subscription page on ps vue https://vue.playstation.com/subscription/mysubs it will tell you your next billing amount. Previously it was telling me that my bill would be $39.99 (I’m on Access Slim) on Nov 6. After reading this article I checked again and sure enough it now says $29.99.

  • Joseph ewing

    They have slowed down in terms of adding Locals (the perceived reason for the price increase).

    To hold off on the increase until they have neared completion of all locals to all locations seems reasonable.

  • pjbnyc

    Except with an Internet business, how does a company get away with saying, “The information that we just gave you is incorrect. Sorry! Price hike!” And where is the Website–like cordcutternews.com, for example–to call them on it?

  • Jon Schumacher

    That’s great. I was fine with the $10 if they got me locals since I cannot get them on antenna. I just wish the DVR was longer than 28 days.

    • filmex

      Would you rather have no time limit on the VCR and 50 hours of recording capability or a 28 day storage limit (w/a clock that restarts every time a program re-airs) and bottomless pit capacity.

      To us, it was a no-brainer. If we haven’t watched something in a month, then it was never a priority to begin with. To be able to record anything you want–experiment with programs just to check them out-you can do that with Vue. Even when we were paying DirecTV $130/mo, their DVR was constantly butting up against capacity restrictions. Again, in our hosehold, a no-brainer.

  • Michael Smith

    Vue is starting to feel the loss of subscribers to other competitive services because of not adding network channels like A&E (history, fyi etc..). Until vue gets in gear, they will be lower than third or fourth place in subscribers numbers by the end of the year.

    • Fred Koot

      Proof

    • Daniel Darnell

      Vue isn’t doing well now and their numbers are flat. As I’ve said before their are rumors going around that Sony isn’t happy with PS Vue. That if they can’t turn it around and start growing the service Sony will shut it down. I think that’s true and if they don’t start getting more customers I think it will fail.

      • filmex

        Again, proof.

        Vue is doing just fine, regardless of your poor attempt at fake news.
        https://tvanswerman.com/2017/03/29/exec-directv-now-vue-have-400000-subscribers/

        Vue and DTVN both have 400,000 subscribers, and Vue didn’t have to sell the kids to reach those numbers as DTVN has done, giving away everything down to streaming devices and free HBO and discounted wireless. And how many of DTVN’s numbers contain trial offer visitors?

        Vue is in the middle of a massive TV ad campaign right now, in case you haven’t noticed. You wouldn’t be throwing down big bucks on expensive adspace during NFL games etc. if you were packing it in.

        And my gawd people, if you need A&E, Lifetime, Viacom in your life, spend $20 and add-on a Sling package. It almost might be worth it to see if MTV’s relaunch of “TRL” is the trainwreck everyone says it is. Let me know.

        • Daniel Darnell

          Vue has been stuck at 400,000 subs for over a year, look at their past results. They’ve quoted that number for a long time. That’s not good news.

          • Fred Koot

            Because no new figures have come out. Sony made a deal with internet providers to sell their service to 9 million customers. They are doing just fine.

          • Daniel Darnell

            The fact that they are trying to sell themselves out to piggy back from smaller providers and the rev up in advertising to me just shows they are desparte to grow their numbers. Then the head of playstation “stepping down”. There is a lot of signs if you look at them that Sony isn’t happy with PS Vue and it’s struggling. I’m just being realistic. They’ve struggled with keeping agreements with content providers as well.

          • Fred Koot

            So a guy retirees after 27 years and Sony is struggling. Than saying by trying to increase business by making deals, they are struggling. Wow so every company that advertises is doing that because they are struggling

          • Daniel Darnell

            Not hard to read between the lines. Not growing subs, struggling with content providers, mass market confusion with the terrible name and unwilling to change. The head stepping down etc… Yeah it’s pretty easy to see what’s in front of your face.

          • Fred Koot

            again proof, Where are the stats about it not growing subs, struggling with content providers. The guy retired, people do that you know.

          • Daniel Darnell

            Once again go back to a year, year and a half ago. We have 400,000 subs, fast forward today same story. As far as the content providers they lost Viacom and they refuse to deal with A&E Networks. They lost some sports channel that I can’t recall at the moment. Plus the biggest issue is just their branding. Most people still think you have to have a Playstation Vue to even use the service. Now they delay the hikes because they know they will start to bleed subs if they do based on feedback. Also funny thing how Sony brags about the PS4 during his term but then is like oh yeah PS Vue too in a glancing fashion. I’m pretty good at reading between the lines here and unless you are blind you can see that PS Vue is struggling. I want it to succeed though but they have to change some things and the biggest is that damn name!

          • Fred Koot

            Where are today’s stats? The only stats were in March.
            Hulu and YouTube don’t have Viacom and other major channels so they will fail also. Basically since they don’t fit your needs , they are failing. I will agree on the name.

          • carl_steve

            I think its an exaggeration to make it sound like Vue will turn into another Betamax for Sony–an argument that reminds me of the Republican Party mantra regarding Obamacare. All it will take is some fixing to get it right. For any number of reasons, I still think Vue is the best deal. As for the name, all people have to do is pay attention to the advertising. Unless they’re blind, deaf, and dumb, they should be able to see that a game console isn’t required.

          • chenriii

            Except that instead of spending millions in advertising to compensate
            for the abysmally lame name, they could spend oodles less simply by,
            what a concept!, CHANGING the name. Gee, why didn’t I think of that?

            Except,
            of course, Vue was never about competing in the OTT market; it was
            always about promoting what they really care about, and that is the
            PlayStation product itself. Change the Vue name to something reasonable
            so it could stand on its own two feet and it ceases to be a promotion
            for PlayStation, which I’m convinced is the only reason Sony
            muckety-mucks ever agreed to roll out the service in the first place.
            Which is why the name will never change, and why those hanging on to Vue
            with their fingernails have been forced to mount this desperation
            campaign pleading with people to ignore the name, that the product
            really does work for everyone, blah blah blah, blah blah blah.

            Look,
            the fact is I agree that Vue is the best deal. I’ve been a subscriber
            for a year this week, and I’ve been largely quite happy. Its DVR is
            even stronger than the one on my much more expensive Verizon FIOS
            service; I’d actually consider it a step down to go back to cable TV for
            that reason. That’s how good Vue is. But it doesn’t take a rocket
            scientist to figure out that Sony has never seriously tried to help Vue
            succeed; it’s sent it onto the market with so many arms tied behind its
            back, with the horrible customer support, the ridiculous name, etc.
            etc., that it’s a wonder it can even open a door. Clearly this has
            never been about trying to help Vue succeed; this has solely been about
            pushing the PlayStation name brand, nothing else.

          • chenriii

            Who stepped down? You say it was the head of PlayStation. What’s the
            name? Thanks. Not that I’m surprised. I’ve been saying all along that
            Vue’s absolutely wretched customer support is the tell; Sony is not
            really committed to this service, and, whatever it says publicly,
            selling Vue was never about building a serious and competitive presence
            in the live OTT streaming market. It was always merely a gimmick to
            promote and sell the real cash cow, which is the PlayStation product.

        • chenriii

          It is NOT doing just fine, and I say that as a reasonably satisfied Vue
          subscriber who really wishes Sony would seriously promote the service
          and really commit to it. DTVN got more subscribers in a month than Vue
          got in a whole year. Vue “screwed up” the name, and made people think
          it was only available on PlayStations; that’s been the big albatross
          around its neck from Day One. And there’s no way they’re going to fix
          that (though it obviously should be called Sony Vue) because I’m
          positive the only reason it was ever green-lighted by Sony to begin with
          was as a promotional campaign for the PlayStation. I don’t think Sony
          ever was really committed to the Vue service itself.

      • Jason

        The single biggest problem with that isn’t their pricing, it’s the name. Vue doesn’t mean sh*t to people. I’ve lost track of telling people what it’s about because the name makes no sense as to the product offerd. DirectTV Now makes sense. SlingTV makes sense…Vue no sense.

        • Daniel Darnell

          I think Vue has two problems that is going to be their biggest demise. One obviously is the name which they seem to refuse to change. I also get sick of having to tell people you don’t need a Playstation Vue to get the service. They’ve even done marketing saying that but all the marketing the world isn’t going to get that across when you have the playstation name in the service. Two the dreadful Roku app, it’s well known they have a terrible app on Roku and I’ve seen a lot of people switch to other services because of the poor app on Roku. Since Roku is the largest streaming platform to be used on an actual TV this really hurts them. Their high starting price isn’t helping either but I don’t think that’s the biggest issue they have. Change the name and fix the dreadful Roku app! Then work on other things.

          • chenriii

            I’m happy to say that they finally fixed the Roku ap this week. But
            hey, it was either that or drop the Roku completely, and that would have
            been too embarrassing even for the Sony folks who don’t give a s**t
            about Vue. You see, Roku rolled out its new operating system this week,
            and Vue would have become inoperable if they hadn’t fixed the Roku
            interface, so Sony fixed it because they had to, not because they would
            have fixed it anyway, as leaving it unfixed for over two years made
            clear.

          • What leads you to think that the then-existing Vue app would have broken due to the Roku OS 8 update?

          • chenriii

            Material that I’ve read on the PlayStation forum at
            https://community.playstation.com/content/pdc/us/en_US/pdc-communities/support/playstation-vue-support.0.25.html
            . There’s been a gazillion threads on the topic (559 pages) over the
            last year. Good luck finding the specific posts. There’s one person in
            particular (not me; I have the Fire TV) who’s meticulously documented
            all the problems with the Roku Vue app, the reasons why Vue hasn’t
            bothered to fix it, the looming brick wall when Roku does its next
            update, and the fact that Vue will need to make a new app from scratch
            when that happens. That person is htaylor9915. Daniel644 has also
            contributed a lot to the discussion. If you google those two names plus
            Roku, you will get an earful. Or is it an eyeful?

            And,
            specifically, by way of example, here’s something Daniel644 wrote in
            July of this year at
            https://community.playstation.com/content/pdc/us/en_US/pdc-communities/support/playstation-vue-support.topic.html/the_complaints_ares-Xk5s.html
            :

            “Eventually Sony will be FORCED by Roku to update, something
            like end of next year, if I rememeber correctly is when they will remove
            the parts of teh Roku OS that support apps built using the old SDK like
            Vue was, whats wrong with wanting Sony to do it now? I mean they HAVE
            to do it at some point if they last that long.”

            In
            other words, Sony had no choice; they HAD to update and fix their Roku
            app or they would have had to eventually drop Roku from their device
            line-up, if Daniel is right; and that would have been too big of a tell
            on how little Sony cares about Vue than even Sony wanted to admit.

          • carl_steve

            Personally, I found that forum to be of limited value. The database of comments is huge, making it overly time consuming to find relevant posts about any particular topic, even with the search function. Many newer posts are about subjects that have already been covered a million times, probably because users can’t find what they’re looking for due to reasons I’ve already mentioned. Some threads are monopolized by self-appointed know-it-alls who try to own the topic and drown out anyone with a different point of view. That creates a preachy soapbox for a few loudmouths instead of a welcoming, user-friendly setting for the exchange of ideas, experiences, and opinions. Although there may be some discussions in the forum that are informative, I’ve come across too many that are not. Vague, subjective statements like “Vue sucks” doesn’t tell me anything. Rarely have I seen moderator interaction or intervention from Sony support staff, which adds to the unwieldy, “anything goes” nature of the forum.

          • chenriii

            There has been virtually no moderator activity from Sony support staff either because they’re bone lazy, and their management is terrible, or because they’ve been specifically ordered to intervene as little as possible. I find the latter more likely; Sony wants Vue to die a quiet death without Sony’s fingerprints being on it. Sort of like an immaculate conception; conceivable but highly unlikely. They’re now stuck with it, they have no idea how to get out of it, and there might very well be a battle royal between Vue staff who want to support, strengthen and promote the service and Sony folks who never wanted to get into this market at all. Right now I’d say the latter group is winning in terms of the lack of further development, but they haven’t yet succeeded in killing it entirely.

          • Yeah, Roku announced that they’re removing some obsolete features from their OS, but I’m not convinced that the PS Vue app ever used them. https://community.playstation.com doesn’t want to load for me today.

          • chenriii

            I’m having the same problem. Looks like the whole forum may be down.

      • chenriii

        To me the tip-off is their wretched customer service. Yes, the service
        itself, from an engineering standpoint, is beautifully designed, easily
        the best of the live streaming OTT services. But their support is
        pretty much non-existent. That tells me Sony has cooled on the whole
        thing, if they were ever really behind it to begin with. I suspect the
        bogus name, PlayStation Vue, tells the whole story. This live OTT
        streaming service has NOTHING to do with the PlayStation; it streams on
        every device out there, just like most other streaming services do, Fire
        TV, Apple TV, Roku, etc. etc. The only reason to call it PlayStation
        was as a vanity thing, to promote the PlayStation product itself, where
        Sony makes the real $$$s. In the end, Vue was just a promotional
        campaign for PlayStation, same as its PlayStation ads. Once it proves
        that it’s not that effective at promoting PlayStation, it will be
        killed; and I suspect it’s damn close to that now. I don’t think Sony
        was ever that committed or supportive of the service. Some of their
        clever engineers always wanted to create a streaming service, someone
        else at Sony figured it might make a good advertising/promotional
        campaign for PlayStation itself, so it was given the green light. But
        it was always a short-timer.

        • carl_steve

          I don’t see the evidence that Sony’s interest in Vue is half-hearted–using it simply to bolster PlayStation, presumably against XBox. If that were true, then why bother to continue negotiating deals with the cable channel owners (like the recently rescued MGM-HD) and hundreds of local stations? Why the ramped-up advertising which now appears on OTA channels as well as cable? Why postpone the $10 price increase for Slim customers if Sony isn’t really serious about appeasing them until local channels are ready? Why put all that development effort into a service that you described as technically tops if Sony doesn’t plan to stick with it over the long haul?

          Just because Sling and DTVN are growing faster isn’t a reason to drop Vue, although I agree that Sony could have taken steps to compete more favorably. A service doesn’t have to be ranked #1 in subscribers to get my business. I’ve seen some improvements in customer service, such as e-mails (which we never used to get) about the delay in the Slim price increase, dropping MGM-HD, then the MGM-HD reversal, but more work is needed. The $10 price increase could have been handled better. Judging by numerous posts, some Slim customers still don’t get that their big city counterparts have already been paying $10 more (because they were already getting local channels), and that the intention was to charge everyone the same price for the same level of service, regardless of where they live. As for the name issue, I think Sony got the message. A lot of the most recent ads refer simply to “Vue” (sans the PS part), and some of the ads show the service in use on various devices.

          • chenriii

            As long as they leave the wretched name in place (and make no mistake
            about it, that name is indeed still in place, in spite of a few feeble
            attempts to avoid it in a few ads; just check the PS Vue web site if you
            don’t believe me), as long as their customer support is little more
            than stenographers, as long as the customer phone support shuts down on
            weekends, I will refuse to be convinced that Sony is serious about
            this. Sure, there are some home-grown attempts to sustain the service,
            probably being driven entirely by the hapless employees dependent on
            that sinking ship; but that doesn’t mean Sony gives a crap.

            Don’t
            get me wrong; I would love to be proved wrong. As I’ve said previously
            and I reiterate today, I’ve had PS Vue for a year, as an engineering
            product it is excellent, and I remain a happy camper who hopes Vue is
            around for a long time. But the handwriting on the wall is painful and
            obvious.

  • Fred Koot

    Did you get an official word from Sony or just what’s posted on their forum?

  • Ryan Thatcher

    Sony should just keep the Slim package and make locals as an add-on package. This would avoid the confusion by many of its customers.

    • Fred Koot

      That’s why I cancelled, but having a hard time finding another service that fits my needs for less

      • comicflash1

        I like PS Vue for a variety of reasons – but basically it comes down to PS Vue “feels” the most like cable. Which made it easier to convince my family to go along with the switch. Up to five streams (with cable TV you never worried about how many other TV’s were on…) A workable DVR, a decent channel guide.

        If I end up switching, it will be to Sling and their Orange+Blue package. Or Direct TV Now’s lowest package. Sling would be a $5 increase for me ($40) Direct TV Now the same price I currently pay Sony

        Ideal for many of us would be for Sony to offer locals as an add on.

    • comicflash1

      Great idea. I don’t want to pay $10 a month extra. I get the local channels for free with an antenna in my attic.

      Offering locals as a add on package both gives people choices and makes it clear what they are paying for. The idea that I would want to pay for the “convenience” of streaming local channels that are free with an antenna is one of the dumbest ideas that came out of cable TV.

      For those that don’t want to go to the trouble of installing antenna(s) or live where reception is not good, then they can pay whatever it costs for the streaming service to provide those stations.

      • Wasn’t cable TV originally created for people for whom antennas didn’t work well for? Over the 50+ years since then many cable-only channels were added.

      • carl_steve

        FCC rules require cable and satellite operators to provide local channels. It’s not clear whether those rules apply to streaming services. In any case, improved reception was one of the main incentives many people had for getting subscription TV (either cable or satellite). If the chosen service has a DVR feature (like Vue), then being able to record local programs sweetens the deal.

  • Vegas Steve

    Typical Sony, no one knows what’s happening.

    • David1970

      Can not communicate with the customer. Perhaps when they learn to communicate within their own organization. For now they continue to have the ants- ignorant and arrogant.

  • dman

    My last few days with them are counting down (last official day is October 8th)… I cancelled last month due to what was the impending price hike this month. Don’t really care if they changed their mind, if they’re going to dick around with their customers, then they deserve any (or at least me).

  • Mike Stambaugh

    Too little too late Sony. I switched to DTVN and am not looking back. I got my daughters nickjr back, History channel and MLB network on the cheapest package. Plus everything Vue already had. Stop believing the DVR hype. Dtvn on demand and watch list features plus app permissions more then make up for the lack of a DVR.

    • Dan

      Same here, switched to DirectTvNow to avoid the price hike. I have a feeling there are many more that cancelled ahead of the price hike and Sony is just trying to stop the bleeding.

    • pjsauter

      Yep, me too – except I’m currently not bothering with any live tv, other than the occasional OTA, but I record most of that anyway. I was going to wait until the price increase to quit, then I decided I might as well save myself a couple month’s worth of fees.

      There are a few things I miss, but the problem PS Vue has is the same problem that the cable and sat companies have – once you realize they can live without it, you can think of lots of other ways to spend that money every month.

    • Fred Koot

      Dvr Hype? Yeah, who wants to watch an hr show in 45 minutes. Also not everything is on demand.

      • Mike Stambaugh

        Of its not on ondemand, then its on the app for the network. Only one missing is discovery app permissions. And MLBNETWORK is on the cheapest package ’cause thats what i have and I watch mlb network all the time. If their website shows something else, that’s on them. Don’t let them know.

    • TheJrockfreak .

      I never used the dvr, I just switched to sling because of the price spike

    • carl_steve

      It’s not hype if you depend on DVR. I spend at least as much time (maybe more) watching recorded programs as I spend watching live broadcasts. It’s not hype if you don’t want to pay extra to use DVR. It’s not hype if you don’t want to be limited in terms of how many hours of programming you can record. It’s not hype if you want the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward during programs.

      A better definition of hype is all of the Sony bashing that goes on in some of these forums. As a satisfied Vue customer, I don’t feel the need to drag Sling, DTVN, and the others through the mud. It’s bizarre how some people can’t make a consumer choice without turning it into a vendetta.

  • campbecs

    Something they should have announced much earlier. I’m one who left as I live in a smaller City and will probably never get local programming, price hike never made sense to me. Am dropping Netflix next.

  • Curlee

    I recently cancelled Vue. I was using the Windows version. It uses the archaic flashplayer. I ran into issues with it. It also buffered too much. Even though my Internet speed is very fast and connect on my LAN.

    • chenriii

      I didn’t have the buffering. What drove me crazy was the missing frame
      every two seconds. I watch a lot of news channels, and the frame
      dropouts made the jerkiness of the horizontal crawl at the bottom really
      obvious, annoying and distracting. If not for that, I would probably
      have stayed with the browser interface. As it was, I finally bit the
      bullet, did a lot of research to find out which device consensus
      believed had the best Vue interface, established to my satisfaction that
      the preponderance of opinion gave that award to the Fire TV,
      accordingly got one (the 2nd generation one with the 60 frame per second
      upgrade) and have been totally happy since. Just because the browser
      video in Vue is poor is not necessarily a reason to cancel the service.
      Those streaming boxes, like the Fire TV and the Apple TV and so on, are
      really rather good deals, well worth it, I think.

  • ModernMode

    I’ve had Vue for over a year and access it through an Amazon Firebox. Love the service. DVR was the major reason I picked Vue. I record a lot of shows and a lot of movies from TCM. Price increase is fine with me if it means getting locals. They just added CBS in my market. It’s not a perfect service but better than anything else I’ve looked into. Love the DVR.

  • Before July, we only had FOX here in Tampa Bay with ABC and NBC on demand. Now we have ABC and CBS as well. Still missing NBC which makes watching Monster Energy Races challenging when they aren’t on NBCSN. Switching to YouTube TV would get us NBC but we would lose HGTV, DIY, and Food Network. There just isn’t a perfect solution but we are still saving money.