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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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152 Replies. 8 pages. Viewing page 8.
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12. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 22:04 jamiedj99
 
what they cant do is stop you from taking them to small claims court where you have better odds then a class acton suit anyways and its cheaper on you but not on them.  
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11. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 22:01 Atomic
 
Overon wrote on Jul 31, 2012, 21:57:
Has there ever been a court case where such a "no class action" agreement for use has ever been upheld?

It's been upheld:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kanitz_v._Rogers_Cable_Inc.

And rejected:
http://www.pepperlaw.com/publications_update.aspx?ArticleKey=2071

I guess it depends on the specifics and merits of the individual cases.
 
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"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
-George Bernard Shaw
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10. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 22:00 Rattlehead
 
Companies write EULA's like it's a fucking license to do whatever you want without repercussion. Also isn't the idea behind a lawsuit generally because one party didn't uphold their end of the contract?

I don't see how this shit is legal, it's a clear violation of consumer rights. Didn't a court in Germany basically override this kind of crap?
 
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9. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 21:57 Overon
 
Has there ever been a court case where such a "no class action" agreement for use has ever been upheld?  
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8. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 21:55 Cutter
 
Define frivolous or unreasonable.

And anyway, class action suits rarely benefit anyone except the lawyers.

 
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James Woods: Oh that's fun. That sounds like you had a fun time. Where would I fit in with the fun time, huh? Where does James Woods fit into the fun?
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7. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 21:53 jdreyer
 
While I don't disagree that class action lawsuits typically result in a "punishment" for the company that is largely meaningless, I don't like the idea that I won't have this right available as an option.

Look at the recent EA NFL loss: Sega launches NFL 2K5 for $20. EA drops their price from $50 down to $30 for Madden. EA inks an exclusive deal with the NFL so Sega can't make their game anymore. EA price goes back up to $50 and stays there. Class action lawsuit drags on for years. Finally a settlement: EA keeps their exclusive NFL license, and has to pay either $7 or $2 to anyone who can prove they bought the game over the last six years. Keep $20 per game and risk getting slapped on the wrist for $2? Sure, I'll take that deal EVERY TIME.
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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6. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 21:53 Atomic
 
Regardless how you feel about this, it's hard to dispute this:

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.
 
Avatar 2718
 
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing."
-George Bernard Shaw
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5. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 21:52 JohnBirshire
 
I never really understood this. I can't put a sign in front of my restaurant that says "If you agree to eat here, you also agree not to ever sue for salmonella poisoning." So why, exactly, can these companies do it?  
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4. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 21:52 Tom
 
Why haven't companies just outlawed class action suits by now anyway? Clearly they don't like them very much.  
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3. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 21:45 RailWizard
 
lol  
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2. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 21:40 eunichron
 
Gonna grab my popcorn while the Valve/Gaben fanatics (they're not even fanboys at this point, they truly are fanatics) try to spin this into a positive.  
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1. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Jul 31, 2012, 21:34 StingingVelvet
 
EA are so evil! I hope they all burn in... oh, wait a second. It's Valve?

This is fine no biggie.
 
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152 Replies. 8 pages. Viewing page 8.
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