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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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148. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Aug 2, 2012, 17:46 LurkerLito
 
Creston wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 15:20:
However, I find this whole "Agree to the new license or we forbid you to use Steam any longer" thing to be similar to highway fucking robbery, and I'm a bit dubious that the legal argument holds. If I ever had a lawsuit versus Steam, and Valve says "yeah, but you agreed to the new EULA", and I make the argument that I was forced to submit to the new agreement under duress, what happens?

Because isn't that what they are doing? What kind of fucking choice do you have when they say "you either accept this new agreement, or we STOP YOU FROM USING EVERY ONE OF THE 200+ GAMES YOU'VE BOUGHT WITH US?" That's not a choice. That's called being coerced into something.

Creston

I completely agree with this. I have like 400+ games on steam. There was no choice, I had to press "I Agree" even if I didn't. It was absolutely a coerced "signature" on the contract, no different than if they put a gun to my head and said press the button. Let see either I agree to the new terms or lose all the money I invested into steam over the years. Add to that several of the games require steam and don't have alternate versions for purchase anywhere, including some new ones which are preordered from other retailers that also require Steam. That's equivalent to a bank saying we changed our services, if you don't like it we will close your account and keep the money that is there. Choice? What choice?
 
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