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 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.