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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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123. Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Aug 1, 2012, 14:02 eunichron
 
Verno wrote on Aug 1, 2012, 12:54:
On Kotaku today I read a comment about this story where someone said "I just... trust Valve more." That's the personification of the idea I dislike... Valve should not be trusted more than any other company out to get your money. Appreciated? Sure. Trusted? No. As today's news should hopefully make clear, they will screw you as soon as they think they can and should, and do it with a snarky smile.

If you have to qualify everything with "I like Steam" you're really sending the opposite signal IMO but that's besides the point. No company should technically be trusted but people are human beings and that kind of emotional response is understandable. People shouldn't just ignore the history of a company, whether its positive or negative as that information is important to a consumer. You also ignore reality, people "trust" Valve because they built that relationship with the customer through goodwill and community positive decisions. It's a self-correcting market, if Valve makes a series of anti-consumer decisions then the community opinion will shift accordingly. The PC industry is especially fickle and people don't love Steam so much that they will ignore problems that affect their consumer experience.

I'm not sure how other people "feel" about Valve really affects you, especially since the results are the same regardless. Some people might not get as worked up as you over something like this because it ultimately doesn't affect them, that's life. Charging into every Valve topic with "HURRR SEE VALVE IS DA BADDIE I TOLD U SO!" just automatically puts people on the defensive and actually furthers them from seeing the issue. Valve earned their status with consumers. They built a relationship with the customer, that is a pretty basic thing in many successful businesses and something that many other gaming companies have utterly failed at. If they destroy that through a series of poor decisions then that will be earned too but until then you should stop acting like they did a dog and pony show to trick millions of people into liking them because no one will take that seriously.

Exactly, but it's a struggle these days. I'm guilty of it myself. I don't approve of what these companies are doing one bit, I still have Facebook because it makes it simple and easy to keep in touch with old friends that I no longer live near. I own a Galaxy Nexus made by Samsung, sponsored by Google, running stock Android 4.0. that I pay Verizon $80 a month for. I still use both Steam and Origin. I own an Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 and play on Xbox Live and PlayStation Network. I don't like a lot of their business practices, but you know what, Facebook, Google, Valve, Microsoft, Sony, and EA haven't done anything that hurts me personally yet, so I trust them and continue using their products on a daily basis.

I'm such a fucking hypocrite and I hate myself.
 
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  1. Jul 31, 21:34 Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits StingingVelvet
  2. Jul 31, 21:40 Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits eunichron
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>> 123. Aug 1, 14:02  Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits eunichron
  124. Aug 1, 14:06   Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits NKD
  125. Aug 1, 14:07    Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Verno
  126. Aug 1, 14:10     Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits NKD
  130. Aug 1, 15:20     Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Creston
  148. Aug 2, 17:46      Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits LurkerLito
  128. Aug 1, 14:34    Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Prez
  129. Aug 1, 14:52     Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Verno
  132. Aug 1, 16:19      Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Prez
  133. Aug 1, 16:29      Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits deqer
  134. Aug 1, 19:27    Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Mashiki Amiketo
  127. Aug 1, 14:24 Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits JohnnyRotten
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  143. Aug 2, 10:22 Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Dev
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  150. Aug 2, 19:03  Re: Steam Precludes Class Action Lawsuits Beamer
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