New Steam user agreement aims to prevent class-action suits
Updated Steam Subscriber Agreement blocks you from suing the company en masse
Posted by Alex 'SpectralShock' V on Aug 1, 2012 - 1:26pm EST (Aug 1, 2012 13:26)
Valve has changed its user agreement terms on the grounds that class-action suits are long, costly, and mostly benefit the lawyers.
"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," reads the statement. "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."
The next time you log in to Steam you’ll be asked to read and agree to the new terms.