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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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75. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Aug 1, 2012, 02:43 jimnms
NegaDeath wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 23:24:
btallas wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 23:18:
Out of curiosity is this something you have to agree to next time you log in steam? What if I don't agree with this new term of service? Will they refund me some $'s for the games I've purchased through their service? I agreed to the terms of service when I signed up. If they change said terms of service or add a new term of service, does that just mean I'm SOL if I don't agree to the change or addition?

I'm not saying I agree or don't agree, I'm just curious what would happen if someone doesn't agree to the new term.

Well I can tell you what happens in an immediate sense, Steam refuses to load if you don't accept. And I imagine they already had a clause saying they can change the EULA whenever they want without penalty. It's an interesting legal question.

When Steam asked me to restart to apply an update today I didn't. Maybe I'll leave my system on as long as I can to avoid having to agree to this.

I understand the reason behind class action lawsuits, but most of the time they are ridiculous and the only people to get any benefit are the lawyers. I have received several letters over the years informing me that I'm qualified to be part of a class action lawsuit or some shit. I'll read the claim against he company and it's never been about anything that effected me, so I threw them away. One time I even received a settlement check from one. The stamp cost them more than the settlement check they sent me.

What I have a problem with more than them changing the EULA to take away your right to a class action lawsuit is that they can change the EULA and if you don't agree to the new terms you can't use their software anymore.

Software companies are the only ones that do this or can do this (as far as I know). What if a car manufacturer sent out a letter to all owners informing them that you can no bring a class action lawsuit against them for any reason, and if you don't agree you must stop driving your car. That shit wouldn't be allowed to happen, so why are software companies allowed to get away with it?
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