Why would it guarantee error-free operation
I don't expect a guarantee of error-free operation. That is unrealistic. However, customers do deserve some kind of guarantee of operation so that they can play their games whenever they choose in virtual perpetuity regardless of the existence or whims of Valve. Traditional retail games delivered on physical media do have such a virtual guarantee. So long as the customer possesses the media and keeps it in operating condition, he can play his game whenever he chooses in virtual perpetuity. Right now the only thing Valve guarantees is that it can terminate customers' ability to play their games at any time for any reason. And, in mOOzilla's case and others, it has done just that.
And think about where the company makes its money. It certainly doesn't make it off of subscriptions, except from Cybercafe's perhaps.
That is no small exception. According to the financial figures released by the hacker in question, Valve had collected nine million dollars from such fees at the time the hacker accessed the records. That was probably a quarterly or monthly accumulation, but even if it were for a longer period, that is still no trivial amount of revenue.
With that in mind, who pays for the servers you play on?
Fellow users. Valve does NOT run most if any of the game servers which host its games. They are paid and run by users who purchased its games.
Would you rather have to pay more for a game just so you can talk to someone on the phone
I don't pay more now when I buy games from other publishers who do have telephone contact for their customer support. Valve is simply being cheap and skimping on servicing and supporting its customers.
Email and the web interface seems to service them well enough
They don't serve customers well enough, and that should be the goal NOT the company's bottom line.This comment was edited on Apr 24, 22:18.