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You can no longer bring class action cases against Valve

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 04 Aug 2012 16:36 User comments (21)

You can no longer bring class action cases against Valve Valve has updated their Steam Subscriber Agreement and Privacy Policy this week, blocking the ability for consumers to bring class action lawsuits against the company.
To be able to use Steam, you must agree to the SSA and PP, so the changes are significant.

Says the company:

We're 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 we've 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 arbitrator's 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. It's clear to us that in some situations, class actions have real benefits to customers. In far too many cases however, class actions don't 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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21 user comments

14.8.2012 17:20

I'm surprised that this could hold up in court. You'd think there'd be laws to not allow companies from preventing customers to take class actions.

24.8.2012 18:52

Yeah you shouldn't be able to negate someones rights by law threw the TOS.

34.8.2012 19:54

they can put and write whatever they want in their TOS

and even if you agree to it all and use their service

im pretty sure their TOS wont stand any chance in court

44.8.2012 22:46

In Australia the ACCC laws over ride what ever sort of trivial stuff is written in a TOS or TOA SA etc

55.8.2012 0:06

This is total crap! And anyone believing this is an idiot.

If this is taken to court, it will NOT stand up!

Writing a TOA that forbids class action lawsuits is one thing...ENFORCING it is another!

I think they will find that out the hard way!

If this were to hold up, then any comany could copy what they have done. I simply do not think this will go down without a long drawn out court battle.

This would go all the way to the Supreme Court if it was enforced, because all kinds of class action lawsuits would be at stake.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Aug 2012 @ 0:10

65.8.2012 4:59

Let's find something we're all feeling hard done by about and then file a class action lawsuit against Valve just for kicks.

I don't know too much about US law, but worryingly it seem that things like this do stand up in court and probably will from now on w/ a Supreme Court ruling.

http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2011...s-action-suits/

I have a feeling that it would be a different story in the EU, however.



75.8.2012 9:18

Quote:
Class actions like these do not benefit us or our communities.
...because the threat of a multi-million dollar lawsuit would never affect the way a company conducts its business. With the possibility of lawsuits removed, I'm sure any changes they make from here forward will be made only with their customers' best interests in mind.

Anyone who believes that, stand on your head.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 05 Aug 2012 @ 9:20

When laws allow unlimited ownership of ideas, it is to a society as iron fusion is to the core of a star.

When verified realities lead us to anger, we must learn to reevaluate our beliefs.

85.8.2012 11:11

I'm too really surprised by this and just seems more like an empty ploy by the company to take advantage of naive people. There is no basis by which a company may put in turns that make you forfeit your rights other legal protection you have. To really show an example of this, no way may a company put in some clause saying something like "Upon this agreement we are happy to notify you that we may legally take all your monetary and any other items of value both parties consider has any amount of wealth. Should you feel any theft in which we procure items from you are unreasonable you agree to enter into small claim court or our own kangaroo court. If a settlement goes against us, the only remedy you agree to is the refund of you monthly subscription fees and value of the software purchased..."

No way would this ever stand up in court, and in effect that is pretty close to what Va1ve, then can try but ultimately they are only playing off ignorant, naive stupid people.


95.8.2012 14:03

It's bullshit folks... I'm not aware of the actual statute, but even though you sign on & under duress of want to play games, or are unaware because the mountain of legalese that you 'supposedly' can't sue them - they (Valve/Steam) are still legally responsible for their actions.

What? Because I have you sign a document before you come into my home saying that I'm not responsible for your well being, that i now have the right to murder you in cold blood? I know I'm being a bit out of context, but they're basically doing the same thing.

The ONLY organization on the PLANET that I'm aware of making these kind of ballsy statements is the US Government against their new soldiers. I.e., "I" am not allowed to sue the US against anything that was done to me while in the service of my country.

Valve can piss up a rope tied full of knots while maintaining a steady stream of kidney stones. Just coercing people to sign such a contract I believe is grounds for a class action suit.


105.8.2012 15:28

you can sign anything but in the USA you can not give away rights to due process its like signing a document before surgery you can still sue after its done and you can go after the hospital or doctor.. so this is just to scare those that don't know any better its like in the state of Maine you don't need to buy the extended warranty everything sold in Maine has an auto warranty of 4 years by a law called implied warranty. so this is a joke

115.8.2012 15:37

you are not legally allowed to sign away some rights even when both parties agree and not sure if those apply here.

126.8.2012 5:29

shame on you Valve.

136.8.2012 15:40

Has everyone forgotten that Sony did this same thing with one of their PS3 firmware updates? If you declined you could no longer play online. My credit card company also added a no class action clause, freakin Citibank!

146.8.2012 17:45

Originally posted by ChiknLitl:
Has everyone forgotten that Sony did this same thing with one of their PS3 firmware updates? If you declined you could no longer play online. My credit card company also added a no class action clause, freakin Citibank!
I'm assuming until a politician is directly impacted with the business practices of the vendor pulling these kind of charades, nothing can or will be done until a class action suit is brought up by a subjectively large amount of people.

Which begs that those with money or power (or the both) aren't subject to the laws or rules that govern the plebes. Not that I want to lessen your standard, but it could very well be you case. They don't pay your rent, that get's you evicted, that basically cascades into ruining your life.

Possible scenario that happens all the time & you can't sue them because of a "he said, she said" style law suit is longer a viable class action to take against them. It's bullshit and this is just another ploy by a different company to keep from doing heir f*king jobs.

You think the world would feel differently if all the soldiers thought it was too tough to fight back the Germans in WWII & just give in like some of the other countries did? Where the f*k would the world be then?

These companies need to do their f*king job, stop looking for the easy way out, put out the quality effort & product & except responsibility where/when it's due. This 80s business model shit has got to stop NOW!

Not only has it bastardized the original definition of capitalism, corrupted 2 generations, been the single force in causing the 2nd US Depression (1st GLOBAL & don't bullshit yourselves), but it has also gotten an untold number of good people killed in the process.

When are the educated, able-bodied individuals going to get off their collective asses & attempt to actually, PHYSICALLY do something about this?

I DID!!! My story still has a 2 year moratorium wait. And I can't say it was the best one... but at least I tried.

What can you say?

156.8.2012 18:56

I agree that they cannot TOS your right to join a Class Action, but, what this is more likely about is that they can
Terminate you for breaking TOS IF you join a Class Action.
Also, it may make it a bit more difficult to bring a Class Action because of that.
That seems to be the only purpose to these types of clauses.


Oh, Im sorry... Did the middle of my sentence interrupt the beginning of yours?

166.8.2012 19:16

Originally posted by LordRuss:

These companies need to do their f*king job, stop looking for the easy way out, put out the quality effort & product & except responsibility where/when it's due. This 80s business model shit has got to stop NOW!

Not only has it bastardized the original definition of capitalism, corrupted 2 generations, been the single force in causing the 2nd US Depression (1st GLOBAL & don't bullshit yourselves), but it has also gotten an untold number of good people killed in the process.

When are the educated, able-bodied individuals going to get off their collective asses & attempt to actually, PHYSICALLY do something about this?
I'm afraid if we leave it to the corporations to do the right thing, it's only going to get worse. The educated? They're being taught to bend the system even further in their favor, not to correct imbalances.

No, the only way it's ever going to swing back in our favor is if we take the power we have left and point it at the crooked companies who push this sort of strong-armed business model. When people realize that they have all the power if it's used together, crooked companies will drop like flies.

The actions taken against Netflix show that it's possible to bring these giants down when they directly ire their customers. I just wish we all had much lower tolerance for these sorts of things. But when companies like Steam can threaten to take away their customers' paid-for products, people are going to be gun-shy about fighting them; especially when some of those game collections have cost several hundred dollars.

When laws allow unlimited ownership of ideas, it is to a society as iron fusion is to the core of a star.

When verified realities lead us to anger, we must learn to reevaluate our beliefs.

176.8.2012 21:30

Dont care, love stream... And this wouldn't change anything to me. They get to protect them self from damage some would try to take advantage over the company... If something serious really happen I'm pretty sure this wouldn't even count in court.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 06 Aug 2012 @ 21:31


188.8.2012 11:58

Originally posted by Clam_Up:
The actions taken against Netflix show that it's possible to bring these giants down when they directly ire their customers. I just wish we all had much lower tolerance for these sorts of things. But when companies like Steam can threaten to take away their customers' paid-for products, people are going to be gun-shy about fighting them; especially when some of those game collections have cost several hundred dollars.
There in lies the contradiction. The 'means' of forcing complete compliance on these companies.

We really didn't get full compliance out of Netflix. I'm not so sure anyone got anything out of them, really. Isn't it still kinda business as usual? I.e., they didn't learn anything.

And then, just as you stated, what about the forfeiture of purchased property? An individual that obviously didn't have the money to buy all those games at one times certainly doesn't have the funds to hire legal representation to get it all back. Class actions really do end up being a final straw in a lot of these cases.

Which is why I pretty much stand behind my original statement... these guys just don't want to stand behind their work. Shoddy as it ORIGINALLY was. They're the worst of the worst whiny child about dragging their feet on repairing what should have been completed eons ago & like a child that won't clean their room, with mulish stubbornness will argue like Johnny Cochran (well, they can afford the lawyers) to NOT do the job.

I hate it when kids do that. That's when I snatch them up with one arm, pop them on the ass one good time & bark at them, "You do it because it's the right thing to do and it needs being done!!!"

198.8.2012 13:04

@LordRuss

I remember a few months ago the story about a guy trying to sell his Steam account. They deactivated his account and he pretty much lost more than a hundred games he had "paid" for. They eventually reinstated hime I believe, after all of the public hullaballoo it caused. But they have the ability to simply kick you off of their sytem and you will have nothing to show for it.

208.8.2012 13:21

Originally posted by ChiknLitl:
But they have the ability to simply kick you off of their sytem and you will have nothing to show for it.
It just makes you want to drive a freight train right into their nuts don't it!?! It's like the damned ISPs. I got harassed by mine for supposedly pissing off Blizzard for downloading WOW over a year ago (isn't that free now?) & then Crysis here in April.

But they decided to shut my service off because i didn't sign some kind of form. Scuse me!?! F*K OFF in a big way! I'm not signing anything with regards to this because despite what it says it all boils down to an absolution of guilt to the ISP & an admission of guilt by proxy on ME.

Not to mention the fact, isn't there a 3 strike rule thing before getting shut off & what about a statute of limitations on infractions? I'm certainly not going to admit guilt by any stretch of the imagination & certainly not publicly, but where's my recourse?

I still had to sign their documents under the protest of duress, but not until I told them that all my phone conversations & emails had been recorded & copied.

2110.8.2012 8:55

Originally posted by ROMaster2:
I'm surprised that this could hold up in court. You'd think there'd be laws to not allow companies from preventing customers to take class actions.
Contracts that are legal but are not in the public interest may be rendered null.

A Class action is "Public interest". Of course it may take a few years to be nullified through the judicial system before the class action is brought to fruition.

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