I've been noticing recently that a lot of people, myself included are having problems with PSN's billing system. I have called PS Support several times and finally ended up getting my problems resolved and I thought I would share some of the information that was imparted to me on my calls. I have no connection to SCEA or Playstation whatsoever and any advice I give was given directly to me from a certified Playstation Support agent over the phone and I am simply choosing to impart their wisdom. My decision to create this post is entirely voluntary and I am not getting paid anything for the several hours of typing, proofreading, and research I am putting into this.
Now, as I understand it there are four kinds of errors that people are getting, possibly more. They are "Invalid Credit Info", "Funds Cannot Be Added to Wallet", "Billing Information Cannot Be Updated", and my personal favorite which is the ever vague "An Error Has Occurred". I have had all these errors at one time or another and they are all ones that can be overcome. If the information helps you then please give your two cent opinion that this post be stickied to the PSN Network Support forum so that others in need of it can easily find it. Also feel free to check out my "Why You Should Not Game Share" post. I would love it if that one were stickied as well since a lot of people don't think they are breaking any rules by doing it.
Playstation Support (Only for US, Canada, Mexico, and Latin America): 1-800-345-7669
"Invalid Credit Info"
There are two reasons this error code can come up. The first is the simplest which is that the information you are putting in is not correct. First, understand and accept the possibility that the information you THINK is right may not necessarily be correct. Almost 90% of the time this relates to the BILLING ADDRESS that is ON FILE with the card issuer. Try the steps listed in this article
PSN utilizes a system known as AVS or Address Verification System in order to verify the billing info on file with the card issuer. The card issuer MUST support this system in their networking infrastructure or your card will NEVER go through. The fact that your card works everywhere else does not matter because most brick and mortar stores don't need your billing address, just the card, and most online retailers support multiple systems besides AVS that allow them to verify billing information. AVS is not the only system that performs verification of billing information and it is not SCEA's fault if your bank doesn't support it.
Because of this necessity that the bank must support AVS and that PSN must be able to verify billing information before a transaction can go through, PREPAID CARDS WILL NOT WORK AND ARE NOT GUARANTEED TO WORK WITH PSN and I suggest you stop trying to get them to work. If you have a prepaid card then your best bet is to either use PSN cards or link the card to a Paypal account and then transfer funds from Paypal through the Sony Entertainment Network website. Personally I prefer Paypal because I can choose how much I want to fund the wallet for rather than buy a 10$ or 20$ psn card only to spend a few bucks of it and have the rest sit in my wallet until I find something to use it on. PSN cards work best when the amount on the card is in line with what you want to buy. For example, a 19.99 game with a 20$ psn card. You also do not have to go to the store to buy PSN cards and can buy them from Gamestop.com or Bestbuy.com and they email you the voucher code. I don't know of any other sites and I would be cautious of them anyway because they may not email you the code but just ship the physical card to you in the mail.
"Funds Cannot Be Added to Wallet"
I got this error once and when I called PS support about it I was told that it's generally a PSN issue and has nothing to do with AVS or the card being used. I was advised to wait a few hours up to a maximum of 24 and try again and it worked just great. I was also told that the reason this issue occurs is usually because the network is congested. They said they experience it the most right after the store updates as a lot of people are trying to download content and make purchases on new content and also to a lesser degree during peak gaming hours (afternoon and early evening). This congestion problem could likely be solved by adding more servers but you need to remember that PSN is a free to use network and as such it does not have the income to just add servers at the drop of a hat. Most of the income generated from sales on PSN doesn't even go back to them unless it's content they own and produce. Example, they probably make peanuts off of COD content since it's owned by Activision although I'm sure they take their cut but it's probably a small to moderate cut. There wouldn't be any point in a publisher putting their content on the store unless they were getting the largest piece of the pie in terms of sales.
"Billing Information Cannot Be Updated"
This error happens when people attempt to enter their credit card information too many times within a 24hr period. PSN records how many times billing info is updated and when someones hits that point of no return then the billing information is locked out for a maximum of 48 hours and no information can be changed in that 48 hour window. It is not a lockout that PS agents can overturn as it is not issued by any member of SCEA but is an autonomous response from the network. When you get this error message you need to write down what time it was when you got it and then wait 48 hours from then and attempt to put the information in again ONCE and if you still get that error then you need to call PS Support. As with all interactions with another human being (yes, people who do customer support are human) please treat them as you would like to be treated. They may work for PSN but they did not come into your home and intentionally cause the problem so don't treat them as if they did.
Do not put in your information again, attempt to make purchases, redeem a PSN card, or transfer funds through Paypal before those 48 hours have passed or the only thing you are going to succeed at is resetting the lockout timer back to 48 hours. The lockout timer is literally down to the minute, and possibly even the second so whatever time you write down it would probably be a good idea to tack on an extra 15 minutes just to be on the safe side. You should be able to make purchases still as long as there is enough money in your PSN wallet already since that does not interact with billing info at all.
"An Error Has Occurred"
I had a very interesting chat with the person who explained this message to me and it's my favorite for a reason. That reason is because there are a multitude of things that can cause the error to pop up. It can be related to billing, a networking error, corruption in the PS store app (always worth deleting PS Store and reinstalling with this error), and other things. If the message shows up in PS store then it may have an error code starting with 80 which you can check here.
As with the Funds Cannot be Added problem I have found that the best solution that resolves this problem for me is to simply wait a few hours and try again. You can also try making the purchase using the new PS Web Store. Contact PS Support if the above do not work since they can attempt to determine what is or isn't causing the error. As with all interactions with another human being (yes, people who do customer support are human) please treat them as you would like to be treated. They may work for PSN but they did not come into your home and intentionally cause the problem so don't treat them as if they did.
Well, it's late and I am going to bed so I will finish this tomorrow. Feel free to comment on what I have already written but please observe all forum rules when commenting.