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Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits

Valve announces an updated Steam Subscriber Agreement, becoming the latest company to attempt to avoid potential class action lawsuits by prohibiting them as a term of service. Here is their explanation of this:

Weíre also introducing a new dispute resolution process that will benefit you and Valve. Recently, a number of companies have created similar provisions which have generated lots of discussion from customers and communities, and weíve been following these discussions closely. On Steam, whenever a customer is unhappy with any transaction, our first goal is to resolve things as quickly as possible through the normal customer support process. However in those instances in which we can't resolve a dispute, we've outlined a new required process whereby we agree to use arbitration or small claims court to resolve the dispute. In the arbitration process, Valve will reimburse your costs of the arbitration for claims under a certain amount. Reimbursement by Valve is provided regardless of the arbitratorís decision, provided that the arbitrator does not determine the claim to be frivolous or the costs unreasonable.

Most significant to the new dispute resolution terms is that customers may now only bring individual claims, not class action claims. We considered this change very carefully. Itís clear to us that in some situations, class actions have real benefits to customers. In far too many cases however, class actions donít provide any real benefit to users and instead impose unnecessary expense and delay, and are often designed to benefit the class action lawyers who craft and litigate these claims. Class actions like these do not benefit us or our communities. We think this new dispute resolution process is faster and better for you and Valve while avoiding unnecessary costs, and that it will therefore benefit the community as a whole.

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46. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 23:34 StingingVelvet
Prez wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 23:23:
I can accept that you say your attitude being largely negative towards Valve and Steam on these boards is more of a counterpoint to the largely positive overall view of them here on Blues than it is a general hate-on you have for Valve. But having been here a while like you have you ought to be aware of how quick this crowd will turn on a company when they screw up or "act evil" as you put it. I'm curious as to how, then, you account for the generally positive view this board (which is known for its negativity about, well, everything) has maintained for Valve and Steam. If Valveis truly the equal in word and deed of the likes of EA and Ubisoft, why are they spared (comparitively speaking) the vitriol that those and other companies are bombarded with (and most deservedly so if you ask me) on Bluesnews? I wonder if you doubt that people can actually continue to be a fan of something while still acknowledging its faults and shortcomings.

There can be varying reasons, both legitimate and not. A lot of people are hung up on old EA grievances from closing X studio to Y console support statement. In the end though I honestly think it's mostly rooted in Valve doing amazing, excellent and awe-inspiring PR.

Look at this update. The way they phrase this shit it's like they're doing you a favor. They're fucking brilliant at this stuff.

And again, I am not saying they are worse. Actually in the grand scheme of things I would agree they are likely better than most companies. I just think they are also a greedy corporation that wants profit and that fucks consumers when they accept it and does altruistic things with financial goals in mind, same as any other corporation. It's the "Valve are a good company that cares about more than profit" mindset that drives me bonkers.
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