• Report: #923592

Complaint Review: Valve Corporation

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  • Submitted: Tue, August 07, 2012
  • Updated: Sun, August 26, 2012

  • Reported By: Charles — Toronto Ontario Canada
Valve Corporation
PO Box 1688 Bellevue, Washington United States of America

Valve Corporation Valve support criminally inflexible on illegal practices. Bellevue, Washington

*Consumer Comment: Orrly?

*Author of original report: Ignorant Rebuttals

*Consumer Comment: RE:

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In May of this year, I purchased a new gaming PC just to play the Elderscrolls V: Skyrim game.  I had absolutely no oppinion on Steam at first.  When I purchased the game it was through Steam, an online software that serves as a distributor for other publishers, and their own, game titles.  I downloaded and enjoyed playing Skyrim, so much so that I decided to purchase another game from Steam, that being The Witcher 2 followed by Tropico 4 and CitiesXL 2012.  All of these games were purchased in relatively short order.

The trouble began after my third purchase from Steam, Tropico 4.  Upon downloading and installing the game I was asked to create an account to log into the game.  I contacted Kalypso, the manufacturer or the game for clarification as to what was happening as I couldn't find a privacy policy located anywhere.  Kalypso refused to supply the privacy policy or even to tell me what information was being collected or how it's being used or stored.  I returned to Steam and informed them of the happenings stating that I was refusing the software TOS because Kalypso had failed to include a privacy policy. 

The agent with Steam refused to even honor what it is my understanding to be the law and said he would not refund my purchase because it was against their policy.  I eventually, on my own, figured out how to fight Kalypso and block their program from accessing it's autorization server.  I was annoyed, very much annoyed, but frankly, $50.00 or whatever isn't worth my time.  I had already wasted hours trying to make either company see reason but instead I met a solid brick wall of "policy".

I went on and eventually decided to give Steam one last try before writing them off.  I purchased a game called CitiesXL 2012 through Steam's store.  Imagine my suprise when after purchasing, the game I found that a key component of the game, the online play portion, had been stripped from the game but Steam had done nothing to try to inform users of this.  There was no mention at all on their store page for the game.  Again, this is illegal.  You cannot advertise a feature, sell a product based on that advertisement and those features without actually including those features. 

There was no warning at all about this however there was also no refund of course.  I contacted Steam again but again they refused to offer me a refund because of their policy despite the fact that they sold me a product that did not match the product description.  Now I'm up to about $100.00 wasted on purchases made with Steam unfortunately, that is still far below the amout of money Steam would have had to steal before it would be worth my time to sue.

Finally, Valve updated Steam's terms of service to include a clause that users can not file class action lawsuits trying to dress it up as a service to users to save them from evil lawyers.  I refused to agree with their new TOS, published after I purchased my games but their software blocked me from accessing my paid merchandise.  Again, illegal.  I've heard of support telling people that they have to agree to the new TOS because we don't own our games we were in some cases forced to purchase from this truely evil corporation.  They say we are only subscribers and the games, even though they were sold at full retail price, are not ours but simply rentals.  Now I don't pay a monthly fee for this service or these "rentals" but I did pay a purchase price for numerious games.

This kind of corporate bullying cannot be allowed to continue.  I see numerious news articles on IGN and other sites within which game developers are saying how much they love Steam because it has such a greate customer service culture.  Developers and consumers need to be made aware that this company, Valve, and their product Steam are criminally corrupt.  They literally steam money from customers and are attempting to create an even more hostile customer enviroment through this new TOS.  I have taken the step to start contacting developers of major games who sell on Steam such as Bethesda and CD Projekt. 

I would like to encourage anyone who cares at all for the future of customer rights or for the future of gaming  to contact developers and their elected officials.  We have got to have some rights as customers.  If a software company can force me to put malware on my computer to protect their rights, I definately deserve the right to demand a refund from a bunch of criminals who are selling busted up full price software. 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/07/2012 08:13 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Valve-Corporation/Bellevue-Washington-98009/Valve-Corporation-Valve-support-criminally-inflexible-on-illegal-practices-Bellevue-Was-923592. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

Orrly?

AUTHOR: Joji - (Canada)

I believe you're just incredibly butthurt. After you replied back to me on that other ripoff report, I went onto the Steam forums and discussed it with other people. One person, gave me this:

http://pastebin.com/yPwP44wF

As for the TOS, I believe you're just exaggerating on it. Not only does Steam does that, but I believe other companies applied the same rule. That's the problem with online goods, it applies to many other services as well. It's not only Steam. It can't be helped. They can't simply refund you all the previous games. Just read the pastebin, and you'll understand why.

I am not being defensive over Valve or Steam. It's a misunderstanding. I hope you understand.
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#2 Author of original report

Ignorant Rebuttals

AUTHOR: Charles - (Canada)

Dear Joji,

These posts are consumers airing their very real grievances against corporations, not a support forum.  As such I did not solicit your opinion nor do I care about it.  My experiences are real and I've done my best to be honest in posting them here.

Some people, such as yourself, enjoy a product so much that they feel threatened when others find fault in the products manufacturer.  These people are called zealots.  When the maker of their favorite product is attacked, even if it is for a legitimate cause, they take personal offense.  You are trying to help me in a passive aggressive way.  I don't need your help, neither does anyone else that has posted their complaint against Steam on here and I didn't ask for it either.

Please do not take offense to this, I can't be any more polite, but what you are doing prevents us from having an intelligent discourse which renders this site useless.  I am asking you, as this is my complaint placed here to serve as a warning and with luck maybe even serve to open an intelligent discourse, to refrain from posting any more messages unless you contribute something intelligent to the discussion.

Thank you for your previous comments as you are clearly very passionate but you lack the frame of reference to continue this discussion.

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#3 Consumer Comment

RE:

AUTHOR: Joji - (Canada)

Steam's customer support is known to be pretty terrible. Don't bother with them. They're only distributors. As for CitiesXL 2012, scroll down the product page (http://store.steampowered.com/app/201760/) and you can see clearly that this is a single-player game ONLY. So that's your fault. They only refund your game if you haven't played the game yet. Basically, no open-box refund.

As for Steam's new TOS, read this: http://www.pcgamer.com/2012/08/02/valve-updates-steam-subscriber-agreement-will-pay-for-arbitration-but-no-more-class-actions/

However, where did read this up from: "They say we are only subscribers and the games, even though they were sold at full retail price, are not ours but simply rentals"? That was in the TOS as well?

However, as long as you don't use any illegal cheating programs that would ruin the fun for everyone, then I suppose everything would remain fine? Otherwise single-player option should still be available for certain "games that were VAC banned".
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